If you go, drink this.


Beautiful day, good crowd and this was the best beer I had all afternoon.

If you can’t go tonight, buy the paper tomorrow and read about it … and see some good pix by Mike Fernandez. Here are my notes from the people I talked to:

Scott Sheridan pouring Arrogant Bastard Ale, made by Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, Ca. … in charge of Mid-Atlantic sales
“We had some foam issues earlier, but we got everything ironed out. This is a great Harrisburg crowd. We pull them in with the name, then they find it’s a great beer.”

Vid Lynch of Torchbearer Sauces in Mechanicsburg, the new habanero capital of central Pennsylvania, was doing demo with sauces and selling them on the side.

Do beer drinkers make good hot-stuff eaters?
“Yes they do, they love it,” Lynch said. “And we love to test their limits.”

The band: Brush Mountain Band is a five-piece bluegrass group from Centre and Mifflin counties. Website: “Their recipe of banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and upright bass with three-and four-part vocal harmonies is combined to cook up traditional, but catchy, bluegrass and gospel music.” 

“They’re pretty good, good old-timey music” said WINK-104 guy Bill Noble of Etters.

Angie McClurgan of Harrisburg, a first-timer at the brewfest, was drinking Hennepin – a Farmhouse Saison style beer from Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown.
“I’m pretty open-minded with beer.” How about diet beers? “I’m not that open-minded.”

Mark Rowland of Skippack, Montgomery County, trying new beers, favorite so far is Union Barrel Works: “Their Kolsch is good, Maibock is good, their Hefe is fantastic.”

Steve Weddele of Lebanon, “I’m old school, I’m going back to Troegs. The Troegenator is still one of my favorites.”

Jason Epperson with his wife Kimberly, who has a baby bump … newly moved to York from Connecticut, first time in Harrisburg

“Seems pretty nice. Definitely going to check out some of the restaurants afterwards.” Just went to a small beer fest in Conn a few weeks ago

Ben Seiber of Harrisburg … like microbrews?
“Maybe craft brews rather than microbrews… there’s a subtle difference.”

tried any new beers here today?
“The Southampton right now. I’m actually going through the whole line of Southampton … only on the second of four at the moment.”

the six pack question: should beer distributors be able to sell sixes as well as cases?

“At the risk of violating state and federal liquor laws, I go out of state to get beer. When I want to try something, I just want one of two, I don’t want to have to buy a case. I go down to Delaware, get some Dogfish Head, which you can’t get here.

“Or you can go to place like Brewhouse Grille and they’ll give you a 10 percent discount on a mixed six-pack.”

Volunteer Gretchen Brummel selling T-shirts at the Designated Driver booth
“We encourage people to bring a designated driver. They get a reduced entrance fee and they get free water and free soda throughout the entire session.”

Jamie Frey of CFF
“Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects younger children and it’s caused by a mucus that forms in the lungs. When the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was formed, the life expectancy was mid-teens. Now with all the research that’s been with fundraising through events like this, average life expectancy has been bumped up to the mid-30s.

“What’s great about the foundation is that 90 cents of every dollar donated goes to research and development, not awareness.”

how did you get hooked up with Troegs?
“Our chairman Tom Warren contacted Troegs about getting involved, and they have just been phenomenal. They handle getting in contact with all the breweries and all that. Without them, we really couldn’t do it.”

how much did you raise this year?
“Over $100,000.”

John Trogner of Troegs Brewery on six-pack bill:

“It’s good for the consumer. Any time you can pay less to try things, you’re more likely to try our beer. The biggest hurdle in Pennsylvania is getting people to actually commit to 24 bottles of beer. Our drinker is generally drinking less and drinking more flavor.”

“The beer festival is a great way for people to try the different beers.”

Bill Covaleski of Victory Brewing Co. in Downingtown
“I’m in favor of the six-packs for beer distributors in Pennsylvania. I feel that those guys need this opportunity to better address the consumer.

price of a case of microbrew …
“It is daunting, and that’s why we do things like the Harrisburg Brewfest. We’re proud of the great flavors we have, and we’ve got to get them in people’s hands and mouths so that they are confident when they put that $25 or $30 down.”

John Frantz of Lancaster Brewing Co.
“In Pennsylvania, they make it difficult for people to experiment and try new beers. People don’t want to pay that kind of money for a beer they’ve never tried before. So if they can buy a sixpack and find out if they like it, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than buy a whole case and finding out you don’t.”


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