Beers and Cheers

There is always something to look forward to in the quaint and historical city of Downtown Hammond. This Friday, on September 27th, the Hammond Regional Arts Center was celebrating their 10th annual Brews Arts Festival, “Beers and Cheers”.

The Hammond Regional Arts Center was showcasing several local craft breweries, chef- created tasteful pairings, art markets, demos from artist, and of course, what brings everything together, live music!  

The Brews Arts of 2019 was located in the downtown Hammond Morrison Alley Park from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tickets were open to the public for $30 and accessed samples of beer from various local craft brewers. Not only were beer samples be provided with a purchase of a ticket, but each brewery had a specific food pairing from a local downtown restaurant.  The restaurants chosen to be a part of “Beer and Cheers” were specially chosen to go with the perfect brewery for the flavors to collide. The best of the best Downtown Hammond restaurants will be present at the festival, such as Tacos & Beer, Blackened Brew, Our Mom’s Restaurant, Pho Grace, Bucket List BBQ, Punjabi Dhaba Indian Cuisine, and Salty Joe’s BBQ.

There was even a judge’s panel to vote who won the best brew and food combination paring.

Over the ten years of community celebrating the Brews and Arts Festival, the event has only continued to become more developed event for all the people of Hammond to enjoy. Local artist, Heather Vallaire, was excited to display her art to the public in honor of the 10th annual “Beers and Cheers” event. Heather Vallaire says, “This is not my first year here, this is my fifth. I have been an assistant with Hammond Regional Arts Center three times. Today we are sharing as ourselves (the artists). This is the tenth annual year and I am back! What makes this year different from the other five that I have been here is the layout. They laid it out different. It has been ten years and I am so proud of Hammond. I am proud of the Brews Fest and the Arts Center for keeping it going on for a decade now!”

John Fellows, former owner of Rexall Drug store in Hammond was seen enjoying the event in Morrison Park. When asked what his favorite part of the night was, Fellows replies, “Winning prizes and drinking beer.” Although this event has been taking place in Morrison Park for ten years, Fellow says, “This year, there is more food, there is more beer, and more vendors. Everyone is here to raise money for the Art Center.”

What made this event special is how the artist and the vendors have specially prepared what they did for this event. The food, the drinks, and the art on display all was inspired by the city of Hammond, because that is what everyone had in common. Artist Tammy Ross who was selling her artwork at the “Beers and Cheers” Festival was excited to share about her necklace on display that was inspired by the weather of Hammond. “There was a time in Hammond last winter, when the sun did not come out for about two weeks. It just rained and rained. And one morning, when I was meditating and letting the ideas flow in and out, I was so excited when the sun came up, I was like oh my golly, finally! So, that’s what I made.” Seeing the passion that artist like Tammy Ross had for the art was what made the event so special. Each piece of jewelry and art had a story to tell, all while being created in the city of Hammond.

The crowd of locals enjoyed the unique flavors of each cuisine and drink that was paired together perfectly for the evening of fun.

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