Sometimes it's all in the timing.

When the Grove City Lions Club was looking to start a new fundraiser seven years ago, organizers thought a craft-beer event could be the right concoction.

"We wanted to find something that could help us make an impactful donation to the charitable work we support," said Mike Nekoloff, chairman of the Lions' Spring Craft Beer Fest.

"Seven years ago, for our first event, we were dealing mostly with brewers who were mostly out of state. There really weren't a lot of breweries in Ohio yet," he said.

"Now most of the beers we'll be featuring at this year's event are made by Ohio brewers. We still include some of the out-of-state beer makers who were with us from the start, but the focus is on Ohio-made beer," he said.

About 40 craft brewers will be offering more than 100 different beers to sample at the seventh annual fest.

The event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at the Aladdin Shrine Center, 1801 Gateway Circle in Grove City.

The festival's success is tied to the burgeoning craft-beer movement, Nekoloff said.

"It just all sort of fell into our lap," he said. "It was perfect timing."

Another key to the event's success relates to the time of the year it is held, Nekoloff said.

"The brewers are still making some of their winter beers, but they also have samples of their spring and summer brews available," he said. "You really get to sample a wide range of beers."

The featured beers will include everything from peanut butter beer to a sour-cherry ale "and everything in between," Nekoloff said.

The event offers an inexpensive way to "try before you buy," he said.

"You can sample a beer and decide whether you like it enough to go to the expense of buying a six-pack," Nekoloff said.

The cost is $40 for registrations completed by April 13 and $45 at the door for 20, four-ounce samples. Tickets can be ordered at facebook.com/ events/SpringCraftBeerFest.

All tickets come with a souvenir tasting glass.

Designated drivers can purchase a ticket for $5 and get unlimited soda, a food voucher and receive a souvenir glass when leaving the event.

The festival also will feature a silent auction, with items donated by local businesses and brewers up for bid.

Food will be sold, including a practical as well as tasty item -- a pretzel necklace.

"You can wear it around your neck and eat one of the pretzel links after you sample a beer," Nekoloff said. "It's a way to deal with the aftertaste of a beer. You don't want to still be tasting a peanut butter beer when you're trying a sour beer and vice versa.

"The pretzel helps to cleanse your palate, plus pretzels just seem to go well with beer," he said.

The Lions will sell the grilled-bologna sandwiches they feature at other events.

The club will use proceeds from the beer fest to support various eye care and eye-health causes.

Eye health is a major focus of Lions Club International, Nekoloff said.

The Grove City chapter makes a donation each year to Pilot Dogs Inc., an organization that trains guide dogs for the blind, and also supports the Ohio State School for the Blind and Camp Echoing Hills, a camp in Warsaw, Ohio, that serves children and adults with special needs, he said.

The club also collects used eyeglasses that are donated to Ohio State, which distributes the eye wear to people in the community who need them.

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