The Tri-Village Chamber Partnership's annual celebration of craft beer, liquor and spirits is something people really seem to dig.

In the first year, only a handful of brewers participated and about 1,500 people attending, said Jason Clayton, a Tri-Village Chamber Partnership board member and chairman of the Digfest committee.

"Now we hear from the brewers themselves saying, 'We really need to be a part of this,'" Clayton said.

The seventh annual Digfest will feature more than 50 craft beers created by more than 20 brewers as well as liquors and liqueurs. Food, crafts and music also will be available for the event to be held 4 to 10:30 p.m. June 17 in the First Avenue Park at Grandview Yard.

"When we started, the craft beer movement was just beginning to flourish," Clayton said. "Our event has grown right along with it."

Last year's Digfest drew more than 5,000, Clayton said.

"It's become the largest fundraiser for the chamber," Clayton said.

Admission to Digfest is free, but tickets need to be purchased for drink samples.

Drink tickets cost $6 for a full pour. Four tickets can be purchased for $20, Clayton said.

This year, the beers will be served at Digfest through distributors rather than the craft beer makers.

"We used to have tents for each beer maker, but now we'll have the distributors set up in tents providing all of the beers they represent," Clayton said. "It should make for a easier, more streamlined set up and will require fewer volunteers.

"Of course, the beer makers will be on hand to talk with people and answer questions about their brews," he said.

Most of the beer and spirit makers participating in the event are from central Ohio, Clayton said.

The entertainment lineup from 4 to 10 p.m. will include Kelly Zullo, Ian Hummel, Zach Whitney, Nick D'Andrea, Whirlybirds and Perennial Rye Bluegrass Band.

"Digfest is a fun, free summertime event," Clayton said. "If you want to sample some beers and liquors, that's fine, but you can also come out to soak up the sun, have some food and enjoy some good music."

A VIP presale available at grandviewdigfest.com offers various packages with discounts that include drink tickets, souvenir tumblers and T-shirts and the ability to avoid ticket lines and get longer pours at the festival.

Many of the brewers and distillers will be bringing special concoctions.

Watershed Distillery again will offer its cocktail featuring its vodka mixed with blueberry, lemon and basil, co-owner Greg Lehman said.

"The combination of blueberry, lemon and a touch of basil gives the drink a light, fruity taste that is a perfect summer cocktail," Lehman said. "We've offered samples of it before at Digfest, and people seem to really like it."

Watershed operates its distillery and a restaurant and bar at 1145 Chesapeake Ave., near Grandview.

"We've been participating in Digfest from the start," Lehman said. "It's a good way to tell people about what we're doing. Even though we've been in business for years, a lot of people still don't know we exist. I really enjoy getting to meet people and tell our story."

More information about Digfest, including a list of drink, food and craft vendors, is available at the event's website.

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