The 16 breweries that make up the Southern Illinois Beer Trail Association are bringing one big beer bash to Route 51 Brewing Company in Elkville on March 10.

The not-for-profit entity Southern Illinois Beer Trail consists of 16 breweries ranging from Alton to Cobden. Those participating breweries will descend on the Elkville brewery for one big party meant to highlight the hard-working brewers in the region.

The event is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m.

Each brewery has committed to bringing three varieties of beer. Everybody who purchases a ticket will get a sample glass and have access to tastings. Tickets start at $25 at brownpapertickets.com and will be $30 the day of the event. Tickets at the brewery are cash or check only.

Route 51 co-owner Chris Harris said his brewery has a bulk amount of paper tickets for $25 leading up to the event. Molly’s Pint and Big Muddy Brewing in Murphysboro and The Stubborn German in Waterloo also have a limited amount of paper tickets available. 

The breweries will be donating the beer for tastings, but that beer will not be available for purchase. The only beer available for purchase outside the tastings is the beer served by Route 51 Brewery at its bar. Route 51 also has a full food menu.

Most breweries will have merchandise available for purchase along with giveaways such as key chains or stickers with logos.

Additionally, Hicks and Banks of Nashville will provide entertainment for patrons with its blues, rock and outlaw country sounds.

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Abby Ancell, president of the Beer Trail Association and manager of St. Nicholas Brewery in Du Quoin, said this is the association's first fundraiser. The money collected from the event will go toward creating similar events and marketing materials for the organization. 

Molly Blew, co-owner of Molly’s Pint, said the role of the beer trail is to work collaboratively and bring Southern Illinois breweries together and provide education about craft beer.

“We want to raise money, but at the same time showcase the brewer and their beers,” she said. “Also, we want to raise awareness about the fact we have so many breweries in the region.”

Blew said it’s great for all the breweries to work together and send business to one another when consumers are on the trail. She said this event gets the different breweries out in front of those people. “This gets us a lot of publicity,” she said. “It is a good opportunity for us as a small business to get exposed to those who enjoy our product.”

Harris said it’ll be great to have several breweries from the association under one roof.

“I’m happy we are able to do this,” he said. “It’s a great chance for to unite Southern Illinois breweries and spread awareness about the great beer that is being brewed in this region.”

The following breweries will be pouring beer at the bash:

  • Abbey Ridge Brewery & Taproom (Pomona)
  • Apple Knocker Hard Cider (Cobden)
  • Big Muddy Brewing (Murphysboro)
  • Excel Brewing (Breese)
  • Hopskeller Brewing (Waterloo)
  • Lieferbrau Brewery (Red Bud)
  • Molly's Pint Brewpub (Murphysboro)
  • Peel Brewing Company (O'Fallon)
  • Recess (Edwardsville)
  • Route 51 Brewing (Elkville)
  • St. Nicholas Brewing (Du Quoin)
  • Stubborn German Brewing (Waterloo)
  • Stumpy's Spirits Distillery (Columbia)
  • The Hop Brewery (Christopher)
  • The Old Bakery Beer (Alton)
  • White Rooster Farmhouse Brewery (Sparta)

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