Brews & Skews is fun, but not enough food, attendees say
Hundreds of people walked around Brooks Robinson Plaza at Santander Stadium Saturday afternoon with a beer in one hand and a kabob in the other.
The first-ever Brews & Skews event — sponsored by York Revolution, York Traditions Bank and Eventive – went one step above your average beer festival, combining beer, live music and food on a stick.
"There've been plenty of beer festivals," York Revolution director of special events Adam Nugent said. "We wanted to change it up and focus on the food."
Guests could purchase six skew sampler tickets and six brew tasting tickets, allowing them to taste samples from their choice of eight local eateries and several craft breweries.
Some vendors, like All About Brownies and White Rose Bar & Grill, stayed true to their regular menus, offering brownies and crab pretzels on sticks. But others broke out of their comfort zone.
3 Hogs BBQ, from Hanover, served marinated and smoked pork loin dipped in cornbread batter and drizzled in barbeque sauce.
"Everybody can put something on a skewer," 3 Hogs BBQ owner Matt Albright said. "I like to do something that's not easy."
Entertainment and activities at Brews and Skews included live music, a photo booth, mechanical bull, stilt entertainer and even a mozzarella cheese stretch. Attendees helped Caputo Bros. Creamery stretch a hunk of mozzarella cheese 90 feet long.
The only complaint (other than the heat) heard throughout the day? Not enough food.
Crystal Ganong, of West York, said she loved the idea of Brews and Skews. But when she arrived at 2:30 p.m., an hour and a half in to the five-hour event, four of the eight vendors were out of food.
"I hate to be a negative Nancy, but we bought our tickets early, got here an hour and a half into the five-hour event, and half the food places (were out of skew samples)," she said. "I feel bad for the folks that are getting here at 4 or 5 p.m."
Baron Von Schwein went through its stock of 125 pork souvlaki kabobs with tzatziki sauce in about an hour and a half, co-owner Jordan Pfautz said. Employees had to go back to the restaurant to pick up some mac 'n' cheese to serve at the festival instead.
Mudhook Brewing Co. ran into a similar problem. Three hours into the festival, owner Jeff Lau sent an employee to get chili so he'd have an alternate option when his supply of chicken, onion, mushroom and pepper kabobs ran out.
By about 4 p.m., at least three more vendors were out of their skew samples, so organizers allowed guests to use their skew tickets for corn dogs, walking tacos, shrimp kabobs and chicken kabobs from the York Revolution tent.
But for some, the festival wasn't all about the food.
"We're craft beer people," Dave Beard, of Gettysburg, said. "We came for the beer, and that's well stocked. And it's a nice atmosphere and beautiful weather. It's really nice."
Nugent said he didn't know what to expect since this was the first year for Brews and Skews. Sometimes, an event like this could draw close to 1,000 people, but if it rains, you get closer to 200, he said.
"The feedback we've been getting is that it's a great event," he said. "We just need more food."
The winning vendor of the people's choice award for Brews and Skews champion will be announced on the Brews and Skews Facebook page.