ASHLAND — Hundreds flocked to downtown Ashland Saturday evening for the second Ashland Ale Fest, where they could browse brews from over 20 breweries, listen to live music, and get grub from local food trucks.

Ashland Main Street, who organized the event, started out with 750 tickets sold at the beginning of the fest, and the crowd grew from there, Ashland Main Street executive director Sandra Tunnell said.

Attendees received drink tickets when they arrived, which could be exchanged for a sample of beer from any of the breweries at the fest. Local favorites like Uniontown Brewing Company from Ashland and the Phoenix Brewing Company from Mansfield were present, in addition to breweries from Cleveland, Akron, Hocking Hills, and more.

Word of mouth helped attract even more breweries than last year, Tunnell said.

“We sent out a letter to a bunch of people, and then a lot of people called us up and said ‘Hey, we hear you’re having an ale fest can we come too?’ So, we’re really excited that they liked the idea, they’d heard good things about it last year and wanted to come back,” Tunnell said.

The event shut down half of Main Street and a small section of Orange Street where food trucks from around the area were set up. These trucks sold grilled cheeses, burgers, tacos, and more.

Ashland Ale Fest got its start last year after originally being planned for the summer of 2020. Work on 2022’s ale fest started almost immediately after last year’s, said director of operations at the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce Amy Daubenspeck, who serves on the committee for Ale Fest.

“It’s not a very big committee but man, we work year-round on it and it’s an amazing group of people, so it’s pretty exciting,” Daubenspeck said.

Now, the Ashland Ale Fest committee hopes to have a fest every year, Daubenspeck added.

The Life section is supported by Brethren Care Village in Ashland.

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