Guests enjoyed socializing, listening to the music and chowing down on the BBQ’d brats and delicious sides made by volunteers. The homemade sauerkraut was especially tasty, as was the strawberry shortcake for dessert. At the silent auction table, folks had the opportunity to bid on prizes donated by local businesses. “It’s the only gambling I do!” exclaimed one guest.

As a vegetarian and avid beer drinker, I passed the brats and headed straight toward Epic Brewing’s table. Making friends with the beer people is always the first thing I do at any event, since I’m sure to visit the table a few times! I fell in love with the Galloway Porter at the first sip—it’s dark and full-bodied with chocolate and coffee flavors. Epic Brewing has been supporting the event since its inception. “The services Urban Crossroads Center provides for the community are unquestionably valuable and Epic Brewing is glad to be part of their success,” says Matthew Allred, Communications Director. “We’ve been participating with their ‘Beer, Blues and Brats’ since we opened five years ago and it’s been a pleasure watching the event grow each year.”

Tickets were $45 each, and about 100 guests came out to support the event. This was the fifth annual event, and it’s obviously getting more and more popular each year. With such a low overhead (Wasatch Presbyterian donated the use of their church’s kitchen and multi-purpose room), the fundraiser was a wonderful success, raising $9000 to serve their constituents. Crossroads Urban Center organizes two fundraisers throughout the year: Beers, Brews and Brats takes place every spring, and a wine and cheese get-together happens each fall.

Crossroads Urban Center has been around since 1966, helping provide affordable housing, reasonable utility rates, vision and dental care for Medicaid recipients, and access to food stamp benefits. Their mission is “to address and change the forces that keep people poor.” Crossroads Urban Center operates one of the busiest emergency food pantries in the state, and a free/low-cost thrift store. They are currently in need of pasta, beans and other canned goods for the food pantry and blankets, pots and pans for the thrift store. Of course, Crossroads is always looking for donations—keep that in mind the next time you clean your closet or pantry! Visit their website for specifics of donations they accept. Be sure to “like” their Facebook page and follow their Twitter account to learn more about this important organization, and how you can help the under-served population of Utah.

Check out Talyn Sherer’s awesome photo gallery from the event!