Take me out to the beer tasting

Take me out to the beer tasting

Great American Beer Tasting at Fifth Third Field

By Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

Photo: The Great American Beer Tasting will be held from 2-6 p.m. on Aug. 9 at Fifth Third Field; photo courtesy of the Dayton Dragons

This Saturday, Fifth Third Field will play host to the seventh annual Great American Beer Tasting (GABT), brought to you, the beer enthusiast, by Heidelberg Distributing and the Dayton Dragons.

“Heidelberg Distributing has been a proud founding sponsor of the Dayton Dragons since their inaugural year in 2000,” said Laura Elking, Heidelberg’s Marketing and Media Manager who helped develop GABT back in 2008. “The Dragons venue, marketing power and diligent staff, combined with Heidelberg’s vast selection of products, makes it a perfect collaboration.”

The event will be comprised of 60 beers from which to sample, fun games and high-end Dayton Dragons and Budweiser raffles prizes.

“Attendees can participate in fun, carnival-style games to win Dragons and Budweiser prizes,” Elking said. “Cornhole games will be set up on the field and attendees have the opportunity to win great raffle prizes, including a Budweiser recliner, Bud Light mini fridge, Bud Light Lime fire pit, autographed Dragons memorabilia and more!”

And as for the beer, you’d be hard pressed to find someone whose palate could not be satisfied by the vast selection that will be available. Pilsners, lagers, ales, ciders, porters, imperials; hoppy, or not; high alcohol content, non-alcoholic; gluten-y, or gluten-free. You name it, they’ll pour it.

“Each year, we select some popular favorites from past years – like day-fresh Budweiser – but we also include new products and limited-release brews,” Elking said. “There is a wide range of styles, so attendees can stick with trying samples in their preferred style or branch out. Flavors range from heavily-hopped varieties to fruity ciders to traditional lagers. Each beer tasting ticket includes 20 samples which allows attendees to try a wide variety of products and hopefully find some new favorites.”

Dress weather-appropriately, but don’t stress; GABT has got you covered.

“The event is rain or shine,” Elking said. “All of the sampling tables are set up along the covered Dragons concourse or under tents, so attendees can enjoy their samples in any weather.”

With all the options, a GABT newcomer might feel somewhat overwhelmed by the bevy of beverages. So, DCP sought out a person of experience for some words of wisdom in regard to how to approach the tasting. 

“Best advice for someone new to this event would be to look at the list of beers and make a game plan,” Daytonian and GABT veteran Paul Mattie said. “Pick out the ones you want to try and figure out where they are set up, and also stop and try some new ones in between. If you try enough different/new beers, pacing yourself is not an issue because of the lines and how spread out some of the tables are. It is definitely a good idea to designate a driver or call a cab. We have always coordinated a DD or cab ahead of time and been dropped off and picked up from the event.”

Adding to the list of what makes Dayton exceptional, GABT is unique to Dayton and exists because of its industry and community.

“The event is Dayton-specific and exists because of the relationship between Heidelberg and the Dragons,” Elking said. “People in Dayton love beer and attending events and festivals, so we couldn’t go wrong with combining forces.”

Get your tickets, make your game plan, designate a driver and don your drinking cap. It’s time for the tasting of the year.

“Several guests make attending Great American Beer Tasting with family and friends an annual event,” Elking said. “The excitement and attendance for this event grows every year!”

The Great American Beer Tasting will take place from 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9 at Fifth Third Field, 220 N. Patterson Blvd. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 the day of the event. Designated driver tickets are also available for $5 and include five non-alcoholic samples and a complimentary soda or water. This event is for beer enthusiasts ages 21 and up. For more information or to purchase advance tickets, please visit the Events page at daytondragons.com.

Heidelberg Distributing and The Dayton Dragons remind you to enjoy responsibly. Be sure to designate a driver as part of your Great American Beer Tasting plans.

Reach DCP freelance writer Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin at JenniferHanauerLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com. To read more from Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin, visit her website at jennerlumpkin.com.

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