VIDEO: Rhode Island Brew Fest: Banner day for city breweries

VIDEO: Rhode Island Brew Fest: Banner day for city breweries

Mike Montanar feeds a pretzel from his pretzel necklace to Jayme Williams at the Rhode Island Brew Fest, held at the Pawtucket Armory last Saturday. About 1,200 people attended the craft beer event. Both Montanar and WIlliams are from Smithfield. (Valley Breeze photos by Bill Murphy)

PAWTUCKET - Last Saturday's Rhode Island Brew Fest highlighted what has become a day-long excursion to Pawtucket for craft beer enthusiasts across New England.

Owners of local breweries reported that the city has become a destination for beer lovers, with many choosing to stay both before and after their festival session.

"They're making a day trip out of Pawtucket," said Jason Lourenco, of Crooked Current, the newest of three city breweries.

Lourenco reported a "tremendous outpouring" and "tremendous reception" for Crooked Current during two packed sessions of the R.I. Brew Fest last Saturday.

Watch some of the fun from the 2015 R.I. Brew Fest:

Nick Garrison, founder of Foolproof Brewing, said the city's brewers benefit in a big way from having the R.I. Brew Fest at the Pawtucket Armory. Once people arrive in the city, the local brewers work together to send customers to each other.

Nate Broomfield, co-owner of the Bucket Brewery, said the Brew Fest is one of his favorite events because it is the brewery's home city. The event brings together some of the best breweries from across the region, he said, and people love the "great beer" they find here.

Pawtucket resident Shaun O'Brien said he thinks it's "awesome" and "really cool" that Pawtucket has its own expanding breweries. Five years ago, this was an industry you never would have thought would be in this city, he said.

Matt Gray, owner and manager of the R.I. Brew Festival, said an effort was made this year to have even more of a focus on beer, with 220 beers available to give the consumer "a lot of options."

"It's been a pretty successful show and we're happy to be here in Pawtucket," he said.

According to Gray, there are no plans to move the Brew Fest out of the Armory in the future.

The Pawtucket Armory is packed for the 3rd annual Rhode Island Brew Fest, a celebration of American craft breweries featuring the best of the Ocean State. Two sessions were held on Saturday.
Henry Asare, left, of Central Falls, Nate Ngwor, of Central Falls, center, and Jeff Lavalley, right, of Pawtucket, enjoy the Rhode Island Brew Fest. The Brew Fest, held at the Pawtucket Armory Saturday, is a celebration of American craft breweries, featuring the best of the Ocean State.
Nate Broomfield, of Pawtucket, owner of Bucket Brewery of Pawtucket, takes a break with one of his beers.
Marcy Ytkin, center, of Fall River, shows her husband Neil, left, a shirt she purchased from Tara Buonanno, of Cranston, right, at the Narragansett Brewery booth at the Brew Fest.