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Hilltown Brewfest raises $9,500 for  area fire depts.

NEW SALEM — They came, they drank, they left and now the proceeds are headed to four area fire departments.

In its fifth year, organizer Rick Oliver said the Hilltown Brewfest raised $9,500 for the firemens’ associations of the New Salem, Wendell, Shutesbury and Petersham fire departments.

Oliver, owner of the New Salem General Store, said he conceived of the event after visiting the Ryan and Casey Liquors’ Green River Brewfest and it has grown steadily, evolving in its second year into a fund raiser for New Salem and Wendell firefighters.

Now that all the bills are paid, this year’s proceeds from the September festival were enough to bring two more towns into the fold for the first time, according to Oliver.

“$5,000 goes to New Salem, because it’s my town, and $1,500 each for Wendell, Shutesbury and Petersham because they are the surrounding towns and the supporting towns,” Oliver said.

The money is generated through admissions, vendor fees and T-shirt sales.

Oliver said 40 breweries and wineries donated their products for the afternoon tasting, which this year brought in about 800 people.

You can reach Chris Curtis at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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