Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018
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Sylvania festival showcases city's breweries

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    Upside Brewing and Inside the Five Brewing Co. will be the featured brewers at Sylvania’s 'Local Fest — Bands, Bites, & Brews.' The festival takes place from 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday.

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    Nick Dallas, left, owner of Sylvania's Upside Brewing, and Brandon Fields, co-owner of Inside the Five Brewing Co., will have their beer featured at 'Local Fest - Bands, Bites and Brews.'

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It would be natural to think that Nick Dallas, the founder of Upside Brewing in Sylvania, would be disappointed that a new brewery has moved into town.

If you do think that, you would be wrong.


Nick Dallas, left, owner of Sylvania's Upside Brewing, and Brandon Fields, co-owner of Inside the Five Brewing Co., will have their beer featured at 'Local Fest - Bands, Bites and Brews.'

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“One brewery can be a good draw to a town, but when there are two, it gives even more of a reason to come to the area,” said Dallas, whose brewery opened in the summer of 2016 inside his family’s J&G Pizza Palace on Main Street. “Maybe someone comes to town to visit one of the breweries, but they end up visiting the other one too.”

Dallas’ new neighbor is Inside the Five Brewing Co., which opened on Memorial Day at 5703 Main St., formerly occupied by Treo Restaurant.

The two downtown anchors will also anchor the city’s “Local Fest – Bands, Bites & Brews,” which begins at 4 p.m. Saturday and goes until 11 p.m. in J&G’s parking lot. Last year’s inaugural event drew close to 1,000 people, said Rae Betz, a planning committee member for the festival. She is expecting bigger things this year.

“With Upside, and now Inside the Five, it seemed like a good time to celebrate the breweries,” Betz said. “There are a lot of good things going on downtown.”

Inside the Five has been generating a lot of buzz. There was a line stretching around the building when it officially opened on Memorial Day. Brandon Fields, a former All-Pro punter with the Miami Dolphins and a St. John’s Jesuit graduate, owns the brewery with his wife, Katie, a Notre Dame Academy graduate. Fields’ teammate and roommate at Michigan State, Chris Morris, is Inside the Five’s chief financial officer. Morris, an offensive lineman, is a Bedford High School graduate who played for several NFL teams, including the Detroit Lions.

Fields could have easily opened a brewery in South Florida, but chose to return home.

“This is my hometown and where I grew up,” Fields said. “My wife’s and my family are still here. Toledo has been a little behind the craft beer trend. The market wasn’t saturated yet, so it was a perfect opportunity for us.”

Of the 15 current Inside the Five brews on the brewery’s tap list, Fields has created 12 of them. For Local Fest, he’ll bring Hop Shield (IPA), Stained Khakis (brown ale), the Black Hole (black IPA), and an unnamed strawberry cream ale.

Upside will have the Palace cream ale, Citrabena IPA, Sun Beam saison, and an experimental beer called Pinky Finger, which is a beer and rosé hybrid.

“This festival is a good chance to get our beer out there, try something different, and have a good variety for people,” Dallas said.

Grand Rapids’ Majestic Oak Winery will have wine samples available.

The music will begin at 4 p.m. with the Katie & Jordan Show. They will be followed by The Interrupters at 5:30 p.m., Twin Pfunk at 7, and The Overton Project from 9 to 11 p.m.

Community events like these are one reason that Fields and his wife said they wanted to open a brewery locally.

“It will be exciting. We get a chance to get out and meet people in a low-key environment outside the brewery,” Fields said. “We’ll really get to talk to people and see what they think about the beer.”

Food will be available from the Displaced Chef Latin Cuisine, Rusty's Road Trip, and Mayberry Ice Cream. The event is free, though donations will be accepted for the Downtown Sylvania Association. More information can be found at the “Local Fest – Bands, Bites & Brews” Facebook event page.

Contact Brian Dugger at bdugger@theblade.com or on Twitter @DuggerBlade.

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