(Clarion file photo)

(Clarion file photo)

Ending summer with a brew

The Soldotna Rotary Club’s beer fest returns

Cheers! The Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival is back in Soldotna this weekend, with an array of different brews to satisfy all tastes.

“We like to think of it as kind of an end to summer celebration,” said Matthew Pyhala, the head of the organization committee for the event and a member of the Rotary Club of Soldotna.

The event will feature 23 breweries from across the state providing samples for Saturday’s festival, including a few local favorite beers from St. Elias, Cooper Landing and Kenai River Brewing.

Pyhala said the flight is a great sample of different breweries from across the state.

The connoisseur hour will be from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, and will showcase the different breweries’ more unique blends. Connoisseur tickets are $75.

General admission will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and will include eight 4-ounce samples of different blends.

Having the event outside, Pyhala said, will make it easier for people to socially distance to their comfort level.

“It should be no problem getting distance … to keep everyone safe,” he said.

The event was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pyhala said.

The festival is a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Soldotna, and the funds will be put toward the construction of the Kenai Peninsula Peace Crane Garden Trail — a 7-acre Japanese garden to be built on a plot in Soldotna.

There will also be live music and other vendors at the sports complex on Saturday.

Tickets are available on kenaibeerfest.com. The connoisseur tickets cap at 200, while the general admission limit is about 1,000. Pyhala said they’re “well on their way” to selling out.

The Rotary Club is looking forward to this year’s festival. “We’re just ecstatic to be able to do it,” Pyhala said.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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