Browsing articles in "beer festivals"
Sep 1, 2014
Freddie Kitson

MGM tapping into craft beer festivals – Las Vegas Review

For the past year, beer festival organizer Motley Brews in Las Vegas has cornered the local beer fest market.

Motley Brews drew 5,500 suds lovers to the East Fremont Street district for its Great Vegas Festival of Beer in April, and another 3,000 brew fans are expected to descend on its Downtown Brew Festival at the county amphitheater this month.

But now there is a new 800-pound beer-guzzling gorilla on the block.

And it’s MGM Resorts International, the heavy on the Strip partnering with the nationally known, Portland-based Oregon Beer Festival to throw an inaugural craft beer festival at MGM’s festival lot across from Luxor on Sept. 27.

MGM’s new Blvd Brew Fest — complete with the high-profile Kings of Leon band — is being tapped just one week after Motley Brews holds its annual Downtown Brew Festival on Sept. 20.

Beer-tasting events are hardly new to Las Vegas. But what is new is the growing scope of the beer bashes in Sin City and the fact that a Strip power like MGM Resorts has thrown its bottle opener into the brew-fest ring.

MGM’s event lot is playing host to three dozen Oregon brewers, including powerhouse brands such as Descutes Brewery of Bend and Rogue Ales of Ashland.

The opening of a half-dozen craft beer microbreweries in Southern Nevada this year combined with the advent of the large beer festivals shows that Las Vegas is adopting West Coast traits ranging from becoming more bicycle-friendly to opening downtown co-working business centers.

WELCOMING THE BIG PLAYER

Motley Brews founder Brian Chapin doesn’t mind MGM entering the beer festival scene because he sees the new Strip beer event as advancing the craft market in Las Vegas. Having a major player on the Strip staging a big beer festival validates the notion that craft beer now has traction in this market, he said.

“Anything to push the craft beer movement is fantastic. What we’re trying to work on is complete acceptance,” Chapin said. “Oregon is considered beertopia.”

MGM’s business strategy differs than Motley Brews’ because the hotel-casino company is also using its inaugural beer festival on the Strip to drive traffic to its 11 hotel properties on the Strip.

It’s also part of MGM’s strategy to offer its hotel guests more outdoor options, such as the park plaza between New York-New York and Monte Carlo now under construction. It will lead to its 20,000-seat arena, slated to open in spring 2016.

MGM is also teaming up with its local event organizers Sonny Barton and Chris Hammond for another festival in October: a wine and music festival called Wine Amplified on Oct. 10 and 11.

For Blvd Brew Fest, Hammond expects 60 percent of the attendees to be local, while 40 percent will be tourists. Barton said they are advertising in the Southern California and Phoenix markets to lure brew fans to beer on the boulevard.

Besides lining up a high-powered musical act like Kings of Leon, Barton and Hammond is also setting up a second stage in the opposite corner of the MGM festival lot to feature bands from Southern California and Utah.

“It’s Vegas, and you got to go big and you have to do it right,” Hammond said.

At the Downtown Brew Festival one week earlier, Chapin projects 85 percent of the attendees will be locals.

“We give an alternative event to the Strip,” he said.

Tim Etter, owner of Tenaya Creek Brewery in Las Vegas, said he welcomes the Oregon beers coming to the Strip because the majority of those brands are not distributed in Southern Nevada.

“It shows you what’s happening in Las Vegas. We’re catching up with the rest of the country,” Etter said.

“It’s a great thing for those Oregon breweries that can showcase their beers in front of the locals and also the tourists on the Strip,” Etter said.

“It exposes them to an audience that might not be familiar with their brands. More than half of those brands don’t distribute beer to Las Vegas. They’re not available here.”

LOOKING FOR LOCAL

Mark Lawson, Nevada Beverage Co. craft brand manager, said it’s great to have a big name like MGM spotlighting craft beer in the Las Vegas area, but he was hoping more local distributors and brewers could have been participating.

“Anytime you have a focus on craft beer, that’s a good thing. We need all the help we can get in this market. When someone like MGM puts an impetus behind it, people say, ‘Hey, maybe craft is viable.’ But it would also have been nice to also include our local guys to show the Oregon guys here’s what we’re doing here,” Lawson said.

Big Dog, a popular Las Vegas brewery, participates in many beer festivals in the Las Vegas area and holds its own festivals throughout the year at its locations.

Big Dog will be at the Sept. 20 Downtown Brew event but as of last week has not heard from the Blvd Brew Fest.

“Beer festivals are a lot of fun, but it’s a workday for us, and we’re out there promoting our brand,” said Robert Snyder, Big Dog chief financial officer and treasurer of the Nevada Craft Brewers Association.

Contact reporter Alan Snel at asnel@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5273. Follow @BicycleManSnel on Twitter.

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Aug 31, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Beer and sun equal fun in Bolton

Lyrus Pond of Cabot held a Sip of Sunshine in his hand. It was his first beer of the day at about noon. The American IPA style beer was brewed by Lawson’s Finest Liquids of Warren.

Turns out Pond’s brew matched the day — sunny and smooth. Only a few clouds dotted the blue sky above him at the inaugural Hop Jam 2014 at Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton on Saturday.

An eclectic mix of bands matched the varied suds on tap. Bands played slope side as about 1,000 people from all over New England poured in throughout the day.

Featured music included JP Harris the Tough Choices, Soule Monde, Primate Fiasco, Spirit Family Reunion and the Alchemystics.

A tall white Abominable Snowman, the Vermont Adaptive yeti, entertained the masses, mostly by answering the question, “Aren’t you hot in that?”

The day started off with the Bolton Valley 5K to benefit Vermont Adaptive organized by Vermont Adaptive Northern Program Coordinator Amber Tierney of Bolton. She setup an information booth at the foot of the slopes with some of her adaptive ski equipment after the 5K.

“We provide sports and recreation equipment and opportunities for people year-round,” she said. “Every penny counts. We are always fundraising. Adaptive ski equipment is not cheap.”

The Woodbelly Pizza line was long, and people be-bopped to the music while they waited. Hop Jammers rested on the grass-covered hill to eat while taking in the sights and sounds. Most brought their own folding chairs and blankets.

Woodbelly’s Jonah Bourne of Cabot said he was prepared for the crowd. “We have all of our farm fresh ingredients ready,” he said. “We are psyched to be here. The music is great. And we love the hop head logo.”

The hop head logo Bourne referred to is a green hop named L’il Simcoe who jammed to music on T-shirts, signs, and lanyards at the event.

Simcoe is a variety of hop.

Bolton Valley Resort Marketing Director Josh Arneson said, “It’s a genius little logo. I hope that little guys stays with us for years to come.”

Arneson was busy selling season passes at the event. New this year is a Ski Bum pass for people ages 18 to 25. The pass is only $159, with no black-out dates, if it’s purchased before Oct. 31.

Arneson said the resort has never hosted an event as big as Hop Jam in the summer months. “This really adds a lot of energy to the resort this time of year,” he said. “We are getting the word out about our specials, and the resort is booked. We are sold out for tonight.”

Meg’s Events planner Meg Schultz of Moretown said just like wine has different varieties of grapes, beer has different varieties of hops. “That’s a big part of what makes one beer different from another,” she said. “A pinot grigio is a lot different than a merlot, it’s the same with beer.”

Tasty brews were from Burlington Beer Co., Hill Farmstead, Lagunitas Brewing Co., Treehouse Brewing, Lost Nation Brewery, Lawson’s Finest, High Horse Brewing, Citizen Cider, Sixpoint Brewing, The Alchemist, Zero Gravity, Trillium Brewing, and Smuttynose Brewing Co.

Hop Jam is one of five beer festivals Schultz organized for this summer.

Honky tonk, funk-fusion, and blue grass were in the lineup. “People like a lot of diversity in their music, and in their beer, so that was my mission here,” Schultz said. “I wanted something for everybody. The variety really makes the event.”

Soule Monde drummer Russ Lawton of Middlebury said, “It’s a beautiful day and we get a chance to play without sliding down the mountain,” he said. “I’m a drummer. I don’t ski. I just entertain.”

Lagunitas Brewing Co. New England representative Chris Marzi said he didn’t know what to expect of the event. “We can’t wait to come back next year,” he said.

Contact Lynn Monty at LynnMonty@FreePressMedia.com and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VermontSongbird.

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Aug 31, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Lancaster Craft Beerfest: Around 3000 beer lovers expected

What: Lancaster Craft Beerfest

Where: 100 block of Queen Street, downtown Lancaster

When: Saturday, Sept. 6. Hours are 3 to 7:30 p.m. for VIP ticket holders and 4 to 7:30 p.m. for general ticket holders.

Parking: With five parking garages within two blocks of the event, Yeager said that parking is not a problem.

Get tickets:

If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet you better hurry because they’re selling fast, Yeager said, with about 50 of them being sold each day.

Tickets are available online at www.LancasterBeerFest.com and are available in three different tiers.

- VIP tickets, $55, allow you access a full hour before general admission and other perks

- General admission, $40

- Designated driver, $12, for those 21 and older who won’t be drinking at the festival. Drink root beer instead.

Downtown Lancaster becomes a tent city Saturday, Sept. 6 as thousands of people are expected to gather in one city block to guzzle beer at the second annual Lancaster Craft Beerfest.

Organizers designed this year’s event to be larger.

The City of Lancaster will cut off traffic on the 100 block of Queen Street for the festival. Beer vendors will set up tents on the Lancaster Square Side and live music can be heard coming from the event’s expansion into Binns Park, according to event organizer Jonathan Yeager.

There’s also more beer. Yeager expects around 50 breweries will attend this year’s festival, which is 16 more than the 34 featured last year.

Last year the festival sold out with about 2,100 attendees in just the Lancaster Square side of the block. This year Yeager is expecting about 3,000 people.

“It was quite crowded for that little space,” said Stephen Demczuk, founder and president of Raven Beer, of last year’s event.

Raven Beer, based in Baltimore, was a favorite brewery last year. All four of their kegs sold out before the festival’s end. Demczuk said he will call up York-based Ace Distributing, their distributor, to ask that more beer be brought this year.

Why Lancaster?

“There’s a lot of need for a large scale beer festival in Lancaster City,” Yeager said. “Me and two of my friends were talking about it and we just decided we were going to do it.”

A Tell Tale Heart IPA, a popular beer available at last years Lancaster Craft Beerfest, is served at Parts  Labor Butchery in Baltimore in this

So Joycat Events was born.

Yeager, founder and creative director of the Lancaster-based creative studio Wonderhead Collective, handles the marketing and design work. Adam Ozimek, who is a doctor of economics, handles logistics. Chris Trendler, a wine sommelier and a restaurant manager, handles presentation and organization.

“We tried to use that blend for an aesthetically pleasing and logistically pleasing beer fest,” Yeager said.

He said that when he returned home to Lancaster after living with brewers and attending beer festivals in Portland, Ore., he decided the beer festivals in this region needed to be bigger and better.

“The craft beer industry and the craft beer desire in Lancaster – or anywhere – is growing,” he said. “We wanted to create a way for a large event to celebrate the fact that there were so many craft beer drinkers.”

Tap into the scene

“It’s great for craft beers, it’s great for the breweries and it’s great for all the bars,” said Matt Kaz, the tap master of the Federal Taphouse, a restaurant and craft beer bar that is also a supporting partner in the festival.

That added exposure is good, said Federal Taphouse owner Corey Fogarty, because “craft beer is not a trend, I think it is here to stay.”

Through his various ventures in the craft beer world, Fogarty has seen rapid changes in the beers being made. Brewers, he said, are trying new things that weren’t on the horizon even five years ago like black IPAs and any beer that adds nontraditional ingredients.

Not only does it bring awareness to craft beer, he said, the festival also “brings something eclectic and entertaining to the city.”

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Aug 30, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Beer and music hit the slopes in Bolton

Lyrus Pond of Cabot held a Sip of Sunshine in his hand. It was his first beer of the day at about noon. The American IPA style beer was brewed by Lawson’s Finest Liquids of Warren.

Turns out Pond’s brew matched the day — sunny and smooth. Only a few clouds dotted the blue sky above him at the inaugural Hop Jam 2014 at Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton on Saturday.

An eclectic mix of bands matched the varied suds on tap. Bands played slope side as about 1,000 people from all over New England poured in throughout the day.

Featured music included JP Harris the Tough Choices, Soule Monde, Primate Fiasco, Spirit Family Reunion and the Alchemystics.

A tall white Abominable Snowman, the Vermont Adaptive yeti, entertained the masses, mostly by answering the question, “Aren’t you hot in that?”

The day started off with the Bolton Valley 5K to benefit Vermont Adaptive organized by Vermont Adaptive Northern Program Coordinator Amber Tierney of Bolton. She setup an information booth at the foot of the slopes with some of her adaptive ski equipment after the 5K.

“We provide sports and recreation equipment and opportunities for people year-round,” she said. “Every penny counts. We are always fundraising. Adaptive ski equipment is not cheap.”

The Woodbelly Pizza line was long, and people be-bopped to the music while they waited. Hop Jammers rested on the grass-covered hill to eat while taking in the sights and sounds. Most brought their own folding chairs and blankets.

Woodbelly’s Jonah Bourne of Cabot said he was prepared for the crowd. “We have all of our farm fresh ingredients ready,” he said. “We are psyched to be here. The music is great. And we love the hop head logo.”

The hop head logo Bourne referred to is a green hop named L’il Simcoe who jammed to music on T-shirts, signs, and lanyards at the event.

Simcoe is a variety of hop.

Bolton Valley Resort Marketing Director Josh Arneson said, “It’s a genius little logo. I hope that little guys stays with us for years to come.”

Arneson was busy selling season passes at the event. New this year is a Ski Bum pass for people ages 18 to 25. The pass is only $159, with no black-out dates, if it’s purchased before Oct. 31.

Arneson said the resort has never hosted an event as big as Hop Jam in the summer months. “This really adds a lot of energy to the resort this time of year,” he said. “We are getting the word out about our specials, and the resort is booked. We are sold out for tonight.”

Meg’s Events planner Meg Schultz of Moretown said just like wine has different varieties of grapes, beer has different varieties of hops. “That’s a big part of what makes one beer different from another,” she said. “A pinot grigio is a lot different than a merlot, it’s the same with beer.”

Tasty brews were from Burlington Beer Co., Hill Farmstead, Lagunitas Brewing Co., Treehouse Brewing, Lost Nation Brewery, Lawson’s Finest, High Horse Brewing, Citizen Cider, Sixpoint Brewing, The Alchemist, Zero Gravity, Trillium Brewing, and Smuttynose Brewing Co.

Hop Jam is one of five beer festivals Schultz organized for this summer.

Honky tonk, funk-fusion, and blue grass were in the lineup. “People like a lot of diversity in their music, and in their beer, so that was my mission here,” Schultz said. “I wanted something for everybody. The variety really makes the event.”

Soule Monde drummer Russ Lawton of Middlebury said, “It’s a beautiful day and we get a chance to play without sliding down the mountain,” he said. “I’m a drummer. I don’t ski. I just entertain.”

Lagunitas Brewing Co. New England representative Chris Marzi said he didn’t know what to expect of the event. “We can’t wait to come back next year,” he said.

Contact Lynn Monty at LynnMonty@FreePressMedia.com and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VermontSongbird.

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Aug 29, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Emerald Coast gears up for beer festivals

Here are some of the upcoming beer festivals:

Want to learn the finer points of beer tasting? Read this article.

Fort Walton Beach Beer Festival
When: Aug. 23 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Where: Wine World at Uptown Station, 99 Eglin Parkway in Fort Walton Beach.
Cost: Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 the day of.
Benefiting: Special Forces Association Chapter 7
Brews: 50+beers including brews from New Belgium Brewing, Sweetwater Brewing Co., Sam Adams, Abita, Sierra Nevada, Pensacola Bay Brewery, Grayton Beach Co., St. Andrews and Victory.
Food: Available from Wine World, Buffalo Wild Wings, Burrito del Sol and Winn Dixie.
Extras: Live music from Continuum. A FNX Tactical .45 pistol valued at $1,1000 will be raffled off. The prize includes case and accessories.
Website: http://chanswineworld.com/ft-walton-beach-beer-fest/

Emerald Coast Beer Festival
When: Sept. 5 from 5:30 p.m.
Where: Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St. in Pensacola.
Cost: General admission tickets are $30 in advance or $40 the day of. VIP tickets are $55 in advance or $60 the day of.
Benefiting: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida and Seville Rotary Club.
Brews: 200+beers.
VIP perks: VIP room with food and exclusive beers and early entrance.
Website: www.emeraldcoastbeerfest.com

The Boardwalk Beer Tour
When: Sept. 13 from 1 to 5 p.m.
Where: The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island, 1450 Miracle Strip Parkway.
Cost: Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 the day of. VIP tickets are $50 in advance. Only 100 VIP tickets will be available.
Benefiting: Special Forces Association Chapter 7.
Brews: 50+ beers
VIP perks: VIP lounge at Howl at the Moon with access to additional beers, live music and a food spread from local restaurants.
Extras: Beer Tour ticket holders will get special discounts at The Black Pearl, The Crab Trap and Floyd’s Shrimp House. Live music will be at The Swamp.
Website: www.boardwalkbeertour.com/

Destin Beer Festival
When: Sept. 27 from 2 to 5 p.m.
Where: Wine World in Destin
Cost: Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 the day of. VIP tickets are $50 in advance and $60 the day of.
Benefiting: Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, which raises funds for local children in need.
Brews: 200 beers, including brews from Cigar City Brewing, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Sweetwater Brewing Co. 35 craft breweries represented.
Food: Available from Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House, Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox, La Paz Restaurante and Cantina, Longleaf Food Truck and Bonefish Grill.
VIP perks: VIP tent and early entrance into the festival.
Extras: Live music from Boukou Groove, a merchandise booth, and craft spirits.
Website: http://chanswineworld.com/destin-beer-fest/

Baytowne Beer Fest
When: “Beer Bingo” Oct. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. Main tasting event on Oct. 18 from 2 to 6 p.m.
Where: The Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin.
Cost: Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of. VIP tickets are $55 in advance and $60 the day of.
Brews: 200+ beers.
VIP perks: Party from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Oct. 18; which includes a barbecue lunch, exclusive beer tastings, and a signature beer glass.
Extras: Live entertainment.
Website: www.baytownewharfbeerfestival.com

Pensacola Craft Beer Festival
When: Nov. 15 at 2 p.m.
Where: Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
Cost: General public sales: $35, VIP $65; Designated driver: $20 (this ticket includes snacks and sodas).
Benefiting: Kasie Helpz Kidz, which helps kids and their families affected by cancer.
Brews: 300+ beers
VIP perks: Early entrance, private seating, food.
Extras: Plenty of vendors.
Website: www.pcbeer.com
 

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Aug 29, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Together at last: Chili and beer festivals collide in Superior

Flatz restaurant employees Hannah Brennan, left, and Sean Rush load up a tray of chili during a past Superior Chili Festival. The annual festival returns

Chili samples from more than 30 regional cooks promise to torch the taste buds at this year’s Superior Chili Festival.

Fortunately, cold suds from the 15 brewers taking part in the Boulder Valley Beer Fest will be on hand at the same locale to put out the flames.

The Chili Festival and corresponding first-year Boulder Valley Beer Fest will run from 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 6 at Superior Community Park, 1350 Coalton Road.

Event organizers expect the fire-and-ice format to attract even more people to the already-popular festival.

“With the brew fest, we expect at least an extra thousand people,” said Superior events and volunteer coordinator Katie Rummel, who estimates previous installments of the town’s Chili Festival attracted between 6,000 and 8,000 people. “There’s a lot of factors — weather, other festivals, whether CU is playing in town that weekend. This year we’re expecting a big turnout.”

Organizers of Boulder Valley Beer Fest — a first-year event introduced by the Boulder Valley Rotary Club — were more than happy to piggyback onto a successful event such as Chili Fest, which is now in its 14th year.

“It seemed like a natural fit,” said Brad Lesch, Boulder Valley Rotary Club’s committee chair for the beer festival. “I think it could very well be a long-term partnership.”

Rummel said the Boulder Valley Beer Fest adds a fresh, welcome dimension to the town’s late-summer event.

“We’re always trying to increase and add more amenities to continue to build our regional status,” she said.

Those who purchase a ticket to the beer festival will receive a souvenir mug and unlimited beer sampling from 15 craft breweries. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate.

To purchase tickets or view a complete list of participating breweries, visit bouldervalleybeerfest.com.

A “sampling kit” for Chili Fest runs $5 per person or $10 for a family. The kit allows festival-goers to sample from among the 30-plus entrants in the chili competition.

Chili Fest serves as an International Chili Society regional cook-off. Winners in the red chili, green chili and salsa categories automatically qualify for the ICS World Championship.

Also, five restaurants and organizations — Flatz, Wayne’s Smoke Shack, Doug’s Day Diner, Rocky Mountain Fire Department and Sunrise Senior Living — will provide chili samples throughout the event while competing for the coveted People’s Choice award. Festival-goers are invited to submit ballots voting for their favorite restaurant chili.

“It’s really just a lot of bragging rights,” Rummel said. “Rocky Mountain Fire has always been a part of it, and they’ve won before, Flatz has won before, and so has Wayne’s Smoke Shack barbecue, so it should be an interesting competition this year.”

Event entertainment includes music from the vocal band Face and Globalsound Studio. Kids’ attractions include a rock wall and inflatables. More than 50 vendors also make up the festival.

For more information on Chili Fest, visit superiorcolorado.gov.

Contact Colorado Hometown Weekly staff writer Doug Pike at 720-648-5022 or piked@coloradohometownweekly.com.

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Aug 28, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Beermakers exhibit their craft at Co-Hops Beer Festival

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: Co-Hops Beer Fest

WHEN: 2 to 5 p.m. Sept. 6

WHERE: Company Shops Market, 268 E. Front St., Burlington

TICKET: $30 per person, including unlimited sampling, a mixed-six pack to take home, and a pint glass. Tickets are available online and at the Company Shops store.

— 

Alamance County residents who like their craft beers locally sourced won’t have to look far Sept. 6.

Back for its third year, Company Shops’ Co-Hop Beer Fest will feature a dozen breweries from across North Carolina, live music and locally grown burgers from 2 to 5 p.m.

“We hope they (participants) will learn about different breweries, some they have never heard about before, and get to mingle in the community,” said Sarah Southern, Company Shops communications and public relations coordinator. “We want people to have a great time.”

Last year’s festival sold out, but this year’s sales haven’t been great, she said, adding she expects them to pick up in the last two weeks before the festival. Tickets are available for purchase at $30 — which includes a sample glass, unlimited beer sampling, and a mixed six-pack to take home — at the store or online at www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=1832755.

Made-to-order burgers with grass-fed beef from Braeburn Farms, Brewmaster’s Malt Mustard and La Fiesta chips and salsa also will be available for purchase.

Love and Valor will be performing during the festival at Company Shops, 268 E. Front St. in downtown Burlington.

“It is a festival of N.C. Breweries for people to come and sample their different products, usually two or three beers per breweries,” Southern said. “Some of their more unique beers and at least one we carry at the store.”

While there are several beer festivals throughout North Carolina, Company Shops also wants to educate people about the breweries, what makes them unique, where they are and the beer-making process, Grocer Manager Stephen Walter said.

“We want to teach people about what makes craft beer in North Carolina different from other microbreweries,” he said. “It is going to be fun.”

Craft beer has exploded in popularity in recent years, and North Carolina was named the 15th best place for craft beer in the United States, the highest ranking for a southern state, in a recent study.

Burlington Beer Works, a co-op brewery and restaurant still seeking members, and East of Elon Home Brewing Cooperative also will be present at the festival.

WHAT BREWERIES WILL BE THERE

 Gizmo

 Highland

 Deep River

 Natty Greene’s

 Red Oak

 Mother Earth

 Mystery Brewing

 Haw River Farmhouse

 Big Boss Brewing

 Foothills

 Beer Army

 French Broad

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Aug 28, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Convicted Ponzi schemer Ron Wilson and his wife and brother were arraigned …

When it comes to craft beer in the Upstate, we often look to Greenville. After all, Greenville has four breweries, almost a dozen growler/bottle shops and no fewer than three beer festivals each calendar year, with a fourth coming up soon. Greenville has the advantage of a progressive residency, an array of different personalities and folks who tend to get out and enjoy what their community offers them.

Then, for craft beer, we look to Spartanburg. Mostly because the fantastic brews of RJ Rockers have been flowing from Spartanburg’s downtown for the better part of a decade and because beers like Son of a Peach have become so widely recognized as the flagship of the company. Plus, the beer store market has started growing and should continue to as the trend goes forward.

DRINK UP

FOCOllaboration

New Belgium Brewing and Odell Brewing, Colorado

6.7 percent ABV

Style: American pale ale

Profile: Crisp, sweetish

Pairing: Fresh fish like Mahi, just about anything grilled

Price: $9 per 22-ounce bomber

Availability: Specialty beer stores

Appearance: A medium, reddish hue, somewhat like mahogany with a lacy, 1-inch head that slips into a light haze on the top.

Aroma: Subtle hops at the front with plenty of sweet malts in the finish. The hops come out a little stronger with each sniff.

Taste: A balanced brew with a dominance of Centennial hops. Sweet in the back with a more citrus bitter at the front of the beer.

Mouth feel: Medium-bodied with a touch of sweet stickiness.

Overall: A very drinkable APA that is smooth and balanced without the mega-hoppiness of today’s beer. Perfect collaboration between these two breweries.

But Anderson doesn’t get its due for craft beer. There are three well-known growler/bottle shops in town — Scrooge’s, Growlers Haus and Anderson Bine and Vine — but that’s about it. Sure, there are bars like Mellow Mushroom who have tons of craft beer on tap, and there are a few bars that mix it up with some craft beer taps beside their large, domestic, light brews, but for the most part that just about does it.

And Clemson’s craft beer scene is well represented by two businesses, Nick’s Tavern and Deli and the Bountyland Wall of Beer. Mellow Mushroom and Palmetto Smokehouse and Oyster Bar give it a try as well, but that is about it where craft beer dominance ends in the area.

Then, for events, there are two, the Anderson On Tap beer tasting event put on by the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium in May and the Carolina BrewHaHa, a craft beer festival with dozens of breweries, taking place Sept. 13.

Before those two, Anderson never had an event based around beer. There always has been beer at oyster roasts and benefits, but putting something together that is based entirely around beer didn’t happen until Anderson On Tap and the Carolina BrewHaHa.

To me, that’s kind of sad. Anderson, Pickens and Oconee counties make up a great number of beer lovers, but their voices only have been recently heard with the growth of bottle shops and the debut of new beer stores. Recently, the Tamassee craft beer celebration brought brewers and beer lovers together and it was a great event in a great location. But, I’m sure the organizers there would say the same thing that Anderson On Tap and the BrewHaHa would say: “It should be bigger.”

Everyone knows there are plenty of people around the tri-county who love good beer. They are buying that beer like crazy to the point where fraternities are getting the good stuff for their keggers and even redneck festivals like Spittoono are bringing some craft beer to complement the Natty Lights and Buds that usually flow. But that hasn’t always translated into people completely supporting the events that come through our town.

We need to support these and all the events that Anderson puts on. If anything, we have learned that if we just hope others will support events, those events just whither on the vine until organizers give up on them and go to another community. Look at what happened to our old Anderson County Fair, our former balloon festivals and our downtown festivals. Do we want to have to do something two, three and four times before it actually sticks?

We are a growing community that needs events like these to bring people in from all over our fair state and beyond. We should find a way to help turn Anderson into the kind of town that has great farmers markets, great concerts and great events to fill our weekend time. Let’s all be in the pictures over the next year as these events come up and let’s post those to Facebook and Twitter.

Then, we can be on the grow. Then we can rival our neighbors and become even better than we already are.

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Aug 28, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Great NH Beer Events on Tap September-October 2014

New Hampshire’s fall season is packed with great beer festivals and celebrations.

Have an event you’d like to see listed here? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or add it to our events calendar.

Wicked Wine and Brew Fest

September 6
2 p.m.-6 p.m.
Mel’s Funway Park
454 Charles Bancroft HWY, Litchfield

Wicked Wine and Brew Fest is a unique tasting event featuring New Hampshire and New England wineries and breweries. Local musicians, artisans, and vendors will also be on hand to celebrate the beautiful fall day. The Telegraph is teaming up with the NH Food Bank to raise money for a good cause while enjoying the New England fall season.

$25 in advance, $30 at the door. Designated driver tickets are $5. Click here for tickets and more information.


2nd Annual Capital Cup Brew Festival

September 6
1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Kiwanis Riverfront Park
15 Loudon St., Concord

Twenty craft breweries will participate in the event sampling local craft selections as well as hard-to-find varieties from around the United States. A beer garden will also be open starting at 11 a.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $15 (including a commemorative glass).Tickets may be purchased at the door for $20. In addition, the Weekend on the Water features dragon boat racing, food vendors, duck boat rides, live music, crew race, maddog fitness challenge race and a rubber duck race!


5th Annual Greater Salem Rotary Club Oktoberfest

September 13
12 p.m.-10 p.m.
Rockingham Park
Rockingham Park Boulevard, Salem

Featuring traditional German food, beer and other beverages. The Chris White Band and Oberlaendler Hofbrau Band will both provide live music during the day. Adults are $5 and kids 12 and under are free. Click here for more information.


Schilling’s Oktoberfest

September 20
12 p.m.-11 p.m.
Schilling Beer Co.
18 Mill St., Littleton
(603) 444-4800

Celebrate family, community and autumn’s approach with Bavarian-inspired Schilling beers and local foods at Schilling Beer Co.’s Oktoberfest and First Anniversary Celebration. There will be live music, a classic Oktoberfest tent, a corn hole tournament and many other activities. Schilling family members will be on-hand to celebrate, including Dr. R.J. Schilling, after whom the brewery was named. Admission is free, and families are welcome. Click here for more information.


Symphony NH Oktoberfest

September 27
6 p.m.
Anheuser-Busch Brewery
221 Daniel Webster Highway, Merrimack
(603) 595-9156

Dust off your lederhosen, pull up your socks, and join us at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery to celebrate beer, harvest, and traditional music.

We have your choice of seasonal brews and year-round favorites on tap alongside German beer-hall food favorites like bratwurst and strudel. Festive traditional music will make you feel like you’re in a Bavarian biergarten!

$40 admission price includes a wide variety of beer on tap, German food and dessert, non-alcoholic beverages, and live entertainment.

For an additional $10, take an after-hours Brewery Tour.  Tour space is limited so reservations are strongly recommended; select this option at checkout.

This is a benefit for Symphony NH’s community music programs. Click here for more information.


Schnitzelfest

September 27
Butler Park, Central St., Hillsborough
12 p.m.-5 p.m.

A day of great German food, beer and entertainment during foliage season in downtown Hillsborough. Authentically prepared schnitzel, sauerkraut, potato salad, breads and desserts are served under the tent. There are also plenty of beer, wine and craft vendors, shopping opportunities, oom-pah music and more. Click here for more information.


Upper Valley Oktoberfest

October 3
Top of the Hop and Alumni Hall on the campus of Dartmouth College, Hanover
6 p.m.-9 p.m.

A celebration of New England craft brewers and local food. Tickets are $35 and limited to the first 500 purchasers. Your purchase entitles you to 12 tasting tickets upon entry. All proceeds from the event will be used to benefit the Lions´ local charities and scholarships. Click here for more information.


Exeter Powderkeg Beer and Chili Festival

October 4
12 p.m.
Swasey Parkway, Exeter

Love beer? So do we! The 2014 Exeter Powder Keg Beer Chili Festival will take place alongside the 16th Annual Fall Festival, a long standing Exeter tradition that includes local crafters, vendors and street entertainment. So pack up the family and come on down to experience all the fun Exeter has to offer! Click here for more information.


Attitash Oktoberfest

October 11-12
Attitash Mountain Resort
Route 302, Bartlett

Attitash Mountain Resort will host the 17th Annual Oktoberfest on Columbus Day weekend and will feature live, traditional Bavarian music from the world renowned King Ludwig’s Band, dancing, Stein Hoisting and Keg Toss competitions for adults, kids’ activities and games, authentic German food and the Biergarten tent featuring local and regional brewers. This year’s attending brewers will compete for the “People’s Favorite” annual award.

Click here for tickets and more information.


Loon Mountain Oktoberfest

October 11-12
60 Loon Mountain Rd., Lincoln

Get a taste of the Bavarian Alps in the White Mountains during Oktoberfest, the annual celebration of German food, drink and culture. Timed to coincide with peak foliage season, you’ll enjoy beer, brats, and sauerkraut as you reconnect with old friends and make new ones. With an oompah-band providing the soundtrack to fun games like the stein-holding contest and keg toss, you’ll have an awesome time. Click here for more information.


NH Brewfest

October 25
Session 1: 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Session 2: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
VIP Session 12 p.m.-1p.m.
Redhook Brewery
1 Redhook Way, Portsmouth

Held on the grounds of Redhook Ale Brewery, this event is a special fundraiser for the Prescott Park Arts Festival in partnership with Master Brewers Association of America and WHEB’s The Morning Buzz.

Admission includes entry to the event, 5oz souvenir sampler cup, beer samples and live music and entertainment.

Enjoy some of the best craft beer, great food and music and support a great cause.

Click here for tickets and more information.

 

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