The 5th Annual Harrisburg Brewers Fest

June 24, 2008

You’ll have to forgive me for waiting three days before telling you about the beerfest out in Harrisburg. It’s just that it’s taken this long for me to recover.
This is the fifth year in a row for the Troeg’s-sponsored event to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It was the first year I was able to attend, and I’m glad I did.

I’ve slowed down on attending beerfests in this area only because, well, if you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all. Since this one was located further out in central PA it drew in a bit more central/eastern PA and Maryland brewers. This one was the most well-organized fests I’ve attended.

There were two sessions to reduce crowding. I attended the 5:00 session and I bet there were over 3,000 people there. It covered two large blocks of downtown Harrisburg (30,000 square feet) and the crowd was great (see picture below!).

There were around 35 breweries in attendance and they surprisingly brought some nice beers to share, not just the old standbys. I didn’t have a pen to take notes so I have to go by my very hazy memory, but some standouts included Abbey Wright Brewery out of Duboistown, PA; The Church Brew Works out of Pittsburgh; and the Bullfrog Brewing Co. from Williamsport, PA.

Is Pittsburgh catching up to Philly as the beer capital of the East? The afformentioned along with the Penn Brewery and their old standby Iron City are big players for the smaller city. The Memphis Taproom is hosting a Pitt-centric HH (happy hour) on Tuesday July 1 from 5 to 7 PM.

The Beer Lass of Sly Fox
Oh, and also this year’s Brew At the Zoo (also the 5th annual) has moved to America’s oldest zoo right here in Philly. July 26. Maybe I’ll have recovered by then.

Just a random crowd shot.


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