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Tinkers Guild prides itself on having beer for everyone, be they adventurous craft drinkers or lovers of domestic standbys.

Saturday, the Auburn tavern will deliver an even more crowd-pleasing selection than usual when it hosts the new Biggest Little Beer Fest in its covered outdoor area.

Featuring more than 30 beers by 18 breweries, the festival will offer goers the chance to sample IPAs, Oktoberfests, sours and more from breweries spanning Southern California to Auburn itself.

Spotlighted will be three of Cayuga County's new breweries: Prison City Pub & Brewery and The Good Shepherds Brewing Co. in Auburn, and Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing in Weedsport.

Because they're still too small to regularly supply beer elsewhere, the Biggest Little Beer Fest will offer the local breweries a chance to pour for new palates, Tinkers owner John Mortimer said.

Joining the local breweries will be giants like Southern Tier and Brewery Ommegang from upstate New York, smaller award-winners Sloop and Grimm from downstate, and national names Stone, Bell's and more. All will have kegs — not bottles or cans — on tap at Tinkers.

The festival continues a mission Tinkers has carried out with its longtime Beer Club program, a monthly meetup featuring a curated menu of five or six craft beers.

To make the event more educational, laminated notes on all the beers will be available. And each brewery will be represented by either an employee or a volunteer who's knowledgeable enough to answer questions, Mortimer said.

Also, as palates weather the afternoon ride from hoppy IPAs to smoky stouts, water and pretzels will be served for refreshment.

Mortimer, who professes to be a domestic beer guy himself, said the Biggest Little Beer Fest has plenty for those averse to craft beer, too. Five or six cideries will also pour there, and Last Shot Distillery, of Skaneateles, will mix fall-themed cocktails with its maple vodka and bourbon.

A food truck, live music by The Public House and Bad JuJu, and broadcast of the Syracuse/Notre Dame football game beforehand will round out the day's bill.

Mortimer called the event a chance for the unfamiliar to get familiar, and encouraged attendees to come open-minded — and thirsty.

"I want to get people in that haven't tried craft beer," Mortimer said. "They can come and try it all."

Participating breweries


• Prison City Pub & Brewery

• The Good Shepherds Brewing Co.

• Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing

• Middle Ages Brewing Co.

New York state

• Barrier Brewing Co.

• Brewery Ommegang

• Brooklyn Brewery (awaiting confirmation)

• Grimm Artisan Ales

• SingleCut Beersmiths

• Sloop Brewing Co.

• Southern Tier Brewing Co.


• Bell's Brewery

• Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

• Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

• Stone Brewing Co.

• New Belgium Brewing

• Tröegs Independent Brewing

• Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.


Features editor for The Citizen.