Dallas Center Home Brewers raise $3,000 serving free beer to hundreds

Three members of Dallas Center Home Brewers, right, greet a local family who came to support the Dallas Center Food Bank and drink free beer Saturday night.

An event that lets you raise money for the local food bank by drinking free beer can only be described as a win-win event. The Dallas Center Home Brewers’ third annual Homebrewfest, held Saturday night in the town’s Memorial Hall, reached this good goal, raising more than $3,000 for the Dallas Center Food Pantry.

The doors opened at 6 p.m., and within an hour the hall was filled with more than 100 thirsty donors, sipping and chatting, looking over the silent-auction items and door prizes and nibbling on pulled pork and smoking-hot links designed to force you to sample all 10 small beers.

“It’is a great fundraiser for the Food Pantry and a lot of fun,” said Mitch Hambleton, one of the eight members of Dallas Center Home Brewers and a 25-year veteran of beer making.

“When I started,” Hambelton said, “the only place to get supplies around here was a market at 26th and University in Des Moines that just closed about six months ago. You could get a couple of cans of extract and the yeast and hops there.”

Today boutique beers and microbreweries are highly popular and profitable ventures. In recent years, Hambleton himself has traveled as far as Orlando, Fla., to buy a special strain of grain for his beer, he said.

But beer snobbery was not on the card Saturday night. The fee-free brew and smoking-hot links were enticing, but people came and stayed mostly for the friendly fellowship and food-bank support.

Drinking righteously is relatively rare outside church services.

The Beer List for the third-annual Dallas Center Homebrewfest included:

  • American Pale Ale
  • Citra IPA
  • Imperial Pilsner
  • Belgian Fosche
  • Amber Ale
  • Oak Aged Scottish Ale
  • Chocolate Porter
  • Oatmeal Stout
  • Imperial Stout
  • Wheat Ale, with several fruit flavors offered during the event



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