9 rare, non-traditional and new beers to try at Yorktoberfest
If you go
What: Yorktoberfest Beer and Wine Festival
When: 1 to 5 p.m. (or noon to 5 p.m. for VIP) Oct. 10-11. Event is rain or shine.
Where: York Fairgrounds, 334 Carlisle Ave., York
Tickets: $20 for weekend wine pass, $25 for VIP wine pass, $35 for one-day beer pass, $40 for VIP beer pass, $15 for designated driver. Most tickets are eligible for a $5 discount if purchased online before Oct. 2.
More information: Visit yorktoberfest.com .
Forget Halloween, corn mazes and pumpkin spice.
For York beer and wine lovers, October means only one thing: the return of Yorktoberfest.
The fifth annual event, organized by the CrocodileDog Marketing team, will return to the infield of the York Fairgrounds Oct. 10 and 11 with samples of more than 60 craft beers and 120 Pennsylvania wines, food, vendors and live music.
Read about five more Oktoberfest events to attend this fall.
The idea is to highlight rare and hard-to-find beers as well as a selection from new and up-and-coming brewers, organizer Matthew Davis said.
"We try to mix everything in at Yorktoberfest," he said.
Close to 1,200 guests are expected for the festival, which features more than 30 breweries and 12 Pennsylvania wineries.
Guests might recognize local names, including Aldus Brewing Company, Crystal Ball Brewing Company, Wyndridge Farm and Moon Dancer Winery. But national breweries, including New Belgium Brewing Company from Colorado, Deschutes Brewery from Oregon and Lagunitas Brewing Company from California, will also be represented.
New this year will be a VIP hour for both beer and wine from noon to 1 p.m. During this time, a limited supply of special bottled beers will be available while supplies last.
Davis said the goal of Yorktoberfest is to provide a beer selection that makes both the new and experienced beer drinker happy.
Whether this is your first beer festival or you've tried hundreds of craft brews, here are nine rare, non-traditional and new beers worth trying at Yorktoberfest.
Great Lakes Nosferatu: Great Lakes Brewing Company doesn't make much of this American amber with rich roasted malt flavors. According to GreatLakesBrewing.com , the beer can't be found anywhere within 50 miles of York. But it can be found at Yorktoberfest.
Sprecher XII: Only 460 cases of Sprecher's 30th anniversary Belgian-style quad, XII, were bottled this year. And it'll be available at Yorktoberfest.
ManchilD's 16 percent IPA: ManchilD, a group of homebrewers, took second place at CrocodileDog's Brew Kids on the Block festival this year. And now, they're back with the third batch of their Phranken Phoenix-inspired Imperial Icarus IPA, called On Purpose. The second batch had an ABV of 19.1 percent, according to Untappd. But the third batch comes in at 16.6 percent.
Mexitaly 's Pomegranate Saison: If you like Mexitaly's Timepiece Saison, you'll probably like the Pomegranate Saison. A variation of the Timepiece, the Pomegranate has a fruity, tart and dry taste that hits the spot in the summer, brewer Rick Kunkel said. Kunkel said he chose this beer for Yorktoberfest because it's something he's never seen done before.
Gift Horse's To Peaches Own: While Gift Horse Brewing Company is still new to York — it plans to open a brew pub on North George Street this year – its beer isn't new to area festivals. Gift Horse's CitraWheat was voted the crowd favorite at last year's Yorktoberfest. But this year, they'll also bring their new fall seasonal peach IPA called To Peaches Own. It's a balanced IPA made with New Freedom peaches, brewer Jason Snyder said. It has a bitter, hoppy flavor with a sweet peach finish.
Moon Dancer's Pumpkin Cider: Moon Dancer will add Pumpkin Spice to its list of three ciders (Apple, Cranberry and Hard N Hoppy) at Yorktoberfest. The cider, which will also be available at the winery and cider house through the end of the year, is a combination of pumpkin and apple with mulling spices.
"It's reminiscent of a pumpkin pie," owner Jim Miller said. "It's carbonated, and it's not too sweet, but refreshing and crisp with hints of pumpkin and spice."
Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey's DeCider: This peanut butter caramel apple hard cider is made with Pennsylvania apples, Vice President of Marketing and Outreach Michael Wilson said.
"It's very layered in the way it tastes," Wilson said. "First, it's apple cider, then caramel, then strong peanut butter on the finish."
Howling Henry's: Owner and brewer Greg Schertzer opened up this Hummelstown manufacturing location in May, but he's still looking for a space for retail sales. That means your best opportunity to try Howling Henry's beer is at a festival like Yorktoberfest. Schertzer plans to bring his Henry's Wheat Ale, an American-style wheat ale with malted sweetness and a hint of hops; Howl'n Oats IPA, a strong IPA with malty sweetness and hops; Black Tail Stout, a non-traditional stout with notes of chocolate and a roasted coffee finish; and The Swagger Brown Ale, a smooth, cool ale with a slightly roasted finish.
Tattered Flag: This new brewery plans to open in Middletown in early 2016. But in the meantime, you can try two of their seasonal pumpkin beers at Yorktoberfest. Tattered Flag's Pumpkin Russian Imperial Stout has a roasted malt and chocolate taste that blends well with the pumpkin and nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon spices, great for people who like complex beers, the brewers said. The Pumpkin Cream Ale has a more smooth, drinkable taste, while still retaining a touch of pumpkin and spices.