Hannibal News

Brews Skies brings out music, homebrewers and VWs

Amanda Graves, owner of Mystic Easel, laughs as she paints in her booth at Brew Skies music festival in Hannibal, Mo., on Saturday, Jun. 8, 2019. The festival featured bands, beers, and booths of food and art. | H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
Katelyn Metzger1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 8, 2019 7:00 pm

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- The Thai Curry Coconut Rice Saison might scare off a few beer drinkers, but brewer Otis Toder makes it clear that it doesn't have a bite to it.

After reading the name, Laurie McCurdy of Freeburg thought it might have bite to it -- similar to a pepper beer -- but she found it refreshing.

"It's different and sweet, and not bitey," McCurdy said.

She was one of hundreds Saturday at the Brew Skies Music Festival at the Mark Twain Cave Campground testing the different beers brewed by homebrewers throughout the region. The homebrew competition was sponsored by the Hannibal Area Homebrewers Association.

Toder, who was representing the Prairie Schooner Homebrew Club of Springfield, Ill., offered one of the dozens of brews available to visitors at the competition.

"I made my own curry blend, and there is a little bit of red pepper chili flake, but it's essential nil," he said. "It's very, very, very mild because I don't like spicy things."

Toder said he came up with the idea after his wife asked him to make coconut rice for dinner, which he did along with curry shrimp.

"So I tried to replicate that dinner in a beer," he said.

He typically brews traditional beers, but he wanted to "go crazy" with this particular brew.

A few tents down the Wes Wheeler and Landon Shaw of the Bearded Brothers Brewing Co. of Hannibal were offering a tribute to fans of the TV comedy "Parks and Recreation" with the Glitter Factory fruit beer.

"We have a base recipe we use, but we used a different yeast and 12 pounds of fruit almost," he said.

At that point, they had two people make the connection to "Parks and Recreation."

Adam Kaiser is the Homebrewers Association said there aren't many requirements for hombrewers to participate.

"All we ask is someone to bring in 3 to 5 gallons of beer," Kaiser said. "It doesn't matter style. Just be original. Do what you want to do. That's all we're looking for. Just give some kind of description of what you have."

The competition was judged by representatives of Schlafly Bottleworks, Boulevard Brewing Co. and Sudwerk Brewing Co.

Kaiser was happy to see clear skies and good crowd.

"It's a good day to drink beer," he said.

In it's third year, three-day music festival featured Melanie, who performed at Woodstock, as well as ‘90s alt-rock band the Verve Pipe, along with several other musical acts.

As part the festival, Volkswagen enthusiasts brought their Beetles and vans to show and participate in the VW caravan.

Children had the opportunity to leave their mark on a VW Beetle by painting a salvaged exterior that was found by festival organizer Jason Gregory.

Sean Meyer, a volunteer with the Hannibal Arts Council, said after the first year, the Beetle was whitewashed to start over, but now they're leaving the paint on.

"I like it better leaving the old paint on, because you can see bits of the different colors we've used, and it adds a texture with each layer on there," Meyer said.

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