Chicken & Beer, a 'happening' again
The East Bloomfield Historical Society and the Other Half Brewing team up again for fundraiser on Saturday
EAST BLOOMFIELD — A year ago, the East Bloomfield Historical Society’s inaugural Chicken & Beer fundraiser was such a success that many are already referring to the second annual event this Saturday as a social “happening” in town.
The fundraiser — which this year will feature 300 grilled chickens, cooked to perfection by Joel Steele and entourage of grill masters, and corn on the cob, cole slaw, salt potatoes and rolls — draws families and friends to the Other Half Brewing Co., according to one of the organizers, Dawn Wade. The cost is $12.
Among the special guests this year is BarBie Q, a life-size mannequin that may have visitors doing a double-take because she’s so eerily life-like.
BarBie Q has been visiting businesses that helped to sponsor Saturday’s dinner fundraiser, which kicks off at 11 a.m. and continues until the chicken is gone.
After visiting the whirlwind tour of the Bloomfield business community, BarBie Q wound up at the Other Half for several tasty beers and an Uber ride home to rest up for Saturday, when she will be available to pose for pictures.
Clearly, BarBie Q likes to have fun, according to Town Historian Judi Stewart, and this was a fun way to shine a spotlight on the businesses that help out the Historical Society.
“We want people to laugh and support our local businesses,” Stewart said. “They do so much for us.”
Fun is all part of Chicken & Beer. In addition to selling T-shirts to help raise money, the Historical Society is selling masks that read, “Cluck Covid.”
Raffle tickets will be sold for airplane rides with Doug Turnbull and his bush plane experience. Also, two prize packages that include pizza, pints of beer, homemade pies and nine holes of golf also are available.
For those too young for beer, the Kona ice truck will be there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Rotary Club will be selling hamburgers and hot dogs starting at 2 p.m. Drive-thru service also is available, and of course, given the pandemic, social distancing and masks are required.
“We’re making it a community project,” Wade said.
The Other Half, by the way, also has been a great support since coming to town last year, according to Peggy Gochenaur, president of the society’s board. Last year, the craft brewery donated a portion of the proceeds from sales of its Cricket beer — renamed Burying Ground for the event — to the historical society for its work on sprucing up the Old Burying Ground, located behind the society’s museum at the East Bloomfield Academy and where many of the town’s settlers were laid to rest.
“The relationship has been great,” Gochenaur said. “They’ve been wonderful to work with and very supportive of the historical society. They couldn’t be any kinder.”
Taproom Manager Zach Clicquennoi said this year’s beer — no word on renaming as of yet — is a straight-forward, German-style lager that is a slightly different version of the Cricket.
But, he promised, it is easy drinking and with Saturday’s weather forecast calling for sun and 80-degree temperatures, “will wash down the chicken barbecue well.”
“It’s important or us to be part of the community and try to give back as much as we can,” Clicquennoi said. “We’ve been welcomed here with open arms and we’re continuing to grow and we want to continue to help this community grow as well.”
For a little dinner conversation, perhaps some talk of the Old Burying Ground will do. The society’s to-do list included clearing the land, fencing it in, creating a walkway and erecting a memorial. Despite COVID-19 halting some of the progress, Stewart said work is picking up steam and she expects to be done later this fall.
“It’s a big addition and home to the pioneers of this community,” Stewart said. “This needed to be done and we’ve managed to move ahead.”
And that deserves a toast — even BarBie Q may drink to that.
If you go:
WHAT: East Bloomfield Historical Society's second annual Chicken & Beer
WHEN: 11 a.m. until sold out Saturday, Sept. 26
WHERE: The Other Half Brewing Co., 6621 state Routes 5 and 20, East Bloomfield
Eat, Drink and Be Murphy
The Eat, Drink and Be Murphy column explores the region’s bounty of food and drink — and the people who bring it to you — soup to nuts, accentuated with a craft beer or Finger Lakes wine. After all, who doesn’t love to eat and drink? Email assistant editor Mike Murphy at email@example.com or call 585-337-4229 with ideas and suggestions.