The idea that started it all was simple. Let’s do a beer festival!
The members of Anchorage East Rotary had the desire to do something fresh and fun, and the idea of a beer festival resonated with everyone. It wasn’t long after the original idea was presented that we began moving forward with planning the event. As we planned we realized that we didn’t want to do an event that was just another fundraiser. We wanted to create an event that invited the community to celebrate the Alaskan culture and have an impact as well. And what better way to celebrate Alaskan culture than with Fur Rendezvous! We approached the good people of Rondy with the idea and before we could finish talking they shouted “YES!” and shook our hands with excitement!
As we brainstormed and planned the kick off event for Rondy, we realized that what began as an idea for a beer festival was quickly becoming so much more. With input from the industry, we decided to focus on Alaskan craft beer and wine. As we honed things in we realized that something was missing. Pizza! Beer and pizza go together like milk and cookies, and craft beer and artisan pizza pairs like milk from your neighbor’s cow and grandma’s chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven! So with that in mind it seemed more than appropriate to bring locally made pizza into the fold. This decision wasn’t about differentiation. This was about celebration! Alaska has some amazing beer and some incredible pizza, and we were both eager and proud to put these things together on display!
Things continued to come together and as the event took shape we began discussing what kind of impact we wanted to have in our community. While we knew we were designing the festival to be a community celebration, we also knew that we were doing it as a way to raise funds for our community. As we looked at the deep list of needs that our community needs help with, the issue of human trafficking emerged. We had heard about it as an issue that plagued other countries and impoverished nations, but we had no idea that it existed right here in Alaska. The more we realized the depth to which this dark matter impacted our state, our communities, and our culture, the more we realized that we had to do something.
The Rondy Rotary Beer Festival is a community focused event that seeks to bring life and support to one of the darkest areas of our society by celebrating some of the things that make Alaska such an incredible place. We have come together as a community to celebrate each other and support those in need. From the event sponsors, to the breweries and restaurants that donate their time and resources, and to the people who attend the event, we are all coming together to have fun, celebrate, and support our community in an effort to fight against human trafficking.
It is our joy and privilege to present the Rondy Rotary Beer Festival as one of the final events of the 2020 Fur Rendezvous, Alaska’s premier winter festival and celebration of Alaska history and culture!