Rock the Junction
Grand Junction Brewing’s Annual Craft Beer & Music Festival Coming Up May 19
Writer / Seth Johnson
Since its birth three years ago, Grand Junction Brewing Co.’s Rock the Junction Craft Beer & Music Festival has brought people out in droves to the streets of downtown Westfield. But each and every year, there’s always been something much bigger at the heart of the community-minded event says Grand Junction co-owner Jon Knight.
“We support the community in the same way they support us,” Knight says. “We want to give back to our local community. It’s something that we’ve been absolutely adamant about from the beginning.”
Now in its third annual year, Rock the Junction will take place on the streets of downtown Westfield in front of Grand Junction Brewing Co. This year, approximately 20-plus breweries, cideries and wineries will be on hand, offering up some of the best beer, cider and wine that the state has to offer. A full day of live music is planned, with notable Indianapolis rock band Cyrus Youngman and the Kingfishers headlining a full day of tunes. And in keeping with the basis on which Grand Junction was founded, 100 percent of the event’s net proceeds will go to charity.
Born in Dewsbury, England, Knight moved to the Indianapolis area with his family in the late 70s, eventually attaining a finance and accounting degree with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. After visiting family members in England over the years, he eventually grew to love the communal nature of English pubs.
“I went on a number of different pub visits and pub crawls over there and just fell in love with the fact that it was really an integral part of the community,” he says. “It wasn’t a place where people went to go get smashed — it was an extension of the community.”
After wanting to start his own English-style pub here in the States, he was eventually bitten by what he calls the “craft beer bug,” deciding to combine the two into a business model that’s now Grand Junction Brewing Co.
“At that point in my life, there were two things that I really enjoyed, which were English pubs and also craft beer,” he says. “I thought to myself, ‘I’d love to be able to combine the two.’ So I decided to open up Grand Junction Brewing Co.”
From its inception, there was a community-first mindset with Grand Junction Brewing Co.
“My wife has been a teacher at Westfield High School for close to 20 years, so we’re heavily engrained in the community,” Knight says. “My wife and I both have sat on different commissions and government committees and have been involved in that regard. It’s just something that we’ve always been very passionate about.”
Knight is most proud of the fact that Grand Junction Brewing Co. still remains heavily active in giving back to the Westfield community.
With Rock the Junction 2018, for example, a significant portion of proceeds will continue to help fund the Grand Junction Brewing Co. Scholarship Fund, which was established in 2017. This fund was created to award two scholarships to deserving graduates of Westfield High School, one of which to be given to a student pursuing a traditional four-year degree and the other to a student pursuing a less traditional two-year trade program.
“There may be someone who’s wanting to pursue a two-year trade program,” Knight says. “They’re still pursuing post-secondary education, but they’re typically not eligible for scholarships. So because it’s underserved, it’s something that we wanted to focus on as well.”
As visitors once again flood the streets of downtown Westfield, Knight hopes that all in attendance know they’re supporting a bigger cause while they enjoy a fun-filled day of drinks, food and live music.
“They’re going to come away from the event with a great vibe, a great feel and a sense of purpose,” Knight adds. “They’re going to get to hear some amazing music and taste some amazing beer, wine, cider and food.”
Rock the Junction Craft Beer & Music Festival 2018 takes place on Saturday, May 19 on the streets of downtown Westfield (in front of Grand Junction Brewing Co. at 110 S. Union Street). For more information on the festivities, visit RocktheJunction.com or call Grand Junction Brewing Co. at 317-804-5168.