Sneak peek! – New brews for Lititz Craft Beer Fest

By on September 20, 2017

A homebrew competition hopeful hands out a sample at the 2016 Fest. (Photos by Mike Shull)

 

The folks at the Lititz Craft Beer Fest have been kind enough to let #hopinaround readers be the first in the know about some newcomers for this year’s fest. The next round of announced breweries for the sold out, Sept. 24, event happens now!

“We’re excited to be participating in the Lititz Craft Beer Fest this year,” said Jason Cartwright, one part of the three-man team that is Locust Lane Craft Brewery out of Malvern. “We’ll be bringing one of our Founding Four beers, our Pale Ale, and the seasonal offering will be Oktoberfest.”

Locust Lane is the culmination of more than 24 years of friendship between Cartwright, Bryan Brockson, and Tom Arnold. (No, not that Tom Arnold — the ex-husband of Roseanne Barr — I’m sure he has heard that one before!) The trio is focused on four founding principles when it comes to beer: hard work, teamwork, fun, and simplicity. The simplicity led to four “founding beers,” the aforementioned pale ale, an ESB, a stout, and an IPA.

Described as “refreshing and hoppy with a citrus flavor and aroma,” the pale ale weighs in at 5.5 percent ABV. Locust Lane’s Oktoberfest (5.2 percent ABV) is brewed using Vienna and Munich malt sourced exclusively from Deer Creek Malthouse of Glen Mills.

 

Beer, while the centerpiece of the Lititz Craft Beer Fest, doesn’t overshadow the relationships that can be cemented over a frosty sample mug.

 

“[Deer Creek is] one of the only true malthouses in Pennsylvania. We’ve brewed several beers using some of their specialty malts to enhance our base malt build,” said Cartwright.

Over in York, Collusion Tap Works recently celebrated their one-year anniversary. Co-owner and brewer Jared Barnes (formerly of Wyndridge Farms) is an academician of brewing, carrying a Master Brewer’s certification from the World Brewing Academy. His education has allowed him to pump out some creative brews over the past 12 months, two of which he’ll bring to Lititz for the fest.

Collusion’s Vivid River is a Norwegian-style farmhouse sour ale brewed with wheat and spelt. This earthy libation is the brewery’s flagship for their farmhouse line and is soured with a “house blend” of lactobacillus and warm-fermented with a homegrown yeast named Mutagen. The resulting flavors provide notes of “tart guava, green apple skin, and overripe pineapple.”

For the IPA fans, Barnes will be bringing Jazz Hands, a session IPA (5.5 percent ABV) conditioned with mango puree. The mango is subtle in this hop-forward, “down under” brew with Vic Secret and Rakau hops.

The last, but by far not the least, new brewery for this round of announcements is Cigar City Brewing. As of press time, Cigar City had not let me know what they planned on offering at the Lititz Craft Beer Fest. Whatever it is, I can guarantee it will be good. I’ve never tasted a brew from this Tampa, Fla., brewery I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. I’m such a fan of this brewery I tried to turn it into a side trip during a family vacation to Disney World a couple years ago. My plan failed. I’m placing bets Cigar City’s seasonal Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale will make an appearance. We’ll see.

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.

The Lititz Craft Beer Fest has become one of the most popular events of the year in town.

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