The sun was shining and music from a live band filled the air as members of the WKU community crowded a packed Alumni Avenue on Saturday.
Several breweries showcasing eight different beers lined the street in front of the Augenstein Alumni Center for “Red, White and Brew,” the first beer festival to be held on campus.
“This is something that is so different for WKU,” student engagement coordinator and WKU alumna Allie Sharp said. “[To] my knowledge, there’s really not been a beer festival on campus ever before.”
Brews highlighted at the festival were chosen in a poll by the members of WKU’s Young Alumni Council. The festival, hosted by the council, featured local craft beers.
“It’s nice seeing WKU embracing the craft brewing culture,” WKU alumnus and Bowling Green City Commissioner candidate Nate Morguelan said. “It gets people out and together.”
Sharp said ample work was put into coordinating the event, which was made possible by people working in collaboration with WKU’s conference and catering group Aramark and with the Young Alumni Council board.
“The board and myself have put in a lot of work for this. It’s our inaugural event,” she said. “We’d love to make it happen every single year.”
Brews presented included WKU’s own College Heights Brew from Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Although Morguelan was not able to sample every beer, he said College Heights Brew was his favorite.
“After trying Western’s, for a first beer I think it’s better than the rest of the pale ales here,” Morguelan said.
Alltech, the title sponsor for the event, worked with WKU in the establishment of the new brewing and distilling major.
Noelle Johnson, 2013 WKU alumna, traveled from Cincinnati with her fiancé Zach Poe to attend “Red, White and Brew.”
Johnson obtained her certificate in brewing and distilling during her time at WKU.
She said it was great to be back on campus for her first alumni event.
“We walked around campus, spoke to old professors, and it was the first time I saw the new [Downing Student Union],” Johnson said. “I’m excited to be here.”
Johnson and Poe traveled with their friend Kwabena Boateng, 2013 WKU alumnus, who also said he was excited to be back on the Hill.
“It’s a creative and unconventional way to find and draw alumni back to the Hill,” Boateng said. “Beer brings people together.”
The Young Alumni Council wanted to host the event to raise funds for student scholarships. If funded, the scholarships would be available for upperclassmen at WKU.
Sharp hopes for the scholarship to be fully funded and ready to give away in a year or so and plans on continuing to expand “Red, White and Brew.”
“Their mission for this event is to fundraise for their scholarship that is for upperclassmen at WKU,” Sharp said. “They wanted to give back to WKU students that would turn into, hopefully, active and young alumni.”