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Record Crowds Turn Out for Brew at the Bridge

Sep 20, 2016 10:46AM ● Published by Steven Jack

Submitted photo

Saturday, Sept. 17 was a beautiful day to spend at Hudson Crossing Park. Brew at the Bridge saw record numbers. Kids pumped their swings and enjoyed cider doughnuts while their folks sampled craft beer, cleansed their palates with pretzel necklaces, and then lunched on Wurst Kitchen sausages.

The Oswegoland Park District’s 5th Annual Craft Beer event Brew at the Bridge brought thousands to the river banks to enjoy 24 Brewing Companies, and delicious Fall foods. Seven Home Brew Clubs were also on hand to feature experimental beer. This beer was often created for the event. All of it was donated to be tasted by Brew at the Bridge guests.

For the second year in a row, the People’s Choice of Brewing Companies was given to Plainfield’s Werk Force Brewing Company. Brewmaster Brandon Wright’s nano brewery was chosen by a donation vote to the Oswegoland Park Foundation.

This year featured a first, the Best Bridge Brews Competition. Over 40 entries were received in five different categories. Seasoned judges from 51st Street Ward Beer Company and Tangled Roots Brewing Company critiqued and awarded the following:


  • 1st Place - Tony Daniels for “The Dirty Dozen - Cherry Edition” (Belgian Quadruple Ale)
  • 2nd Place - Michael Jacobs for “Next to the Farmhouse Ale” (Saison)
  • 3rd Place - David LeForce for “The Frog” (Saison)


  • 1st Place - Kevin Holt for “Ishallah” (American IPA)
  • 2nd Place - Paul Herrara for “WPA” (Wheat APA)
  • 3rd Place - Chad Marvin for “Hockey Hair” (Pale Ale)

Light Ales & Lagers

  • 1st Place - James Addis for “Not Another Oktoberfest” (Marzen with Rye)
  • 2nd Place - Chad Marvin for “May the Schwarz Be With You” (Schwarzbier)
  • 3rd Place - Michael Jacobs for “Ein Gelbes Bier” (German Helles Exportbier)

Ambers & Browns

  • 1st Place - Michael Jacobs for “Piper Down” (Wee Heavy)
  • 2nd Place - James Addis for “Belter Diddies” (Scottish Wee Heavy)


  • 1st Place - Kyle Funfsinn for “Trump's Tiny Hands” (Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)
  • 2nd Place - Paul Herrera for “Imperial Dan” (Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout)
  • 3rd Place - Derek Ridge for “Marathon Stout” (Imperial Stout)

Debate over the Best Bridge Brew (overall Best of Show) was intense. In the end a tie was awarded. Best Bridge Brew went to James Addis for “Not Another Oktoberfest” (Marzen with Rye) and Tony Daniels for “The Dirty Dozen - Cherry Edition” (Belgian Quadruple Ale).  

Thanks to Brandon Wright of Werk Force Brewing Co. and Steve Adams and Mike Billy of the Tangled Roots Brewing Company each of these brew recipes will be ramped up  and served in the Werk Force and Tangled Oats tasting rooms.

The special Brew Newbie Award (for the highest scoring entry from someone who has never entered a contest before) went to David LeForce for “The Frog” (Saison).

Several Home Brew clubs participate in Brew at the Bridge, and this contest has allowed them the opportunity to earn some serious bragging rights. They were able to vie for the traveling “King of Clubs” trophy that went go to the club that has the highest average score for all of their entries. The Spent Grain Society will get to hang on to the trophy until next year, when the results of the 2017 Best Bridge Brews Home Brew Contest will determine if it gets a new home.

Anyone interested in competing next year can start planning and testing recipes for the 2017 contest.

Sampling of these crafts was accompanied by a very tasty food offering in the park. One of the more agreed on flavors of the day was apple cider. Thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Oswego for selling delicious apple cider as well as Kuiper’s apple cider doughnuts.

Glasses were rinse and rousing games of Proust! were enjoyed by everyone thanks to the Oswego Junior Women’s Club.

Finally, the Park District is grateful to the Oswegoland Optimist Club for their roving service of pretzel necklaces.

All these great groups added to a fantastic day for everyone on the Fox.

The Oswegoland Park District thanks the Oswego Police Department and the Oswego Fire Protection District for being on hand. Community events of this size are possible because of their support.

Thank you to Oswego’s Tap House Grill for helping make the weekend fun from start to finish.

It took over 50 volunteers to make the day possible. Thank you to those who were willing to forgo an afternoon of samplingto make a great community event for the rest of us!

Saturday, September 17 was a beautiful day at Hudson Crossing Park for Brew at the Bridge. The Oswegoland Park District is so grateful at the thousands who have chosen to make craft sampling in the park a wonderful Autumn tradition on the Fox River. We are already talking a dream line up for Brew 2017. Mark your calendars for September 16, 2017!



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