Welcome the to the Peoria International Beer Fest
Welcome to #peoriabeerfest
Thank you for attending the 25th annual Peoria Jaycees International Beer Festival! Our committee has been working hard over the past several months to bring you an amazing event! Some of the best beers in the area have been selected for your sampling enjoyment! We hope you take the chance to go outside of your beer comfort zone and try some new varieties.
The Peoria Jaycees is a leadership organization that provides opportunities for young people (ages 21-40) in the area to create positive change in our communities and the world. The Jaycees are a great way to meet people, expand your professional network, develop new skills and contribute to society. Like us on Facebook and learn about all of the fun activities from our chapter!
Thanks for coming out to support the Peoria Jaycees and the other charities that today’s activities will benefit!
About the Jaycees
The Peoria Jaycees are a leadership training organization for 21-40-year-olds. Members learn leadership skills by organizing and running projects such as the Peoria Jaycees International BeerFest! I addition to project chairing, the Jaycees offer leadership training, volunteer work, and social networking opportunities. Proceeds from the Peoria Jaycees International BeerFest enable the Jaycees to support local charities and community projects throughout the year. A sampling of specific Jaycees projects which directly benefit the Peoria community are Firecracker 5000, Santa’s Little Helpers, and Santa Visits the Kids. If you are interested in more information, please visit the Peoria Jaycees website at peoriajaycees.org
On a sweltering evening in the summer of 1992, two friends, knocking back beers on old wooden stools, began comparing the different tastes that each beer offered. After draining nearly half the inventory, they decided to solicit the opinions of the rest of the patrons in this small tavern. From their intoxicated stupor, they theorized that people enjoyed tasting different types of beer.
Upon discovering this new-found rationale, they slapped each other happily on the back and proclaimed, “Why don’t we run a beer tasting event? We have the ability and the resources! Besides, we’ll drink for free.” Thereby, Steve King of Specialty Imports and Jeff Pulfer of the Peoria Jaycees began planning for the first of what is now called, “Peoria’s International Beer Festival.”
In the spring of 1993, Steve and Jeff’s idea became a reality. Steve, being the owner of a business that specializes in the quality microbrew and import beers, combined his resources with Jeff’s affiliation with a young leaders’ training organization, the Peoria Jaycees. The two groups merged like beer and pretzels.
The first International Beer Festival was held at the Holiday Inn-Brandywine. The inaugural event boasted 75 different types of beer. Hopes were high with an expected crowd of 100 people. Amazingly, to both of their surprise, the line for entrance became an hour wait to get in. The modest banquet hall was filled from open to close. They had over 1,500 people in attendance!
The following year, Pulfer and King moved the IBF to Exposition Gardens. Attendance grew, and so did the beer list. Then in 1996, the event expanded from a Friday evening teaser to a Saturday afternoon and evening event. Four years later in March of 2000, the beer festival hit another milestone as the event expanded to an additional building on the fairgrounds, accommodating over 4,000 thirsty beer lovers.
In 2002, Specialty Imports and the Peoria Jaycees celebrated their 10th Anniversary of this great event. They celebrated with a special commemorative program and a souvenir glass. Once again thousands of dollars were donated back to the community from the project.
From a couple of beer lovers devoting three months of planning, to volunteer chairpersons and staff, this year’s IBF is crafted through yearlong research, planning, implementation and evaluation with continuing changes, thus, making it one of Peoria’s unique events.
Beer-lieve it or not There are some rules …
Serving Size: The serving size per sample is 4oz. Each sample requires at least 1 beer ticket, some may require more depending on the beer. There are absolutely no free taste samples prior to getting a 4oz sample. Please do not ask our volunteers to violate these rules. If we observe a volunteer breaking these rules, they will be asked to leave the event.
Glasses: The first 4,000 attendees will receive one commemorative glass celebrating our 25th Annual Peoria Jaycees International Beer Festival. If you lose your glass, we will be more than happy to provide you with a plastic sampling cup, or you may purchase a plastic souvenir glass for $3
Smoking: Smoking is NOT permitted in either building. There is a designated smoking section outside. State law requires that you use the designated smoking areas.
Beer Tickets: We have a strict no beer ticket refunds policy. Since we are raising funds for charities, please feel free to donate or sell your extra tickets to others at the event. Beer tickets may not be used for food purchases.
Closing Time: Closing time is at 8:00pm. Unless you are a volunteer and are assisting in clean-up, we ask you to leave as promptly as possible. You will not be allowed to carry any beer out of the facility. Last call is at 7:30pm. We will stop selling beer tickets at 7: 15pm.
Taxi Service: Please ask in the lobby for assistance in arranging for a taxi if there is not already one outside. You will be responsible for paying your own fare.
STEP 1: PREP
Eat before the festival – maybe an hour before you show up. Eat enough to help absorb the beer. Drinking beer on an empty or full stomach can be equally uncomfortable and unadvisable.
STEP 2: HYDRATE
Drink water before the festival – after all, beer drinking is what you do AT the festival! It’s important to hydrate (with water) before, during, and after. For every ounce of beer, you drink, drink the same amount of water. Sounds rough, but trust us, it’s the best way to avoid a nasty hangover the next day!
STEP 3: PLAN
Use your program to determine the beers you absolutely HAVE to sample. Avoid a palate burnout by stopping by those tables first! Hit the highest-demand tables first while the lines are short. Then as the lines grow, branch out to less-crowded ones.
STEP 4: LEARN
Ask the brewers questions about their beers! Every beer has a story, and the knowledge will not only deepen your understanding of the beer, you’ll meet some really cool people and it’ll make the entire event more enjoyable.
STEP 5: CHILL
We do our best to make this the best experience for everyone! Cut us and the brewers some slack if the lines are long or if there was a last minute correction that we didn’t get a chance to update. Chill out and enjoy the festival!
STEP 6: DEPARTURE
Have a plan for getting home safely! Ask a Beerfest volunteer for assistance in getting a taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other ride home! Saftey first!
STEP 7: HAVE FUN!