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The 26th Peoria Beer Festival wraps up over the weekend

PEORIA, Ill - Thousands of beer connoisseurs came out to take a swig at the 26th annual beer festival.

The beer fest was hopping over the weekend as people came out to the expo gardens to drink their favorite beer or maybe even find a new one.

Kristina Peckmann is the beer fest co-chair. She says, "It's really a great opportunity to kind of try different beers. There's not a ton of commitment, you know you're only drinking 4 oz., so if you don't like something, you don't have to stick with it too long and sometimes you find your favorites. That's happened to me."

There were over 400 different types of beer to try. Peckmann says, "We've got IPA's, we've got stouts, porters, ciders, sours." Making it a strong possibility that you might find something you like.

"There's something for everybody, so people kind of get in there, you know we've got the hop heads who are here to try the really rare IPA's, but then we've got people who just kind of like the occasional beer, who are interested in trying something they've never tried before," says Peckmann.

Although the beer and the good food make this event worth while, it serves a greater purpose.

Peckmann says, "Each year we give about $10,000 to area charities, so we're giving lots of money to great causes."

Charities like the Dax foundation, that help St. Jude families meet some needs that the hospital can't help with.

Julie Lock is the founder of the Dax Foundation. She says, "We run a camp every year that we send all of our St. Jude kids to, and right now we're working on a big project which is really exciting, that's going to be a big benefit for our community and all the kids in our community who are using our hospital services."

She also says that it's events that bring the community together like this that help the most.

"It's humbling to see all of these people. This room is full. To see a room full of people that are excited about giving back just means a lot," says Lock.

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