Browsing articles tagged with " beer festivals"
Sep 4, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Cincy Beerfest set to return to Fountain Square, expands event

CINCINNATI — One of Cincinnati’s biggest beer festivals is just around the corner but you still have time to get tickets.

Cincinnati’s Craft Beer Block Party will return to Fountain Square on Sept. 12 and 13. The festival will feature more than 200 craft beers from Cincinnati and across the country.

New this year is a Sunday tailgate party. Organizers said fans can help cheer on the Bengals at the square while quaffing craft beer.

Dozens of different beers will be on tap and fans can watch the team take on the Atlanta Falcons on the big screen. The start and date times for the tailgate session will be released closer to the event time.

Fifth Street will be shut down between Vine and Walnut streets to make room for the event.

Advance tickets are on sale right now for the VIP section. The VIP tickets get you access to 24 special beers, (think rare/expensive/hard to find,) as well as a souvenir mug and 25 sampling tickets.

Those beers will include:

  • Triple Digit Chicow! (Hazelnut Double Brown)
  • Triple Digit Aftermath (Scottish Wee Heavy)
  • Triple Digit Coconut Chicow! (oh my)
  • Ommegang Gnomegang
  • Samuel Adams TBA
  • Elevator Horny Goat
  • Mt Carmel Pale Ale
  • Moerlein Brewery Special Release
  • Great Lakes Silver and Gold
  • Thirsty Dog Old Druid
  • Sierra Nevada Ovila Dark Saison
  • Hoppin’ Frog Hop Heathen
  • Hoppin’ Frog TBA
  • MadTree Double IPA
  • Jackie O’s Waka Waka Waka
  • Fathead’s BA Battle Axe
  • Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale
  • Stone Mixtape Vol. 5
  • Dogfish Head Birra Etrusca
  • …and 5 more TBA

Those passes will be sold until 5 p.m. the day of the event.

The fun doesn’t end there either. Friday night is Big Joe Duskin Blues night with performances from Rio The Ramblers, Tickled Pink and The Blue Birds Big Band. Saturday night will feature TAG., Truslow and the headline act will be Bad Veins.

Plus plenty of food trucks will be on hand to serve up tasty treats.

If you can’t get your tickets before then don’t worry, you can passes at the gates.

To get a wristband to drink, it’ll cost you $15. Then you’ll have the option of either choosing pint glass tickets or sample serving tickets. After than it costs $5 per pint or $2 per sample to refill.

If you’re planning on going but not drinking, you can get a $10 designated driver ticket that gets you access to the VIP area (better access to bathrooms,) plus soft drinks and water.

There’s a way to get to sample the beers without getting a ticket too. Organizers said there are still a couple spots for volunteers to pour those beers and help out during the event.

Click here find out more about the event or to sign up to volunteer or check out their Facebook page.  Advance tickets can also be purchased at The Party Source in Bellevue, Ky., and Rock Bottom Brewery at Fountain Square.

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Sep 4, 2014
Freddie Kitson

If you love beer, you’d better head to Lafayette

If you go

What: Third Lafayette Craft Brew BBQ Festival

When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6

Where: Atlas Valley, 95th and Arapahoe, Lafayette

Tickets: $25 advance, $30 at the gate

Info: ymcabv.org

What: Lafayette Brew Fest

When: 1 pm.-6 p.m. Sept. 13

Where: Lafayette Marketplace, 400 W. South Boulder Road, Lafayette

Tickets: Free admission; beer samples sold by the pour

Info: lafayettecolorado.com, 303-666-9555

Lafayette will be a focus of Boulder County’s beer scene as two different craft-beer festivals set up shop over two consecutive weekends.

First up is the third Lafayette Craft Brew BBQ Festival, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday in the Atlas Valley Shopping Center. Attendees can sample beers from more than 30 local breweries, as well as barbecue from more than 10 vendors during the family-friendly event. Tickets, $25 in advance or $30 at the gate, include unlimited samples of both beer and barbecue. A barbecue-only sampling ticket and children’s ticket options also are available. Proceeds benefit the YMCA of Boulder Valley scholarship fund and the Boulder Rotary Club.

The following Saturday, Sept. 13, the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce will host the inaugural Lafayette Brew Fest from 1 to 6 p.m. in the Lafayette Marketplace behind Jax Mercantile on South Boulder Road. In lieu of an entrance fee, patrons ages 21 and older can purchase $2 tokens for beer samples sold in 4-ounce increments from a variety of local breweries. Food and vendor booths, live music by Chris Daniels the Kings and a homebrew demonstration by Lafayette Homebrew Supply also highlight the fest. Proceeds will be used to help fund Chamber events.

“Lafayette is quickly becoming one of the higher-density areas for breweries,” said Davin Helden, co-owner of Liquid Mechanics Brewing Co., which opened Aug. 16 in Lafayette and will be pouring at both festivals.

Helden said Liquid Mechanics participated in both the Erie Brew Fest and Front Range Rally in Loveland before the brewery even opened its tasting room. He believes beer festivals are a great way to promote the business and local craft breweries in general, which collectively serve as a draw for the area.

“Our favorite beer fests are ones that benefit charity,” he said. “Generally they’re fun, community-oriented events where people can sample a wide variety of beers, and we get a chance to socialize with guests and with our fellow brewers.”

Andra Coberly, Communications Specialist with YMCA of Boulder Valley, which is organizing this weekend’s Lafayette Craft Brew BBQ Festival, likes to stay up-to-date with the latest brewery and restaurant openings but admits that, with so many, it’s difficult to try them all.

“There are breweries on our list that I haven’t had a chance to try yet — like Pug Ryan’s and Odyssey Beerwerks,” she said. The festival, Coberly said, “is a great opportunity for residents to sample newer, smaller breweries all in one place. That’s what’s really cool about beer festivals and, I think, why you see so many of them.”

Pat Vero, special events coordinator for the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, which is hosting the Lafayette Brew Fest on Sept. 13, said she was inspired by the proliferation of breweries in eastern Boulder County, especially in creating the event — including Liquid Mechanics, The Post Brewing Co., Front Range Brewing and Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette, as well as breweries in Louisville and in surrounding communities.

“We wanted to showcase all the different smaller breweries, which have just exploded over the last few years,” Vero said. By giving people the option to purchase individual 4-, 8- or 12-ounce pours and sample as little or as much as they like, she also hopes to “create a street-fair type festival that will bring in people who might not normally go to a brew fest, as well as people who love sampling a variety of beers.”

“We were also cautious about the timing and made sure that it’s not held the same weekend (as the Lafayette Craft Brew BBQ Festival),” she said. “I think we’re going to get different kinds of people at each, as well as some overlap.”

“It’s still summer and people are still in a beer-drinking frame of mind,” Helden said. “I hope people go to both.”

Gravity turns 2

Gravity Brewing will celebrate its second anniversary with a bash from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday in the brewery’s tasting room, 1150 Pine St., Louisville. Live music and special tappings of barrel-aged and small-batch beers on the hour, every hour, highlight the festivities. Get more info at thegravitybrewing.com.

Contact Tom Wilmes at boulderbeerguy@gmail.com.

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Sep 3, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Try something new at fall beer festivals

With Labor Day now behind us, the autumn months of cooler temperatures, changing colors and squeezing in as much time as possible outdoors have officially arrived. But that’s not all that fall brings around these parts.

For beer drinkers, fall is about the many craft beer festivals happening in and around the Sioux Falls area.

First up is Hy-Vee Brewtopia at 5 p.m. Friday. This celebration of beer is coming up quick, and you’re not going to want to miss out on the 200 craft beers they’ll be featuring from more than 40 breweries across the country. When you pay for this event, you’ll get a lanyard that entitles you to free samples from all the breweries in attendance. On top of that, you’ll get six samples of unique, limited quantity beers that will also be featured that evening. Pick up your punch pass at Hy-Vee Wine Spirits locations for $30, otherwise you can get one at the door for $35.

The next two will take some planning, but for the dedicated festival-goer, I think it’s more than possible to fit these in. The first year of the Rock River Beer Fest will be 2 p.m. Sept. 20 in Luverne, Minn. They’ll feature a number of breweries, including Luverne’s very own Take 16 Brewing Co., which opened earlier this year. Another great feature will be the homebrew contest for those who want to show off their IPA, porter/stout or lager/ale brewing skills. Add live music to this outdoor event, and it’s really going to be a great afternoon. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the event.

If you’re like me, you’re going to find someone to safely drive you from the Rock River Beer Fest back to Sioux Falls to take part in Monks House of Ale Repute’s Beervana 2014 at 4 p.m. Sept. 20. Monks will be featuring more than 50 specialty craft beers again this year to be sampled on an unlimited basis. Unlimited is good. What’s also good is the live music that will be accompanying the entirety of the event. Nick’s Hamburgers from Brookings and Snortz BBQ will be on hand to accommodate the hunger that this busy Saturday will no doubt produce. Cost is $40. And the person driving you around that day can drink all the soda they want for a discounted price of $10.

Finally, a brand new beer event is coming to Sioux Falls at 2 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. The Sioux Falls Craft Beer Expo will showcase more than 40 breweries from across the country, all of which you’ll get to sample in your commemorative tasting glass. There will be a homebrew competition for those interested in showcasing their talents, and plenty of education opportunities for attendees to learn about homebrewing, food pairings and the history of brewing. You can purchase VIP admission for $45, which will get you into the event an hour before general admission. General admission is $35, and designated driver admission is $10. Tickets go on sale Friday.

I cannot wait to attend these great beer events. For beer drinkers of all varieties, these are perfect opportunities to try excellent beer from some of the best breweries in the country. Make sure to put these festivals on your calendar and make it a point to make at least one, if not all, of these events.

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Sep 2, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Lebanese craft beer Pour me another

LEBANON’S newest microbrewery sits in the shadow of an unfinished aquarium on the shores of Batroun, a coastal town. The eco-themed brewery’s garden, filled with second-hand furniture and umbrellas, is full of drinkers tasting the four beers made by Colonel. The bottled lager is already stocked in bars around Beirut, the capital. 

Jamil Haddad, Colonel’s owner, started out making liqueurs and eventually a vodka at home. When he finally admitted to himself that he hated vodka he decided to make the leap to beer. The bronzed windsurfer was working as a marketing executive with Adidas in Lebanon at the time. Over four years he travelled around Europe learning the ropes of brewing. In the summer of 2013 he quit his job to focus on founding the brewery and a year later, in June, he started to sell the first bottles of Colonel, named after a local stretch of coastline popular with windsurfers.

Mr Haddad and his family invested $2m in the business and borrowed $400,000. Happily, the tipple is proving popular. In the first three years he expected to make 500 litres per day, half the brewhouse’s capacity. But after just two months the brewery was turning out 1,000 litres each day and was already running out of stock. The company is planning to expand.

Craft beers have long been popular in Europe and America, but they are relatively new to Lebanon, where the beer market is dominated by Almaza, a brand owned by Heineken. That may be slowly changing. 961, a brewery named after Lebanon’s international dialling code, produces around 1.6m litres a year, including beers flavoured with zaatar, or Lebanese thyme. A Lebanese-German man who brews Schtrunz in a 20-square-metre room, and sells only to his friends, will shortly be expanding to a 75-square-metre space. And at the end of July the Kassatly family in the Bekaa Valley, in the country’s east, launched Beirut Beer. The family, who already make vodka and wine, say their aim is to rival Almaza. Mr Haddad’s more modest hope is for more beer festivals and further examples of craft beer in Lebanon.

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Sep 2, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Capital awash with beer as two festivals take place

By Evie Andreou

THE fourth Septemberfest Nicosia Beer Fun Festival is opening its gates in Aglandjia on Friday and the organisers, Display Art, promise an upgraded event with concerts, competitions and of course local and imported beer.

Display Art chairman, Savvas Nicolaou, said that the aim is to enrich events taking place in the capital and to attract visitors from other towns and tourists.
Visitors will be able to choose from 80 beers from around the world and taste traditional beer food.

“We have brought bacon from Germany and pork shank will also be available, which is traditionally served with beer in Germany,” Nicolaou said. Fish and chips will also be offered.

The festival includes live music and shows with alternative, pop and rock music performed by Greek and Cypriot singers and bands.

Performers include Pyx-Lax rock band’s members Philippos Pliatsikas and Pampis Stokas on Friday and popular Greek singer Glykeria on Saturday, as well as rock and blues music on Sunday from the pop and rock cover band Minus One and The Zilla Project blues band. On Monday, the Greek singer Dimitris Mpasis, along with Asmation Live and the Mitropanos Orchestra will perform songs of the late Dimitris Mitropanos. Georgos Tsalikis will perform on Tuesday, while the Melisses pop band and 40+ Rock Band will perform on Wednesday.

An all-expense paid trip to Oktoberfest in Munich will go to the winning couple of the salsa dance competition that will take place at the festival. Interested parties can apply through the event’s Facebook page. Participants pay €5 to receive a number, available at the festival’s stands. There will also be a children’s singing talent show.

Nicolaou also thanked Education Minister Costas Kadis for initiating a dialogue with Aglandjia district school board, allowing for the festival to take place.
The event had been called into question earlier last month when the minister said he would not hear of it being held next to a school, a decision he reconsidered last week.

The school board had refused to adhere to the ministry’s concerns and instead allowed Nicolaou to use Akadimia park, as a venue for the festival.

Septemberfest is one of the two beer festivals taking place in the capital, the other, later in the month, is organised by Nicolaou’s former partners – the Nicosia municipality, Nicosia Tourism Board (ETAP) and the Nicosia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI).

Nicolaou decided to organise his festival after being informed he was not included in the consortium of organisers of this year’s municipality-sponsored beer festival which has taken place since 2011. He has taken out legal proceedings against the consortium organising this year’s event, seeking compensation for their use of the logo and for unfair competition.

The hearing was last week with a ruling expected on September 4.

Nicolaou said that his former partners had tried to stop him from organising Septemberfest and that they had put pressure on other municipalities in the capital not to cooperate with him and host the event, claims the Nicosia municipality says they are not true.

“In no way does the municipality accept the accusations concerning the beer festival,” said the municipality in an announcement last week and added that the claims require no further comment.

Display Art’s Septemberfest will take place from September 5 to 10. Entrance is €5 with one beer. Entrance is free for children up to 14 years old. For information visit www.facebook.com/NicosiaBeerFestival

The municipality-sponsored Nicosia Beer Festival will open on September 10 and will run until September 14 at the Constanza Moat. Opening hours: 7pm until midnight. Entrance: €5.

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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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