By CICELY M. EASTMAN / Reformer Staff
WEST DOVER — Attention all beer lovers. The 20th Annual Mount Snow Brewers Festival will be happening in West Dover Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 30 and 31, noon to 6 p.m.
The festival weekend will be filled with music, food, and of course – beer!
The Mount Snow Brewers Festival has established itself as a premier event in Vermont and this year nearly 50 craft breweries are expected to be pulling their taps for an appreciative crowd.
New this year is Hops for Hope 5k run, chairlift rides on the Bluebird Express and The Sierra Nevada Beer Camp where 12 brewing companies have created one-time beers for this event only.
Also new this year is a seminar and brew tasting on Sunday at 2 p.m. with host Ben Keene, Beer Advocate Magazine managing editor and author of “The Great Northeast Brewery Tour.”
The book was described by one consumer from Amazon as “A book FULL of delicious information.”
According to Keene the whole brewing industry has grown in leaps and bounds since the Mount Snow Brewers Festival’s first festival in 1995.
He said, ” I think why is because we have seen the shift for consumers from mass production food to wanting to know where our food comes from and Vermont is in the front of the pack as far as that goes. So local beer has succeeded because of that movement.”
As champion of that movement and its influence on the brewing industry, Vermont today ranks second in the nation for breweries per capita.
Brewing tourism, along the same idea as agritourism, is also growing in popularity as a vacation destination. Keene has led many brewing tours himself and “The Great Northeast Brewery Tour” that he authored is a 240 page, full-color illustrated travel guide to 62 of the most incredible breweries in the Northeast New England and the Mid-Atlantic and the many restaurants that serve them for the brew buff who plans such a trip. Interesting facts about the breweries, i.e. history, beer styles, and the area’s brewing heritage accompany practical information about lodging and dining near the breweries.
At the seminar on Sunday Keene’s expertise is yours for the picking when a Heady Topper sample and two more exclusive beer samples (TBD) will be offered after which Keene will explain why they taste the way they do. He will talk about the history of beer, not only since the Colonial times, but the more recent history of beer brewing as it has evolved along with growing interest in craft beers and microbreweries. After his talk and tastings he will be open for questions and answers about beer, home brewing and breweries, or his book.
He said today’s beers are more complex and consumers are taking them more seriously. They are thinking more about the differences in the depth of aroma and flavor that are the result of many different factors such as where it was brewed, the variety of hops and where they are grown, the differences in water, and a variety of other ingredients and circumstances,. Just as wine may be distinguished from one another by the discerning palate, so may beer; it is not just for chugging anymore!
Keene’s book will be on sale at the seminar, retail price is $24.99.
Tickets for the seminar are $25 and can be purchased online at mountsnow.com/event-calendar/ or at the window of the Mount Snow Brewers Festival. The seminar takes place at 1900′ Burger.
For more information about “The Great Northeast Brewery Tour,” visit www.qbookshop.com and do a search for the book.