Lancaster Craft Beerfest: Check out the new breweries
If you go
What: Lancaster Craft Beerfest
When: 4 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29
Where: The block of north Queen Street surrounding Lancaster Square and Binns Park in Downtown Lancaster
Cost: $40 general admission, $12 DD (VIP ticketsare sold out)
Details: For more information, visit lancastercraftbeerfest.com .
It's not every day local craft breweries are gathered in one place, lining the street with brews for you to try.
Lancaster Craft Beerfest will give you that opportunity on Saturday, Aug. 29 with about 20 new breweries on the attendance list.
Mad Chef Craft Brewing in East Petersburg has only been open in their brewery for about a month and the upcoming beer fest will be its first festival.
"We wanted to do this one, it's right in our backyard," Greg Kendig, co-owner of the brewery said. "We're looking forward to meeting a whole bunch of great people and serving them some really good beer."
It has seven craft beers, but they'll be bringing two to the beer fest to taste. They'll have their F-18 IPA and the Johnnie Doe, a light American lager.
The F-18 is a West Coast style IPA, so it has a big body, Kendig said. It's made with 18 pounds of Falconer's Flight hops.
The light American lager is atypical for those that are new embarking into the craft brewing experience, Kendig said. It's light in color with a good body to it and has low IBUs for those who don't like hoppy beers.
"Our beers are formulated for enjoyment, so we brew in a way that even our hoppy beers aren't extremely bitter," Kendig said.
Mad Chef Craft Brewing is unique because it pays special attention to flavors, Kendig said. They would know, because co-owner Francisco Ramirez is a CIA-trained chef.
"He brings a real culinary influence to his brewing," Kendig said. "He very much understands flavor balance and how to put together and massage the recipes for it to enhance your culinary experience."
At the brewery, they also have an upscale pub menu with a number of light items, specializing in Belgium fries, or pomme frites.
The new brewery won't be serving food at the fest, but other vendors will. There will also be live music.
Other breweries new to the fest this year include 3 Guys & A Beerd Brewing Co., Angry Orchard Hard Cider, The Other Farm Brewing Company,
Leavenworth Biers, and Coney Island Brewing Co.
But don't worry about spending so much time in line instead of drinking beer, this year Joycat Events decided to cap the amount of tickets at 3,100 while increasing the number of breweries to over 50.
This is the third year of the fest and it continues to grow, Jonathan Yeager, partner with Joycat Events, said. The first year they had about 2,100 people, using just one side of Lancaster square along the first block of Queen Street. Last year, they had about 3,100 people, which they decided to maintain this year. The fest will be on the block of Queen Street where the dancing water fountain is and that part of the street will be blocked off by Federal Taphouse. Beer will be on both sides with food down the middle of the street. The amphitheater in Binns Park will feauture bands.
Beer fans can also enjoy a pre-release of the New Belgium Brewing Company which is an established brewing company based in Colorado. The company has national distribution, but has never been sold in Pennsylvania before, until a day or two after the fest, that is, Yeager said.