BrewFest Waterfront District

319 Black River Landing
Lorain, OH 44052

Brewfest Waterfront District is Lorain County’s first and largest festival of great craft beer. A celebration of the art of crafting delicious brews, it brings great beer of all styles and from all over the country to historic Downtown Lorain for a day of relaxation, experimentation, and fun.

Our event began, as many do, humbly.

The brainchild of Ron Nabakowski and Bob McDonald and with the backing of Main Street Lorain-Growth Corporation, a non-profit 501(c)(3), the event began to take shape when the two men contacted Aaron Shickel and Howard Ross of Franklin Brewing Company – at the time, Lorain County’s only licensed brewery – to explore the possibility of creating a festival that would draw fresh eyes to the potential-laden city of Lorain, Ohio. Franklin Brewing was quick to get behind the unique opportunity and the seed of Brewfest Waterfront District began to sprout. When Howard and then Ron’s son, Chris Nabakowski, joined the Brewfest Committee, the group began hastily constructing a first-of-its-kind event for the blue collar, hard hat city of Lorain.

With hard work, perseverance, and a lot of patience, the committee began piecing together the skeleton of an event that would not just bring fantastic beers to the lakeside city, but also emphasize and stress the limitless potential of the historic town to the many folks who came to enjoy those brews. First came the all-important breweries, such as The Brew Kettle, Franklin Brewing, and JAFB; Buckeye State breweries looking to spread to good word about their beer. Quickly, however, the pieces started falling into place as word spread of Brewfest’s creation. Bands were booked, food trucks signed up, and a buzz began to grow.

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