Browsing articles tagged with " beer festivals"
Sep 23, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Beer Festivals, Oktoberfests And Fall Brew Gatherings In Connecticut

Fall’s chill signals the return of stouts, porters, Oktoberfest lagers and – whether you love or hate them – pumpkin-flavored brews. It’s now high season for local beer festivals, with plenty of events between now and mid-October.

The Mark Twain House‘s annual “Tapping into Twain” event Friday, Sept. 26, at 5:30 p.m. features more than 20 regional breweries and home brewers, plus food from several local restaurants. Tickets are $45 in advance, $50 at the door ($40 for MTHM members.) Designated driver tickets are $20. Prices include all food, beverage and a collectible pint glass. The Mark Twain House is at 351 Farmington Ave. in Hartford. Information and tickets: 860-280-3130 and marktwainhouse.org.

Two Roads Brewing Company, 1700 Stratford Ave., Stratford, hosts its Ok2berfest Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28, from noon to 6:30 p.m. each day. The event features food trucks and live music. The $15 admission fee includes an authentic German stein. Beer tickets are $5 apiece and must be purchased with cash (limit of four tickets). Attendees must be 21-plus; no minors or animals are permitted. Information: 203-335-2010 and tworoadsbrewing.com.

The annual Sun BrewFest returns to Mohegan Sun Oct. 4 and 5, with tasting sessions on Saturday afternoon and a special BrewBrunch Sunday morning. Tickets to the Saturday sessions are $25 each; the first session runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the second session runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Sunday brunch features Goose Island beer and Absolut Bloody Mary cocktails, with beer-infused food items. Tickets are $60, including all food and drink. For more information, visit sunbrewfest.com.

Broad Brook Brewing, 2 North Road, East Windsor, hosts a one-year anniversary party open house Oct. 4 from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. The event includes tours of the brewery, free samples and food for purchase. Information: 860-623-1000 and broadbrookbrewing.com.

Chili reunites with its good friend beer at the Smoke in the Valley Craft Beer Chili Festival in Seymour Oct. 4, from noon to 5 p.m. More than 100 breweries are expected at the event, along with dozens of chili competitors in two divisions, including restaurant entrants. Proceeds will benefit Seymour Youth Sports programs and Seymour Fire and EMS Companies. Information: 203-437-1009 and smokeinthevalley.com.

The inaugural Connecticut Brewers Fest at Two Roads Brewing in Stratford Oct. 6, from 6 to 9 p.m., gathers more than 20 state breweries under one roof. Food trucks Lobstercraft, Local Meatball and Bounty Burger will park on site. Tickets are $25 and include 3-ounce pours of beers; all proceeds benefit the CT Beer Guild. Information: 203-335-2010 and tworoadsbrewing.com.

The Rotary Club of New London presents Brewfest at the Beach at Ocean Beach Park Oct. 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event features tastings of more than 150 beers. Cost is $25; proceeds benefit Camp Rotary, a nonprofit camp for New London students. Information: newlondonrotary.org.

The CPTV Craft Beer and Chili Challenge on Oct. 11 at Hartford’s Old State House features tastings of more than 100 local beer and chili recipes. Guests will vote on their favorites in more than a dozen different categories. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door and $20 for designated drivers. A $45 “brew crew” ticket includes early admission for reserve tastings and an interactive experience with a local brewmaster. Early entry beings at 2 p.m.; general admission is at 3 p.m. Information: beerandchili.org.

The Hoptoberfest 2014 Beer and Wing Festival at Shelton’s Riverwalk Oct. 11 features more than 80 craft brews and wings from local restaurants, with guests voting for “King of the Wing.” A $25 ticket purchased in advance includes beer and wings. The event runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Information: facebook.com/SheltonHoptoberfest.

Cottrell Brewery, 100 Mechanic St., Pawcatuck, hosts its 4th annual Oktoberfest Oct. 11 from 3 to 6 p.m. The party includes free beer tastings, live music and food for purchase from Munchies Food Truck. Information: 860-599-8213 and cottrellbrewing.com.

Max Restaurant Group hosts its first annual Hoptoberfest at Rosedale Farms Vineyards in Simsbury Oct. 12 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event features beer from more than 30 breweries and food sampling, with additional food available for purchase. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door (if not sold out.) A portion of the ticket price will be donated to the CT Farmland Trust. Guests must be 21 or older. Information: maxrestaurantgroup.com.

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Sep 18, 2014
Freddie Kitson

All About Beer Magazine Sold

Durham, NC – After 22 years of successfully running All About Beer Magazine and creating the popular World Beer Festivals, Daniel Bradford, president of Chautauqua, Inc. announced the sale of his business to the newly formed All About Beer LLC, a Triangle-based company led by Christopher Rice. The newly formed company will retain its headquarters in Durham, and maintain editorial offices in New York and San Francisco.

“I’m excited about the energy and resources Chris and the All About Beer team will bring to both magazine and festivals,” says Daniel Bradford, who purchased the company in 1992 and created the first World Beer Festival in Durham in 1996 and later expanded them to Raleigh, NC, Columbia, SC and Cleveland, OH. “Chris has an extensive knowledge of our industry, having opened the fifth modern brewery in North Carolina and has advised several breweries and brewpubs during his career.”

The first and best-selling consumer beer publication in the United States, in 2015 All About Beer Magazine will celebrate 35 years of chronicling the global beer industry for consumers.

“I have been a loyal follower of All About Beer Magazine’s work during my 20 years connected to the beer industry,” said Mr. Rice. “It has a substantial position not only as the best-selling beer publication in the U.S. and Canada, but also telling great beer and brewing stories since 1979. Like so many of the brewers we have promoted and supported for the past 35 years, All About Beer Magazine has a strong history and standing in the beer industry. Daniel built great strength in these brands in his time as publisher, and I am very excited about the opportunities we have in front of us.”

Mr. Rice will assume the title of President and Publisher of All About Beer, LLC.

All About Beer Magazine is the guide to all things craft beer,” said Gary Fish, Founder and CEO of Deschutes Brewery Inc. and Chair of the Brewers Association. “Daniel and his team have been getting it done since before most people knew there was such a thing as “Craft Beer.”

Rice and his team represent the third wave of the craft beer movement. The industry began by embracing a few classic styles, which morphed into a full spectrum of ales and lagers. Today’s brewers and beer enthusiasts embrace innovation and experimentation just as they have for the nearly 40 years of significant growth in specialty brewing. While serving as Vice President of Chautauqua, Inc. Mr. Rice helped forge the direction of both the magazine and World Beer Festivals to better respond to the continued expansion of the brewing industry.

“I have been delighted to participate in Chris’ vision,” adds Mr. Bradford. “With his creativity and business acumen, he is poised to increase the presence of these products in this new imaginative beer world.”

According to the Brewers Association, in 2013 craft beer sales were up 17.2% over the previous year, with an 18% growth in production volume. The craft brewing industry contributed $33.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012, providing 360,000 jobs. The magazine’s home base state of North Carolina ranks 9th in the U.S. with a total of 91 breweries, contributing $791.1 million economic impact in 2013, 14th in the country.

“Craft beer is the fastest growing segment in the American beer industry,” said Jim Koch, Chairman and Founder, The Boston Beer Company, makers of Samuel Adams. “All About Beer Magazine has often been called, and accurately so, the bible of our industry.”

Mr. Bradford, former director of the Great American Beer Festival, former president of the Brewers Association of America and former marketing director of the Association of Brewers will continue on in an advisory role, assisting Mr. Rice in fulfilling his vision for All About Beer Magazine and the World Beer Festivals.

“We have seen such a tremendous period of growth in beer appreciation, quality and awareness,” adds Mr. Rice. “All About Beer Magazine has helped to greatly generate this awareness over the years. We are very excited to evolve our support for the industry’s beers and the brewers that make them, evolving uniquely just as the industry has done for the past 35 years.”

All About Beer Magazine was first published in 1979 to focus on the then growing influence of import beers and breweries in the United States. The company expanded to produce its own series of events, known as World Beer Festivals, in 1996, and has been a pioneer in producing beer festivals for twenty years. Company owners took a leadership role in the North Carolina campaign in 2005 to “Pop the Cap,” the effort to change North Carolina alcohol legislation, providing a substantial gateway for the growth of beer and brewing in the state. The company has the leading and best-selling magazine for the beer consumer.

With new ownership, the company will continue to focus on the growth of its print and digital media properties, as well as new beer festivals and events. The company produces beer events and festivals in several leading beer markets in the U.S., and has produced events in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, and Florida. Learn more at www.allaboutbeer.com.

 


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Sep 12, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Local beer festivals get crafty

Things are about to get real crafty for beer lovers in the Lower Hudson Valley. With a bunch of beer festivals taking place locally in the coming weeks, if you lust for lagers, adore ales or need an IPA ASAP, you’ll want to check out at least one of these events. We’ve even included a wine festival for those vino aficionados out there.

The Best and the Wurst

A celebration of local brews, The Best and the Wurst promises a menu of beers made right in your own backyard. You’ll enjoy quaffs from Elmsford’s Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., from Pearl River’s Defiant Brewery and from Yonkers Brewing Co., among many others. On the snack side, there will be Wisconsin-style beer brats, hot dogs and pretzels. All proceeds from the event will fund the Rotary Club of Yorktown’s projects. Noon-5 p.m. Sept. 13. Yorktown Heights Firemen’s Field, Veteran’s Road. $30, $10 for designated drivers in advance at www.TheBestAndTheWurst.com, $40 and $15 at the gate.

World Class Beer Night

Brewster Ice Arena‘s Player’s Sports Bar and Restaurant’s World Class Beer Night will exclusively sell quaffs that have been rated 95 or above by Beeradvocate.com, giving them “world class” status. Selections include Speedway Stout by AleSmith Brewing Co., Dogfish Head’s 90-minute IPA, Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout and many more, with additional beers still being added. You can even make your own suggestions on the event’s Facebook page. If they choose your selection, the first round is on the organizers. Entertainment will be provided by Funk Factor, playing an eclectic mix of both covers and originals. 7 p.m. Sept. 19. Admission is free and attendees will pay as they go. 63 Fields Lane. 845-279-2229.

Southern Westchester Food Wine Festival

What began in 2012 as a one-day event known as the Taste of Scarsdale has exploded in the past two years, drawing thousands of attendees and expanding into a three-day celebration of all things food and wine with dozens of participating vendors. There’s plenty of events and activities taking place, but some highlights include a celebrity chef battle among Rocco DiSpirito, Graham Elliot, Franklin Becker and Dave DiBari on Sept. 19; Mrs. Green’s Healthy Eating Pavilion; and hands-on grilling demonstrations. There will also be live music, tastings, food trucks, kid zones and much more. The festival runs from Sept.19-21, but event times, prices and venues vary. Visit sowefwf.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Big Brew NY Craft Beer Festival

Returning to the Westchester County Center Sept. 20, the Big Brew NY Craft Beer Festival promises more suds and fun than ever before. Upon arrival, you’ll receive a 4-ounce tasting glass and the opportunity to try any of the more than 250 varieties of beer being offered. Half Time, which describes itself as “The World’s Biggest Beer Store,” will be giving away more than $30,000 in beer and merchandise. 5-9 p.m. 198 Central Ave., White Plains. General admission tickets are $60, designated driver tickets are $10 and $85 VIP tickets include an extra hour of tasting (4-5 p.m.), access to more than 25 VIP-only brews and beer-infused hors d’oeuvres. 973-927-2794. Bigbrewny.com.

Hudson River Craft Beer Festival

Another event featuring all things New York, the Hudson River Craft Beer Festival returns to Beacon’s Riverfront Park for a day of fun, food, brews and tunes. Featuring more than 30 beers (almost all of which hail from the Empire State), the event features selections from Tuckahoe’s Broken Bow Brewery, from the Peekskill Brewery and from Brewster’s Bull and Barrel Brew Pub, to name a few. There’s also a smorgasbord of food to choose from, ranging from Texas BBQ to Jamaican and West Indian cuisine and just about everything in between. Combine all that with live music and the scenic views of the Hudson River and you’ve got a recipe for some frothy fun. 1-5 p.m. Sept. 20. $45 in advance and $55 at the gate. Designated driver tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate. 1 Flynn Drive. Hudsonrivercraftbeerfestival.com.

Hudson Hop and Harvest

A day-long celebration of craft beer and farm-to-table food, the third annual Hudson Hop and Harvest promises locally brewed craft beers and food sourced from area farms. Hop and Harvest is more than just a beer and food festival, though. It will feature a farmers market, crafts from local artisans, and four stages with live music all day presented by 100.7 The Peak. Peekskill Brewery, which is sponsoring the event along with The Peak, has even crafted a special brew specifically for the festival. Made in collaboration with Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., the Harvest Ale will benefit Riverkeeper, a clean water advocacy group. 2-9 p.m. Oct. 4. Admission is free and attendees will pay as they go. Riverfront Green Park, Hudson Ave., Peekskill. Hudsonhopandharvest.com.

Twitter: @kev_incredulous

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Sep 12, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Weekend Outlook: Music festivals, beer festivals and pop-up thrift shops

Gear up for a D.C. weekend that offers festivals, a free film screening and a thrifty pop-up shop.

Friday

Entrance to the National Zoo. Photo by Flickr user Gray Lensman QX! under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Entrance to the National Zoo. Photo by Flickr user “Gray Lensman QX!” under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Rock n Roar at the National Zoo: At the National Zoo’s annual “Rock n Roar,” you’ll sample from wine and beer vendors, dance to tunes by this year’s headliner, The Fray, and help benefit animal care and conservation, all in the company of the zoo’s 300 species of animals. Reserve your student tickets online and don’t forget to bring a blanket and lawn chair for the outdoor event.

The National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets: $45 for students.

“The Music Lovers” Film Screening: The Library of Congress presents a free screening of Ken Russell’s 1970 classic musical film “The Music Lovers,” a bizarre tale about the marriage of a homosexual and nymphomaniac. The film, screened as part of the library’s September “Film Nights” series, stars Richard Chamberlain and Glenda Jackson.

Mary Pickford Theater at the Library of Congress James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Screening begins at 7 p.m. Free, although RSVP is required.

Saturday

Promotional poster for the All Things Go Fall Classic. Photo courtesy of All Things Go.

Promotional poster for the All Things Go Fall Classic. Photo courtesy of All Things Go.

All Things Go Fall Classic: Head to Union Market for the inaugural All Things Go Fall Classic, hosted by D.C.-based music blog All Things Go. The festival, co-founded by 2011 alumnus Zack Friendly, will feature indie pop headliners Tove Lo and Future Islands along with food vendors like Takorean and Dolcezza.

Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Noon to 10 p.m. Tickets: $50 general advance, $60 at door.

Snallygaster DC: The third annual “gargantuan beer jamboree” will be held Saturday, promising over 250 craft beers plus live music and food trucks for six hours of boozy belligerence. Listen to DJ sets by Brau Brothers and Brett, snack on bites from D.C. Empanadas and GBD Chicken and Doughnuts and of course, drink beer, all in support of non-profit Arcadia Food.

The Yards, First and N Streets SE. 1 to 6 p.m. Tickets: $30.

The Yorke Exchange at Source DC: Not in the festival mood? Check out The Yorke Exchange, a pop-up thrift boutique specializing in quality women’s contemporary wear. Browse the racks on the second floor of artistic venue Source DC.

Source DC, 1835 14th St. NW. 1 to 6 p.m. Free.

Sunday

“I Remember U” Live Mixtape Experience: This free concert event combines poetry, spoken word, emceeing and beats for a unique performance in tribute to U Street’s ‘90s-era music scene. Performers include Ra Brown, Asheru, Poem-Cees and DJ Stylus.

Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Event begins at 6 p.m. Free.

Jack White at the Merriweather Post Pavilion: Jack White is the jack-of-all-trades: Originally the frontman of The White Stripes, White has since collaborated with or become a member of bands like The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. Witness the legendary musician/producer/music video director (and occasional actor) live Sunday alongside songstress Olivia Jean, whose debut album will be produced by White himself.

Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Doors 6 p.m., show 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $40 to $70.

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Sep 12, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Way more than 99 bottles of beer at Las Vegas beer festivals

We’ve never actually finished the song “99 Bottles of Beer” so we have no idea how long it takes. But we’d bet you could hum through the whole thing a few thousand times before Las Vegas runs out of beer. While you’re humming away, check out these upcoming beer festivals pouring into Sin City.

When it comes to beer, or anything really, it’s best not to argue with Germany. They’ve earned their reputation as world-renowned braumeisters. And one Las Vegas institution can trace its roots back through the ages to the 1589 founding of the original German Hofbräuhaus by Wilhelm V, the Duke of Bavaria – they also have crazy good beer!

Bier ist wunderbar at Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Hofbräuhaus.

Since 2004, Hofbräuhaus in Las Vegas, located across from the Hard Rock, has been serving up the best German food and most authentic Bavarian brews this side of Munich. And for the next month and half they’ll be going all out for the legendary Oktoberfest. Typically a quiet and understated people (wink), Oktoberfest is the chance for Germans, and everyone who enjoys a beer or 12, to let loose and savor great company and even greater beer.

This year, celebrity guests will be tapping kegs every weekend through October starting with Vegas institutions Siegfried and Roy on Sept. 13. Other guests include comedian Eddie Griffin, the Chippendales, “Pin Up” star Claire Sinclair and “Zombie Burlesque” on Halloween night. Stein holding contests will also be held each weekend and live music plays throughout the week. Wunderbar!

Mandalay Bay takes a personal approach to their weekend-long festivities. Through four events across three days, beer lovers will be treated to delectable brews from some of the best craft breweries and will also have the opportunity to converse with some of the brewmasters themselves.

Representatives from Brooklyn Brewery will be on hand to walk guests through “five courses of glory” at the Brewmaster’s Dinner on Sept. 12 at miX. And Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Steve Hindy will participate in a panel discussion at Eyecandy Sound Lounge on Sept. 13. The panel discussion is free, and special craft beers are only $4 – so you can relax from the Brewmaster’s Dinner’s $225 price tag.

Mandalay Bay features craft beers. Photo courtesy of Mandalay Bay.

When evening rolls in on Sept. 13, head to the BEER Festival at Mandalay Beach. For $75, revel in some of the finest beers from local and guest breweries. And be sure to pair them all with the exquisite food prepared by some of the best restaurants MGM properties have to offer. Take your time, savor the affair and don’t worry about hangovers the next day. They’ve got your hair of the dog covered too.

Starting at 9 a.m. on Sept 14, Fleur by Hubert Keller will host a beer breakfast offering a special à la carte brunch menu and perfect beer pairings to start off your Sunday morning the Vegas way. They don’t require a reservation, but since we know it might take a few tries before you finally roll out of bed, you might want to make one so you don’t lose your table.

In case you needed more proof that Mandalay Bay knows their beer, Sarah Johnson, their director of food and beverage, just happens to be one of only 700 Certified Cicerones in the world. (A Certified Cicerone is someone who knows way more about beer than you ever will and has a certification to prove it.) So when we say you can trust Mandalay Bay’s beer cred, we really mean it.

Like that cool beer you can always come home to, Las Vegas’ Downtown Brew Festival returns to the Clark County Amphitheater on Sept. 20. The evening event will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for General Admission ($35 – $45) with early entry ($45 – $55) and VIP access ($75 – $85) starting at 5 p.m. And don’t worry about missing dinner. This year food takes the stage with beer.

Backyard atmosphere at Downtown Brew Festival. Photo courtesy of Downtown Brew Festival.

Chefs from famous Las Vegas eateries like Comme Ça, DW Bistro and Forte will create special dishes designed to pair with the wide range of local and guest brews. In between sips of beer and outstanding snacks, check out the live music from A Crowd of Small Adventurers, Josh Royse and Daniel Park. And, if you get your tickets in time, make your friends jealous by getting in early and hitting up the VIP Pavilion for special treats from Chef Sonia El-Nawal, finalist on Food Network’s “Chopped” and executive chef at Perch restaurant – soon to open at Downtown Container Park.

We know this is Vegas, but we still have to point out that we do have drunk driving laws. And the festival will boot anybody who gets plastered. So to play it safe from the get-go, have a buddy pick up a Designated Driver ticket for only $20. They can get into the festival, enjoy all the sensational cuisine and still get you home safely. Note: Designated Driver is not responsible for text messages you may send to your ex.

Fine wines may get better with age, but never underestimate the impact of something new. The Boulevard Brew Fest, hitting the MGM Resorts Village – right across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Luxor – on Sept. 27, is the newest beer bash to soak Sin City. Partnering with Oregon Brew Festival, BLVD Brew Fest will bring in more than 50 Oregon beers that many Vegas tasters may not have tried, creating a truly unique experience within the Las Vegas beer scene. Local beer will be showcased as well.

Great music at the BLVD Brew Fest. Photo courtesy of BLVD Brew Fest.

Adding to the allure of the new festival is an impressive lineup of musical guests. Kings of Leon, Young the Giant, Kongos and more join local favorites like Brumby and Lady Reiko and The Sin City Prophets. General Admission tickets for $59 (plus fees) include access to all the concerts and live performances, as well as food trucks and $10 in tasting tokens, throughout the seven-hour event.

This is one event where they could add a few more Vs to the VIP. With a private VIP lounge housing its own bar, a complimentary happy hour, a premium viewing area and limited release beers and rare selections available for purchase, along with all the GA perks, the VIP tickets will make you feel like a very, very, very important P. They even offer “special A/C restroom facilities.” Because you’re too I to P anywhere else.

Even the DJs get beer at Desert Hops. Photo courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Desert Hops is an international beer festival at the outdoor Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan. With gorgeous views of the Las Vegas Strip, as well as an atmosphere that screams both “super classy” and “look how much beer I can drink,” the Boulevard Pool is perhaps the best location to stir together soothing brews and suave international flair.

Beer from more than 25 different countries will be showcased, totaling 150 different individual brews. And multicultural food from The Cosmopolitan’s restaurant partners will pair an evening of drinking with a night of delicious dining.

Tickets start at just $45 for General Admission and Early Entry VIP costs around $68.50. With a stage, bar, pool, unbeatable views and the always exhilarating autumn air in Vegas, it’s easy to see why Desert Hops bills itself as an “International Beer Experience.”

Vegas isn’t just a 24/7 town; we’re 365 too. Forever dodging the snowy season (in your face, New York) we can keep the beer flowing any time you like. So even when there’s no festival set up to tickle your taste for hops, some of the finest bars and pubs in the world will tap a keg or pop a top just for you.

Public House knows what we like. Photo courtesy of Public House.

Public House in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian is a casual dining gastropub featuring more than 200 different beers. Lagers, ales and Belgians abound in this brilliant pub that also offers cocktails and an impressive list of malts.

Todd English P.U.B. at Crystals is another location where beer and food come together to make us wonder why we’d ever want to eat anything sober. A wide selection of beers, with expertly written descriptions of flavors and notes, are available by the glass, half yard or pitcher. They’ve even got Trappist beers which are brewed by communities of real monks in actual – we’re not making this up – monasteries.

Sin City Brewing Co. is pretty much the opposite of monk-made beer, but it’s still delicious. A local company founded by brewing expert Richard Johnson, Sin City Brewing Co. combines modern microbrew methods with strict regard for the Rheinheitsgebot. For those too lazy to google that long German word, it’s the 1516 German beer purity law that’s basically protected people from terrible beer for the last 500 years. While some of the big name brews could use a refresher course in the Rheinheiregsbhto-whatever, Sin City Brewing Co. is doing the German beer heritage proud with their outstanding selections available at the Grand Canal Shoppes, Miracle Mile Shops and Harmon Corner.

Las Vegas beer festivals are the perfect places to tastefully and politely sip your beer and converse with other connoisseurs. And Las Vegas in general is the perfect place to chug a few pints and argue about whether or not you could take a Chippendale in a fight. (You could not. Those guys are ripped like a losing keno ticket.) But you could buy them a beer. And grab a round for us while you’re at it!







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Sep 11, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Drink up: A guide to local fall beer festivals

Beer festivals have exploded in the Washington area in the last few years, held throughout the year at locations ranging from Nationals Park to the National Zoo. But fall is prime beer festival season, thanks to crisp weekend afternoons and idealized dreams of Oktoberfest. (Hey, after a beer or three, everyone thinks the Chicken Dance is a great idea.)

Beginning this weekend with Snallygaster, Washington’s biggest and best beer festival, there’s an event or two almost every week through mid-October. The problem is that the events can become a blur: Don’t they all have beers from Devils Backbone and Flying Dog? Which is the one with Bavarian dancers?

Brewer's Art

To help you make the most of the season, we’ve broken down six of the best festivals, based on key attributes ranging from the strength of the beer selection to the non-sudsy entertainment. We also have tips from festival veterans to help you navigate the myriad options.

Pro tips: How to make the most of beer festivals

Saturday, Sept. 13

Snallygaster (Web site)
Location: First and N streets SE. (Metro: Navy Yard.)
Ticket price: In advance: $30, which includes 25 drink/food tickets and a souvenir mug. At the door: $10 donation to local food charity Arcadia, including a souvenir mug while supplies last. Tickets are available from www.snallygasterdc.com.
Number of breweries: Snallygaster differs from other local beer festivals in that it’s not organized by brewery, with tables dedicated to pouring selections from just one place. Instead, Greg Engert, the brain behind the beer lists at ChurchKey, Rustico and other great local beer bars, handpicks more than 250 ales, lagers and ciders. Last year, you could find “the usual” Flying Dog beers in one area and rare and barrel-aged versions from the Frederick brewery in a different section of the festival.
Breweries to look for: Too many to count. The lineup includes gravity-poured German Kellerbier lagers, English-style cask ales and Bluejacket ales made just for the festival. There will be pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers from across the country, bourbon barrel-aged Stone, Green Flash and Perennial beers, and, for the first time, an “artisanal cider garden.”
Hours of drinking: Five (1-6 p.m.) with regular ticket.
Number of samples included: Up to you. Each beer costs a certain number of tickets (usually 3 to 6 for a half-pour or 5-9 for a full-size beer). Twenty-five tickets are included with advance admission. Extra tickets are $1 each.
Is there food? Yes, available for purchase from food trucks and restaurants, including Red Hook Lobster Pound, TaKorean and the Rappahannock Oyster Company.
Beyond drinking: Entertainment includes dance-punk band !!!, local electro-pop group Brett and DJs.
Beer-geek excitement level: Very high. Previous Snallygasters have included some of the best beer lists ever seen in one location in Washington. This year’s festival returns to the area near the Navy Yard, home to the 2012 Snallygaster, and an improvement over last year’s location in Union Market’s parking lot. Snallygaster can be more expensive than comparable festivals, especially if you want to try the rare beers, but the selection is unparalleled for an outdoor event.

The Annapolis Craft Beer and Music Festival (Web site)
Location: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, 550 Taylor Ave., Annapolis.
Ticket price: $40. A designated-driver ticket is $20.
Number of breweries: 42, each pouring at least two beers. In all, at least 120 different beers will be offered.
Breweries to look for: The lineup is a mix of solid, well-known names (Ballast Point, Left Hand, Devils Backbone) and some worthwhile Eastern Shore breweries that don’t make it to this side of the bridge very often, including Burley Oak and RAR. Stop by the Flying Fish stand to try Forever Unloved Sandy, a wheat/pale ale hybrid that raises money for Hurricane Sandy charities.
Hours of drinking: Six (noon-6 p.m.).
Number of samples included: Unlimited.
Is there food? Bayside Bull of Edgewater will have pit beef, barbecue and vegetarian meals for purchase.
Beyond drinking: There will be classic rock and blues bands, steel drum lessons, craft beer seminars, and sessions on pairing beer and cheese.
Beer-geek excitement level: Medium. This Annapolis festival does a better job than most of balancing locals (Baltimore’s Full Tilt, Laurel’s Jailbreak) with bigger national names. Beer lovers may roll their eyes at four different Shock Top or Abita offerings, but the lineup has enough breweries you don’t see in every local bar – Victory, Weyerbacher, Eastern Shore – to keep things interesting for festival newbies and veterans alike.

Saturday, Sept. 20

Maryland Brewers’ Harvest (Web site)
Location: Bond Street Wharf, 1401 Thames St., Baltimore.
Ticket price: $35 in advance, $50 at the gate. A designated-driver ticket is $10. VIP tickets, which allow admission at noon and small-batch beers not offered to the public, are $65 in advance and $85 at the gate.
Number of breweries: 24, from across Maryland, plus two cider-makers.
Breweries to look for: Some of the bigger brewers, such as Flying Dog and Evolution, are bringing their standard beers. You’ll have more fun if you try the less-common offerings from the Brewer’s Art, Union, Milkhouse and Franklin’s.
Hours of drinking included: Four (2-6 p.m.) for general admission tickets; six (noon-6 p.m.) for VIPs.
Number of samples included: 10 four-ounce pours with general admission, and extra tokens are $1 each. VIP tickets allow unlimited beer.
Is there food? A variety of restaurants – including Spike Gjerde’s Parts and Labor, Dangerously Delicious Pies and 26, a seafood place in Annapolis – have prepared a small food pairing for each brewery. Additional food is available for purchase, including oysters from the Choptank Oyster Company.
Beyond drinking: Music performances start at 1 p.m., capped by the turbobilly sound of the Glenmont Popes.
Beer-geek excitement level: Medium-high, especially for Marylanders. If you want to experience the Free State’s brewing scene without racking up hundreds of miles on your car, this is the place. It covers virtually every major brewery and brewpub in the state, except for Burley Oak and RAR. The VIP tickets, with promises of rare and small-batch beers, sound especially interesting. A Brewers Association of Maryland festival in Frederick this year was packed with one-offs.

Heurich House Oktoberfest (Web site)
Location: Heurich House Museum, 1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW (Metro: Dupont Circle).
Ticket price: $60.
Number of breweries: Eight
Breweries to look out for: All eight members of the Washington Brewers Guild – that’s every brewery and brewpub in the city – are bringing Oktoberfest and Oktoberfest-inspired beers, and all are worth sampling.
Hours of drinking included: Three (1-4 p.m.)
Number of samples included: Unlimited.
Is there food? Yes. Admission includes sausages from Cafe Berlin and pretzels from Das Pretzel Haus.
Beyond drinking: The day includes guided tours of the Heurich House Museum, the Victorian home of turn-of-the-century brewing magnate Christian Heurich (until 2 p.m.); a Best Dirndl and Best Lederhosen contest (3 p.m.); and live German music by Die Zwei (1-4 p.m.).
Beer-geek excitement level: High. This is your chance to try DC Brau’s first-ever Oktoberfest, traditional lagers from Gordon Biersch and District Chophouse, and a funky festbier from Bluejacket. After guests try small pours of all the beers, they can vote for a favorite. It’s a smaller scale than other Oktoberfests, but in terms of local beer pride, it’s huge.

DC International Beer Festival (Web site)
Location: Andrew Mellon Auditorium, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW. (Metro: Federal Triangle.)
Ticket price: $50. VIP tickets, which allow early entry to the festival and access to a VIP area with exclusive beers, are $70.
Number of breweries: 60 American beers and 60 international beers are promised.
Breweries to look for: “We’ve focused on finding breweries you may not have tried,” says the festival’s Web site, right above the logos of Guinness, Smithwick’s, Bass and Boddingtons. There’s not a lot here that an even halfway-serious beer drinker hasn’t tried: Dogfish Head, Bell’s, Goose Island. Some interest comes from smaller breweries, such as Bluejacket, Great Divide and Hardywood.
Hours of drinking: Three (12:30-3:30 p.m. or 4:30-7:30 p.m.). VIP tickets allow an extra 30 minutes of drinking at each session.
Number of samples included: Unlimited.
Is there food? Organizers promise “a bunch of food options” but the list of said options hasn’t been released.
Beyond drinking: “tons of games, arts, activities” says the web site, but organizers don’t go into details and didn’t answer e-mails about specifics.
Beer-geek excitement level: Low. There’s some good beer to be had here, and some smaller breweries to balance the near-ubiquitous Brooklyn and Dogfish Head. But when a festival’s “featured beers” include Modelo Especial, Peroni, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, it’s hard to get worked up about the event, especially when a three-hour session costs $50.

Beer, Bourbon and BBQ (Web site)
Location: Lerner Town Square at Tysons II, 8025 Galleria Dr., Tysons. (Metro: Tysons Corner.)
Ticket price: $39 in advance, $45 at the gate. A designated driver ticket is $25. $75 VIP tickets include two extra hours of eating and drinking, restaurant tasting stations and “a gourmet bacon station featuring bacons from all over the country.”
Number of breweries: More than a dozen.
Breweries to look for: Heavy Seas, Boulevard, Mad Fox and Starr Hill.
Hours of drinking: Four (2-6 p.m.) for regular ticket holders; six (noon-6 p.m.) for VIPs.
Number of samples included with ticket: Unlimited.
Is there food? Did you miss the name of the event? Multiple barbecue stations will sell all manner of porky treats.
Beyond drinking: Check out live bluegrass and rock cover bands, take part in a Maker’s Mark tasting or watch cooking demonstrations. Men can participate in a “Best Beer Belly” contest, while women can vie for the title in a “Miss Daisy Dukes” pageant.
Beer-geek excitement level: Very low. A beer festival that lists National Bohemian, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Woodchuck Cider among its offerings is not going to get pulses racing. This is definitely one for people more excited about bacon and bourbon: The whiskey options, including multiple varieties of High West, Bowman and Knob Creek, are far more interesting than the beers.

Mad Fox Oktoberfest

Saturday, Sept. 27

Hoppy Oktoberfest (Web site)
Location: Mad Fox Brewing Company, 444 West Broad St., Falls Church.
Ticket price: Free entry. Anyone drinking pays $20 for a tasting glass and six drink tickets.
Number of breweries: 30, each with one or two offerings, plus four IPAs and an Oktoberfest beer from Mad Fox.
Breweries to look for: The mix of local and regional brewers includes Sunken City, Champion and Apocalypse Ale Works, as well as bigger names such as Devils Backbone, Hardywood and Port City.
Hours of drinking: Six (noon to 6 p.m.).
Number of samples included: 6 four-ounce pours. Additional tickets are $2 each.
Is there food? A selection of sausages, sandwiches, pretzels and snacks will be for sale.
Beyond drinking:Music starts at 1 p.m. Activities for kids include a moon bounce; adults can occupy themselves with cornhole and KanJam.
Beer-geek excitement level: Medium-High. This annual celebration of India Pale Ale features IPAs and IPA-inspired beers from big-name local brewers and up-and-comers from across the Old Dominion. It’s also educational: If you’re curious about Old Ox, Forge Brew Works and Champion, this is where you can see how they stack up against similar beers from DC Brau or Lost Rhino. If you don’t like hoppy beers, though, you might want to look somewhere else.

Das Best Oktoberfest (Web site)
Location: The DC Armory, 2001 East Capitol St. SE (Metro: Stadium-Armory).
Ticket price: $39. The $59 VIP ticket includes two extra hours of drinking and a pretzel.
Number of breweries: At least 20 breweries and cideries.
Breweries to look out for: The selection includes German Oktoberfest beers from Spaten and Beck’s alongside American versions by Victory, Blue Point, Lancaster and others.
Hours of drinking included: Four (2-6 p.m.). VIP tickets include entrance at noon.
Number of samples included: Unlimited.
Is there food? Yes. Expect plenty of sausages.
Beyond drinking: Music alternates between the Edelweiss Band and popular cover bands Liquid A and Flip Like Wilson. There is a Best Beer Belly contest for the guys, and a Miss Oktoberfest contest for the ladies.
Beer-geek excitement level: Low. With the exception of Devils Backbone and Victory, the beer list is uninspired, and filled with brands owned or affiliated with Anheuser-Busch. (I’m not saying that”s always a bad thing, but some diversity would be nice.) Does anyone really associate Shock Top or Singha with Oktoberfest? Organizers deserve credit for including gluten-free options, such as Omission and a choice of multiple ciders, but Das Best Oktoberfest is a place for fake lederhosen and pretzel necklaces, definitely more drunken Oktoberfest party than beer festival.

Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest

Saturday, Oct. 4

Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest (Web site)
Location: The streets of the Village of Shirlington. The main gate is outside Capitol City Brewing Company, 4001 Campbell Ave., Arlington.
Ticket price: Free entry. Anyone drinking pays $30, which includes a tasting glass and 10 drink tickets.
Number of breweries: At least 65.
Breweries to look for: Most of the local powerhouses, including DC Brau, Sweetwater Tavern, District Chophouse and Lost Rhino, will bring their Oktoberfest brews.
Hours of drinking included: Seven (noon to 7 p.m.; taps close at 6 p.m.).
Number of samples included: 10 four-ounce pours. Additional tickets are $1 each with a minimum purchase of five.
Is there food? Shirlington restaurants sell everything from Thai food to pub grub. A German food stand will feature brats and pretzels.
Beyond drinking: The Alpine Dancers will perform traditional Austrian and German dances with musicians.
Beer-geek excitement level: Medium. After 15 years, you know what you’re getting at Cap City’s Oktoberfest: Sam Adams, Rogue, Delirium Tremens and Dogfish Head have tables alongside the locals, plus relative newcomers such as Old Ox, Forge and Champion. It’s always crowded: More than 9,000 people attended last year (including kids and designated drivers), and lines for food or drink often stretch longer than you’d like. The festival also draws people trying to drink as much as possible in an afternoon, similar to a Clarendon bar crawl. But it’s an annual fixture for a reason: Plan right and it could be one of the best days of the year.

Saturday, Oct. 18

Chesapeake Real Ale Festival (Web site)
Location: Pratt Street Ale House, 206 W. Pratt Street, Baltimore.
Ticket price: $40. The $60 VIP ticket includes an extra hour of drinking, plus food.
Number of breweries: 26 have been confirmed so far. 27 participated in 2013.
Breweries to look out for: As hosts, Oliver Ales always put on a good showing, thanks to English brewer Stephen Jones. Yards, Blue Mountain and Sly Fox are always worth trying. If you see an English cask – like Thornbridge last year – jump on it.
Hours of drinking included: Five (1-5 p.m.). VIP admission is at noon.
Number of samples included: Unlimited.
Is there food? The bar’s kitchen will be serving its usual menu: crab cakes, crab-and-corn quesadillas, flatbreads and all manner of burgers, including one topped with crab.
Beyond drinking: This is an event for serious drinkers. If you need entertainment, head down the street to the Inner Harbor.
Beer-geek excitement level: High. The 11th annual Real Ale Festival serves only cask-conditioned-beers, usually a mix of English style-ales and American-style IPAs with everything from fresh hops to vanilla beans infusing in the cask. The firkins take over the pub’s patio and dining room, and the focus is entirely on the beer, not live bands or contests. If you love real ale, it’s like Christmas.

Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 18-19

Northern Virginia Fall Brewfest (Web site)
Location: Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville.
Ticket price: $25 in advance, $35 at the gate. Designated-driver tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the gate.
Number of breweries: The list of breweries will be released “on or about” Sept. 20, according to the website; the Summer Brewfest in June featured 64.
Breweries to look for: The NoVa Brewfest is usually strong on Old Dominion breweries, such as St. George, Three Brothers and Corcoran, but June’s Brewfest added nine new Virginia breweries and cider-makers, including Crooked Run, Parkway and Winchester Cider Works. Throw in a strong national lineup with Firestone Walker, Allagash, Terrapin and Green Flash, and you have a nice assortment of beers.
Hours of drinking included: Eight per day (11 a.m.-7 p.m., though taps close at 6 p.m.)
Number of samples included: 6 pours of 4 to 4.5 ounces. Additional samples cost $1 each.
Is there food? Yes, everything from burgers to oysters to kettle corn.
Beyond drinking: Two stages feature blues and rock cover bands and acoustic performers. The TV Tent will show college and professional football games. At the Beer Stuff Tent, chefs will demonstrate how to cook and barbecue with beer as an ingredient. Vendors will sell T-shirts, jewelry, candles and other craft items.
Beer-geek excitement level: Medium. This is one of the nicest outdoor beer festivals around and bridges local and national tastes better than most; of the 64 breweries at the Summer Brewfest, 23 were from Virginia and five from Maryland. One important note: In the past, the festival has run shuttle buses from the Vienna Metro station. Look for information about buses to the festival grounds on the Web site “on or after September 20.”

Snallygaster

Pro tips: How to master the beer festival

Do your homework.
Beer festivals are a great introduction to new breweries. So before you go, check the festival Web site – most events list the participating breweries, and some (such as Snallygaster and the Annapolis Craft Beer and Music Festival) provide the names of all the beers those breweries will be pouring – and plan your approach. Focus on beers that are not available at your favorite happy hour.

Washington-based beer lovers going to Annapolis on Saturday, for example, should look for beers from RAR Brewing (Cambridge, Md.) and Burley Oak (Berlin, Md.), which are hard to find on this side of the Chesapeake Bay. Lagunitas fans might want to skip its table, since the Petaluma brewery is bringing its IPA and Pils, which are common in local bars, and explore other beers instead – perhaps Victory’s Prima Pils or Finch’s Hardcore Chimera Imperial IPA?

With 275 choices over seven pages, Snallygaster’s beer list is overwhelming. But take time to study it beforehand instead of just scanning it when you arrive at Yards Park on Saturday. You don’t want to realize at 4 p.m. that your favorite rare Oktoberfest, Avery’s The Kaiser, has already kicked, and you didn’t even know it was available because it was buried down at No. 258.

Stretch your legs.
If a festival doesn’t offer a complete list of beers in advance, the best approach is to get a bit of exercise. Grab a beer from the first spot you see without a line and make a circuit of the tables. (This is time-consuming at more spread-out festivals, such as the Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest or the Northern Virginia Brewfest, but there’s no reason you can’t grab another sample along the way.) Make note of where your favorites are located and what they’ve brought.

Geography matters: Tables near festival entrances are frequently crowded, as people try to score beer as soon as they arrive. Head for the fringes or the middle and beat the rush.

Planning is good, but be flexible.
While Beer Advocate and RateBeer are helpful Web sites, they’re not the be-all, end-all arbiters of what’s good. “People make the mistake of waiting in very long lines for massively hyped beers,” says Tim Prendergast, who works for craft beer distributor Kysela Pere et Fils and has manned taps at several festivals this year. “They show up with their lists [printed from Beer Advocate] and they’re only in line for the Hill Farmsteads of the world. But there are beers that are probably just as good that don’t have lines. People have preconceived notions about breweries before they’ve even tried a beer.”

“Part of the fun at a festival is finding new things,” says ChurchKey supremo Greg Engert, who picked the beers for Snallygaster. “Leave yourself open to new things: If you walk by a table and it’s not busy, and something looks good, go try it.”

At a festival with unlimited sampling, Prendergast recommends trying as much as you can: “Just get a half-pour, try it and if you don’t like it, move on,” he says. “You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t take advantage of this.”

Don’t drink things you’ve had before. If you do, save them for last.
You could run an entire festival by harnessing the power of beer geek eye-rolls as they walk past a Shock Top or Guinness stand. (Yes, you’ll be able to find those at some events.) The purpose of a beer festival is not to get as drunk as possible – it’s to try new seasonal beers, or find out why your friends came back from the beach raving about Burley Oak.

One exception I make: It’s fine to order an old favorite if you’re comparing two similar beers. If you know you love Sweetwater’s IPA, for instance, it’s nice to have that as a control before tasting Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA.

Choose quality over quantity.
“Sometimes people feel pressure to drink to get their money’s worth,” Engert says, which is why Snallygaster isn’t an all-you-can-drink event, but requires people to pay for each beer. “This is a beer festival for everyone. It’s not just a Rare and Obscure Festival – we don’t want it to be all expensive $9 rarities,” he says, pointing to AleWerks’ Shorty Time, a session IPA, as something everyone should try.

The No. 1 mistake people make, Prendergast says: “They drink too much. . . . People overimbibe and they bring the festival atmosphere down for everyone.” Just because the taps are open for four hours doesn’t mean you have to spend every minute with a beer in your hand. Most festivals have soda and water available, too.

Engert is more succinct: “Make sure you eat, and plan on drinking as much water as you do beer.”

Recommended Reading

Sep 10, 2014
Freddie Kitson

A Month of Beer Festivals

Fun lovers are in for a treat next month when the capital hosts two beer festivals in a space of two weeks.

The annual Delta Beverages Lion Lager Summer Beer Festival takes place on October 11 at Glamis Arena while new venue Sunset Arena hosts another beer festival from October 24 to 25.

While organisers of both festivals will be announcing their performers soon, it is obvious that there will be great packages at both events.

Beer festivals usually present fun-filled environments among revellers in addition to bringing good stage performances.

The Lion Lager festival is known for creating such fun among imbibers through promotions and give-away prizes besides hosting local and international artistes. International musicians that have performed at the beer festival include Beenie Man, P Square, Fantan Mojah and D’Banj. The festival brings fun every year.

On the other hand, the Sunset Arena Beer Festival is likely to bring a fresh feel of the social event through various fun activities.

The two-day festival is expected to feature an array of activities that include music performances, exhibitions as well as beer tasting and drinking competitions among others.

The new venue, Sunset Arena, which hosted the Harare Agricultural Show as Guard Alert Training Ground is situated near City Sports Centre on the fringes of Harare Civic Centre Grounds.

Organisers of the event said they had engaged manufacturers of various beer brands to present their products at an exhibition that promises to be fun-filled.

“This is an event meant to provide exciting outdoor entertainment this summer. The shows will just complement a programme that is mainly meant to give beer drinkers an opportunity to mix, mingle and have fun,” said one of the organisers.

“We want to utilise the new venue because we realised it is good for outdoor entertainment after it hosted its inaugural event, the show shut-down gig. A senior music critic in the country suggested we name it Sunset Arena because it is a place that can host afternoon and night shows, especially this summer.”

During the Harare Agricultural Show shutdown event, the venue hosted an array of dancehall artistes that entertained thousands of merrymakers until sunrise.

Organisers of Lion Lager Summer Beer Festival said they would release complete information about the event early next week.

Recommended Reading

Sep 8, 2014
Freddie Kitson

MondoCon to Host Food Trucks, Exclusive Dogfish Beer

****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****

MONDOCON TAPS INTO AUSTIN’S BEST EATS WITH FOOD TRUCK PARTNERS EXCLUSIVE BEVERAGES FOR THE CONVENTION

An exclusive Dogfish Head beer, special food menus themed cocktails are just some of the tasty treats in store for attendees

Austin, TX—September 8, 2014— Amazing food and drink options are just some of the ways MondoCon is seeking to offer a unique convention experience. Four local food trucks – Frank, JuiceLand, Micklethwait and The Peached Tortilla – will be on hand in the parking lot to offer delicious Austin cuisine to attendees throughout the weekend and a full service bar will be available inside with themed cocktails and a special Dogfish Head brew. The two-day convention takes place on September 20 21 during the first weekend of Fantastic Fest at The Marchesa Hall Theater in Austin, TX.

“When trying to craft our ideal convention, one of the things at the top of the list was to improve upon the food options. Austin is a food town as much as it is a film and music town and we’re eager to bring that experience to MondoCon. We’ve handpicked some of the city’s greatest food trucks to ensure that the dining experience will be as memorable as the panels and screenings themselves. We’re also excited to offer a full service bar in an effort to create a fun, relaxed atmosphere where you’ll want to hang out and have a beer or cocktail,” said Mondo CEO Justin Ishmael.

EDIBLE EXCLUSIVES
Creativity is the theme of the convention and the food and beverage partners have risen to the challenge to offer some incredible new flavors to their menus. Additionally, the bar will offer several themed cocktails from Alamo Drafthouse’s Beverage Director Bill Norris.

Dogfish Head
Dogfish Head, the official beer vendor, is brewing a special “Mondo Beer” exclusively for the convention. “Mondo Beer” is an English Old Ale that has been aged in Dogfish Head’s one-of-a-kind giant oak tanks at their brewery in Milton, DE. The oak-aging process shares a connection with Texas for its oak tree and the artists of MondoCon who use pulp and paper as the medium for their great works of art. The custom made logo, designed by artist Tyler Stout, can be downloaded here.

JuiceLand
JuiceLand has concocted an exclusive smoothie called “Espresso Greens” – named after the popular poster collecting forum ExpressoBeans.com. The ingredients are banana, cherry, coffee (kohana cold brew), cacao, dates, spinach and almond milk. A photo of the special smootie, available only at MondCon, can be found here.

Frank
Frank has designed a complete custom menu for their food truck at MondoCon featuring delicious new sausages themed to comics creators and artist guests of the convention. The first five selections below will also be available at Frank’s restaurant on 407 Colorado Street from September 15 – 20.

Bryan Lee O’Malley Scott Pilgrim Sex Bob-ombs
Bacon and Pimento stuffed, Panko fried Cherry Peppers…”make you think about death and get sad and stuff.” order of 4

Mike Mignola Hell Boy Nacho Fries
Waffle fries dressed with spicy Habanero-Jack Queso, Cayenne-dusted Bacon bits and spicy Tobacco Onions w/ Cholula Sour Cream

Bernie Wrightson Swamp Salad
Veggie Apple Sage, Seaweed Salad, Miso Aioli shaved Bonito

Val Mayerik Waaaugh! Dog
Duck and pork sausage topped with Gruyere cheese, Habanero-Mango Aioli Fried Shallots

William Stout Tarman
Hudson’s Old Timer Sausage w/ Creamy Garlic “Brains”, Balsamic Tar reduction Zombie Soil

Alex Pardee Bunnywith (Available at MondoCon ONLY. Limited Run)
Rabbit Sausage w/ Fig-Habanero Bacon Mostarda, Goat Cheese Dr. Doppelgänger BBQ sauce

FOOD TRUCKS
See below for cuisine descriptions of the four food truck partners at MondoCon.

Frank
Frank is a Chicago hot doggery with a focus on Luxurious Sausage Waffle Fries. Located downtown Austin, Texas at 4th Colorado, Frank slings dogs, sausage waffle fries as well as Craft Beer, Hand Made Cocktails, Espresso Drinks Spiffy Milk Shakes.

JuiceLand
Since the summer of 2001, we’ve served superfood smoothies and fresh juices from a little stone cottage on Barton Springs Rd. A merry team of creative friends and family help harmonize 10 Austin locations plus one in Brooklyn, and we’d like to invite you to visit us soon – JuiceLand loves making your drinks come true!

Micklethwait
Central Texas BBQ served up in East Austin specializing in award-winning beef ribs, house-made desserts and bread, world famous jalapeño cheese grits, a rotating cast of fresh-made sausage and of course brisket, pork ribs, puled pork and much more! As seen on Jimmy Kimmel.

The Peached Tortilla
The Peached Tortilla is an award-winning Austin catering company and food truck that specializes in Southern Asian influenced cuisine. The company has garnered national attention for its food from Food Wine Magazine, Live! With Kelly Michael and The Cooking Channel. The Peached Tortilla is set to open its first brick and mortar location in Fall of 2014 on Burnet Rd.

Mondo is creating a convention unlike any other, bringing together unique guests from a variety of areas to celebrate film, music, art, and toys with the world’s finest artists, designers, toy creators as well as filmmakers, composers and more. Panels and screenings will take place in the theater and the exhibition hall will host booths for individual artists and companies featuring artwork and products for sale. The exhibition hall will also offer a unique chance for fans to interact with creators in an intimate environment. To see the previously announced lineup of panels film screenings visit Mondo-Con.com.
· All Festivals Coverage [EATX]
· All Alamo Drafthouse Coverage [EATX]

Recommended Reading

Sep 8, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Beer festivals abound in Southern Tier

Like beer? You’ll love this fall.

A flurry of beer-centric festivals occupy almost every weekend of the fall calendar in the Southern Tier.

Whether the Binghamton Brew Fest on Sept. 13 or the Finger Lakes Beer Festival at the end of October, the events on tap now jostle with the more traditional harvest and community celebrations that have been a hallmark of fall merriment.

For Theresa Hollister of Apalachin, beer festivals celebrate the same enthusiasm for locally produced goods in a spirit of community and revelry.

“Beer fests have always been a popular thing,” said Hollister, a founder partner of the Finger Lakes Beer Trail. “We are definitely seeing more, and more markets having their own.”

Part of that comes from the proliferation of craft brewers creating and marketing locally made beverages. Hollister pointed to the growth of the beer trail itself, which stretches across the Southern Tier and central parts of New York. In 2011 the trail counted 24 craft brewers in the region. Now, that number has more than tripled to 75, according to Hollister.

Consumers are choosing more of the craft brews in a search for a fresher product, produced locally, with new and creative flavors, said Hollister. Part of their advantage is that local brewers can try smaller batches as compared to the bigger manufactures.

“They can really play around with the ingredient and flavor profiles and try interesting concoctions,” Hollister said.

And with the festivals popping up in counties across the region, consumers have the chance to sample more flavors and brands than they might otherwise, Hollister added.

“For people who maybe wouldn’t go on a day trip on the Finger Lakes, this is a nice way to bring the beer to them.”

Beer- and food-related festivals include:

BROOME COUNTY

Sept. 13. Brew Fest: celebration of craft brewing and New York wines with dozens of breweries and wineries offering sampling selections. Tickets cost $35 and are available at retail beverage centers in Ithaca and Binghamton and online at thebinghamtonbrewfest.com; 4 to 7 p.m. Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

Sept. 20. Apple Festival: Annual event featuring over 80 vendors, youth entertainment and fresh New York state apples; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Washington Ave., Endicott; (607) 748-9548

Sept. 25. Parlor City Brew Fest: The third annual event features regional breweries with proceeds benefiting The Family Children’s Society, Inc. that provides mental health treatment, counseling and home care services in the Broome and Tioga counties area, according to organizers. $35 entry. 5 to 8 p.m. Terra Cotta, 81 State St., Binghamton.

Oct. 11. Sudsy Brews and Fiery Foods, microbrew fest featuring a dozen breweries and spicy food from Binghamton area restaurants. Tour a vintage ice cream factory and check out the Vintage IBM Endicott Computing Center during the festival. Noon to 5 p.m. TechWorks! Prototype Workshop, 321 Water St., Binghamton.

CHEMUNG

Sept. 13. Twin Tiers Tap-In: Sample local and national brands with admission covering 25 three ounce tastings and a commemorative glass. Select vendors will provide choice beers which will only be available during the VIP hour from 4 to 5 p.m. costs $40 in advance, $45 at the door for VIP. General admission from 5 to 8 p.m. costs $30 in advance, $35 at the door for general admission. First Arena, 155 N. Main St., Elmira.

Sept. 20-21.

Big Flats Appleumpkin Days: A fall harvest celebration held at a variety of business locations in the Town of Big Flats. Activities throughout the weekend will include prize drawings, refreshments, and food available for purchase. Additionally, a children’s coloring contest is also planned and many craft and product vendors will be set up at the Cottage Gift Shop. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Visit BigFlatsBusinessAssociation.com for more information.

SENECA

Sept. 14. German Festival: Live German band and dancers, grape stomping, grape pies, German food, Polka contest, balloon art and costumes during this fun get-together for the whole family. $5 cover charge, 12 and under free, Free parking; 12:30 to 4:30 p.m, 3862 County Road 150, Interlaken, lucasvineyards.com.

SCHUYLER

Oct. 25. Finger Lakes Beer Festival: Thirty craft brews from 15 New York state craft breweries with live music, food and local beers. Each guest receives a commemorative sampling glass and 25 tasting coupons; $40, $35 advance sales. Watkins International Speedway, www.theglen.com.

STEUBEN

Sept. 13-14. Harvest Celebration of Food and Wine: Tour the wineries of Keuka Lake and sample dishes prepared from locally

Sept. 18-20. Harvest Music Festival: The 19th annual event features Finger Lakes wine and beer tastings, live music, food and fun for the whole family. Thursday 7 to 9 p.m., Friday 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Corning’s Gaffer District, Market Street, downtown area, Corning. Visit www.gafferdistrict.com/events/jazz2.html for more info.

Sept. 20. Harvest Festival: Crooked Creek Hops Farm brings together a day of beer, barbecue and music to showcase the New York State hops industry and introduce people to hops farming. A family friendly festival with events for all ages. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Costs $20 for adults, $10 for 16-20 and under 16 are free. 6700 Holden Road, Addison.

Oct. 4. Crystal City Brew Festival: Over 30 breweries will be on hand to sample and discuss their varieties, with food and music throughout the afternoon from 5 to 8 p.m. $30 pre-sale and $40 at the door. Corning Harley-Davidson 300 Town Center Road, Painted Post. www.crystalcitybrewfestival.com.

TIOGA

Sept. 20. Potato Festival: Learn the history of the potato and why it is important to the Town of Richford. Get free samples of potatoes to bring home. Try potato ice cream and other delicacies made from the mighty potato. Details: visittioga.com/2014-09-20/Potato-Festival.htm

Sept. 27. Tioga Center Pumpkin Festival: Breakfast served until 9 a.m., with contests, games, food, entertainment, train rides for kids and vendors throughout the day during this seventh annual event. Free admission, free parking; 7 a.m. Ransom Park, Tioga Center. www.tiogacenterpumpkinfest.com.

Oct. 4. Annual Apple Festival: Kids’ activities, food, craft artisans and horse and wagon rides during this festival showcasing how people lived 200 years ago. Featuring demonstrations of cider pressing, blacksmithing, open hearth cooking, spinning and weaving, black powder shooting, soap making, candle dipping, quilting, tours of the farmhouse, and more. There will be live musical groups all weekend as well as traditional dancing; 10 a.m., Bement-Billings Farmstead Museum, 9241 New York 38, Newark Valley.

Oct. 24. National Food Day Festival: Free event will feature food demos, tastings, hands on activities, free raffles and more; 3:30 p.m. Owego Elks Lodge.

TOMPKINS

Sept. 20. Homestead Harvest Festival: second annual event with music, square dancing and old time craft demonstrations along with handspinners, fiber arts, goat milking and kids games; noon to 6 p.m. Southworth Homestead, Route 13, Dryden.

Sept. 21. Judy’s Day: In its 10th year, organizers urge guests to go bananas while exploring the fun and fascinating world of fruits with hands-on activities, music, and food are all part of this free learning festival in the outdoor setting of the F. R. Newman Arboretum at Cornell Plantations.

Oct. 3-5. Apple Harvest Festival: A three day celebration of food, fun, and apples during the 32nd annual festival featuring tasty products from farmers, wineries, bakeries, crafters, food vendors and more. Activities include music, dancing, eating, education, a Ferris wheel and giant slide, Iron Chef event, craft fair and street performers; Friday noon to JU6 p.m, Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; downtownithaca.com.

Oct. 3-12. Cider Week Finger Lakes: The third annual event is a collaboration of local hard cider makers and orchardists to highlight the variety of local ciders from the Finger Lakes. Craft Cider Week offers events such as tastings, cider dinners with local chefs, a local orchard tour, and a cider-flavored square dance. Visit ciderweekflx.com for more information on events and times.

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