One advantage to holding the second annual Liederkranz Craft Brew & Sausage Fest on Aug. 20 - nearly a month earlier than the inaugural event - is that it doesn't compete with Husker football games. But one additional perk is that it allows Ord's Scratchtown Brewing Company to participate this year, and bring samples of its renowned beers to share with Grand Island and its guests attending the fundraiser to preserve, restore and enhance the historic Grand Island Liederkranz. When organizers of the Brew Fest first approached Scratchtown in early 2015, they were disappointed to learn that Scratchtown's own Scratchtoberfest was also planned for Sept. 12, 2015, meaning the two events were scheduled to coincide. This was disappointing because not only did it keep Scratchtown from participating in the Craft Brew & Sausage Fest, it also may force enthusiasts to choose between the two events. But with this yeas Brew Fest held nearly a month earlier, there's no conflict. If you haven't been to Ord and stopped by Scratchtown, you have been missing out. Ord benefits from being centrally located near four of Nebraska's most visited lakes, bringing recreationalists in from all over. As a result, Ord and towns like nearby Burwell benefit from tourists, and as a result Ord supports some great restaurants and other attractions that you wouldn't typically find in a town of its population. Ord's downtown is particularly charming, wrapping around the center historic county building, like a square of historic buildings all facing a grassy green space, that creates a great atmosphere. One of those building facing the county building is Scratchtown's. outside of which you can enjoy one of their beers on their patio and watch a farmers market and listing to live music on Fridays in the summer. Scratchtown opened in 2013 by founders Jade Stunkel, Mike Klimek and Caleb Pollard, who were an electrician, a banker and a economic developer respectively. They chose the name after discovering a book on the history of Ord that noted that General Edward O.C. Ord, (after whom the town was named) once suggested the town should be call Scratchtown after the number and size of biting flies, reported the Grand Island Independent. As such, their logo features a biting fly. Scratchtown has quickly become one of Nebraska's most prominent breweries, especially west of Lincoln and Omaha. It's beers adorn shelves of many of Grand Island's points of sale locations. If you haven't tried their beer yet, come to the Liederkranz Craft Brew & Sausage Fest on Aug. 20 and take a sip.
Photo from OMAHA WORLD HERALD - Scratchtown founders Caleb Pollard and Mike Klimek. Not pictured: Jade Stunkel, also a founder.
(L-R): Mike & Julie Klimek, Christina & Caleb Pollard, Michelle & Jade Stunkel