Corn Maze Beer Fest pours on the creativity

T could become the stalk of the town.

Or maybe the most a-maize-ing event this side of Hee Haw’s Cornfield County.

You can take your thirst for creative fun to the country this weekend with the first-ever — and organizers emphasize the first ever in the world — Corn Maze Beer Fest, where a five-acre winding path will flow as crazily and seemingly as endlessly as the craft brew.

“As the craft beer industry has grown, so have the events surrounding it,” Lauren Simmons said.

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She’s the coordinator of family owned and operated 450 North Brewing Co.’s Saturday gathering of drinks, food, live music and games — an event that is close to selling out its 1,800 tickets.

A limited amount of $35 tickets are good for a five-ounce mug with unlimited tastes of 25 brewery offerings with more than 100 flavors and varieties. Designated-driver tickets are also available for $10.

The event will feature a movie during a free-admission, all-ages after party from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Yes, the movie will be “Children of the Corn.” Food and drinks will be available for purchase, and the follow-up will feature live music from Carlos Custard.

A representative from the Guinness Book of World Records initially was meant to be on hand to check out and verify event details as the only and largest corn maze beer fest ever. But latest plans include Guinness’ blessing to have a city official verify an official record of some sort.

“To our knowledge, we are absolutely the only one,” Simmons said. “And I think with all the excitement we’ve generated, it’s probably a no-brainer to do another one next year and continue after that.”

Attendees each will get a map showing which brewery is located in one of seven circles in the maze.

“It’s not a hugely complicated maze,” Simmons said. “We tried to keep it simple because we know that people will be drinking.”

A free shuttle will run from the event to a few Edinburgh area hotels for those who book rooms with them.

A professional maze-cutting firm from Utah recently created the layout of trails and walkways.

The brewery is teaming with Carmel-based Indiana On Tap, a craft beer media marketing company, to make the event a success. Justin Knepp, the organization’s founder and president, envisions the event’s attention spreading in coming years.

Already this year, besides Indiana, ticket buyers are coming from Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.

“Clearly, the uniqueness is there, especially with kind of ‘hiding’ breweries and musicians within a corn maze,” Knepp said. “We think we’ve been able to create something special because of our work together on behalf of our two audiences.

“And this has been very well planned and very well managed.”

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What: Inaugural Corn Maze Beer Fest, in which breweries and even a live band (the Jon Strahl Band) will be located among seven circles spread amid a five-acre corn maze.

When: The fest is from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Only VIP ticket buyers will be allowed in from 1 to 2 p.m. But an after-party will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: 450 North Brewing Co., 8111 E. County Road 450N.

Tickets: Only $35 tickets remained at press time for beer drinkers, and $10 for non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers. Drinkers get a five-ounce mug for unlimited tastes from 25 Indiana craft breweries and one cidery.

Parking: On the east side of the business in a gravel lot. But organizers are encouraging ticket buyers to carpool as much as possible.

Helping others: A portion of proceeds will be donated to a Columbus charity.

Restricted: A 21-and-older event for the beer fest. The after-party is all ages.