As you're planning your foodie itinerary for 2016, there are many food events and beer festivals to choose from. One that we attended in 2015 for the first time was the Valpo Brewfest. It's one that I would absolutely recommend and I'd also urge you to spring for the VIP tickets. While some beer fests have a VIP admission that merely gives you a little extra sampling time and a couple exclusive varieties, the Lagunitas VIP experience was definitely a memorable one with a nice range of beers and fabulous pairings. Here's a rundown:
Chicago Fusion 30 Ale
Paired with: Smoked Pork and German Weislacker Beer Cheer Quesadilla topped with Chipotle Peach Salsa.
Hot Side Sour-Mashed Daytime
Paired with: Creamy Smoked Indiana Corn Chowder with Andouille & Jalapeño (**FABULOUS!)
Paired with: Chicken Stay Skewer with Sweet Coconut Peanut Sauce
The Hairy Eyeball Ale
Paired with: Chocolate Tres Leches Cake (**this was AMAZING!)
Paired with Key Lime Tarts
The VIP area sat inside the newly opened William E. Urschel Pavilion at Central Park Plaza. What a perfect venue for the event - in Valpo's attractive and hip downtown but in a lush, roomy park with the pavilion providing some shade for gathering. The pavilion is currently in use as an ice skating rink that has been wildly popular since its Thanksgiving weekend opening.
Valpo Brewfest is one of the longest running beer fests in the Midwest and one that you need to experience in 2016! For more info, visit ValpoBrewfest.com.