Note: This story appears in the Thursday, July 11 newspaper on Page A1.
Get out your mugs and tokens: Ohio Brew Week is almost here again, and this year there is a new street festival added to the mix.
Starting Friday, eight days of events are scheduled for the Athens area as the festival heads into its 14th year of celebrating libations from across the state, as well as local food and essential Southeastern Ohio music.
The Brew Week kickoff event is the annual Rock N’ Roast at the Ohio University Inn on Friday at 5 p.m., with a buffet and live music from Otis Crockron & Co.
On Saturday will be the introduction of a new street festival to get Ohio Brew Week off to a good start — First Call. It is planned for West State Street (near Court Street), with the “first pour” at 1 p.m. The event will focus on new breweries to the festivities, including Double Edge Brewing Co. from Lancaster and Sibling Revelry Brewing from the Cleveland area. First Call will last through 9 p.m. on Saturday.
With around two-dozen bars and three brewing companies in town, Athens will feature a wide variety of events throughout the week. These range from brewer meet and greets to keg tappings and a number of performances and benefits.
Also on Saturday, the Appalachian Hell Betties roller derby team will host a family-friendly “Betties and Brews” event at the Athens Community Center. Doors open at 4 p.m. and the derby game begins at 5 p.m.; tickets are $10 at the door and a portion of the proceeds will go to Passion Works Studio.
New brew releases are one of the more common events, ranging from collaborative releases to a Jackie O’s keg tapping of a new batch of beer to commemorate one of the week’s founders, Jon Sparhawk.
Another main event is the “Top Deck Dinner” on Wednesday, July 17 on top of the Athens Parking Garage. Tickets for the catered meal start at $40 per person and are available on the Ohio Brew Week Website.
As with previous years, Ohio Brew Week concludes with a “Last Call” block party on Court Street. This event will feature dozens of breweries from around Ohio pouring throughout the day, along with food vendors and live music.
For a complete schedule, visit www.ohiobrewweek.com.