People love a good beer at the ballpark.
So it’s entirely fitting that PNC Field, home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, will serve as the new backdrop for the Spring/Summer Session of Times-Shamrock Communications’ popular Electric City Craft Brew Fest.
The event will take place Saturday, April 26, from 1:30 to 5 p.m., and feature more than 60 types of beer from more than 40 craft breweries, including several local brands. The usual vast assortment of lagers, wheats, porters and IPAs will be served, with a special emphasis placed on spring and summer beers.
General admission tickets are $29 in advance or $40 at the door. For those interested in the VIP session, which begins at 12:30 p.m. and includes tastings of exclusive, hard-to-find beers, tickets are $49 in advance and $60 at the door if still available.
Planners also are offering a $99 package that will get you access to Brew Fest and a one-night’s stay at any Montage Mountain hotel, plus shuttle service.
The first two Spring/Summer Brew Fests were held on Sundays at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple. Switching to PNC Field allows the event to be held on a Saturday, and in a much larger space, said Tim Holmes, Times-Shamrock’s regional director of marketing and events.
The brewers will be lined up throughout the stadium’s concourse, which provides a great view of the field. And, because it’s covered, attendees will be protected in the event of inclement weather, Mr. Holmes said.
“Thousands of folks can fit under there,” he said. “We certainly know it’s got unlimited potential.”
Brew Fest is among many special events the stadium has hosted in the past year, said Rob Crain, president and general manager of the RailRiders. It’s all part of his vision of making PNC Field “the front porch of the community.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to partner with the Scranton Times(-Tribune) to host this,” Mr. Crain said. “The more of these special events we do, the better.”
Mr. Holmes expects the usual large crowds that turned out for the previous Brew Fests, including the Fall/Winter Session held at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in November.
Tickets went on sale in February, with 1,000 sold on the first day alone, Mr. Holmes said.
As always, attendees will receive a pilsner glass with a 2-ounce pour line to do their sampling.
On the food side, the RailRiders’ multifaceted concessions will be open. Transportation-wise, attendees are encouraged to have a designated driver at the ready, but shuttle buses and cab service will be available.
In addition to the sampling, one of the most popular elements of Brew Fest has been Beer School, overseen by Sean and Christina Wolfe and Lee Burke of the Scranton Brewers Guild.
Learning the craft
Along with home-brewing demonstrations, the group typically presents two classes, with subjects ranging from Belgian Trappist beers to Scranton’s Prohibition era.
This time out, the topics are “As American as Baseball & Hard Apple Cider” and “If You’ve Got Big, I’ve Got Bigger: Amped Up Craft Brews.” According to Mr. Wolfe, the former will revolve around hard cider’s heyday in Colonial America and its recent resurgence. The latter class will center on the ways craft brewers take a standard beer style up several notches — say, a stout that’s had bacon and maple flavors added to it, Mr. Wolfe said.
It’s all about promoting the virtues of a better-informed craft beer drinker, said Mr. Wolfe, noting samplings are passed out during the classes.
“We drink what we’re talking about,” he said.
Mr. Holmes expects another rousing success in the event’s new digs.
“It’s a great way to kick off the spring, if it ever gets here,” he said with a laugh.
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If you go
What: Electric City Craft Brew Fest Spring/Summer Session
When: Saturday, April 26, 1:30 to 5 p.m., with the VIP session from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Where: PNC Field, Montage Mountain Road, Moosic
Details: General admission tickets are $29 in advance or $40 at the door. VIP tickets are $49 in advance and $60 at the door if still available. There’s also a $99 Room with a Brew package that includes access to Brew Fest and a one-night’s stay at any Montage Mountain hotel, plus shuttle service. Tickets can be purchased at swbrailriders.com, by phone at 570-969-2255 or at the PNC Field box office.
People love a good beer at the ballpark.