Cedar Crossing, New Belgium Enjoy Debut at Beerfest

Of the 10 brewers who donated beer to the Takoma Foundation's 3rd Annual Beerfest, the beers from New Belgium represented beers coming from both the closest and further sources. (For more team coverage, click here!)

2011-beerfest-cedarxingNew Belgium's Fat Tire and Ranger IPA are brewed inFort Collins, Colorado, making them the most distantly brewed beers. But they are featured at Cedar Crossing Tavern and Wine Bar, which is located just a five-minute walk from the Cady-Lee House where the Beerfest was held. Through the efforts of Alan Forde, manager and sommelier of Cedar Crossing, New Belgium made its debut at the Beerfest this year, and it drew rave reviews.

"It was a great event, and we're very pleased to be a part of it. We're looking forward to participating again next year," said Forde, who also delivered ice to all the brewers from his bar located at 341 Cedar Street, NW,T akoma, DC.

A veteran of many beer events in the DC area and Florida, Forde said that he was impressed that the Beerfest retained a neighborhood vibe, even as attendance topped 300 people. "It felt like a community event, not a gargantuan, commercial beer blast," he said. "Some beer festivals are so huge that you can't speak with people about your beers. It's just, 'Here's your beer. Keep moving.'"

For brewers, any chance to converse with potential customers is both a business opportunity and a pleasure—because that's why they got into the brewing business. "The representative from New Belgium who was pouring at the Beerfest told me that he really enjoyed talking to people who were curious about their beers and the processof brewing," said Forde. "That's how you build a customer base."

From Cedar Crossing's perspective, the Beerfest was an opportunity to raise its profile, too. The restaurant, which is less than a block from the Metro, is very popular with Takoma DC residents but lesswell-known among Takoma Park, Maryland residents. "Supporting the Beerfest was a way for us to get beyond the psychological barrier of the DC line. I met a lot of people who walked to the Beerfest from their homes in Maryland, and I told them they could just as easily walk to Cedar Crossing," said Forde.