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Dave Zajac Record-Journal
Larry Boada, of Meriden, center, samples a Newcastle brew poured by Jim Harris of Meriden, while attending the 13th annual Silver City Brew Fest with wife Kimberly, right, in downtown Meriden, Friday, October 4, 2013. | (Dave Zajac / Record-Journal)

Courtyard packed for brewfest

MERIDEN — The 13th annual Silver City Brewfest took place Friday night in the police station courtyard, with people turning out for the beer and food.

The beer was provided by Bob’s Package Store and the food by ShopRite, Brewfest committee treasurer Robbi Plumley said.

Plumley could not estimate anticipated attendance for the event, but she said almost 600 people attended Thursday’s Main and Vine, the first evening of the city’s two-day Nites in the City celebration.

City Councilor Dan Brunet said Nites in the City had modest beginnings, but has now grown into a “city mainstay.”

The crowd came out in force for the Brewfest, which offered 35 different micro-brews, according to volunteer Sue Waterbury.

Nicholas Boni said the best beer he sampled was called Goose Island, which offers both regular and seasonal varieties.

Waterbury, who worked at the Goose Island table, said she preferred the regular flavor, called “Honker,” over its autumn-flavored cousin, “Harvest.” She said both flavors had gotten “nothing but positive feedback,” however.

Bob Birdsey, who said he was covering for brewmaster Ron Page of Hartford-based City Steam Brewery Cafe, gestured to kegs behind his table, saying he had “the only beer on tap in the whole place.”

Not every table offered beer. Volunteer Erin Ives distributed both red and white wine samples at her table, which she swore were not leftovers from Thursday’s festivities.

“We like to throw in a little variety,” she explained.

Proceeds from the event benefited St. Stanislaus School, which plans to use the money to purchase new iPads for students, said the school’s brewfest committee member Karla Donohoe.

Donohoe said 42 parents from St. Stan’s volunteered at the Brewfest.

“We couldn’t have done it without them,“ she said.

Donohoe said the school had to make a three-year commitment to become one of the event’s beneficiaries. Last year, they had to work at the wine fest and next year they must provide general assistance for both events.

Only in the second year of their agreement do they get any money, she said.

Brewfest committee member Lisa Suzio explained the civic importance of the event.

“It brings the community together,” she said. “It’s about the community helping the community.” (203) 317-2242

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