Browsing articles tagged with " beer festivals"
Aug 14, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Enjoy a traditional pint of real ale in Nottinghamshire

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE is the ideal place for real ale lovers to go for a traditional English pint.

In fact, you’ll be spoilt for choice of things to do with its rich brewing heritage and the city centre reputedly home to more bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants per square mile than any other city in Europe. A barrel full of beer festivals will be taking place throughout the year.

Nottingham is a ‘City of Caves’ and is famously known for the quality of its beer, with its brewing heritage dating back to the medieval times. Many breweries and malt kilns were located beneath street level within the manmade sandstone caves, and many pubs had access to cave cellars which maintained the perfect temperature year round. Their location underground enabled soft water to be filtered through the sandstone, and malt production to take place through the year due to the freshness of the naturally air conditioned caves. Nottingham’s brewing heritage has been celebrated in a folk song called “Nottingham Ale” and there are many old travel tales referring to how good the beer was.

The county is the birthplace of iconic companies such as Home Ales, Mansfield Brewery and the much-loved Shipstone’s, which recently re-emerged as a new microbrewery having been closed for more than 20 years. It is home to England’s oldest inn, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, as well as many tasty local breweries including Castle Rock, Navigation, Lincoln Green, Pheasantry and Nottingham Brewery.

Indeed, the recent resurgence of real ale could be attributed to the fact that many of Nottinghamshire’s breweries also have their own pub taps, such as the city’s newest pub, the Crafty Crow.

Sarah Thursfield, Marketing Manager, Experience Nottinghamshire, said: “Nottingham has a rich brewing heritage and is the ideal place to go for a traditional pint of real ale. It is home to England’s oldest inn, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, along with a barrel full of local breweries and beer festivals.

“VisitEngland, the national tourist board, has identified ale tourism as a growth sector and this is reflected in Nottinghamshire with the growth of attendance at the Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival year-on-year. Just recently, in partnership with Nottingham City Council and CAMRA’s Nottingham branch, we have invited Brandon Lewis MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to the festival in October. A novel invitation, on a specially produced beer label on a bottle of Castle Rock Brewery’s award winning Harvest Pale Ale, has now been sent to the Government Minister inviting him to attend the launch of the beer festival on Wednesday 8 October.”

Richard Neale, from Shipstone’s Beer Company, said: “If you’re looking to try a great range of hand crafted beers then the local selection in Nottingham is second to none. You will find an amazing selection of different beer styles from over 20 dedicated brewers and served in a great selection of pubs, all pulling together to make Nottingham a great place to visit for people who love good beer.”

From dining in a cave at both the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem and Hand Heart, discover a heap of history at the Cross Keys, Fothergills and The Prince Rupert or if you are exploring Sherwood Forest then make sure you call in at the Fox and Hounds at Blidworth, a traditional countryside pub which offers ales and delicious seasonal food – just a few of many welcoming pubs and bars across the county.

If you want to discover the many artisan and speciality beers we have to offer, explore one of the Beer and Ale Trails, available from Experience Nottinghamshire’s website.

The highlight of the year for beer fans is the Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival which takes place every October in the grounds of Nottingham Castle. This year’s event takes place between Wednesday 8 and Saturday 11 October. Organised by Nottingham CAMRA, the festival offers over 1,100 different real ales, not to mention over 220 different real ciders, with over 25% of the beers on sale brewed within 20 miles of the Castle.

If that’s not enough to whet your appetite there are also lots of smaller beer festivals taking place throughout the year, including the Newark, Retford and Hucknall beer festivals. For a round-up of all our beer festivals, click here.

Go behind the scenes on a brewery tour…

If you’re a real ale lover, brewery tours at Nottinghamshire’s local breweries are a great way to get the afternoon started. Your group will be able to go behind the scenes at one of Nottingham’s favourite breweries and find out what goes into your pint, and in some cases sample a few tasty beers along the way. For more information on breweries and tours in Nottinghamshire, click here.

For more information on beer in general throughout Nottinghamshire, visit www.experiencenottinghamshire.com/beer.

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Aug 14, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Great NH Beer Events on Tap August-October 2014

New Hampshire’s late summer and early fall seasons are packed with great beer festivals and celebrations.

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

HOOKFEST 2014

August 16
2 p.m.-10 p.m.
Redhook Brewery
1 Redhook Way, Portsmouth
(603) 430-8600

WXGR 103.5FM Dover presents HOOKFEST 2014 featuring Lettuce. This event will take place in Portsmouth at the Redhook Brewery from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Other musical acts include Bim Skala Bim, King Hammond, Michael Bernier Freevolt and the Spittin’ Vinnies.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. This will be a day filled with good food, beer and fun so don’t miss out! Click here for more information and ticket sales.


Beveridge Craft Beer Fest

August 16
12 p.m.-4 p.m.
Wolfetrap Grill Raw Bar
19 Bay St., Wolfeboro
(978) 880-3013

The inaugural Beveridge Craft Beer Fest will bring some of the finest New England Craft Brewers to beautiful Back Bay of Lake Winnipesaukee for all fest goers to sample and enjoy. This will be Wolfeboro’s first event of this kind featuring 50+ craft beers from 20+ New England Craft Brewers.

The event benefits Camp Sunshine.

Click here for tickets and more information.


2nd Annual Gate City Brewfest Wing Competition

August 23
1 p.m.
Hollman Stadium
67 Amherst St., Nashua

The Gate City Brewfest Wing Competition is back for another year! The event will kick off on Saturday August 23. Over 40 breweries will be pouring handcrafted beer for you to explore and local restaurants will be facing off in a wing competition. General admission tickets are $25 ($20 in advance) and $5 for designated drivers/ under 21. Kids under 12 are free.

A ticket to the event includes: a souvenir tasting glass for the first 1,000 entrants, beer samples, a wing tasting card and a wing nut to case your vote for your favorite wing.

The Gate City Brewfest is a family-friendly event with bounce houses, games, Monster Energy BMX Stunt Show abd the Cornhole Championship Finals. Free live music is provided by Rock 101 FM.

Partial proceeds of this event will be donated to the Police Athletic League and Big Brothers Big Sisters.  

Click here for tickets and more information.


Wicked Wine and Brew Fest

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

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

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


2nd Annual Capital Cup Brew Festival

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

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


5th Annual Greater Salem Rotary Club Oktoberfest

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

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


Symphony NH Oktoberfest

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

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

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

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

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

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


Schnitzelfest

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

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


Upper Valley Oktoberfest

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

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


Exeter Powderkeg Beer and Chili Festival

October 4
12 p.m.
Swasey Parkway, Exeter

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


Attitash Oktoberfest

October 11-12
Attitash Mountain Resort
Route 302, Bartlett

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

Click here for tickets and more information.


Loon Mountain Oktoberfest

October 11-12
60 Loon Mountain Rd., Lincoln

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


NH Brewfest

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

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

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

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

Click here for tickets and more information.

 

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Aug 13, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Beer & beach festivals bring tourists to Dalian

The northeastern coastal city of Dalian in Liaoning Province has always been a magnet for tourists from both home and abroad. And this is even more so in the summer, as the city gives tourists two more reasons to visit – with a double dose of festival fun.

Summer beer festivals dot the Chinese landscape from the north to the south. And one you don’t want to miss is the China International Beer Festival in Dalian. The 13-day festival has on offer more than 400 varieties of well-known beer brands. Locals and tourists joined the annual party in the city’s Xinghai square beside Bohai Bay, enjoying active days and summer nights filled with cooling brews.

The International Beach Culture Festival in Dalian.

The International Beach Culture Festival in Dalian.

If beer isn’t your drink, Dalian has more to offer – the International Beach Culture Festival.

The event takes place on the city’s Golden Pebble Beach. One of the highlights is this very popular sand sculpture competition. This year, more than 300 people are getting their hands stuck in .

The beach culture festival also includes a creative design contest, various sports competitions, exhibitions and craft shows.

The two festivals are a great boost to Dalian’s tourism industry, having already attracted more than 3.5 million tourists.

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Aug 13, 2014
Freddie Kitson

5 Ski Resort Beer Festivals Not to Miss

Skiers dig beer. So it’s no surprise that a number of beer festivals are held at ski resorts. Most in the summer and fall, but occasionally one pops up while there’s snow still on the ground. Personally I love the idea of a ski-in beer fest. I also enjoy good food and music, which most beer festivals feature as well. Pretty much a perfect mix!

Ski resorts offer large open venues, great views, and a population of eager enthusiasts (AKA skiers) ready to knock back a few pints.

Google “beer festival” along with your state to find festivals near you, including those hosted off-resort. Here are five to get you started:

Blue’s Brew Fest

August 16, 2014

Times: 12:00pm-4:00pm

Location: The Valley, Blue Mountain Ski Area, Palmerton, Pennsylvania

Admission: $30/in advance, $35/at the door

Situated in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, the Blue’s Brew Fest combines fun revelry and music with a beautiful destination–perfect for a weekend getaway!

“Blue’s Brew Fest features a wide variety of local microbrews, craft beer and some of your favorite domestic and imports! Enjoy live music with the Doc from Penn’s Peak Radio and craft and specialty vendors!”

Breck Oktoberfest

September 12 – 14, 2014

Times: 9/12 – 2:00pm-6:00pm, 9/13 – 10:00am-6:00pm, 9/14 – 10:00am-5:00pm

Location: Breckenridge, Colorado

Admission (including stein): Half Liter Stein – 1 Day $30/Full Liter Stein – 1 day $35

One of several Oktoberfests around the country, Breckenridge is sure to do it up right. Let’s face it, how can you miss with schnitzel and beer?

“Breckenridge’s 20th annual Oktoberfest, September 12-14, 2014, includes a fun-filled weekend of fall foliage, great parties, genuine German cuisine, collectible steins and special accommodation packages. Don’t miss the largest Oktoberfest in the Rocky Mountains.”

2014-08-12-BreckenridgePhotoRobinJohnson_gobreck.jpg
PHOTO: Breckenridge, Robin Johnson

Snowbird Oktoberfest

Aug. 16 – Oct. 12, Every Saturday – Sunday

Times: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Location: Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Snowbird, Utah (Near Salt Lake City)

Admission: FREE

Another fun Oktoberfest, held annually since 1973, Snowbird’s event is one of the largest festivals in Utah. Nosh on German food, dance, and sample some of Utah’s finest local brew. While you’re there, be sure to ride the tram to the top of Hidden Peak, especially at sunset.

2014-08-12-PhotoSnowbirdSkiandSummerResort.jpg
PHOTO: Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort

Mt. Crested Butte Chili and Beer Festival

September 20, 2014

Times: 12:00pm – ?

Location: Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Colorado

Admission: Chili Beer Ticket $25 in advance/$30 at gate

Here’s your chance to get high (elevation 9,375 feet, what were YOU thinking?). Drink beer, eat chili, and relax to laid-back tunes. This is the 16th consecutive Mt. Crested Butte Chili and Beer Festival and it sounds like a blast! They have several ticket packages to choose from so be sure to visit their website to order in advance.

“Sample locally made chilis, sip some of Colorado’s finest craft beer, and enjoy some great tunes from great bands.”

Brew-Ski Festival

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Times: 12:00pm-5:00pm

Location: Boyne Highlands Resort, Harbor Springs, Michigan

Admission: FREE

Here’s where powder meets a frothy mug! They even have weekend packages including lodging, breakfast, Friday night hors d’oeuvres, and lift tickets.

“Hit the slopes, share laughter with friends and join us at our sampling bars where brewery representatives share their enthusiasm, and 240 brews from around the U.S. When you’ve satisfied your thirst, take in some live music while your favorite brats and burgers reach tasty perfection on nearby grills…”

2014-08-12-BrewSkiFestival2013PhotocreditBOYNE.jpg
PHOTO: Brew Ski Festival 2013, BOYNE

Still looking for more brew-fest options? Here is a great collection gathered by BeerFestivals.org of beer festivals help across the country:

Beer Festival Calendar

This post originally ran on the Liftopia blog.

By Erika Wiggins, The Active Explorer (@Active_Explorer)

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Aug 12, 2014
Freddie Kitson

GOODS | New “Red Dawn Saison” Released By Penticton’s ‘Cannery Brewing …

August 11, 2014 

Cannery Brewing is located at 112 – 1475 Fairview Rd. in Penticton, BC | 250-493-2723 | cannerybrewing.com

Cannery Brewing is located at 112 – 1475 Fairview Rd. in Penticton, BC | 250-493-2723 | cannerybrewing.com

The GOODS from Cannery Brewing Company

Penticton, BC | A new dawn is here. It’s a red dawn. A Red Dawn Saison! And it’s the latest limited release in the Artisan Creations series from Penticton’s Cannery Brewing.

French for “season”, Saisons were originally brewed during the cooler temperatures from autumn to early spring in order to be ready for the scorching heat of summer. Jeff Canada, who is part of the brewing team at Cannery Brewing, took the lead on the brewing of this fresh, crisp ale. “We had a great time testing out a variety of different options for the Red Dawn Saison. We wanted to create a saison that was unique in flavour, colour and finish. I think we did just that with this highly individualistic quintessential artisanal brew. Its unique red colour leads to a surprisingly dry finish. At 5.5% alc./vol. and 28 IBU’s, it’s the perfect beer to help quench a major thirst this summer.”

Inspired by pieces of art or photography, the labels for Cannery Brewing’s new Artisan Creations line-up are artistic creations that match the artistry of these beers. Jeff explained, “We looked at a lot of possible images for this label. When we saw this photo (above) from Kaarel Mikkin of www.headpead.com, we all fell in love with it instantly! We feel the artistic nature of this image is perfectly paired with the artistic nature of this new beer.”

Cannery Brewing’s Red Dawn Saison is a single batch release that will be available at private liquor stores and restaurants throughout BC until it is gone. It is already sold out at the brewery, so don’t delay. For a list of private liquor stores carrying the Red Dawn Saison, click here.

For more information on Cannery Brewing or any of its fine hand-crafted ales and lagers, visit www.CanneryBrewing.com, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, call 250.493.2723 or drop by and see them in the Brewery, which is located in Penticton, British Columbia.

DETAILS

112 – 1475 Fairview Rd. | Penticton, BC | V2A 7W5
Telephone: 250-493-2723
Email: info@CanneryBrewing.com
Web: www.CanneryBrewing.com | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

GALLERY

Cannery Brewing CompanyMaple Stout | Cannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyLakeboat Lager | Cannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyAnarchist | Cannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing CompanyCannery Brewing Company

THE PEOPLE

Owners: Patt and Ron Dyck
Brew Team: A passionate group of beer crazy souls.

ABOUT CANNERY BREWING

Located amidst the breath taking scenery of Penticton, British Columbia, our micro-brewery produces individually hand-crafted fine ales and lagers of unmistakable complexity and balance.  This flavour is the result of wonderful combinations of premium quality malted grains and carefully chosen Pacific Northwest hops. Cannery Brewing is the Small Brewery with Big Flavour!

All of our beers are created with carefully selected and scrutinized ingredients.  We use the finest hops and malted barleys and only the finest yeast strains.  Our brews are all natural.  They contain no preservatives and are not pasteurized.  You get a fresh, crisp taste every time.

We brewed our first batch of beer in the Old Aylmer Fruit and Vegetable Cannery in Penticton on April Fool’s Day, 2001.  It did seem like an auspicious day for the start of a brewery that would be dedicated to enjoyment (not to mention the odd practical joke!). In the beginning, we brewed and sold beer in kegs for local restaurants, pubs and clubs.  After that came the wonderful 8.5 litre Party Pigs of beer that flew out our doors. (Our pigs do fly!)

In 2011, we celebrated our 10th anniversary and our 1000th brew! Today we sell our beers in 650ml bottles, 355ml cans, on tap, in Party Pigs and we recently launched a new Growler program. A Growler is a reusable, glass 2L bottle that can be filled at our brewery.

AWARDS ACCOLADES

Over the years, we have been fortunate to receive a number of different awards at various beer festivals throughout the country. We were thrilled when we won a Gold Medal for our Squire Scotch Ale and a Silver Medal for our Naramata Nut Brown Ale as part of the 2010 Canadian Brewing Awards.

Cheers All Around For Penticton’s Cannery Brewing | Penticton Western News

Cannery Brewing Strikes Gold At CBAs | Beer Geek

Squire Scotch Ale A Gentleman’s Affair | Bryehn.ca

Cannery Brewing India Pale Ale: Now this is an IPA! | BCandy

Naramata Namesake Gets Award At Beer Fest | My Naramata

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Aug 12, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Dover Downs preparing for Beer Festival

DOVER, Del. (AP) — When Dover Downs Hotel Casino first launched its craft beer-themed Brew Festival four years ago, there were about 1,800 craft breweries in the country. These days, there are more than 2,700 and the number keeps ticking up.

That same explosive growth is happening right here in Delaware with new breweries and beer festivals popping up every year.

The expansion of Delaware’s craft beer culture has been so rapid that Lindsey Timberman, the Pike Creek publisher of the Delaware Hop Scene website, can hardly keep up.

“It’s been insane. It’s neat to see, but it’s kind of mind-boggling,” says Timberman, who started the website with her boyfriend Eric Roberts in 2012. “We used to go to Philadelphia once a month, but we have no need to now because there is so much happening right here in Delaware. There is always something going on.”

For next weekend’s Brew Festival in Dover, which runs Aug. 16 from 4-8 p.m., a record number of 1,000 people are expected. Each year, the number of attendees has grown right along with the beer scene in the First State, says George Fiorile, vice president and general manager of hotel operations at Dover Downs Hotel Casino.

Twenty-one breweries from across the country, including Delaware’s own 3rd Wave Brewing Company (Delmar), Fordham Old Dominion Breweries (Dover), 16 Mile Brewery (Georgetown), Twin Lakes Brewing Co. (Greenville), Mispillion River Brewing (Milford) and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton), will be represented. Nearly 100 different beers will be available for tasting.

For $25, beer lovers get 10 drink tickets and a souvenir glass for guzzling at the hotel’s Rollins Center, the 18,000-square-foot ballroom that hosts everything from concerts to boxing matches. (Designated drivers get in for $15 and get unlimited soda.)

The hotel’s chefs have also whipped up some off-centered finger foods to pair with the brews. There will be items like peanut butter and jelly waffles and “mac and cheese bombs” in three flavors, including feta and spinach, bacon burger and hot dog.

The hotel will also unveil a new concoction – a stout-battered waffle dog and it’s exactly what you think it is: waffle batter infused with a stout cooked around a hot dog.

In addition to the food and drink, Bear-based island folk/rock act The Splashing Pearls will perform, giving the festivities a cool groove backdrop.

Fiorile says the decision to host a craft beer festival was a no-brainer due to its popularity in the state. Plus, it draws a crowd largely in the 25 to 35 age group, some of whom are checking out the hotel and casino for the first time.

With the fourth annual Brew Festival now joined by more than a dozen annual beer festivals across Delaware, it’s nearly a full-time job for Timberman to keep an up-to-date calendar of Delaware craft beer events on her website.

“Very rarely is there a day in the month when there is not something going on and that speaks volumes about the craft beer scene in Delaware. When we started, we had a Facebook page and hoped to get a couple of hundred people. We’re now up to 2,200 likes,” she says. “It’s a lot to keep up with, but it’s the coolest thing to keep up with because it’s fun.

“It’s beer. Who doesn’t like to talk about beer?”

___

Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com

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Aug 12, 2014
Freddie Kitson

10 tips for a great bottle share

SO MUCH craft beer. So little time.

Attending beer festivals or ordering flights of beer from bars are great ways to expand your knowledge and palate. These opportunities provide several small pours of beer instead of the traditional method of ordering full-size glasses.

Or, you can throw your own mini-beer festival by organizing a bottle share.

Calling up a few like-minded friends to engage in a Saturday beer tasting is a perfect excuse to intermingle different circles of acquaintances and tick a few new beers off of your own “must try” list, as every attendee brings some of their own personal stock to pour.

Here are some guidelines for planning.

1. The more the merrier.

While your initial instinct may be to keep your tasting group small, expanding the number of participants means that you’ll have more varieties of beer to try. Different people have different preferences and this will force you out of your comfort zone to try beers that you typically may not purchase on your own. A larger group of attendees also increases the number of rarities or beers acquired from regional travel and trades.

2. Bottle limits strictly enforced.

Along with the invitation, place a limit on how many different bottles invitees can bring. It’s easy to get carried away, especially if you’ve taken the time to assemble an impressive cellar of rare beers that you’d like to show off. But, to imbibe responsibly, make sure you and your attendees follow a bottle limit policy. This keeps the pours small and allows the group to enjoy the beer without things getting out of control.

3. Variety is the spice of life.

Keep things interesting by cultivating a bottle list that spans styles and geography. As the organizer, ask everyone what they plan on bringing in advance. That way, you can help prevent duplication of bottles or too many beers representing the same style or from the same brewery. The exception to this rule would be planning a themed party, such as Russian Imperial Stouts or beers from Oregon, for example.

4. Sequence your drinking “playlist.”

When deciding the drinking order for the beers, think about each beer as a song in an epic mix tape. While traditional logic may indicate you should save the best for last, the fact of the matter is that your taste buds aren’t going to be as fresh at the end of the night. Start off with something exciting, put another big beer in the middle and, yes, finish strong. In between those key bottles, mix up the styles to keep everyone guessing.

5. Take your time.

A bottle share is not a race. Depending on the number of bottles being shared and size of the pours, you will probably want to allot the majority of the day to slowly drink through your supply. The goal here is to taste and enjoy these different beers. You do that by sipping slowly, taking notes and discussing the flavors with your peers.

6. Hydration, hydration, hydration.

Drink water. Drink lots of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink a full glass of water for every sample pour. This staves off the symptoms of dehydration like headaches and stomach issues as well as prevents the ever-dreaded next day hangover.

7. Snack attack.

Leave out serving bowls filled with pretzels, nuts or chips. If hosting an all-day event, make a plan for take-out or pizza delivery during meal times. Palate-cleansing snacks like unsalted crackers and mild fruit allow you to taste with a fresh tongue.

8. Show your appreciation.

From the newbie who brings an uninspiring shelf-warmer to the experienced trader sharing a rare, hard-won prize, encourage each other and say thank you. Craft beer drinkers are a supportive community. That comes from sharing knowledge, personal experiences and, of course, beer. While having a few of those hard to acquire “holy grail” beers make a tasting memorable, those beers can taste even more amazing when following a more pedestrian, average brew.

9. Take care of each other.

Even with the best intentions, people can get carried away and drink too much. Watch out for each other by encouraging those who may need to slow down or take a break. Create an atmosphere of personal and group responsibility. And make sure everyone has made arrangements for a designated driver.

10. Why so serious?

Beer is supposed to be fun. Don’t take yourself or your beer too seriously. Laugh, be humble and enjoy the company of your fellow drinkers. While sharing exciting, different beers was the impetus, what you’ll find is that the real benefit is quality time spent with good friends.

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Aug 12, 2014
Freddie Kitson

We’re going on a beer hunt



I feel a bit stink for Geoff Griggs at the moment.

Dubbed the doyen of Kiwi beer writing by those more esteemed than I, he found himself in Palmerston North at the beginning of the month.

I have told him and many others that Village Inn Kitchen is the spot to grab a beer in the city, so he is fair enough to be disappointed the place was closed when he tried to visit.

But it got me thinking: how can people travelling to cities they do not go to often find themselves a good pint?

To save you answering the question, I have put together four tips, tricks and titbits to arm you with most of the tools you will need to find good beer wherever you go.

1)   Untappd is, without a doubt, one of the handiest apps available to beer hunters. It is most commonly used to check in beers you drink – an R18 Pokedex, if you will. 

While I am no fan of its medal system – anything that gives you rewards, even if just digital, for drinking more raises moral issues with me – it has handy features.

You can see what people think of beers you are considering buying, and you can check what your friends love at beer festivals.

However, the best feature is the compass-looking icon.

You can use it to see what bars and breweries are nearby, then check that place’s page to see what people are drinking there; find the bar, check their beer list, know what they have.

This always works just as well for bottle shops, as long as people check in to the store they purchased the beer from when they enjoy it at home.

2)   Twitter has changed how people access information.

We hassle our telecommunications provider when the internet isn’t working; we find out what beers are still on tap at the pub; we organise social gatherings.

It can also be used to find out where is good for a drink.

It came in handy for me when I had to head to Dunedin for a couple of weeks last year; plenty of people came to my aid to recommend where to get a good pint.

They recommended Albar, and it is now one of my favourite pubs in the country.

3)   RealBeer was a godsend when I got into home brewing; it’s home to the best home brew forum for anyone living in New Zealand.

Not “one of the best” or “in the top few”.

The best. Period.

And what to good home brewers know about? Good beer.

Everyone on the forum has been nothing but helpful, so take advantage of them – in the nicest way possible, of course.

4)   There are these things we all interact with every day.

They can be annoying, smelly, large, and messy.

They can also be fun, small, organised and smell like a glass of IPA.

We call them “other people”.

You may talk to them sometimes about work, what to eat for dinner or how crazy the weather has been, so why not talk to them about where to get a good beer?

The way the craft beer “thing” is going these days, you are likely to know another person who appreciates good beer.

So ask around and see what they know.

Best case scenario: you’ll end up with someone to have a beer with sometime.

And, to quote Uncle Hunter, good people drink good beer.

5)   There is a plan in the works to make it easier to find, not only good beer, but all the brewries in New Zealand.

It also has a name bound to annoy every sub-editor in the world - kiwi CRAFT.

Jules van Cruysen is running a Kickstarter for kiwi CRAFT, a guidebook and app he wants to create.

kiwi CRAFT will show drinkers where to get a good beer virtually anywhere in New Zealand.

He has a big job ahead of him – he needs about $11,000 in the next nine days – but weirder things have happened (Octomom, Radlergate, any media brew made with The Beerhive).

In comparison to those three things, getting $11,000 in nine days is a walk in the park.

– Manawatu Standard

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Aug 12, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Beer Me!: Dover Downs’ Brew Festival on Saturday

When Dover Downs Hotel Casino first launched its craft beer-themed Brew Festival four years ago, there were about 1,800 craft breweries in the country. These days, there are more than 2,700 and the number keeps ticking up.

That same explosive growth is happening right here in Delaware with new breweries and beer festivals popping up every year.

The expansion of Delaware’s craft beer culture has been so rapid that Lindsey Timberman, the Pike Creek publisher of the Delaware Hop Scene website, can hardly keep up.

“It’s been insane. It’s neat to see, but it’s kind of mind-boggling,” says Timberman, who started the website with her boyfriend Eric Roberts in 2012. “We used to go to Philadelphia once a month, but we have no need to now because there is so much happening right here in Delaware. There is always something going on.”

POLL: Have you ever been to a beer festival?

For the Brew Festival in Dover, which runs Saturday Aug. 16 from 4-8 p.m., a record number of 1,000 people are expected. Each year, the number of attendees has grown right along with the beer scene in the First State, says George Fiorile, vice president and general manager of hotel operations at Dover Downs Hotel Casino.

Twenty-one breweries from across the country, including Delaware’s own 3rd Wave Brewing Company (Delmar), Fordham Old Dominion Breweries (Dover), 16 Mile Brewery (Georgetown), Twin Lakes Brewing Co. (Greenville), Mispillion River Brewing (Milford) and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton), will be represented. Nearly 100 different beers will be available for tasting.

For $25, beer lovers get 10 drink tickets and a souvenir glass for guzzling at the hotel’s Rollins Center, the 18,000-square-foot ballroom that hosts everything from concerts to boxing matches. (Designated drivers get in for $15 and get unlimited soda.)

The hotel’s chefs have also whipped up some off-centered finger foods to pair with the brews. There will be items like peanut butter and jelly waffles and “mac and cheese bombs” in three flavors, including feta and spinach, bacon burger and hot dog.

The hotel will also unveil a new concoction – a stout-battered waffle dog and it’s exactly what you think it is: waffle batter infused with a stout cooked around a hot dog.

In addition to the food and drink, Bear-based island folk/rock act The Splashing Pearlswill perform, giving the festivities a cool groove backdrop.

Fiorile says the decision to host a craft beer festival was a no-brainer due to its popularity in the state. Plus, it draws a crowd largely in the 25 to 35 age group, some of whom are checking out the hotel and casino for the first time.

With the fourth annual Brew Festival now joined by more than a dozen annual beer festivals across Delaware, it’s nearly a full-time job for Timberman to keep an up-to-date calendar of Delaware craft beer events on her website.

“Very rarely is there a day in the month when there is not something going on and that speaks volumes about the craft beer scene in Delaware. When we started, we had a Facebook page and hoped to get a couple of hundred people. We’re now up to 2,200 likes,” she says. “It’s a lot to keep up with, but it’s the coolest thing to keep up with because it’s fun.

“It’s beer. Who doesn’t like to talk about beer?”

IF YOU GO

What: Fourth annual Brew Festival

When: Aug. 16, 4-8 p.m.

Where: Dover Downs Hotel Casino, 1131 U.S. 13, Dover

Cost: $25 ($15 for designated drivers)

A TASTE OF DELAWARE’S BEER FESTIVALS

Sept. 6: Brews By the Bay in Lewes (www.delawarebrewers guild.org)

Sept. 6: Historic Odessa Brewfest (www.odessabrewfest .com)

Sept. 26: Brew at the Zoo Wine Too! at Brandywine Zoo (www.brandywinezoo.org)

Sept. 27: Harvest Hop Fest at World Cafe Live sat the Queen (www.queen.worldcafelive.com)

Oct. 4: River Towns Ride Festival in New Castle and Delaware City (www.rivertownsfestival.com)

Oct. 11: Delaware Beer and Wine Festival at the Delaware Agricultural Museum Village (www.delawarewineandbeer festival.com)

Nov. 1-8: Wilmington Beer Week (www.wilmingtonbeer week.com)

April 10-11, 2015: Delaware State Fair’s Triple Threat BBQ, Beer Music Festival (www.triplethreatbbq.net)

April 2015: Wilmington Craft Beer Festival at Santa Fe Wilmington

April 2015: Dewey Beach Brewfest at Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill (www.garysdeweybeachgrill.com)

April 2015: R2Hop2 Beer and Music Festival at Fordham Dominion Brewing (www.fordhamanddominion.com)

July 2015: Downtown Newark Food Brew Festival (www.newarkfoodandbrewfest.com)

July 2015: Smyrna Craft Beer, Wine Food Festival (www.smyrnafestival.com)

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