It’s usually a place for kids to play, create, and learn, but Children’s Museum Easton will welcome hundreds of adults to sip craft beers and meet some of the brewers who make them on Saturday, Aug. 10.
The occasion is the annual “A Night at the Brewseum,” a craft beer expo and fund-raiser for the nonprofit museum during which 16 to 18 smaller-scale brewers from New England and New York offer free samples of their beers, as well as ciders.
Held outside the museum from 4 to 7 p.m. and on a section of Sullivan Avenue that is closed to traffic that night, the Brewseum event includes a live band, free popcorn, and food sold by local restaurants.
“It’s become a real community event,” said Brian Eagle, a member of the all-volunteer planning committee for the Brewseum.
Founded by four Easton mothers, the museum opened in 1991 in a converted 1904 firehouse. The brightly colored red and yellow building, which attracts about 55,000 visits from children and adults each year, features three stories of exhibits focused on interactive learning for children ages 1 to 8. Another 8,000 children are served by mobile science programs the museum brings to community sites.
Now in its sixth year, the craft beer expo is becoming a popular South Shore summer happening, drawing about 850 people each year. The Brewseum, which charges a $35 admission fee — $50 for VIP guests and $15 for designated drivers — is one of the museum’s two largest annual fund-raisers, generating about $30,000.
Eagle said that for residents of Easton and surrounding communities, attending the Brewseum is “a great way to give back to the museum,” and a chance to support craft brewers, many of whom reside and work in this area.
“You have great beer being made right in our backyards,” Eagle, a craft beer enthusiast himself, said of the burgeoning industry.
He said for the brewers — many of whom return to the expo each year — the event is an opportunity to showcase their industry and to express their appreciation to the communities and local craft beer lovers that support their businesses.
Among the regular participants is Shovel Town Brewery, a two-year-old business located just off Easton’s downtown. Shovel Town’s owners, Easton residents Frank Altieri and James McSherry, were actually inspired to start their business when in 2015 they won a home brewing competition that for several years was held at the same time as the Brewseum.
Altieri said there is a strong philanthropic spirit among craft brewers, in particular “a desire to give back to the communities they are part of.” And he said knowing firsthand the value of the museum, he is happy to do what he can to support it.
His three children, now in their 20s, “all had the opportunity to experience the Children’s Museum and now my granddaughter, who’s two-and-a-half, goes there,” he said.
“It’s a great community event. It brings people together,” Altieri said of the Brewseum. “It’s just a fun night where you get to see all your neighbors enjoying craft beer and having a good time for a great cause.”
For more information on the Brewseum, go to cmeaston.org/night-at-the-brewseum/.