Upland Brewing Company celebrated its 20th year in business with more than just beer Sunday afternoon with a block party that included adoptable dogs, food and even a mermaid.
The event partnered with local businesses to offer attendees food, drinks, clothes and music from 1 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot next to the Bloomington Brewpub. It drew students, families, people of all ages and even some dogs.
Upland started planning for this event in the spring and found a concept for the event quickly, said David Bower, Upland Brewery's head of sales and marketing.
“We wanted to create an event that welcomed the whole community to celebrate with us," Bower said. "We wanted to create a really inclusive space where we can get together and have some fun and reminisce.”
Upland Brewing Company, Function Brewing, Bloomington Brewing Company, Switchyard, The Tap and Oliver Winery all offered featured drinks.
Bloomington Brewing Company served their Ruby Bloom Amber at the event.
“We’re serving one of the oldest beers in Indiana and probably the oldest beer in Monroe County,” said Alex Davidson, a cellarman at the Bloomington Brewing Company.
It’s the company’s original beer. In 2018, it won a silver medal at the Indiana Brewers' Cup.
Other vendors included Axis Apparel, the Chocolate Moose, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, Vibe Yoga, and Wagon Wheel Meats. The event also showcased adoptable dogs from the City of Bloomington Animal Care and Control.
One booth had a woman dressed as a mermaid perched on an inflatable seashell. The booth was for Foxhole, a local salon and bar that serves Upland Beer. The mermaid, Lindley King, said she has worked at Foxhole since April.
“Outside of doing hair, I like to be a mermaid, so we decided to incorporate it into our booth today,” King said.
President Pete Batule said Upland has grown tremendously in the six years he’s been there and since it opened in 1998.
“From selling more beer just throughout the state and throughout the country to actually growing through more locations and of course, our family,” Batule said.
Upland’s first location was the Brewpub, which opened in Bloomington in 1998. They have opened five more locations since. Two of them, the Woodshop and the West Side Beer Bar, are also in Bloomington. They have also opened locations in Carmel, Indiana, Indianapolis and Columbus, Indiana.
IU student Alan Lang attended the event because he saw a poster for it in the Brewpub, which he said he goes to about once every other month.
He said his favorite thing at the event was the pulled pork sandwich from Wagon Wheel Meats. He also enjoyed the beer.
“It’s cold,” Lang said. ”It’s crisp. I find it impressive. It’s definitely not a crappy beer.”
Batule said he felt the event was a good representation of Upland.
“It's bringing families together, building community, creating really remarkable experiences through our beer, our food, our culture," Batule said.
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