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The new tasting room and event space at Scratch Brewing near Ava opened in January.

Scratch Brewing Co. will celebrate four years in business this weekend with a two-day event showcasing the brewery's small-batch beer and locally-grown food.

For Scratch fans, this year's event will look a little different than the all-day blowout they've seen at past anniversary parties, which have become one of the most anticipated beer events each year in Southern Illinois for locals and beer enthusiasts as far away as St. Louis and Chicago.

They're making the anniversary party a two-day event and spreading people out between Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, Sunday March 5. The brewery will close to regular business both days, and tickets will be sold ahead of the event. The event will run from noon to 6 p.m. both days.

According to a statement on the brewery's website, the change in schedule and ticketing system is to avoid overwhelming the parking lot and allow visitors the space to enjoy the facility's beauty. The brewery's buildings are decorated with local art, and the foraged ingredients that are used to make the beer can be seen in jars stacked on shelves on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Plus, the Ava location is surrounded by oak-hickory forest.

Tickets cost $50 for one day and include a sample of 20 beers, a brand-new Scratch fourth anniversary goblet, unlimited house-made soda, and a meal ticket. A $20 designated driver ticket includes a meal ticket, mason jar (and an anniversary goblet), and unlimited pours of soda.

The day's menu and ticket purchasing may be found at scratchbeer.com/tickets.

— The Southern

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