When Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. launched the Blues & Brews beer festival in Akron 15 years ago, there were fewer than 50 breweries in Ohio.

Today, there are more than 300.

That giant increase hasn't gone unnoticed by event organizer and Thirsty Dog co-owner John Najeway.

"Our focus is on Ohio craft beer this year," he said. "We have so many new ones."

Among the breweries making their inaugural appearance are: Missing Falls from Akron and McArthur's from Cuyahoga Falls.

Blues & Brews, Akron's longest-running and biggest beer event, runs from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 3) at Lock 3 in downtown Akron. Each year, it attracts between 1,000 and 1,500 people.

It will showcase between 60 and 70 breweries serving up nearly 300 beers. There will be live music by Chris Casalinuovo and The Smithtones.

Blues & Brews also is welcoming back a longstanding food partner. The Winking Lizard Tavern, after a short hiatus, is returning as a major sponsor and food provider.

General admission tickets are $35 in advance, while VIP tickets are $60.

For more details or to purchase tickets, click here.