Local festival gives back to Chattanooga - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local festival gives back to Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Nearly 20,000 people were in downtown Chattanooga Saturday night with a cup in hand.

It's the 19th Annual Southern Brewers festival and it's an event that many don't want to miss.

"I try to get here every year," said Doug Coffey.

Forty-one breweries lined up, representing over 100 flavors of beer.

Co-Chair David Sharpe tells us this festival is very important to locals, because it hasn't always been so easy to get craft beer in Chattanooga.

"Chattanooga didn't have its own brewery after prohibition until 1993 when Big River Grill opened up," said Sharpe.

He says the art of crafting beer has exploded in our area and across the country.

"Last year was the first time the U.S. had eclipsed the number of breweries in the nation prior to prohibition," said Sharpe.

But while everyone thinks they're just participating in a beer tasting, we found out they're also helping their community.

Chattanooga's Kids on the Block will be receiving all of the proceeds, along with Chattanooga's Community Kitchen.

"Which falls right in line with Craftworks restaurants and breweries mission to feed the hungry," said Sharpe.

Last year, Sharpe says they raised nearly $174,000, a dollar amount the hope to exceed.

"If everything goes according to plan, this year we're hoping for $200,000 so we'll see," said Sharpe.

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