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Brews and Food Fest 2024: Sunshine, booze and good food

By Julia Paul

It was a blast this past Sunday at the Brews and Food Fest 2024.

With sunshine and warm weather, people came from all over to enjoy the craft beverages and food trucks at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Vendors from local breweries were present such as Broken Rail Brewing from St. Marys and Heeman’s from Thorndale as well as breweries from farther away such as the London Brewing Cooperative, Torched from Grand Bend and Rusty Wrench from Strathroy.

“St. Marys; this is our hometown,” said Ryan Leaman from Broken Rail Brewing. “Any way we can help out the Rotary. It also is a small launching spot. A lot of people come here from out of town and then they go up to our brewery afterwards and get some stuff to go. … That’s what I love about the Rotary. They put on a great event. … I think it could be made into something bigger. I’ve gotten to know so many of these breweries doing festivals with them. Even though it’s not a great big money-making event for the vendors, it’s well run.”

During the interview, an eventgoer came to try some local craft beer.

“Mmm, that’s good. Wow. Whoa, is that ever good!” said Doug Betteridge.

“Just released today,” said Ryan about 'Mow The Lawn', a 4.5 per-cent IPA craft beer.

“Wow is it ever good. The citrus. ... That’s my new favourite,” Betteridge said.

Food trucks were lined up outside the event for hungry attendees needing to satiate their hunger. Campbell's Catering, The Sunset Diner and Big Daddy Bacon were a hit as well as the Field to Truck Mobile Eatery. I tried their bacon cheddar smash burger and it was divine.

The day was carried along by the live music performed by Upside of Maybe. Their sets were entertaining and enjoyable for all ages and created the perfect atmosphere for an enjoyable day with friends and family.

When asked about the turnout for the event, Mark Oliver, Rotary Club of St. Marys president, said, “We are pleased, very pleased and couldn’t have asked for a nicer day for weather.

“As far as the event goes, (it has gone) swimmingly. This is our fourth year running the event. I think we got the kinks ironed out of it. ... We are happy with it. We hope to be back next year. Next year is our 100th anniversary as a club. ... We’ll be back trying our best next year. ... Thank you to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Thank you to the Town of St. Marys. Thank you to everybody who came out. (We) hope you had a good time and I look forward to seeing you in 2025.”


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