Browsing articles in "beer festivals"
Apr 13, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Run for the Booty, stay for the beer

Tony Casey

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April 12th, 2014 9:28 pm by Tony Casey

It was estimated that approximately 500 people took part in ETSU’s Run for the Booty 5K on Saturday. (Photos by Dave Boyd/Johnson City Press)

It’s never too early in the day to start twerking.

Before Saturday morning’s Run for the Booty 5K color run on East Tennessee State University’s campus, instructors from Peak Fitness took the stage to warm up the crowd of color runners with some fitness twerking. And the warm-up appeared to work for the several hundred participants who shot out from the starting line as a cannon blasted, then wound through ETSU’s campus, getting hit with corn starch-based colored powder along the way.

Jayme Gregory had thrown the powder before and she was well prepared for the runners as they came around her spot to the east of the Mini Dome. With the help of Jordan and Linda Skeen, they formulated locations on both sides of where the runners would pass to cover them with orange-, blue-, yellow- and purple-colored powder.

“I try not to get it in their eyes and just throw it up in the air and let them run through it,” Gregory said.

The army of white T-shirts would not stay white for very long.

Had siblings Lyle and Kelby Marston, students at ETSU, not been wearing sunglasses, their eye shade might have resulted in the same shade as their skin — bright orange. They were in the running as the most colored of anyone in attendance, with their clothes and bodies representing many colors of the rainbow.

Kelby Marston was proud of the orange and all the other colors on her body, which went along well with the day’s later event, the 3rd Annual Thirsty Orange Brew Extravaganza.

“My skin looks tie-died,” she said. “I look like an alien.”

Race director Karen Hubbs said the numbers weren’t immediately available, but it looks like there were about 500 people taking part in the event that will send part of the profits to ETSU’s blossoming football program and Johnson City Schools taking part in the event. As far as all the color in the run, Hubbs gave the nod to the men.

“It’s looks like the men got more colored than the women,” Hubbs said after the race.

Just before the finish line, runners ran across the walkway above State of Franklin Road, something unique compared to other races in the area. Just beyond the walkway was the fenced-off section used by the Thirsty Orange Brew Extravaganza, next to the Millennium Centre.

Dozens of brewers from across the region were on hand to pass out suds to around 2,500 people. The third installment of the event drew around 800 more people than the previous year, event organizer Stephanie Carson said.

“These brewers have fought hard for their businesses,” Carson said. “They’re really smart, passionate people.”

Carson and organizers asked the brewers to brings something unique along with, of course, their flagship beers. The fun spread over to the Carnegie Hotel, which was packed with reservations for those unwilling to drink and drive and looking for a convenient place to stay the night.

Events like the Brew Extravaganza, she said, will help put pressure on the region to come up with more beer-producing businesses.

When she went before the City Commission to finalize plans to bring the event to the Millennium Centre, Carson said Johnson City Mayor Ralph Van Brocklin asked her to bring with her from Asheville, N.C., that beer boom that they’ve had over the state line.

She said she considered that a good sign for local beer lovers, to have the mayor in their corner in regard to potential breweries. She also said the state needs to re-evalutate its beer-related laws to better support these blossoming small busineses.

One of those regional brewers, Drake Scott, from Wolf Hills Brewing Co. in Abingdon, Va., was on hand to hand out some of his best brews. He takes pride in bringing his best stuff to beer festivals like this one.

“It gives us that mass exposure and gives people a chance to talk to the brewer, so I can tell them all about it,” Scott said.

Tapping into the Johnson City campus scene will be great for local brewers, said Carson, who thinks it’s clear how good a decision it was to move from the event’s previous location at Mellow Mushroom to the open grass next to the Millennium Centre.

One shouldn’t just drink beer, though, said Stormy Fryar of Asheville’s Beer City Hoopers, a group of girls who use hula hooping as way to stay fit and enjoy the festival atmosphere.

“Beer makes you feel better,” Fryar said. “But hooping prevents beer bellies.”

She and the group’s founder, Katherine Erhlichman, were spinning in the sun next to the beer tents, taking part in the beer sampling between their twirling tricks with the hoops. She said most of the members of the group are in school and having fun with hula hoops on the weekends and were at the event for the second year in a row.

Follow Tony Casey on Twitter @TonyCaseyJCP. Like him on Facebook at

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Apr 12, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Slater’s 50/50 opens Monday in San Marcos – U

— Slater’s 50/50, the 5-year-old restaurant chain built on the reputation of its signature burger — half ground beef, half ground bacon — will open its seventh restaurant Monday, April 14, in San Marcos.

Company president/founder Scott Slater bought the 7,000-square-foot building left vacant last year by Cool Hand Luke’s at 110 Knoll Road, revamped the interior, expanded the bar to 101 taps and added patio seating.

The 200-seat restaurant debuts alongside the company’s new menu, a mix of classic dishes like the 50/50 burger, mac ‘n’ cheese dishes, salads and sandwiches, and 11 new appetizers, chicken wings, sandwiches, burgers, salads and drinks.

In interviews last week, Slater and company Executive Chef Brad Lyons talked about their long friendship, the genesis of the 50/50 burger and what’s new with the company.

Slater’s 50/50 President Scott Slater and Executive Chef Brad Lyons in the new San Marcos location.

— Matt Kragen

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Slater’s 50/50 President Scott Slater and Executive Chef Brad Lyons in the new San Marcos location.
/ Matt Kragen

Slater and Lyons first met as fraternity brothers at San Diego State, who frequently cooked burgers and dogs at Chargers tailgate parties. At one Sunday morning tailgate, Slater thought bacon would make a nice addition to a burger, so he hand-pressed an all-bacon patty that exploded in flames when it hit the grill. On his next try, he mixed the bacon with beef and the salty, smoky burger was an instant hit.

After college, Slater ran a mobile hot dog stand business and Lyons became a cruise ship chef. Then in 2009, Slater bought a shuttered bar in Anaheim Hills and called up his old friend Lyons and invited him to come and re-create the 50/50 burger as the centerpiece of the new restaurant/bar’s menu. Since then, locations have been added in Huntington Beach, Lake Forest, Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga and (in 2011) Point Loma’s Liberty Station.

The restaurant’s burgers, made with corn-fed farm-raised premium Brandt Beef, come in 1/3 or 2/3 pound patty sizes (weighed after cooking) and a kooky and near-endless assortment of flavors. Options include the Peanut Butter Jellousy (yep, PBJ, with an a la mode option, that’s surprisingly good), new California Burrito Burger (with fries, guacamole, salsa and a carne asada patty), and new 50 Alarm burger, made with ghost peppers so hot that diners are playfully asked to wear gloves and sign a waiver.

Slater, an L.A. native who lives in downtown San Diego, said he’s been looking at North County locations for a long time and liked the restaurant space off San Marcos Boulevard because it’s centrally located and in the heart of North County’s microbrew community.

Company Beermonger Mark Schultz said the tap selections at the San Marcos location will change daily, but on Monday, there will be at least 20 local brews on tap, including beers from Stone, Prohibition, Latitude 33, Mother Earth, Belching Beaver, Barrel Harbor, Rip Current, Lost Abbey, Legacy, Pizza Port and Iron Fist.

Slater’s 50/50 Beermonger Mark Schultz pulls a draft at the 101-tap bar in the new San Marcos location.

— Matt Kragen

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Slater’s 50/50 Beermonger Mark Schultz pulls a draft at the 101-tap bar in the new San Marcos location.
/ Matt Kragen

Schultz, a certified cicerone (the beer equivalent of a certified wine sommelier), said he’s planning to host beer dinners, beer flight nights, pint nights and beer festivals. He is also open to bringing in specialty beers by customer request.

Lyons, who lives in the Point Loma area, said he tries to update his menu about every six to eight months. New this spring are bacon poutine and shaved Brussels sprouts appetizers as well as deconstructed guacamole (an avocado salad with pickled red onions, roasted corn and tomatoes and a tangy lime dressing). There are five varieties of wings (including Dr. Pepper and Thai Sriracha), a chipotle kale salad and a turkey leg French dip sandwich served caveman-style with a turkey leg bone on the plate and a bowl of pan-drippings sauce for dipping. Also for spring, there’s a new line of mule cocktails made with ginger beer.

The Deconstructed Guacamole appetizer is new on the menu this spring at Slater’s 50/50.

— Matt Kragen

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The Deconstructed Guacamole appetizer is new on the menu this spring at Slater’s 50/50.
/ Matt Kragen

What’s next for the company? Slater, who is sole owner and has no plans to franchise, has plans to take Slater’s national. He’s also cooking up an (almost) entirely different restaurant concept for later this year, but for now he’s focused on getting the doors open in San Marcos.

Slater’s 50/50, 110 Knoll Rd, San Marcos, CA. Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight. (760) 759-2900.

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Apr 12, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Annual celebration of beer kicks off Friday at Expo Gardens

Thomas Bruch

Journal Star news reporter

Posted Apr. 11, 2014 @ 10:16 pm
Updated Apr 11, 2014 at 10:39 PM

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Apr 12, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Annual celebration of beer kicks off at Expo Gardens

Thomas Bruch

Journal Star news reporter

Posted Apr. 11, 2014 @ 10:16 pm
Updated Apr 11, 2014 at 10:39 PM

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Apr 11, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Nate Byrnes – Good Brew Hunting: Judging homebrews isn’t as easy as it sounds

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Judging a homebrew is a fascinating experience. It’s fun, challenging, and ultimately quite rewarding. It allows one to really get into the nitty gritty of beer, a process that ultimately makes one a more aware and adept beer drinker.

This past weekend I was honored to be a beer judge for the fourth annual Ocean State Homebrew Competition, held at Johnson Wales University and sponsored by JbreW. I spent Saturday helping out with logistics and Sunday judging in the front, which gave me different perspectives into such a big event.

Some might think beer judging is a dream come true, and it IS great, but I wasn’t able to just enjoy beers and write a grade. We rate the beers on five categories: aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel, and overall impression (detailed in my July 4 column — link to it here if you’d like A good judge will also then write comments for why they gave the score they gave for each section. It can be tough to be critical while remaining positive, and it’s quite the challenge to come up with different ways to say “hoppy” after one’s 10th IPA.

A big contest like Ocean State requires more volunteers than a bake sale at a southern megachurch. Nearly 40 judges worked over the two days to taste all 311 entries (placed into 28 categories). There were also 25 stewards who brought all the beers to the judges and tallied the scores, six staff, and more than 40 student volunteers and chefs to prepare meals for the crew.

I helped judge the “Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer” category, which was an adventure. Beers ranged from an American wheat with cucumber to an IPA brewed with coconut to an oatmeal stout with vodka and vanilla beans. Only one of the six beers I tasted was poor, and I really enjoyed the various flavors.

The process is relatively simple: pour a small amount into a cup, smell it, examine it, taste it, repeat. Judges then discuss the beer, noting if it’s true to its style, picking up on any of the potential off-flavors that might detract from the brew, and talking about what stood out about the beer. Everyone then writes down their comments, puts scores in each category and tallies them (maximum of 50). The judges’ scores are then averaged.

Each rating category has a different weight. In order: Appearance is worth 3 points, Mouthfeel is 5, Overall Impression is 10, Aroma is 12, and Flavor is 20. All but one beer in my group earned a 31 to 40 score, with our “Mini Best-in-Show” going to the really excellent coconut IPA.

After each of the 28 categories have a best beer, the highest-ranked judges (a topic for another column) taste all 28 winners and declare best-in-show for beers, ciders, and meads. At a big contest like OSHC, it takes two full days to winnow the field down to the winners, and those that earn the top spot have been better vetted than a presidential candidate.

Beer events

The 8th Annual Great International Spring Beer Festival will be held this weekend – April 12th from 1-4:30 and 6:30-10. There will be over 250 brews available to sample at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Tickets are $44

The 3rd Annual Newport Craft Beer Festival will hold two sessions on April 26th. It’s a great chance to try every RI brewery and a bunch of others. Tickets are $45.

The big boy of New England beer festivals, the American Craft Beer Fest, will take place in Boston at the Seaport World Trade Center in three sessions on May 30 and 31. There will over 140 brewers there, including quite a few that aren’t available here. Tickets are $51.10 after fees, and are well worth it. Mrs. Hunting and I wouldn’t miss it and will be at the Saturday afternoon session.

All former Good Brew Hunting columns are now available online at I really appreciate feedback! Hit me with ideas for beers, events, or breweries at or via email at

Nate lives in Westport with his wife, two kids, pets, a basement fridge full of local craft beer, and assortment of bottles/kegs/carboys of homebrew at various states of completion.

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Apr 10, 2014
Freddie Kitson

It’s all about the beer

The warmer weather is slowly making its way back to our area, and with that we begin the beer festival celebrations. This year, we kick off the beer festival season with the inaugural Beer Geek Festival, happening April 12 from 3 to 7 p.m. inside the Slocum Hollow Lodge on Montage Mountain.

While there is no shortage of beer festivals occurring this year, in the end it all comes down to the beer. Is it simply a fest that will be full of beer that is available year-round on store shelves, or is it going to be full of rare beer that is not available anywhere else?

If you are looking for new and exciting beers that you can’t get elsewhere, then the Beer Geek Festival is for you. Despite it being the first year this fest is taking place, it has already amassed quite the brewery and beer lineup.

Breweries such as Deschutes Brewery, which is not even available in our area yet, will be attending and bringing some of its most sought-after beers with Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, and Fresh Squeezed IPA.

While breweries such as Tröegs Brewing Company will be bringing some of its more well-known beers, such as Nugget Nectar and Cultivator, the brewery has also brewed a unique one-off beer just for the festival.

Stone Brewing Co. will also be in attendance and is bringing along a very rare beer, Reason Be Damned, a Belgian Abbey Ale style brew aged in a red wine barrel. Stone is also bringing along its highly desirable Enjoy By 4/20/14 IPA, an extremely fresh and hoppy double IPA.

If none of this has made you drool yet, then keep reading, because Boulder Beer is also brewing a beer exclusively for the Beer Geek Fest. Founders Brewing will also be in attendance with its world class Porter and All Day IPA, along with something special.

Of course you cannot have a true craft beer festival without Dogfish Head in attendance, and the brewery is bringing along some standard as well as some rarer brews, such as American Beauty, Noble Rot, and 120 Minute IPA.

Another appearance at the fest is going to be made by BrewDog. The fantastic Scottish brewery is coming back to the area and is kicking this off with an appearance at the Beer Geek Fest with its amazing Punk IPA, 5 AM Saint, Libertine Black Ale, and Hardcore IPA.

Brewery Ommegang will also be in attendance and will be pouring some beer from its Game of Thrones series along with Gnomegang, Duvel Rustica, and Adoration.

The list of world-class breweries is seemingly endless: Chimay, Unibroue, Breaker Brewing Company, 3 Guys a Beer’d, Orval, Susquehanna Brewing Company, Harpoon, and on and on.

For those who are truly fans of beer, this is the must-attend festival of the 2014 season.

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Apr 10, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Your guide to Spring Fling alternatives

If you’re not exactly Jay Sean’s No. 1 fan or want to escape the hordes of drunken GW students who will crowd University Yard on Saturday, there are plenty of other events outside Foggy Bottom to check out. Here are a few highlights from across the city.

In the mood to dance to something other than “Down?” You’re in luck. Swedish rock band The Sounds will headline the 9:30 Club on Saturday ($20, doors open at 5 p.m.). Having been on the road for the better part of the last 10 years, playing shows like Warped Tour, supporting Panic! and at the Disco and embarking their own world tour, The Sounds’ latest North American stint is in support of their newest album, “Weekend.”

In the mood for a gay dance party that isn’t at Town? Black Cat will host MIXTAPE, a monthly dance party featuring an eclectic mix of music genres ($10, doors at 9:30 p.m.). Washingtonian Magazine dubbed the event D.C.’s “Best Gay Dance Party.”

No way was Program Board going to book Daft Punk for Spring Fling. But if you pay $10 – and don’t actually need to see the famed robot duo – U Street Music Hall will host a Daft Punk tribute night with local DJs and producers Will Eastman and OZKER (doors at 10 p.m.)

If you’re 21 or older and have some cash to spare, you can enjoy a more sophisticated boozy festival Saturday. Head to Nationals Parks, D.C.’s best springtime venue, for the second annual D.C. Beer Festival.

The event – the second in a lineup of four spring beer festivals – will feature 60 craft breweries, 120 beers, games, music and food. It’s no Bacon and Beer fest (the Penn Social event sold out within weeks), but the park will offer food sold separately from the ticket. Look forward to tasting local, regional, and rare national brews.

Admission to the festival is $40. You can choose from one of two sessions: 1 to 4 p.m. or 6 to 9 p.m. Buy tickets here.

Start the Spring Fling revelry early by watching the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade Saturday morning. Jay Sean will make an early performance at the festival before heading over to Foggy Bottom for Spring Fling.

The lineup includes more talent than just ‘90s heartthrob Aaron Carter. “American Idol” champ Candice Glover is set to perform alongside Grammy award-winning singer Sheena Easton.

But, aside from some big throwback names, this year’s festival also included the first annual “Sing Into Spring Competition,” which searched for local artists to perform in the parade. The GW Vibes is one of five acts chosen from the competition, along with Reverb, an award-winning a capella group, and eight-year-old singer Kelvin Dukes.

The parade on Constitution Avenue between Seventh and 17th streets will start at 10 a.m. Spectators can stand on the sidewalk along the parade route between Ninth and 15th streets for free. Grandstand seating prices start at $20.

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Apr 10, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Pennysaver Ampitheatre to Host 3rd Annual BEER FIELDS FESTIVAL, 6/21

Beer Fields Festival, Pennysaver Ampitheatre

On Saturday, June 21 2014, thousands of craft beer drinkers and music lovers will once again gather together for the Third Annual Beer Fields Festival, happening at the Pennysaver Amphitheatre at Bald Hill, 55 S Bicycle Path in Selden, NY. The all day event will feature more than 75-plus U.S. breweries pouring over 150 types of beer and music from international superstar Matisyahu and some of the best local bands on Long Island. Past events have included performances by Sublime with Rome, The Dirty Heads, The Wailers and others.

The festival begins at 4 pm with free beer sampling until 7 pm. Beer will be available for purchase after 8pm. Ticket prices range $35 pre-sale to $55 regular sale and $75 at the door that day. Cost of admission includes a 5 oz tasting glass with a 2 oz pour line, beer samples, access to all vendors, and concert pass. Food vendors also will be on site offering a variety of delectable pub pairings to accompany the beer.

Coordinators for Beer Fields said the 2014 event was designed to offer a different type of energy and experience than the typical beer festivals. “From the start, we as organizers always wanted Beerfields to have a different level of excitement from your typical beer festival, says organizer James Bonanno, “We not only bring in the best breweries from around the world, but also give the people top notch entertainment as well. We are really excited to be hosting highly acclaimed music artist, Matisyahu for this years festival”.

The festival also hopes to assist in promoting the emergence of the powerhouse Long Island Breweries, which have helped change Long Island’s reputation from a premier wine-producing destination to one of the nation’s fast-growing hubs for craft breweries, 8 of which are attending Beerfields including Blue Point, Great South Bay, Long Ireland, Port Jeff and Spider Bite (with more in the works to be announced). This is a perfect opportunity for Long Islanders eager to jump into the craft beer phenomenon to try all their favorite local buzz beers up close and personal with the brewers themselves.

Also new for 2014 is the Krombacher VIP Deck which includes FREE Krombacher beer ALL DAY, FREE catered food from Bobbique, Private bathrooms, only access to a full liquor bar, and an air conditioned lounge. VIP tickets costs $125.

Those interested in attending Beerfields Craft Beer and Music Festival can purchase tickets at Availability is limited.

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Apr 10, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Sierra Nevada Brewing bringing its ‘Beer Camp’ to Portland

Yesterday at 8:36 PM

The one-day event, set for Aug. 1, could be the largest beer festival Maine has ever hosted.

By Whit Richardson
Staff Writer

Craft beer lovers in Maine have reason to rejoice.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., one of the country’s largest craft breweries, will come to Portland this summer to stage what will likely be the largest beer festival Maine has ever hosted.

The Beer Camp Across America Festival: New England Edition is expected to draw thousands of beer lovers on Aug. 1 to Thompson’s Point, the area under development across the Fore River from the Portland International Jetport.

The Maine Brewers’ Guild announced the event Wednesday morning. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Sean Sullivan, the guild’s executive director, told the Portland Press Herald.

It’s still too early to know how many breweries will be pouring their beer at the festival or how many people will buy tickets, but Sullivan said the event could realistically draw 5,000 people.

Sierra Nevada Brewing, based in Chico, Calif., approached the Maine Brewers’ Guild last fall about bringing its traveling festival to Maine, Sullivan said. Portland will be the fifth stop on Sierra Nevada’s seven-city tour. Of the seven locations, Portland is the smallest city chosen, and the only city in New England. Other locations include San Diego, Chicago, Denver and Philadelphia.

“It’s a great example of how Maine is becoming a hub of craft beer culture in the United States,” Sullivan said.

Maine’s craft beer industry has grown steadily over the past several years. The state now has 53 breweries, Sullivan said.

Sierra Nevada Brewing has invited every craft brewery in the country – more than 2,700 – to participate in one or all of the stops on its traveling festival. It has invited at least 300 breweries in New England and beyond to participate in Portland, Sullivan said.

“This is about tourism in the state,” he said. “This festival will attract people from all over the country. This is about bringing people into Maine and sharing the fastest-growing manufacturing industry in the state with tourists, and leveraging this foodie culture and brand we’re building here in the state.”

Similar comments were made last year when Portland hosted The Festival, a craft beer event that brought some of Europe’s greatest breweries to Maine in what was likely their only U.S. trip.

Despite attracting more than 2,000 people and pumping an estimated $750,000 into the local economy, the event was marred by complaints from the event’s organizer. Dan Shelton, owner of the Massachusetts-based importer Shelton Bros., said he found Maine’s laws governing beer festivals confusing.

In response, state Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, introduced a bill in the Legislature to streamline and simplify the licensing regulations for breweries or wine makers that want to hold tasting events. It also makes it easier for out-of-state breweries that don’t distribute in Maine to participate in large festivals. Gov. Paul LePage signed the emergency bill, L.D. 1637, into law on Tuesday.

Sullivan said Sierra Nevada Brewing wouldn’t have been able to bring the festival to Portland without the change in the law, which was in the works long before the company approached the brewers’ guild. He said it was a coincidence that the announcement of the festival came on the day after the governor signed the bill.

Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland, one of Maine’s largest and best-known craft breweries, had something to do with Sierra Nevada’s decision to bring its tour to Maine.

As part of its festival, Sierra Nevada Brewing collaborated with 12 craft breweries, including Allagash, to develop a dozen beers that will be available in a mixed 12-pack. Ryan Arnold, spokesman for Sierra Nevada, said this year’s tour is planned with its collaborators in mind.

“We’ve been friends with Allagash for some time, and they’ll be great hosts for the kickoff of the East Coast leg. We’re hopeful many more talented New England brewers will hop on board and make their way to Portland,” Arnold said in an email. “We’re partnering with guilds in each of the host states and donating any festival proceeds to them. The Maine Brewers’ Guild is among those doing an excellent job of championing craft beer, so we’re excited to collaborate on this festival.”

Because of the Beer Camp Across America Festival, the Maine Brewers’ Guild will not host its usual summertime craft beer festival on the Maine State Pier, Sullivan said. The festival is an important source of revenue for the guild, but Sullivan said Sierra Nevada has agreed to donate “a portion of the proceeds from the festival” directly to the guild.

The festival is scheduled for 5 to 10 p.m. Aug. 1 at Thompson’s Point. Tickets cost $65 and are on sale now.

Whit Richardson can be contacted at 791-6463 or at:

Twitter: whit_richardson

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Apr 10, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Raise a glass to this weekend’s brews & ‘cues

The First State? More like The Ferment State.

Delaware’s craft beer business seems to grow stronger day by day.

We are up to nine breweries statewide, Dogfish Head is preparing a Dogfish-themed hotel in Lewes to service beer tourists and the state’s own tourism department has even created a statewide brewery crawl.

With liquor stores now filling growlers, craft brew-themed bars like Two Stones Pub rapidly expanding and new beer festivals popping up on a regular basis, Delaware is awash in suds.

Tasty, tasty suds.

There is no better weekend for Delaware beer-lovers than this one as each of the state’s three counties host a beer-themed festival, two of which are brand spankin’ new.

So hop into the fermentation tanks with us as we preview Delaware State Fair’s new Triple Threat BBQ, Beer Music Festival in Harrington, the launch of the Wilmington Craft Beer Festival and the fifth annual Dewey Beach Brewfest.

Delaware State Fair’s Triple Threat BBQ, Beer Music Festival

Where: Delaware State Fairgrounds, 18500 U.S. 13, Harrington.

When: Friday 4-10 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Cost: $5 (Free for 12 and younger)

The name says it all: The first-time Triple Threat festival is built upon a holy alliance between barbecue, beer and country, rock and blues.

In what will be the largest debut event for Kansas City Barbeque Society – the barbecue cooking organization that overseas hundreds of competitions each year – more than 100 teams will be grilling beef brisket, pork ribs, chicken and pork while vying for a $2,500 grand champion prize. (There’s nearly $20,000 in total prizes up for grabs.)

Fourteen teams are from Delaware, competing against barbecuers from 12 other states, including as far away as California, Louisiana and Florida.

It’s the first spin-off festival event by the fair on its fairgrounds in its 94-year history. Up to 10,000 people are expected over the two days.

“We have the facilities, the staff and the maintenance,” says Danny Aguilar, the fair’s assistant general manager. “It’s been amazing. The barbecue community has been really supportive.”

Meat-eaters can purchase barbecue and carnival food at vendors across the fairgrounds. There will be two opportunities to eat the barbecue cooked by the competitors for the festival’s people’s choice award: a wing tasting goes down Friday night at 6 ($5 for five wings) and samples of pulled pork will be up for grabs ($5 for five samples) at noon Saturday.

You shouldn’t be disappointed. The hundreds of barbecuers on hand take their craft seriously. “These competitors love barbecue. It’s their life,” Aguilar says.

All that sweet, sweet meat will be washed down with an array of beers available, including brews by Dover-based Fordham Brewing Company, Shock Top, Landshark, Budweiser and Bud Light. An array of wines from Felton’s Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery will also be for sale.

And once those bellies are full, you can work off the impending weight gain by shaking your tail feather to one of the bands playing throughout the two-day festival in the Quillen Arena.

The country-heavy lineup includes plenty of twang from The Mason Dixon Band (Friday, 4 p.m.), Texas Heat (Friday, 6 p.m.), Hung Jury Band (Friday, 8 p.m.), the Clifford Keith Band (Saturday, 10 a.m.), and Ty Sherwood the Tydewater Band (Saturday, noon).

If country isn’t your thing, Rehoboth-based Lower Case Blues plays at 2 p.m. Saturday and Southern rock acts Bo Dickerson Band (Saturday, 4:30 p.m.) and Smokin’ Gunnz (Saturday, 7:30 p.m.) also have scheduled performances. A DJ will spin in between sets.

Throw in a cornhole tournament and carnival rides, and you just might think summer has started early.

Wilmington Craft Beer Festival

Where: Santa Fe Mexican Grill, 2006 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington.

When: Sunday, 1-4 p.m.

Cost: $45 (VIP tickets that include lunch and allow entry at noon are $70)

Delaware’s biggest city finally has its own craft beer festival.

More than 115 beers from 40 breweries, a one-off performance by reunited Newark rap/rock act Fat Daddy Has Been and an array of hip food offerings will await the city’s beer-lovers.

“If we were going to do it, we wanted to do it big,” says Michael Stiglitz, co-owner of Two Stones Pub, which teamed up with Santa Fe for the inaugural event. “This isn’t half-assed.”

About 600 tickets had already been sold by mid-week.

While the beer will be the star of the festival, the food could steal some of the spotlight.

Food tents and food trucks will be spread out across the Santa Fe parking lot, serving up Dogfish’s new line of bratwursts, Santa Fe tacos and Thai favorites from the recently-launched Kapow Thai Guy Cuisine. Fellow food truck Java Puppy will serve up coffee, tea and espresso, and ice cream from Trolley Square’s Scrumptious will also be available.

High-energy Newark funk/rock act Universal Funk Order will also perform a horn-fueled set. (Fat Daddy closes out the event.)

Proceeds go to Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.

In an attempt to lure some star-power to the festival, organizers have been busily contacting actor James Franco online in an attempt to get him to visit. (Franco knows a thing or two about reaching out to people online from what we learned this week.)

But before you get too excited about a possible Franco drop-in, he is starring in “Of Mice and Men” on Broadway with a pair of shows Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.

So we’re sorry to be the ones to break the news, but no Franco for you!

Dewey Beach Brewfest

Where: Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill, 2000 Del. 1, Dewey Beach.

When: Saturday, 1-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.

Cost: $30 ($25 in advance)

At least 32 breweries from across the country – including Delaware favorites like Dogfish Head, Twin Lakes, 16 Mile and 3rd Wave – will be represented at this year’s Dewey Beach Brewfest.

Many of the breweries will have representatives on hand to dish about their beers – all with an eye toward raising money for local charities. (In its four years, the festival has raised $10,000.)

This year’s beneficiary is the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.

There are two different tasting blocks Saturday: 1-3 p.m. and then 5-7 p.m. Both will feature a performance by Jordan Sokel, the New Jersey-based roots rocker fresh from last month’s South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

The festival started in 2010 for a simple reason: They are totally into beer.

“It’s all about our love of beer. We love to drink beer and we love to try different beers,” says Holly Sloniewski, Gary’s chef and co-owner. “We just thought it would be cool to showcase that love.”

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