Back for more brews

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First Posted: 6/24/2013

Diners at La Fontana Ristorante on Main Street in Bloomsburg might already be familiar with the Swizzle’s Saison or Auntie M’s Amber beers crafted by the Purple Healer Brewing Company, but ale aficionados attending the second annual Brewsburg in town Saturday will be treated to a brand new brew.

After perfecting the recipe over the last year, Purple Healer Owner and Brewmaster Larry DeGreen said he’s proud to debut a strawberry blonde that features a great balance of malt and flavor derived from fresh, local strawberries.

“I brew it during strawberry season, and it comes out about three, four weeks after that,” he noted.

The blonde, a peach wheat, and a Belgian saison from Purple Healer are just a few of the offerings available at the second annual beer festival that originated as an Oktoberfest in downtown Bloomsburg.

Brewsburg will take place from 5 to 11 p.m. tomorrow at the Caldwell Consistory, a landmark historical building at 150 Market Street. The event, organized by Downtown Bloomsburg Inc., a nonprofit subsidiary of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce, was restructured and rescheduled last year to distinguish itself from other fall beer festivals.

“We had done, for the last four years, an Oktoberfest,” explained Downtown Bloomsburg Inc. Downtown Manager Adrienne Mael, 27. “Everyone loves to be outside and drinking over the summer, so I thought, ‘Let’s move it to June.’”

The idea was a hit, as about 450 beer lovers turned out to the inaugural event, which takes place both indoors and outdoors thanks to a shared parking lot adjacent to the Consistory. Mael said the festival drew locals, from college-age students and shop owners to the mayor of Bloomsburg and members of the town council, out to enjoy a day downtown.

“The really fun and unique part of this event is that almost all of the restaurants in downtown Bloomsburg come and set up for the event and bring everyone’s favorite dish. It highlights all of the great things we have downtown and in the surrounding area,” Mael said.

Participating breweries include Berwick Brewing, Marley’s Brewery, Old Forge Brewing, Turkey Hill Brewing, Purple Healer, Yorkholo Brewery and Weyerbacher Brewing. Wineries featured include Shade Mountain, Colonel Ricketts, Pickering and O’Donnell.

The event also rounds up some of the area’s most notable and up-and-coming musical acts. Mael said a partnership with Turkey Hill Brewing Company helped bring such acts as Mike Miz, the Woody Brown Project, Steve Gilliland, Mighty Susquehanna, and Kathlyn Holdren to the second annual Brewsburg.

Money raised this weekend will help downtown Bloomsburg continue its mission of promoting and improving the town’s commercial district, advertising downtown businesses, and coordinating other similar events. Completed projects include facade improvements at the Columbia County Courthouse and the repair and replacement of the David Stroup Fountain.

“We’re here to hold the events downtown, to bring people into the area and help new businesses get started,” Mael said.

For more information on Downtown Bloomsburg Inc., visit or, or call 570.784.2522.