Hop’in Around: Big changes made to local beer fests

By on July 25, 2018

There are already a couple local beer festivals in the books, but the festival season is just now starting to ramp up. It seems like there is a new beer event popping up every year and they continue to be successful.

Rivertown Hops Beer Fest

Take a look at Rivertown Hops Beer Fest, happening Saturday, Aug. 4 from 4 to 8 p.m. The event started two years ago as a small effort to capitalize on the popularity of the craft beer culture and bring people out to the western side of the county. It’s now a full-fledged festival with “twice as many breweries, vendors, roaming musicians, cider, wine, (and) a distillery.”

I got ahold of Matthew Davis with Crocodiledog Marketing; they’ve been brought on by the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce to amp up the festivities.

HA: Why a beer fest in Columbia?

MD: It’s where it was before. It might move around though. It’s not called “Columbia Beer Fest,” it’s Rivertown, and I’d like to see it hop around.

HA: What will be different this year from the past beer event?

MD: In almost every way it’s a different festival. You get samples, but not full pours. You get bites included….It was small and not really tied into the beer community. We tied it back in and leveraged what we could to represent the town and the breweries present.

HA: What breweries are you excited to have at the event?

MD: All of them. I don’t willy nilly pick them. We take great efforts to support new breweries and we have two at the event: Starview and Jonerstown. The former is opening up in Columbia and will have tours during the event and the later is almost open on the other side of the river.

HA: What should festgoers expect?

MD: A good time in a responsible atmosphere. I want people there to enjoy the beer for the beer, not for its alcohol content and my breweries support that.

Rivertown Hops is an annual fundraiser for the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce; their mission is “to preserve and strengthen the Susquehanna Valley’s business and tourism environment by improving programs and services which promote civic, cultural, business, and economic growth and development.”

Tickets and more info can be found at rivertownhops.com.

An aerial view of last year’s Lancaster Craft Brewfest on North Queen Street. Due to construction, this year’s event will be partially held in Binns Park. (Photos by MM Visuals)

Lancaster Craft Beerfest

Big changes are also in effect for this year’s Lancaster Craft Beerfest on Saturday, Aug. 25. Due to construction at the city’s Lancaster Square (the regular event location for the past five years) organizers have taken some creative measures to ensure a good time is had by all. First of all the event will still take place in Binns Park — partly. Some breweries and live music will be located in Binns Park, but a new “food court” and the rest of the breweries and vendors will be located along North Queen Street.

This year the event is being split in half to alleviate the mad rush of people overcrowding the event. The 2018 Lancaster Craft Beerfest will have two general admission sessions: session one from noon to 3 p.m., and session two from 4 to 7 p.m. (Don’t try and be sneaky, each session will have a different colored wristband.)

Cider drinkers, there is a great selection coming for you! Designated driver tickets are $12 and allow access to the event, entertainment, food vendors, and “all the root beer you can drink.” No one under 21 is admitted.

Tickets and more info can be found at lancastercraftbeerfest.com.

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

Performers at 2017’s Lancaster Craft Brewfest had a great view of the crowd.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *