Saturday’s BeerFest in downtown Sedalia offered a wide variety of beers, spirits and wine to attendees with proceeds going to a good cause.

Craft Beer Cellar hosted the business’s first BeerFest and designated a portion of the money raised to go toward Open Door Service Center Inc., which helps those in need through its food pantry and soup kitchen. Open Door Director of Development Tim Postuma, who also works at CBC, said the donations will go to projects such as pallet racks, a forklift, upcoming fundraisers and maintenance.

The event featured 11 breweries, two distilleries and one winery.

“We tried to start this off in October or November last year,” Postuma said Saturday. “We were trying to get a feel for breweries to see if they would be interested in doing it. Then we wanted to partner up with a local nonprofit.

“I approached Open Door probably about March or April, to see if they would be interested in collaborating with us,” he continued. “Most of the breweries were excited to come out and support a nonprofit.”


He noted it was a great turnout for the first BeerFest.

“We have some new up-and-coming things that haven’t been publicized, like Phantom V,” Postuma said. “They are a brand-new distillery out of Warrensburg, and then Nick has a brand-new distillery out of Concordia.”

The event featured 1832 Distilling, of Concordia, owned by Nicholas Virus and John Lange, which distills rum and whiskey, and Phantom V Distilling Co., owned by five friends, Mike Hammerly, Mike Brookshier, Jim Stuck, Monty Adkinssen and Chris Groves, which distills flavored whiskeys and vodka.

Virus said he is a fourth-generation distiller. The business has been open for less than six months and is doing well.

“It’s just something that John and I, we started messing around with,” he said. “And we made some good product. So, we figured we wanted to make a go with it.”

Jeff Lynde, who was sampling 1832’s spirits, was attending the event with Lori Zeisset. The couple, both of Sedalia, said they were attending the festival because they enjoy the downtown area and because Lynde enjoys beer.

“And knowing that there are different local brands that are here,” he added. “I’ve never been to Craft Beer (Cellar), I went in there and saw all the stuff … When I go to Columbia or Kansas City I like to get the make-your-own six packs. That seems like a place I could actually do that. There’s plenty of choices.”

Breweries at the festival took in Missouri and Illinois while the winery, Wildlife Ridge, hailed from the Smithton area.

CBC owner Brad Wikstrom said 200 tickets were presold for the festival and they expected another 100 people to buy at the door.

“A portion of our proceeds from all the ticket sales are going towards Open Door,” he said. “Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to pull this off. Because they have a lot of volunteers and employees that helped facilitate this. They are a great partner to work with getting everything set up.”

Postuma said many people wanted to have feedback about the event so he hired an individual to take photos and videos throughout the entire festival.

“So, we can use that for next year’s craft beer festival,” he said. “We are also trying to spread awareness about Open Door. About what Open Door does, what it’s about, how we help the community out. And then some projects we have going on that we could really use the community’s help with.”

Open Door was at the event and donation buckets were placed at their booth, at CBC and at several vendor tables. Raffle tickets were also sold in support of Open Door.  

Postuma said they plan to make the event an annual festival.  

“We hope for CBC and Open Door to be partners for a long-term relationship for the craft beer festival,” he noted. “Part of my job being director of development is working on two or three different fundraiser/festivals going on throughout the year. Once this one is over, I’ve got to start working on the next one.”

Wikstrom said he would be pleased to partner again next year for another BeerFest.

Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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