Beer fest pours draft for charity

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Craft beer fans gathered at Jesse Camille’s Restaurant on May 21 to take part in the 17th Craft Brewer’s Beer Festival.
The charity event is lauded as Connecticut’s longest continually run beer tasting event.

“The reputation of this event is well known by the brewers and it is one of the few events that they attend every year because of the crowd which (is), for the most part, pretty serious about beer,” said Terry Boyd, the event’s organizer and owner of Mountain Plaza Wines & Liquors, in a prepared release. “We had virtually every Connecticut brewery and brew pub present as well as every major brewery available in Connecticut from Sam Adams on down.”

The event raises approximately $20,000 every year for the Camille Perugini Memorial Trust Fund which was established in the memory of Camille Perugini, who co-owned Jesse Camille’s Restaurant. The memorial trust fund regularly awards college scholarships to deserving high school students in the greater Waterbury area.

“In the last ten years or so they have given out over $133,000, with over $20,000 per year awarded, typically to seven to ten students per year,” said Boyd.

According to Boyd, this year’s event brought a slightly larger crowd than normal.

The festival, with its worthy cause, professional reputation and outstanding beer selection has been known to draw attendees from far and wide. This year was no exception.

“I invited a home brewer friend of mine from western Massachusetts and I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be worth all his effort to drive the hour to my house and then 45 minutes to Naugatuck,” said Jennifer Roggi, who won tickets as part of an online contest at CTBeerTrail.net, in a prepared release. “We were both very pleased by the number of different brews we were able to try. I also discovered a few new breweries right here in Connecticut that I was unaware of before. Great event. I hope to go again next year.”