First Rock-N-Brews Series concert coming Saturday

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BENNINGTON — Live rock and roll. Home-brewed beer. Food trucks.

Does that grab your attention?

If so, you'll want to be at Southern Vermont College starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday for the first Rock-N-Brews Series concert, with Lannen, a Boston-based band, heading the triple bill. (The Bennington Banner is among the event sponsors.)

For $15 (ticket only) or $30 (ticket and beer sampling glass), attendees can hear live rock bands and sample the efforts of local brewers. It's an 18-and-over show, and there's not an ATM on site, so bring your ID and some cash for food and beverages.

The concert series was born out of the success of the Wings and Winter Homebrew Festival. It's spearheaded by the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, as part of its efforts to attract millennials to the region.

"It wasn't rocket science," Chamber executive director Matt Harrington said. "We had tested some of this market out with the Wings and Winter Homebrew Festival."

That event was recognized by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce as a top-10 event for the winter season. It also sold 275 of 300 available tickets online before the doors opened. So there was confidence that sponsoring another event featuring music, craft beer and food would be an attractive mix to a younger crowd.

Chamber of Commerce communications manager Joe Frey led the charge on organizing the concert series, Harrington said.

"Joe's a professional musician, too," Harrington said. "He said 'why don't we do a rock show?' ... [He] really was the conception point for this and has been our operations guy for it."

Another piece that fell into place quickly was Southern Vermont College as the venue, Harrington said.

"What we realized is the colleges is always looking for stuff to do ... as a smaller college of 400-to 600 students, it can't put together rock shows and fun events all the time," Harrington said. "This was a nice way we could come and help the college produce something as well."

"We're always asking our colleges to do so much for us — bring us students, invest in our downtown buildings — and we don't always know know how to pay them back," he added. "The hope is this is a way to do that."

Headlining the show is Lannen, a pop/indie rock band from Boston which has appeared on the Warped Tour and opened for the likes of Fall Out Boy and Third Eye Blind. Expect to hear the pop sensibilities of their influences. such as Jimmy Eat World, Butch Walker and Hey Mercedes.

Also appearing are Central Mass. punk rockers, In Good Nature, who recently signed with Anchor Eighty Four Records and are prepping for their first national tour in November; and Anyone Anyway from Providence, R.I.

If the event succeeds as expected, there are talks underway for a second event in the spring in the Manchester area, according to Harrington.

The home brew portion of the event is managed by Hopridge Farms, who also organize the 4 Corners North Homebrew Festival and the Southern Vermont Wings and Winter Homebrew Festival.

The food trucks/vendors will feature local pizza hotspot Ramuntos, BBQ specialties from The Chuck Wagon, tacos from Burlington's Taco Truck All Stars, and brew of a different sort from Iron Coffee Company of Hoosick Falls, N.Y.

Sponsors include Ramunto's, The Bank of Bennington, Knapps, Iron Coffee Company and Knotty Pine Motel.


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