By Greg Densmore; Times Managing Editor
“We had no earthly idea of what we were doing,” admitted David Loesch, Katy Rotarian who took the lead in organizing the event.
“We decided to try it and see what happened,” said Loesch.
What happened was, the Katy Rotary Club captured lightning in a bottle and the Wild West Brewfest has morphed into the club’s most successful fundraiser, generating more than $250,000 in funds over its four-year existence, all which has been donated to local charities and nonprofits.
Not only has the event raised money for those in need, but it has also offered patrons excellent entertainment and the opportunity to taste some outstanding craft beer.
And those involved in the craft been industry have also taken note. Just this past week, the Katy Rotary Club’s Wild West Brewfest was rated as the top beer festival of 2015 by BeerYeti.com, the website dedicated to home brewers and beer enthusiasts. BeerYeti travels the U.S. visiting breweries and beer festivals “to share and educate everyone on everything beer.”
“The Wild West Brewfest is proud to take the top spot for 2015 and the most desired brewfest to attend in 2016 by BeerYeti.com,” said Loesch. “Thanks go to all of our sponsors, volunteers, team members, the Rotary Club of Katy and our patrons for this distinct honor.”
BeerYeti said it was most impressed with the fact that ALL of the net proceeds from the Wild West Brewfest goes back into the community.
”The thing that struck us the most was discovering that all of the net proceeds from the festival went to local charities, with no management fees,” read a news release from BeerYeti. “This year, the event brought in an amazing $113,000, which was given to several charities in the local area — bringing the total amount given away in its short, four-year existence to over $250,000.”
The success of the event can be seen not only in the ever-increasing amount of funds raised, but also in the number of patrons who attend. From the initial 1,700 attendees, the numbers have grown every year: 2,200 patrons in 2013, 3,000 in 2014 and a record-breaking 6,200 visitors this year.
This year’s crowd was boosted when the Katy Rotarians opted to move the event from the Villagio Town Center to Katy Mills.
“We enjoyed our time at Villagio, and they were good to us, but we simply outgrew the venue,” said Loesch.
BeerYeti mentioned the move in their press release.
“They actually took the risk to move to a larger capacity venue at Katy Mills Mall, which definitely paid off for them,” the BeerYeti release said
This year’s event featured a whopping 115 different brewers and more than 345 different beers. Visitors came from 17 states and from places elsewhere, including some from as far away as Netherlands.
In addition to the Brewfest itself, more than 800 people attended the Launch Party, which featured a live auction that netted some $15,000 for charities.
“We are proud that our Brewfest is one of the largest in the country,” said Loesch, “and is manned completely by volunteers.”
Following are some interesting facts about the 2015 Wild West Brewfest:
• The beer tab for this year’s event was more than $43,000;
• The Katy Rotary Club donated $85,000 to charitable organizations;
• 107 brewers took part; and
• More than 360 volunteers helped out.
© 2015 Katy Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
BeerYeti.com is proud to announce that our Top Beer Festival of 2015 (and the most desired to visit in 2016) is the Wild West Brew Fest in Katy.
The Wild West Brew Fest, also known as Katy Brew Fest, is held in… you guessed it, Katy Texas, a bedroom community to the west of Houston! They actually took the risk to move to a larger capacity venue at Katy Mills Mall, which definitely paid off for them.
The Wild West Brewfest is proud to take the top spot for 2015 and the most desired brewfest to attend in 2016 by BeerYeti.com. Thanks goes to all of our sponsors, volunteers, team members, the Rotary Club of Katy and our patrons for this distinct honor.
The festival was held on the 1st & 2nd of May and with a whopping 115 different brewers featuring over 345 different beers, this festival had everything for everybody!
The event itself was great for bringing tourism into the city of Katy TX, with over 17 states represented in the festival and visitors coming from as far as the Netherlands!
Wild West Brewfest had some excellent entertainment, with award winning music artists and a turn out of over 6,337 attendees, (which was 1,500 up from last year)! It also had an awesome brewing contest, which was tough, with certified judges to bring in the crowds.
The thing that struck us the most was discovering that all of the net proceeds from the festival went to local charities, with no management fees and this year the event brought in an amazing $113,000, which was given to several charities in the local area bringing the total amount given away in its short 4 year existence to over $250,000.
This, we felt was a great advert for how kind people in the brewing industry can be, as we are finding that many beer festivals support or completely fund raise for good causes and it’s great to hear how beer is being used in such a positive way.
We’ve seen some amazing festivals this year, non-profit and for profit, but we felt that the blood, sweat, tears and beer that these guys put in was epic. The balance of bringing together amazing beer and good vibes for a good cause. “The Wild West Brewfest is proud to take the top spot for 2015 and the most desired brewfest to attend in 2016 by BeerYeti.com. Thanks goes to all of our sponsors, volunteers, team members, the Rotary Club of Katy and our patrons for this distinct honor,” said David Loesch event chairman.
For all the effort that you guys put in this year just for good and enjoyment, we commend you Wild West Brew Fest. And for everyone who supported… keep on drinking, keep on enjoying!
KATY (Covering Katy) – The Katy Rotary donated tens-of-thousands of dollars to area organizations Thursday afternoon. All of the money was generated by their largest fund raiser, the Wild West Brew Fest.
The Wild West Brew Fest crossed the 6,000-guest mark for 2015 as compared to 3,314 in 2014; in addition it netted more than $113,000. It is one of the only events in the Houston area fully staffed by volunteers, with no management fee, according to event organizer David Loesch of the Katy Rotary.
Many of the checks were presented on Thursday but there will be other organizations that will benefit from Rotary club donations too.
The Rotary club has two large fundraisers each year. The other is the Katy Triathlon at Firethorne which is Sunday, September 27, 2015.
Drawing a record number of participants, this year’s Wild West Brewfest also earned a record amount to benefit Katy-area youngsters. “It did amazingly well,” said Brewfest chairman David Loesch, who estimated net proceeds from the Katy Rotary Club event would exceed $90K. “It was well-organized thanks to the Katy Rotary Club and all those who helped put this event on. A big shout-out goes to all of our sponsor, the sponsors really make it happen.” According to the event chairman, 6,037 attendees and about 350 volunteers helped push the Brewfest into record numbers. Read MORE…