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Nine years of the Gate City Brewfest

February 23, 2019

Although snow seems to be the current predictable happening in Pocatello, it’s time to look ahead to the Gate City Brewfest. Why? Lots of reasons come to mind. First of all, what new beers are going to be available, and with more than 80 beers presented at this occasion, how much of an expert are you at defining a notable difference among or between all of these offerings? Get your taste bods ready to sample and see how you do at this event.

This is the ninth annual Brewfest sponsored by Old Town Pocatello and there are bound to be lots of people you haven’t seen during this winter of snow, snow and more snow. So instead of donning your winter garments and taking to the slopes, now is the time to welcome spring — and what better way than to sip an array of beer flavors while listening to music, eating yummy foods and chatting with old and new friends?

Beer brewing has been a long-time activity in this area. I remember the flavors John and I tasted when we first arrived in Pocatello in 1965. Our reaction to such offerings was one of surprise. Then, we were even more surprised by the idea that people would or could throw some potatoes together with a bit of yeast and expect a tasty beer to emerge. The flavors we encountered were just about what you might expect. Still, the idea of having a basement full of “98 bottles of beer” was tantalizing even though we decided that we could expect grocery store offerings to be the most authentic and less headache producing.

As can be said about most human inventions such as food combinations and more, the ability to produce beer has advanced so greatly that lists of equipments, ingredients, cautions and selling strategies have grown to the point that finding information is somewhat like looking for a piece of crystal on the beach. Regardless, testing flavors and learning about the history of brewing beer will acquaint you with cultural, historical and scientific aspects of this liquid refreshment.

As I sit here, writing about the growing techniques, qualities and ease of bringing forth different flavors of beer, alas, it is snowing again. However, hope exists and so I will continue to encourage you to join lots of others at the Gate City Brewfest on March 9 from 1 to 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 when you purchase them before the big day and $30 on March 9. Also, there is a V.I.P. ticket for $75, which includes caps, shirts, beer mugs, VIP lanyards and a host of other goodies totaling $90 in value while you pay only $75. To purchase tickets go online to www.gatecitybrewfest.com, but remember to get your tickets before March 9 (if you want to save $5).

In addition to tasting beers, you will also have the choice of having food offered by several Pocatello restaurants such as Portneuf Valley Breweing on First Avenue, Jim Dandy Brewing and about 16 other restaurants plus two visiting food trucks. Music will be offered by the Celtic Rock Band from 2 to 4 p.m. and a host of others at differing places and differing times. Oh yes, there will also be Trolley Service to and from five sites in town so you can easily walk to spots of interest that are close by.

There is so much information about the Brewfest that it was impossible to include it all here. Just think of places to taste beer, eat good food and listen to great music and you will be finding a close place to visit.

One last note: Stephanie Palagi has gathered a host of excellent helpers together to get this event organized, prepared and put into the category of EXCELLENT. So, whether it is a cool or warm day, take advantage of this event because it will be totally worth all of the positives it will provide.

Kay Merriam of Pocatello has a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. She was the president of the state League of Women Voters for two years and president of the Pocatello chapter for two years as well. She was the president of the Bannock County Planning and Zoning Committee for 11 years and on the Pocatello-Chubbuck District 25 School Board for six years.