June 15, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
An LGBTQ-themed beer festival is being held at a popular brewpub in Sunnyside Saturday.
The event called “One Love Pride Beer Festival” will take place at Alewife Brewery and Taproom, located at 41-11 39th St. and will feature drag Queen performances, a live DJ as well as plenty of food and drinks.
The festival kicks off at 4 p.m. and organizers say it will run until late.
Patrick Donagher, who co-owns Alewife, is organizing the event along with former council member Jimmy Van Bramer and Van Bramer’s husband Dan Hendrick.
Donagher said the goal of the festival is to celebrate pride month and the LGBTQ community.
“It’s a cause that is near and dear to our hearts,” Donagher said.
“We want to create a safe place for people to celebrate the month and all the people involved with it. We are delighted to help out and offer a place for people to party.”
Donagher said that Alewife had considered hosting the festival for some time, noting that a number of Alewife workers are members of the LGBTQ community.
However, the urging of Van Bramer “nudged it over the line,” Donagher said.
Van Bramer and his husband are the main organizers of the event, Donagher said. The Sunnyside couple is well-known for supporting LGBTQ causes in the neighborhood.
The event, which is free to attend, aims to raise funds for the Ali Forney Center, a Manhattan-based non-profit that provides shelter and healthcare services to homeless LGBTQ youth, Donagher said.
Alewife will produce one batch, or 10 cases, of an exclusive IPA called One Love that will be for sale during the event. All profits generated from the sales of One Love will be donated to the Ali Forney Center, he said.
Donagher said it will only be the third time the company has produced a batch of One Love — which is a New England-style IPA — with the other occasions being for Pride month 2020 and 2021.
Attendees will also be able to purchase all of Alewife’s other brews at the event, which include brand originals such as “Thousand Stars,” “Chaos Gose,” and “Social Conditioning.”
Donagher said the main hours of the festival will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature drag performances by Angela Mansberry and other drag queens.
There will also be live music by DJ Durty Santa,while Mother Hen’s Soul Kitchen, a local food vendor, will be on-site to offer soul food and creole fusion cuisine.
“We have everything crammed into those three hours and after that, we will see what kind of a party we can turn it into!” Donagher said.
The event will be held inside and outside Alewife’s 39th Street premises. The inside space holds around 400 people at full capacity while there are dozens of additional seats at the front of the building – both on the sidewalk and in an outdoor dining area located on the roadway.
The establishment will be decked out in pride flags and other LGBTQ-themed decorations to create a fun, festive atmosphere, Donagher said.
Donagher said he hopes the event draws a large crowd and wants to make the festival an annual event.
“We want to build it up and support more local causes in the future,” Donagher said.
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