By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – Last year's inaugural Spirit of Hudson Food and Brewfest attracted about 1,200 guests. Even more are expected to attend this year's second annual event Saturday, Aug. 16, from 3 to 7 p.m., at the Avidia Bank parking lot on South Street, noted Justin Provencher of the Hudson Rotary Club and a committee member.
“We'se planning on a big turnout,” he said. “We got a lot of feedback from last year's first-time event and we'se building upon that.”
The idea to produce such an event came about when two organizations decided to partner.
“Nanci Bishop from the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley approached the Hudson Rotary Club about trying to put together a food and beer tasting event,” Provencher explained. “It has definitely worked well for both organizations.”
Also working on the committee are Robin Frank and Nick Pizzimento. They'se expecting about 20 eateries to offer food and dessert samples with new representatives from the Nashoba Valley, including Emma's Café of Stow and Slater's of Bolton.
The Hudson eateries already confirmed are Applebee's, Café 577, Checkerboards Restaurant & Bar, Feng, Harvard Street Boutique, Harvest Café, Horseshoe Pub, Hudson Creamery, Ninety-nine, Old School House Pub & Restaurant, Rail Trail Flatbread, Riverview at Hudson Portuguese Club and Smyles Frozen Yogurt. Returning this year from Marlborough is Bolton Street Tavern.
Thirty breweries participated last year. This year, more breweries have already committed to participate. The committee plans to cap the number at 40.
“Each brewer brings three or four different types of beer,” Provencher said. “So there will be well over 100 different types from which to choose.”
Provencher noted that a large number of breweries have responded well to this particular event because it's organized in conjunction with local businesses that stock their products.
“We work our event with the Horseshoe Pub, which has 80 beers on tap,” he said. “A lot of the vendors” beers are sold there, so they'se willing to come out to Hudson for a short period of time. And their beers are also on tap or sold at other places downtown.”
Arrangements have been made to accommodate more breweries and guests including a larger covered area, and additional seating and porta-potties. The event will be held rain or shine.
“Last year, we had two huge tents; this year, we'se having almost twice the size,” Provencher said. “So if God forbid it does rain, there's going to be plenty of cover for us to have a great time.”
Also new this year, some of the event sponsors will have tables in tents on South Street where they can offer giveaways or promote their business.
“It gives an opportunity for those companies that want to help us with sponsorship to be a part of the event as well,” Provencher said.
Platinum sponsors are Avidia Bank, Community Advocate, Matec Instrument Companies and New England Clean Energy. Gold sponsors are Bacon's Wines & Spirits, Beyond Real Estate, Citizens Bank, Daigneault's Liquors, Get Smart Marketing, Lemire Insurance Agency and St. Mary's Credit Union. Silver sponsors are Boyd Coatings Research Inc., B-P Trucking, Country Glass Co. Inc., Robin Frank of ERA Key Realty Services, Reflections Memory Lamps, Rolling Stogies, Sign Logic, Matthew Tucker of New York Life, S&F Concrete and Yates Law Offices PC.
Tickets can be purchased online at spiritofhudson.com. Advance tickets through Thursday, Aug. 14, are $15 for food; $25 for food and brew. Tickets purchased at the event are $20 for food; $35 for food and brew.
DJ Bobby Begg will provide music. Proceeds benefit scholarships and community programs of the Hudson Rotary Club and Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley.