Browsing articles tagged with " beer festivals"
Jan 14, 2015
Freddie Kitson

New craft beer fest taps into Sun City’s love of suds

By Miguel De Santiago / Photo courtesy America on Tap

comment: @whatsupweekly

Craft beer enthusiasts will have something to be hoppy about this Saturday, Jan. 17 thanks to the Sun City on Tap Craft Beer Festival taking place at the Southwest University Event Center.

The 85 breweries participating in the event will be offering their seasonal, flagship and specialty brews. In addition, the festival will feature music from local bands Main Street and the Joe Barron Band as well as food from local vendors, including turkey legs from Ely’s, barbecue from Off the Grill and specialty fries from French Fry Heaven. 

The craft beer fest is part of a national event produced by the America on Tap Company that takes place across the United States. The company, a division of Town Square Media, started producing craft beer festivals in 2010, and in 2012 began branching out to different cities. 

Instead of being uniform events, each Tap Festival differs from region to region in order to have a more localized feel. Attendees can expect to see breweries from the southwest area along with brewers from other parts of the country.

A.J Bodden, founder of America on Tap, said that over the past two years they have seen tremendous growth in attendance and demand for their events because the craft beer industry has grown so much. He said that he hopes Sun City on Tap will become an annual event in El Paso.

“It comes down to the fact that there are more breweries than ever, with new ones opening daily, and people are looking for an opportunity to try these new products before buying them,” Bodden said. “On the flip side, these new breweries are looking to get their products in front of consumers.  Our event model provides a win-win for the consumers and producers.”

El Paso became a stop on the America on Tap tour because organizers wanted to expand events in Texas and felt they didn’t necessarily have to be in larger cities, so they opted to hold court in Texas communities such as Midland and Corpus Christi.

“El Paso was appealing because of its moderate size and active community along with the growth of craft beer in Western Texas,” Bodden said. “We want attendees to leave feeling as though they had a great experience, strong value for their dollar and an opportunity to sample some awesome brews. And of course we want them to come back again next time, but to bring some friends.”

Sun City on Tap Craft Beer Fest 

Southwest University Event Center, 

6500 Montana Avenue

Saturday, Jan. 17, 21+ 

The event takes place over two sessions: 

1-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.

Tickets: $30 or $35 at the door 

Designated driver tickets are $10 and will be sold at the door. 

Tickets include 8 sample tickets and a souvenir glass. Attendees can purchase extra sample tickets for $2 or 12 sample tickets for $8. 

Sample cups hold a total of 4 ounces.  

For more info or to purchase tickets, visit

Recommended Reading

Jan 13, 2015
Freddie Kitson

Cleveland Winter Beerfest returns this weekend

The first big beer festival of the year in Northeast Ohio is this weekend. The second annual Cleveland Winter Beerfest takes place Friday and Saturday (Jan. 16-17) at the Cleveland Convention Center in downtown Cleveland.

Organizers say the event, which features more than 350 beers, will be bigger than last year.

For starters, there’s a connoisseur ticket this year sponsored by New Belgium. Those ticket-holders receive a snifter glass and access to special food from local restaurants. There also will be a cask area put together by Willoughby Brewing Co. brewmaster Rick Seibt.

“And the beer list is just stronger,” said organizer Craig Johnson, head of Festivals Unlimited, which puts on beer festivals in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

The event begins at 7:30 p.m. each day.

Regular admission, which includes an acrylic mug, is $40 if tickets are purchased in advance and $50 cash the day of the event. An early admission ticket costs $50 in advance, or $60 the day of, and allows people in at 6:30 p.m. Connoisseur tickets are $85.

The inaugural event attracted about 6,500 people. Johnson said he expects 8,000 to 9,000 this year.

For more details and a list of all the beers, click here.

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Jan 13, 2015
Freddie Kitson

Beer festivals brewing in Carolinas – Asheville Citizen

It’s a big weekend for fans of craft beer with festivals happening in Greenville and Columbia, South Carolina. And for those who want more, another festival is set for next weekend in Asheville.

In downtown Greenville, Barley’s and the Trappe Door present the fourth annual Biggest Little Beer Festival at 2-6 p.m. Sunday. The event features 40 breweries and 125 beers. Breweries include Evil Twin, Highland, Quest, Swamp Rabbit, RJ Rockers, Westbrook and more. Tickets are $50 at VIP tickets are sold out. Designated driver tickets are $15 at the door.

In Columbia, the winter World Beer Festival is back on Saturday with two sessions, noon-4 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. at the Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln Street, an easy trip from Asheville down I-26.

Presented by All About Beer magazine, the festival is a major showcase of craft brewing, with more than 200 brews showcased. Festival highlights include an expanded South Carolina beer garden, a Belgian beer garden, a silent DJ disco where only the dancers can hear the music, expanded food offerings and a collaboration American IPA brewed by Columbia’s River Rat Brewery.

Upstate breweries attending include Brewery 85, RJ Rockers and Thomas Creek. Other breweries include Allagash Anderson Valley, Holy City, Brasserie d’Achouffe, Orval, Evil Twin, Rodenbach, New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, Sweetwater, Terrapin, Duck Rabbit, Highland, Green Man and Samuel Smith’s. The complete brewery list can be found online at

Tickets are $40 general admission, $50 includes one year subscription to All About Beer and $75 VIP at

More World Beer Festivals are coming up April 11 in Raleigh, North Carolina; in June in Cleveland, Ohio, and in October in Durham, North Carolina.

In Asheville, the Winter Warmer Beer Festival returns Jan. 24 at the downtown U.S. Cellular Center arena. More than 40 breweries are pouring their beers. Tickets are $48, plus a $1.94 processing fee at

Recommended Reading

Jan 12, 2015
Freddie Kitson

The next 8 days in entertainment

Happy Hour at the ISO

Conductor Steve Hackman will lead the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in a symphonic mash-up of Cold Play and Beethoven. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres start at 5 p.m. Thursday, concert starts at 6 p.m. at Hilbert Circle Theatre. Advance tickets $25, day of event $30. — Frank Espich

Some like it hot

Think you can handle the heat? Prove it at Lava Lips’ Battle of the Blaze, a hot sauce eating contest (4915 College Ave.). The event kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday and is free to attend, $5 to participate. Sign up at — Leslie Bailey

Curry warmer

Winter. Brrr. Need spicy curry — now! Thai Paradise opens tomorrow at 137 W. Market St. Red, green, panang, massaman and roasted duck curry are on the menu. Visit or call (317) 289-6604. — Liz Biro

Now YOU can be actual art!

You can see — and be part of — a temporary sculpture debuting Friday at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Austrian artist Erwin Wurm has arranged for empty platforms with instructional drawings and props. Visitors are encouraged to step up and perform. Have a photo taken and share it using hashtag #IMAWurm. The exhibit opens to members Thursday and will be up through June 21. — Will Higgins

Community Ebola discussion

Join The Star and WFYI at 5:30 p.m. Thursday for a community conversation about Ebola and what responsibility Indianapolis has to help stricken African communities. Panel will include an IU disaster medicine specialist and members of the Liberian community. Go to for information on how to register for the free forum at WFYI, 1630 N. Meridian St. — Jennifer Morlan

Elvis Tribute Artist Spectacular

8 p.m. Friday, Pike Performing Arts Center, 6701 Zionsville Road, $19 to $49.50, (888) 596-1027,

Elvis Presley’s rockabilly roots, movie years and Las Vegas performances will be revisited when the Elvis Tribute Artist Spectacular tour makes its annual stop at Pike Performing Arts Center. Tribute artists Shawn Klush, Cody Ray Slaughter and Ryan Pelton will perform, as well as drummer D.J. Fontana — a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who played on Presley’s recordings of “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock” and “All Shook Up.” — David Lindquist

The Naptown Roller Girls VS The Nashville Roller Girls, Season opener.

6:30 pm, Saturday, Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Tickets $8.00-$17.00 availiable at the door or,

The Naptown Roller Girls kick off their 9th home season with a double header, The Tornado Sirens and the Warning Bells V.S. The Nashville Roller Girls, Music City Brawl Stars. The bouts featured charity is the Hoosier Environmental Council. Season passes are availiable through Brown Paper Tickets. — Michelle Pemberton

Daredevil Brewing Company’s Agressively Fun Appreciation Tour

6 p.m. Thursday, Pizzology, Mass Ave. and Carmel,

Daredevil is celebrating its 2nd anniversary with a road trip. Tonight’s stop is at Pizzology. They will have a tap take over including Lift Off IPA and J.W.P. American Stout. Check online for info on other stops throughout January including Tomlinson Tap Room, La Margarita and Black Market. — Amy Haneline.

Shen Yun

7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Clowes Hall, 4602 Sunset Ave., Butler University, $60 to $120, (317) 940-6444,

This performance of classical Chinese dance is certain to inspire. Ancient Chinese instruments and a full Western orchestra combine to provide music for the beautifully-costumed dancers. With fluid fabrics and vibrant colors, they tell stories through dance that will both transfix and move you. — Michelle Kwajafa

Harlem Globetrotters at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

2 p.m. Jan. 19, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 125 S. Pennsylvania St., $23 to $114, (317) 917-2727,

The high-jumping, monster-dunking, fast-dribbling Harlem Globetrotters are a must see comedy event. They’ve updated the gags and the hoops-skills, but the team still squares off against the Washington Generals, which undoubtedly has the longest losing streak in basketball history. — Vic Ryckaert

Get your Winterfest tickets now

2 to 7 p.m. Jan. 31, Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St., $40 to $60 (Early Bird) or $10 for designated driver,

Tickets to one of Indiana’s largest craft beer festivals will disappear quickly. So buy yours now, then start making your pretzel necklaces. If you’ve never been, it’s a great way to get a taste of craft beer from local and national breweries. This year, they have doubled the space, but not the number of tickets—more space to mingle! Benefits support the Brewers Guild of Indiana. — Amy Haneline

Recommended Reading

Jan 11, 2015
Freddie Kitson

Traveling to food festivals for oysters, chocolate and beer

All of us may be trying desperately (or at least occasionally) to eat enough wild Alaskan salmon, leafy greens and quinoa salads. But let’s be honest; if we’re making the effort to pack a bag and book a flight in search of flavor, it’s going to be for something decadent.

The Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival in Ireland and the Salon du Chocolat in Paris are two more obvious choices for edible extravagance. Having just celebrated its 60th anniversary, the oyster festival has grown from a banquet for 30 to one of Ireland’s most celebrated events, with music, shucking competitions and historical tours marking the beginning of the oyster harvest (Sept. 25-27).

Salon du Chocolat hosts several events focused on the darling of indulgences, this year in Japan, Belgium, Russia and England; all amuse-bouches to the main course in Paris, a virtual fondue pot of international confectioners and pastry chefs mixing, tasting, building towers out of, and designing clothing with cacao (Oct. 28 to Nov. 1).

But some of the world’s richest treats aren’t quite as refined. Take, for instance, the “doppelbock,” a doubly strong version of an already thick and malty beer first brewed by the Paulaner monks in Munich in the 17th century. Oddly, it was brewed during Lent, when fasting allowed only the consumption of liquids. The more potent the beer, the more nourishment they got, or so the story goes, and the local flock was happy to follow their example.

Today, the tradition is celebrated during Starkbierzeit, or “strong beer time,” the first of Germany’s spring beer festivals (Feb. 27 to March 15). It begins each year at the Nockherberg brewery’s Paulaner beer hall and garden, former home to those crafty friars, with the tapping of the first keg of Salvator, the original brew, just as strong. Look for other varieties, as well as oompah bands and other entertainment, at any of Munich’s abundant breweries.

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival may have mile-long trains of crawfish bread and stuffed-mirliton, but the gumbos and gravies of the South Louisiana Blackpot Festival Cook-Off in Lafayette win crowds with personality. Each pot entered in the festival’s 10th anniversary cook-off this year (Oct. 23-24) represents centuries of Acadian and Cajun history, family recipes tweaked and tooled over the years to compete for modern palates.

Crowds gather at competitors’ pots on Saturday evenings while the judges decide which wins the day in five categories: gravies, gumbos, cracklins (or “gratons”), jambalayas and desserts (yes, pies, cobblers and even cinnamon rolls cooked in cast iron).

Americana plays throughout, from the region’s best zydeco to Appalachian bluegrass, topped off with an accordion contest and square dancing lessons. And in the campgrounds, where most out-of-towners settle in for the night, there’s more grilled boudin sausage and fried catfish to be shared, most likely along with a fiddled fais-do-do from a neighboring tent.

Four weeks for 99 cents of unlimited digital access to The Seattle Times. Try it now!

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Jan 10, 2015
Freddie Kitson

OneDer Beers Festival Brings New Beers To The Burbs


Who says all the good local beer festivals are held in Chicago? OneDer Beers, is a collaboration between Ale to the Burbs and Nevin’s Brewing Company (12337 South Route 59, Plainfield, Illinois) , where it will be hosted tomorrow, Jan. 10 from 2 to 5 p.m. This is a festival honoring beers that are new, or have been tweaked to become something entirely different.

Nearly 30 breweries will be participating, pouring not only the new-fangled, but some beers you’ll never see again. Others, like Ale Syndicate’s “Wolf Point” Belgian Golden Strong Ale, will strike the market in the future, but are being showcased in Plainfield first.

Breweries attending range from smaller guys like Bucket List Brewing, to more commercial folks, like Samuel Adams, to Chicago fan favorites, Revolution Brewing.

All breweries were asked to explore their experimental side, so expect some strange, unique and downright rad concoctions. Lagunitas is doing a Rye Cocoa Porter named “ScareCity 2,” and Two Brothers is tweaking their “Northwind” Imperial Stout by adding toasted marshmallows.

Tickets are going for $35, with each attendee receiving 20 drink tickets and a commemorative logo pint glass. Samples come in 3 oz pours. Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets.

Recommended Reading

Jan 10, 2015
Freddie Kitson

Cape May-Lewes Ferry starts hosting beer dinners

captain hansen

captain hansen

Hit up the first in a series of beer dinners being held in the Sunset Lounge in the terminal of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry on Jan. 16

captain hansen

captain hansen

Vehicles depart the Cape Henlopen Ferry after return from Delaware. Sunday November 2 2014 Captain Stan Hansen of North Cape May, New Jersey, to serve as Port Captain for the Cape May – Lewes Ferry service. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

captain hansen

captain hansen

Captain Stan Hansen stands in a renovated section of the Delaware Ferry. Sunday November 2 2014 Captain Stan Hansen of North Cape May, New Jersey, to serve as Port Captain for the Cape May – Lewes Ferry service. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

captain hansen

captain hansen

Vehicles board the Cape Henlopen Ferry for a trip to Delaware. Sunday November 2 2014 Captain Stan Hansen of North Cape May, New Jersey, to serve as Port Captain for the Cape May – Lewes Ferry service. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

captain hansen

captain hansen

Captain Stan Hansen stands on the bridge of the Delaware Ferry. Sunday November 2 2014 Captain Stan Hansen of North Cape May, New Jersey, to serve as Port Captain for the Cape May – Lewes Ferry service. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

captain hansen

captain hansen

Captain Stan Hansen at the dock as the Cape Henlopen Ferry departs for Delaware. Sunday November 2 2014 Captain Stan Hansen of North Cape May, New Jersey, to serve as Port Captain for the Cape May – Lewes Ferry service. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

captain hansen

captain hansen

Captain Stan Hansen stands on the bridge of the Delaware Ferry. Sunday November 2 2014 Captain Stan Hansen of North Cape May, New Jersey, to serve as Port Captain for the Cape May – Lewes Ferry service. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

captain hansen

captain hansen

The Cape Henlopen Ferry returns from Delaware. Sunday November 2 2014 Captain Stan Hansen of North Cape May, New Jersey, to serve as Port Captain for the Cape May – Lewes Ferry service. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

captain hansen

captain hansen

Capt. Stan Hansen stands on the bridge of the Delaware Ferry on Sunday. Hansen, a fourth-generation sailor from North Cape May, begins his now job as port captain for the Cape May-Lewes Ferry service.

captain hansen

captain hansen

Captain Stan Hansen stands on the bridge of the Delaware Ferry. Sunday November 2 2014 Captain Stan Hansen of North Cape May, New Jersey, to serve as Port Captain for the Cape May – Lewes Ferry service. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

Posted: Thursday, January 8, 2015 2:00 pm

Cape May-Lewes Ferry starts hosting beer dinners


The Press of Atlantic City

With so many area restaurants and bars hosting beer pairing dinners these days, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry was beginning to feel as if they were perhaps, well, missing the boat when it came to these popular events.

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      Thursday, January 8, 2015 2:00 pm.

      Recommended Reading

      Jan 10, 2015
      Freddie Kitson

      Taking part in Dry January? Nine nearby beer festivals to look forward to!


      Dry January is a struggle, isn’t it?

      You’ve just got over Christmas being over – the dark nights, the cold mornings, the commute back to work. All you want is a beer. Maybe a glass of wine. Perhaps both.

      Sadly, Dry January also has its numerous health benefits, so you can’t really give up. What sort of person can’t go 30 days without drinking, anyway?

      Luckily, there are plenty of reasons to be excited and look forward to sipping the sweet amber nectar by the time spring rolls around.

      We’ve drawn up a list of the must-attend beer festivals in Coventry , Warwickshire and beyond. Mark the date in your diary – and save up your money for a round!

      Redditch Winter Ale Festival, Redditch

      Club bar with hot food and other drinks. Entry is just £4 (discount for card-carrying CAMRA members and Rocklands Club members) and this includes a commemorative glass and programme.

      When? February 6 and February 7

      Where? The Rocklands Social Club, 59 Birchfield Road, Redditch, Worcestershire, B97 4LB

      The Swan Beer Festival, Halesowen

      When? April 23 – April 26

      Where? The Swan, Long Lane, Halesowen, West Midlands, B92 9JY

      Find out more:

      Coventry Beer Festival, Coventry

      Open from noon until 4pm and then 6pm until 11pm on both days, Coventry’s Beer Festival at Coventry Rugby Club offers over 80 beers for you to sample.

      When? April 24 – April 25

      Where? Coventry Rugby Club, Butts Road

      Boars Head Beer Festival, Warwick

      This gargantuan four-day event stretches from Friday until Monday, giving drinkers the chance to taste over twenty real ales and ciders.

      When? May 1 – May 4

      Where? The Boars Head, Church Street, Hampton Lucy, Warwick, CV35 8BE

      Find out more:

      Shirley Beer Festival, Solihull

      Open from 5.30pm until 11.30pm on the Friday, followed by 11.30am until 11.30pm (yes, 12 hours of drinking!) on the Saturday, Shirley Beer Festival offers over 40 beers and ciders from its main bar, as well as hot food to line your stomach.

      When? May 15 and May 16

      Where? Camp Hill Rugby Club, Haslucks Green Road, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 2EF

      Find out more:

      Stockton Beer Festival, Warwickshire

      A large selection of real ales, ciders, stouts and porters, along with entertainment from local musicians and activities for all the family to enjoy.

      When? May 22 – May 25

      Where? The Barley Mow, The Crown and The Nelson Club, all in Stockton, Warks

      Find out more:

      Stratford-upon-Avon Beer Festival, Stratford-upon-Avon

      Organisers of the festival are planning to provide 70+ Beers and 30+ Ciders for the 2015 festival.

      When? June 12 – June 13

      Where? Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse, Luddington Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 9SE

      Market Bosworth Rail Ale Festival, Market Bosworth

      Run in conjunction with the Battlefield Preserved Railway based at Market Bosworth Station with beers, ciders wines in the Goods Shed and on the trains.

      When? June 24 – June 26

      Where? Market Bosworth Station

      Find out more:

      Hinckley Beer Festival, Hinckley

      The eighth annual Hinckley Beer Festival takes place in September, after the Market Bosworth Rail Ale Festival earlier in the summer.

      When? September 10 – September 12

      Where? Atkins Building, Lower Bond Street, Hinckley, LE10 1QU

      Recommended Reading

      Jan 9, 2015
      Freddie Kitson

      A good year to make, drink beer

      The Ramblin’ Road Brewery opened in early 2014.
      (Full-size photo)(All photos)

      The Inland Northwest’s skyrocketing craft beer scene kept picking up speed in 2014, and all signs point to even more activity in 2015. Here’s a look back, and ahead, at the local year in beer:

      • For a second straight year, the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area added five breweries. The arrivals of Ramblin’ Road, English Setter, Perry Street and Zythum brought the Spokane County total to 14, and Downdraft in Post Falls made it five for Kootenai County.

      This year should see even more. Daft Badger in Coeur d’Alene (Jan. 20), Black Label in downtown Spokane (Jan. 31) and 238 on Green Bluff (TBA) all could be open within the month, while Bennidito’s Brew Pub (more on that below), the brewery incubator at the old Spokane Public Market and New Boundary in Cheney are shooting for spring.

      Regionally, the Inland Northwest Ale Trail launched its second year with 27 stops on the map, up from the previous 16.

      • Meanwhile, existing breweries continued to grow. Both Big Barn and Slate Creek made big brew system leaps – from 10 gallons to seven barrels, and two to 15 barrels, respectively – and started distributing to outside accounts.

      Mad Bomber is scheduled to replace its one-barrel system with a seven-barrel next month, while Iron Goat, No-Li and Twelve String are mulling growth that could involve new locations.

      • Taphouses kept cropping up to pour all those local and other beers, including Crafted in Coeur d’Alene – which matched Manito Tap House’s 50 handles – and more recently Area 51 at the north Spokane Onion, which one-upped them both.

      And for home consumption, the Oregon-based Growler Guys chain opened its first two Spokane locations.

      • More area beers also appeared in bottles and cans. No-Li added Born Raised IPA, Rise Grind stout and Mosh Pit Tart Cherry Ale to its line of 12-ounce four-packs; Pilsner 37 joined Orlison’s canned offerings; and Northern Ales in Kettle Falls started canning its session lager, The Grouch.

      Iron Goat and Twelve String plan to bottle some of their most popular styles soon in 22-ounce bombers. River City and Ramblin’ Road also are looking at bottles, while Trickster’s and Slate Creek are considering cans.

      • Collaboration brews, a growing nationwide trend, took hold here. Iron Goat jointly produced an India session ale with No-Li for Craft Beer Week, and teamed with two prominent Oregon breweries: Ninkasi for a triple IPA dubbed Goatorhead, and Breakside for a gin-barrel-aged release expected this spring. River City and Waddell’s combined for a pair of fresh-hop ales.

      • Two more national trends also blossomed locally. Ramblin’ Road and River City joined No-Li, Iron Goat and Twelve String in producing a variety of barrel-aged beers, with Trickster’s also starting to get in on the action.

      No-Li released a pair in bottles: Blackfill, a whiskey barrel imperial stout, and Van Lambert, a wine barrel cherry sour. Its two small batch beer festivals featured several barrel-aged and other specialties, and Twelve String celebrated a dozen in its first Barrelfest.

      Sours, a red-hot style across the country, also arrived. In addition to Van Lambert, Ramblin’ Road released a Sour Cherry Saison and a fruity, Brett-fermented Sour Red, Iron Goat debuted its Apricot Blackberry Sour, and Twelve String continued to sour several of its beers in naturally infected barrels.

      • The Randall – a device that infuses beer with various flavors as it’s poured – also caught on, with River City and Ramblin’ Road using theirs weekly, and Iron Goat and No-Li on occasion.

      • On the competitive front, No-Li brought home three awards each from Belgium’s Brussels Beer Challenge and Rhode Island’s Great International Beer Cider Competition, and it swept the first-place people’s choice awards at Seattle’s Washington Winter Beer Fest (where Orlison took a third).

      Kootenai River captured a bronze at the nation’s biggest beer event, the Great American Beer Festival, and also placed in Idaho’s North American Beer Awards along with Selkirk Abbey, Laughing Dog and Paradise Creek. Washington Beer Awards winners included Iron Goat, River City, Hopped Up, Paradise Creek, Republic and Riverport.

      • The Inland NW Craft Beer Festival (formerly Spokane Oktoberfest) turned a profit for the first time for the sponsoring Washington Beer Commission after relocating from Riverfront Park to Avista Stadium.

      The festival will be back at Avista next September – by which time we’ll be well on the way to writing another annual chapter in the local beer book.

      Brewery watch

      It’s been almost three years since Bennidito’s Pizza owner Chris Bennett bought a used 10-barrel brewing system from Seattle’s Schooner Exact and started scouting locations for his own brewery.

      Plans for a location in the Garland District fell through, but Bennett has found a home in a pair of buildings at 1909 E. Sprague Ave. redeveloped by Dave and Cody Coombs, who also created the Perry Street Brewing space.

      The brewing operation will occupy the former JB Motors showroom, while the previous Honeycutt Real Estate quarters, with its wood-beam ceilings, will house Bennidito’s Brew Pub.

      Along with pizza, the restaurant will serve an expanded selection of sandwiches made with house-smoked meats. In charge of the beer is Zach Shaw, who ran Northern California’s former Pacific Hop Exchange brewery.

      Freshly tapped

      • The latest addition to No-Li’s seasonal Expo Series is its first barley wine: Big Bang (10.5 percent alcohol by volume), a strong, smooth, malt-forward beer with some syrupy sweetness balanced by a respectable dose of hops. Look for it in 22-ounce bottles as well as draft.

      • Belgian-themed Selkirk Abbey has introduced its first non-Belgian-style beer. Selkirk Grace Scotch Ale (6.7 percent ABV, 40 International Bitterness Units) shows a wisp of smoke from cherrywood-smoked malt. It’s only on tap for now but will be bottled soon.

      • Belgian-themed Ramblin’ Road is pouring a Sour Red (6.3, 5) that gets its ripe berry flavors and aromas not from actual fruit, but from fermentation with two strains of funky Brettanomyces yeast after being soured in the kettle with lactobacillus.

      Save the date

      Seasonals from more than 20 local and regional breweries will be poured outdoors in a heated tent at the Lantern Tap House’s second annual Winter Beer Festival, Jan. 15-18, with live music Friday and Saturday nights. For $15 you get a commemorative tasting glass and five drink tokens.

      Send beer news, comments and questions to senior correspondent Rick Bonino at For more local beer news, keep an eye on, and follow us on Twitter (@BoninoBeer).

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      Jan 8, 2015
      Freddie Kitson

      Hibrewnation comes to Adams County

      Matthew Davis, who co-owns Hibrewnation Festival of Beer with his uncle, Brian Dudley, shows special tin cups and mugs that VIP ticket holders and

      For Matthew Davis, a good beer festival is not a place to get heavily intoxicated. He is not crazy about people walking around festivals in drunken stupors.

      Davis, a 33-year-old York City resident, wants beer festivals, especially the ones he holds, to be about tasting rare craft beers and experiencing new brands, flavors and products.

      Davis and his uncle, Brian Dudley, are bringing Hibrewnation, a traveling winter beer event, to Allstar Family Fun and Sports Complex in Cumberland Township on Jan. 17.

      “If you’re actually dedicated to coming out and trying beers and not just coming out and getting plastered, you’re going to get way more out of the event,” Davis said.

      Tickets are $55 for VIP admission, which gets up to 300 guests five hours at the festival, access to limited and time-release offerings and a stainless steel cup or pint glass. A $45 general admission ticket allows guests three hours of festival fun, during which they can enjoy more than 80 hand-selected regional and international brews.

      Designated driver tickets cost $20 for bottomless cups of soda and water, a special T-shirt and potentially more surprises, according to Hibrewnation’s website.

      While a smaller festival draws a lighter crowd, Davis is not in it to get rich. He wants to bring craft beers to people for them to enjoy.

      His West Market Street apartment is packed with cases of beer, some of which took him years to obtain through wait lists. There are India Pale Ales, stouts and porters. There are witbiers, doppelbocks and browns.

      With bottles of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout, Innis Gunn Toasted Oak IPA and Sierra Nevada’s Terra Incognita, the beers aren’t even available at most high-end stores, Hibrewnation’s website boasts. They’re genuinely hard to find.

      Matthew Davis cat, Riddick, sits on a box of beer at Davis home in York on Jan. 7.

      The winter festival lends itself to more of a dark beer event, Davis said. But there is something for every kind of craft beer drinker.

      Davis wants to see others appreciate craft beer the way he does. And he does not associate that interest with what he refers to as “beer snobbery.”

      Some may scoff at a can of Coor’s Light next to an AC Golden Brewery product, but Davis said they’re made by the same company.

      “It’s all branding,” Davis said. “People are going into stores and cherry-picking all the special beers, the good-looking beers, and they’re no longer giving anything to the rest of them. And it’s unfair. That industry helped us get here.”

      Hibrewnation is modeled after a larger city’s event, Davis said, but with a small-town feel.

      “We’re trying to make a D.C. or Philly-level event, bring it here and keep the size down so we can always control the quality and, more importantly, we can control safety,” he said.

      Mark Walters covers Adams County for The Evening Sun. Contact him at 717-637-3736 ext. 147.

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