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Suds in the sunshine

Mar. 21—MOSES LAKE — The sun was shining and the taps were busy for Moses Lake's annual Brews and Tunes event downtown Saturday.

"I think, because of the weather, we had exponentially (more) people there," said Mallory Miller, director of the Downtown Moses Lake Association, which hosted the event. "We sold out officially online the day before, and then we had a limited quantity of tickets at the door the day of, and we sold out of those within the first 30 minutes."

That worked out to about 600 tickets, Miller said. She estimated that as many as 1,000 people turned out altogether, to enjoy the sunshine and the shopping.

"We got here right at 1 and they were sold out," said Macaela Hayes, who stayed downtown to check out the music and shopping anyway.

This is the seventh year the DMLA has held Brews and Tunes, which stationed representatives from 12 breweries (plus two cideries and two distilleries) at 19 businesses downtown, most of them with local musicians performing. Participants received a glass, five tickets and a map showing who was pouring and who was playing where. That let folks walk from venue to venue sampling beverages and checking out what downtown businesses had to offer. Most of the locations were within a block of each other, and there was a shuttle to ferry people to venues a few blocks away.

New this year were several food trucks and street vendors set up around Sinkiuse Square.

"I believe that that kept a lot of people downtown," Miller said. "We only had eight locations last year, and this year we had 19. So we more than doubled in the amount of locations and what we offered."

At Miller's Fine Jewelers, local musician Jeff Ames perched on a stool with his guitar, while Cori Schmidt and James Hardy, of Paradise Creek Brewing were tucked away in a corner of the shop offering Huckleberry Pucker and Over the Hop IPA.

"It's gorgeous outside, but we're not getting the sunburn," said Schmidt. "It's nice. We even had a couple of lines (of customers) for a while.

"This is the first time I've ever done this, so I'm not sure how it usually goes, but it hasn't been too bad," Taneum Creek Brewing owner Gabe Gorton said as he poured a sample of Dimmy Darn IPA.

The next DMLA event will be Family Picnic Day on June 29 at Neppel Park, Miller said, with lawn games, food, vendors and music. Sip and Stroll, featuring local wineries and artists, will be Sept. 14.

Joel Martin may be reached via email at jmartin@columbiabasinherald.com.