SARATOGA The 16th Annual American Red Cross Battle of the Brews will be setting up its tents this upcoming Travers weekend, with a taste for everyone from the occasional sipper to the certified cicerone.
On Saturday, Aug. 23, from noon to 4 p.m., the yearly event will feature more than 30 New York and national brewers brought by DeCrescente Distributing Co. right inside of the Saratoga Race Course next to the carousel. All of the proceeds go directly to the local chapter of the American Red Cross.
For those new to the event, visitors pay a flat fee of $40 at the gate, or $35 online prior to the event. Group rates are available, including groups of 10 or more at $30 a ticket; 25 or more at $25 a ticket. Participants receive their tickets, gaining them access to sample eight different, 4 oz beers. If drinking aficionados want to dabble with a few more brewskis, they must go through a sobriety checkpoint in order to receive more tickets.
“We always have posters and signs everywhere listing local cab services and, obviously, no one under 21 is allowed in,” said Kara Livingston, of the American Red Cross.
For those that want to still keep their eyes on the racetrack, TV monitors will be hanging by the brewery tent.
Each year, the event draws in roughly 1,000 visitors, and raises nearly $25,000 for the American Red Cross local chapter. Gary Ferris, executive director at American Red Cross of the Adirondack-Saratoga Chapter, said the idea for the battle came from a board member who was thinking of new ways to raise money for the chapter.
“At that time, wine tastings were becoming popular. He had the idea with the racetrack and the big crowd … maybe do a fundraiser that’s a little different than wine tasting,” Ferris said. “It was a nice fit because of the nature of the track meet every year in the summer.”