Craft brew fans enjoy socially distanced 'Ale-Gating' fest in Oswego park
With a new name and social distancing measures in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oswegoland Park District hosted its annual "Brew at the Bridge" craft beer tasting festival under bright and sunny skies Saturday afternoon in Oswego's Prairie Point Community Park. The "Ale-Gating" event allowed fest-goers to enjoy 90-minute tasting sessions from four area breweries: Noon Whistle Brewing Company, Tangled Roots Brewing Company, Oswego Brewing Company and Riverlands Brewing Company, with each drink paired with a unique popcorn from The Popcorn Store in Oswego. Fox River Academy of Music and Art students in Oswego provided the musical entertainment. "We're just mixing things up a little bit," Oswegoland Park District Superintendent of Events and Cultural Arts Kristie Vest said. To comply with social distancing requirements, each 90-minute period featured less than 50 total participants, and each space had a designated park district volunteer or employee to bring them their samples and pairings. Representatives from Gindo's Spice of Life in Batavia and Oswego's Krispology Gourmet Treats traveled to each grouping, selling hot sauces and treats. "I feel like what we're doing this year, is we're creating events for the smallest of our communities to enjoy amid those other small communities," Vest said.