Grand Junction Brewing Co. owner Jon Knight said the Rock the Junction beer and music festival was originally an avenue for his business to give back to the community.
“From Day 1, we’ve wanted Grand Junction to be involved heavily in our community,” Knight said. “One of the ways we decided we could do that is by putting together a craft beer and music festival.”
This is the fifth year for the Rock the Junction festival. Traditionally held in the middle of May, it is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 28 at the brewery, 1189 E. 181st St., Westfield. The event was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The brewery didn’t host the event in 2020. Knight said he expects the 2022 event to be in May.
“We’ve probably generated over $50,000 in charity donations from Rock the Junction,” Knight said. “In fact, despite the COVID pandemic, we still donated for two scholarships at Westfield High School without the event.”
Typically, Rock the Junction funds two $2,000 scholarships. Because the event wasn’t held last year, Grand Junction Brewing Co. granted two $1,000 scholarships.
To apply, students submit an essay on why they feel they’re deserving of the scholarship. The essay is the only criteria for the scholarship, which makes it unique.
“It’s very different than other scholarships,” Knight said. “We provide scholarships in particular to graduating seniors pursuing vocational trades, because if you think about it, all the scholarships that are out there are typically for four-year students with high GPAs, and (those students are) also getting other scholarship offers. We recognized a need. We recognized there was a gap and there was a need in the community for scholarship money for those students who may not have the highest GPA and those students pursuing vocational programs.
“For example, if someone wanted to go out and study brewing science or become a diesel mechanic or vocational trade, this filled that void.”
The brewery is expecting 1,000 people for the event. Knight said he expects tickets to sell out. Twenty-five breweries, wineries, distilleries and cideries will provide samples for attendees. The brewery will be closed to the public during the event but will open when it ends. Three bands will perform: The Dead Squirrels, Fast Cadillac and Chasing Katie.
Besides providing scholarships, Grand Junction Brewing Co. also has donated to charities such as the Westfield Youth Assistance Program, Indy Honor Flight and Indiana Suicide Prevention.
For more, visit rockthejunction.com.