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One of nation’s largest beer competitions kicks off in Idaho Falls

The area’s annual beer festival is this weekend, which means one of the nation’s largest beer judging events is currently under way.

The North American Brewers Association organizes the competition, which is currently in its third day of judging.

With nearly 1,100 beers to evaluate, hundreds of judges have to state their opinions on 70 different categories of beers — including pale ales, ciders and even nonalcoholic beer.

Organizers say there are about 132 breweries in the competition from the U.S., Canada and even Mexico.

“The competition is all nonprofit,” said Robin Vanhorn, competition director. “All of the money raised goes to charity, and everyone you see working here today is volunteering.”

Beer Fest will be held this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at Sandy Downs. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $20 or at the door for $30.

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