Craft beer, live music and a larger crowd will headline the second annual Gettysburg Brew Fest on Seminary Ridge next Saturday.

The fest will host more than 50 craft breweries from around the country with over 150 beer and cider samplings, said the Rev. John Spangler, spokesman for Seminary Ridge. Seven of the 50 breweries are located in the Hanover-Adams County area, he said.

"People love seeing the local breweries out," Spangler said.

The quality of craft beers is the reason the event is already as popular as it is, said Randy Prasse, co-founder and event manager of Gettysburg Brew Fest.

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"The attraction is always the craft beer and the brewers themselves. Unlike many other beer festivals, we are not a music or food event with beer. We are a craft beer event through and through," he said. "We hand select our breweries and cideries through an application process. Not everyone gets invited to participate."

The fest will last from 4:30 p.m. until around 8 p.m., Spangler said. General admission tickets costing $45 must be purchased before entry, but you can't wait around forever to buy them, he said. Organizers made just 2,000 tickets available, and the seminary is expecting a sellout, Spangler said.

Last year, organizers capped admission at 1,500 tickets, but they increased the number this year because of positive feedback.

"It was just a great success last year, the highest and best feedback we could have expected," Spangler said.

The event will begin with a boom, literally, with cannons signaling the beginning of the event, Prasse said. The fest is more than just beer, with living history re-enactors mingling with guests, live music and artists painting on the battlefield and selling their art there, he said.

"We have General U.S. Grant, who else can say that?" Prasse said.

As samplers begin to roam seminary grounds on the westward end of the battlefield, the aroma of beer and hard ciders takes over. Samplers can try out brews 3 ounces at a time, buy food and listen to live music, Spangler said.

Having fun is the main goal, but enjoying responsibly is of the utmost importance, Spangler said.

"We have monitors at all of the tents, so there will be lots of staff and volunteers that make sure everyone is safe," he said. "There are special accommodations for designated drivers to. They can spend $20 on a ticket for a different package."

The end of the night will conclude with the playing of "Taps" in the battlefield, Spangler said.

"It's going to be a great lineup this year," he said. "We're looking forward to another good time for all involved."

If you go

What: Gettysburg Brew Fest

When: Aug. 22, 4:30 to 8 p.m., rain or shine

Where: Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, 61 Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg

Cost: $45 general admission, $20 designated driver


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