Ho-hum. Another year, another record.
The Central Pennsylvania Humane Society's annual Pints for Pets Brewfest has set new marks for fundraising during each of its four years and continues to shoot for bigger numbers.
"The event has just gotten very big," said Rick Vanevenhoven, the event chairman. "We got a national write-up last year in the Humane Society of the United States' national magazine, 'Animal Sheltering.'"
Photo courtesy of Pints for Pets and Jordanna Gerraughty
Pints for Pets volunteers Mike Kutchman (left) and Jim Fouse work at the 2011 event.
After welcoming nearly 3,000 attendees last year, and raising just under $70,000, in 2011, the group hopes to match or exceed those numbers at this year's event, which will be held on Saturday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The event will have two sessions - the first will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. and the second will be held from 6 to 9 p.m.
Last year was the first time the second session sold out, said Vanevenhoven.
If you go
What: The Central Pennsylvania Humane Society's Pints for Pets Brewfest
When: 1 to 4 p.m. or 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Peoples Natural Gas Field, Altoona
Admission: $35. No one under age 21 admitted. Tickets are available in advance at Cassidy's Brew Zoo and Al's Tavern in Altoona, Shan Nicole's in Hollidaysburg and Pletcher's Beer Distributor in State College or online at www.pintsforpets.com
"Ticket sales are going very well. It would be a first, to sell both of them out," he said. "We're expecting between 75 and 85 [exhibitors], which is also a record."
Among that record group of exhibiting brewers are a few new faces. One of those is All Saints Brewing Company, located in Greensburg.
According to Beth Vreeland - who co-owns the brewery with her husband, Jay - All Saints opened in December 2011, with equipment purchased from the now-defunct Red Star Brewery and Restaurant in Greensburg.
The name, and the brewery's green and gold colors, honor nearby St. Vincent College.
Also coming over from Red Star Brewery was its award-winning head brewer, Jeff Guidos. According to Vreeland, Guidos' brewing skill has quickly led to the All Saints brand getting accepted in other markets. (On tap only, so far. All Saints does not bottle, but sells growlers at the brewery.)
"Our beer has been pretty well received," she said. "We've already gotten into the Johnstown market and we're very interested in moving into that area [Blair County]."
Guidos previously visited Pints for Pets with Red Star and will introduce All Saints to this year's event. The Vreelands are anxious for the event, as well, because they have family in Altoona and because of the charitable aspect.
"We're excited," Beth Vreeland said. "We're big animal lovers and I'm a big proponent of helping out wherever and whenever we can."
Another new exhibitor this year will be Great Lakes Brewing Company, based out of Cleveland. According to its website, Great Lakes has grown to become one of the 20 biggest craft brewers in the U.S. since opening in 1988.
The company has made a conscious effort to not try to move into too many markets at one time, said Lauren Delorenze, field sales rep for Centre County, Central Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh.
"We're slowly expanding," she said. "We actually moved in [to Central Pennsylvania] in the winter, this year. We've been in Pittsburgh for quite some time."
Great Lakes has a wide variety of beers, including its signature Dortmunder Gold Lager, which has won 15 gold medals at the World Beer Championships, including World Champion honors from 1994 to 1997. Delorenze said the company will bring two beers to Pints for Pets - the Doppelrock, a seasonal doppelbock, and one that is undecided right now.
Delorenze said Pints for Pets is just one stop on a packed schedule of brewing events this year.
"Since the craft industry has really taken off, it seems like every year we're asked to do more and more and we're happy to help out for charities," she said. "People really seem to enjoy them."
One of those who enjoys the event is Justin Dudek, head brewer at Blue Canoe Brewery in Titusville.
"To be honest with you, I don't really enjoy most of the brewfests throughout the year, but Pints for Pets is one that I really look forward to," he said. "Most of them aren't very organized. And the atmosphere is great."
Dudek has something special in store for Pints for Pets attendees this year.
"I like to do a lot of weird beers and experiment quite a bit," he said. "Like, in a week, we're coming out with a Maple Bacon Pancake Porter. [Strange beers] are kind of what we're known for."
In that vein, Dudek will be bringing a special beer to Altoona, called "Raisin Hell," which has been brewed with raisins and brown sugar and is oak-aged.
The special beer is fitting for what has become a special event.
"It's awesome," said Mary Anslinger, executive director of the CPHS. "From a benefit standpoint for the humane society, it's our biggest, by far, fundraiser for the last five years."
Mirror Staff Writer Keith Frederick is at 946-7466.