Sample a Wide Variety of Beer & Food for a Good Cause
By Tricia Lynn Strader
Mountain Maryland Events, LLC, announced the second annual Quad State Beer Fest will be on October 3 at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, near Hagerstown. Rob Immer, president of Mountain Maryland Events, LLC, says last year’s inaugural Quad State Beer Fest drew about 1,500 people who could sample 45 beers from 20 regional breweries.
“Craft beer is very popular across the country and there was not an event in our area to showcase local and regional beers,” says Immer. “This year, we have over 60 beers available from 25 breweries. Loyal and new fans of the microbrewery industry can not only engage with the beer makers, but they will be able to find their new favorite brews in establishments in and around Washington County.”
For one price visitors can sample as many local and regional craft beers as they want–responsibly (each sample is 2-3 ounces). Settle on a preferred one, and get a free pour of 9 ounces. Festival food and entertainment round out the afternoon. There are also games like Giant Jenga and the Galaxy Liquors Cornhole Tournament. Some lucky players can win a cash prize and a trophy.
Food vendors cover a wide variety of tasty items that include Jamaican jerk chicken, deli favorites, BBQ, pub food, and Mediterranean cuisine. For anyone who fancies himself or herself a home brewmaster, they can enter the Home Brew Contest sponsored by Blue Mountain Wine Crafters. This is the event’s 1st Amateur Home Brewing Competition. Entries are due by September 18. Categories are Pale Ale/IPA, Lager/Pilsner, Stout/Porter, and Seasonal Specialty. The Best of Show winner will have a one-time offer to have their beer made and served on tap at Antietam Brewery and offered an opportunity to assist the Brewmaster. Cost is $10 per entry. Prizes will be awarded in the four categories for first and second place. Judging takes place at Quad State Beer Fest.
One can also enter artwork in the Amateur Label competition. Winner will be chosen by the most crowd votes. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Entry fee is $5. Again, entries are due by Sept. 19. There’s an advantage to entering either contest. Entry entitles the brewer to purchase advanced general admission ticket for $30.
Entrants must be present to win. For more information, call Blue Mountain Wine Crafters at (301) 791-2882, or log onto www.bluemountainwinecrafters.com. Antietam Brewery is the county’s only craft brewery and the partner in the festival with Mountain Maryland Events, LLC.
Immer says they were a logical choice. “They know the industry firsthand; they are very passionate, and the brewmaster is a veritable legend.”
Antietam Brewery’s located at Benny’s Pub, on Antietam Creek in Hagerstown. They started out as a small bar that held 60 patrons. Now, they can seat over 170, and over the years they’ve become known for creating foods with local ingredients, and beers in homage to the “pubs” or public houses of old Europe. Crafting beer was the next step.
Daniel Maerzluft is the Brewmaster. In 1999, Maerzluft earned a degree in Brewing Technology from Siebel Institute of Technology. He spent four years apprenticing in all areas of a functioning brewery. He has worked as the Director of Brewing Operations for the Mountaineer Brewing Company in Martinsburg; as the Brewmaster for both Frederick Brewing Company / Flying Dog Brewery Frederick, and Wallaby’s Microbrewery in Cleveland, Ohio; he was a brewer at Diamonback Brewery in Cleveland, and a Brewery Consultant and Interim Brewmaster at Pedernales Brewing Company of Fredericksburg, Texas.
His major achievements include: Multiple Bramwell Oktoberfest Medals, Vandalia Ale reviews in All About Beer Magazine, Multiple Great American Beer festival Medals, Silver Medal in World Beer Cup 2000, and Three Great American Beer Festival Medals,
Other breweries include but are not limited to: Flying Dog of Frederick, DuClaw of Baltimore, Md., Fin City Brewing Company of Ocean City, Md., Full Tilt of Baltimore, Victory Brewing Company of Downingtown, Pa., Goose Island of Chicago, Il., Sweetwater Brewing Company from Atlanta, Ga., Bell’s Brewery of Kalamazoo, Mich., Port City of Alexandria, Va., Assawoman Bay Brewing Company of Ocean City, Roy Pitz of Chambersburg, Pa., Heavy Seas of Baltimore, Ocean City Brewing Co., Penn Brewery from Pittsburgh, Pa., Tall Tales Brewery of Parsonsburg, Md., Schafley Beer of St. Louis, Mo., RavenBeer of Baltimore, Red Shedman Farm Brewery and Hop Yard of Mt. Airy, Md., Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company of Lexington, Va., and Uinta of Salt Lake City, Utah. Names are still being added.
Entertainment will be provided by Hagerstown’s The South Mountain Breed who perform classic and modern rock. They formed in 2012 with Jack Jenkins, Mort Batchelder, Tony McClain, and “Anthony.” Another reason for coming out to the Fest to sample some beer is its proceeds recipient. The festival partners with Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The organization receives net proceeds of the event.
Immer says, “My family and friends have been supporting them since inception. After expenses, all proceeds are given to them. Last year was over $3,000. This year we hope for $5,000 or more.” Sponsorship packages are available. The Festival’s sponsor partners include Apple Valley Waste, Uber, Glessner Technologies, County Medical Transport, Leitersburg Cinemas, Hagerstown CVB, Valley Storage, Youngblood Studios, Harman, Kenworthy & Minnich Funeral Home, Knauf, Moody insurance, Mackintosh Realtors, inked2getehr.com, Real Estate Today, Gettysburg Wine Festival, and Galaxy Liquors.
General admission is $35 for Quad State Beer Fest, which takes place October 3 from noon to 5 p.m. There is a VIP admission of $45, with preferred parking, seating, and other perks. For VIP ticket holders, the event opens at 11 a.m. There are also a Twilight admission after 3 p.m. of $25 and Designated Driver admission of $10. Tickets are available at www.quadstatebeerfest.com or from participating retailers Galaxy Liquors and Benny’s 2 Go in Hagerstown.
The event is rain or shine at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, 7303 Sharpsburg Pike, Boonsboro. There will be security and law enforcement present, so no outside drinks (except bottled water) or food are allowed, and of course, no drugs or weapons allowed. No tents, coolers, or large bags are allowed. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and umbrellas if referred. Shady seating for 1,000 is available.
The Washington County Agricultural Education Center rents space for festivals and events such as Quad State Beer Fest, according to David Brooks, facilities coordinator for Washington County Parks and Facilities.