The Zonta Club of Longview conducted a second annual event Saturday that drew serious beer connoisseurs to The Green off Texas 31 — and for a good cause.
The club’s Ultimate Tailgate Party & Brewfest 2.0 enabled more than 10 craft breweries to promote their beers to attendees willing to pay to sample them.
The women-only club, which has about 45 members, conducted the event to raise money to support organizations that oppose violence against women and empower and promote opportunities for women, club President Lyndell McAllister said. She estimated 200 people attended the event, which set a goal of raising $50,000 through ticket sales and other transactions.
Vince Beard, co-founder of Fredonia Brewery in Nacogdoches, said he brought five beers for attendees to sample and gave 2-ounce samples to those who displayed wristbands.
In business for more than two and a half years, Beard contrasted craft beers to major corporate brewers.
“We are not Anheuser-Busch or Miller,” Beard said. “Clientele is all walks of life, people who are over 21 and enjoy good beers.”
Beard explained IPAs (Indian pale ales) and other beer styles to Will Lawrence and his girlfriend, Sheila Nafrady.
“What kind of styles do you like?” Beard asked the couple.
“We like something light,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence sipped a New England-style IPA.
“It’s all good,” he said. “We enjoy every one of (the beers).”
Devann Decker of Longview bought four cans of peanut butter banana stout beers and said, “It’s a great event. It’s awesome that Longview got this many breweries together to have this event with good food and good people.”
Decker continued, “I’ve had an opportunity to try 60 beers,” adding his wife, Jerrie Lucy, would drive him home.
The brewers were “really nice and knowledgeable,” said Eric Vetter of Longview, who sat at a bench with three friends who ate chicken wings, cheese and garlic bread.
Vendor Carol Brian of Big Sandy said she participated with the goal of making people more knowledgeable about CBD derived from hemp. She said she started using tinctures in December and takes 750 milligrams twice a day to reduce pain from an injury she sustained in 2016.
“It helps me to walk again,” Brian said. “Now, I am able to walk without pain.”
Brian said she also treats her two Italian mastiffs with CBD to overcome separation anxiety whenever she is away from them.