Tuesday, March 17, 2009 | 12:19 p.m.
The streets of the Village at Lake Las Vegas were packed Saturday as beer-enthusiasts and philanthropists alike turned out to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Southern Nevada at MonteLago's Craft Beer Festival.
The festival raised $28,583 for the MDA and organizers said they plan to make it an annual event.
About 1,400 patrons paid $20 for a wristband and a cup that allowed them to taste the more than 40 different beers from the 20 different breweries that participated. Each pour was three ounces of beer.
"There was a huge turn out and I would say this event was a great success," Tenaya Creek Brewery owner Tim Etter said. "In fact, a lot of people got out of line and then got right back in."
Etter had to close up his station early because his crew ran out of beer halfway through the event.
One Las Vegas resident, Matt Freeland, said the three ounces of beer was just enough to get him through line and leave him with an empty cup when he reached the front of the next tasting.
"It's all about tasting what everybody has to offer," he said. "There's so many beers and so many flavors, you just can't go wrong. There's something for everybody."
Reno brewery Buckbean Brewing Company spearheaded the inaugural fundraising event, said Andrea Day, events manager for the Village at Lake Las Vegas. All proceeds from Saturday's event went to the MDA.
Kristina Forzano, MDA of Southern Nevada district director, said interest in the event was so high they had to add five more beer stations than they had initially planned for and had to turn some vendors away.
"We usually do Vino di Lago, Wine on the Lakes, but decided with the first one to do it a month early and try it with beer," Forzano said.
Forzano said that the group will still host Vino di Lago, which also benefits MDA and takes place one Saturday a month from April until December, but it brings out a different crowd.
"A lot of Las Vegas people are driving up for the beer fest as opposed to the Vino di Lago," she said.
The money goes toward different functions at the association and services for its 455 clients, including: clinics, support groups, wheelchair purchases, wheelchair repairs and the summer camp at Lake Tahoe.