Nuclear-free beer raises $20,000


Ten breweries from across Montgomery county were represented at this annual beer festival, providing generous samples in plastic collectable Nuclear Free Beerfest cups.

Guests queued up and were greeted with friendly faces, free stickers and coasters as well as a wide variety of tasting choices at the Takoma Foundation’s sixth annual Nuclear Free Beer Fest last Saturday, on the grounds of the beautiful Cady-Lee Mansion on Eastern Avenue.

“The crowd is very beer-centric and knowledgeable and the venue is unique and has such a historical feel” said Casey Hollingsworth, one of the vendors. “I’ve cultivated a relationship with the great folks at The Takoma Foundation since 2008 and the event continues to grow.  We enjoy being a part of a small community event and helping them to achieve their goals.”

Hollingsworth, VP of Sales & Marketing for Fordham & Dominion Brewing Co., said “Since we are moving into the best time of the year in DC we decided to share our two Fall Seasonal beers; Dominion Octoberfest and Fordham Spiced Harvest Ale.” This was their sixth year attending the Brewfest.


Also serving beer were Baying Hound Aleworks, Denizens Brewing Company, Franklins Brewery, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Company, Port City Brewing Company, Right Proper Brewing Company, Starr Hill Brewery and 3 Stars Brewing Company.

This year’s event had over 500 people in attendance. The Takoma Foundation met and exceeded the fundraising goal, raising $20,000.  “Not only are we hoping to raise money for our grants, but we’re also trying to raise visibility of the Foundation within the community. On both fronts, we felt this year was a huge success.” stated Takoma Foundation president Scott Ward.

“All the funds that are raised from the Beerfest go directly back into the community in the form of grants that support local nonprofits committed to building community and changing lives. These include iconic Takoma Park institutions like the Fourth of July Parade, the Folk Festival and the Jazz Festival.” said Ward.


Christian Layke, Takoma Park resident and head brewer at the Rockville Gordon Biersch Brew Pub, pours a sample. Photo by Bill Brown.

In addition to these jubilant events, the grants provide support and services such as youth development, environmental protection, emergency health and housing support for neighbors in need and providing counseling to immigrant women who are survivors of abuse and exploitation. The history of the Takoma Foundations grant details can be found online at

Many Takoma Foundation volunteers supported the Beerfest. “The really great thing about this year is that a lot more people got involved in the planning of the Beerfest. Along with members of the Takoma Foundation Board, we had a community volunteer committee of about 10 people that have been working together since May to make this event a success. It’s great to see folks come out and have a great time at the Beerfest, but it’s really wonderful that people in the community value it enough to put in so much time and effort.” said Ward.

Scott Ward.

Scott Ward, Takoma Foundation president. Photo by Bill Brown.

First time volunteer popcorn maker Katrina said “I really enjoyed meeting more people from the Takoma Park community.  It was a lovely evening filled with lots of fun stories.”

The unique name of this festival was a topic of interest amongst the festival crowd and Howard Kohn, Vice President of The Takoma Foundation offered this explanation. “The main reason we included nuclear-free in the name is to make people wonder and remember, a way of branding the event in other words. Plus it sends a message that aging hippies still know how to party and can appreciate self-deprecating humor.”


Howard Kohn grills some brats. Photo by Eric Bond.

Food of all varieties was plentiful at the Nuclear Free Beerfest. Admission included a token redeemable for a fresh off the grill sausage donated by The Takoma Foundation. Additional foods and supplies were provided by Takoma businesses The Olive Lounge and Grill, Capital City Cheesecake, City of Takoma Park, Daleview Pool, Dolci Gelati, Johnsonville, Kinetic Artistry, La Mano Coffee Bar, Mark’s Kitchen, Republic, Roscoe’s Neapolitan Pizzeria, Spring Mill Bread Company, Soupergirl, Takoma Park Presbyterian Church and the TPSS Co-op.

Musical act Sciatica entertained the crowd during the day with their renditions of popular folk, jazz and classic rock songs. As the evening came to a close, the Beerfest was treated to a rambunctious show by performance artists Lively Fellows Brass Band, ending the festival with the crowd dancing and smiling together.

The Lively Fellows Brass Band close out the Beerfest (2). Video by Bill Brown.

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About the Author

Rebecca Gallery
Rebecca Gallery covers Art and Entertainment events in Takoma Park and Silver Spring MD. When she is not seeking out new music and events you can find her curled up with her cats and a cup of tea (wine).