Photos provided by Drew and Hope Mader: This one demonstrates the motto of this year's event:

ALTON – Rock the Hops organizers, Drew and Hope Mader, said this year was the first time in the festival's history in which it completely sold out before the day of the show.

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Drew Mader described it as “one for the books” as more the 30 types of beer were brought by about a dozen regional breweries to six Alton locations where more than 25 bands from across St. Louis were performing. A $30 ticket got festival-goers a lime green bracelet and a small shot glass featuring Robert Wadlow gleefully riding the Piasa Bird. That glass was not only a souvenir, however, it was also a way to get free samples of each variety of beer offered at the event.

“We're just so thrilled at the positive feedback year after year,” Drew Mader said in a Facebook message. “It's great to be able to bring so many different creative circles together for the day and celebrate and embrace our cool and quirky river town.”

The Drummer for Blank Generation. Photo provided by Drew and Hope Mader. Used with permission.

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In previous interviews with Riverbender.com, Hope Mader said the event was to display Alton's weird and creative side, which often does not get the attention of other great Altonian treasures like its history, Eagle Season, small businesses or the great nightlife culture. She too was pleased with how Rock the Hops 2018 went.

“This year was definitely one for the books,” she said in a message. “I found inspiration everywhere I went, met and had meaningful interactions with total strangers and had some downright good fun – so much fun!”

Shuttles to each venue were also provided, and different artists and artisans were to be found at each venue along the way.

When asked about next year's Rock the Hops, Drew Mader said he was relieved to be done planning this one, but said it would keep returning to Alton as an annual event.

The crowd at Tony's during the band Polyshades. Submitted by Drew and Hope Mader. Used with permission.

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