BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Bennington Regional Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Hopridge Farms present the Southern Vermont Summer Homebrew Festival! This alliance will allow the festival to grow and further enhance the attendee experience. This collective of brewers and organizers will reinforce the summer festival vibe and showcase what summer in The Shires is all about.
The fifth annual event will be held on Saturday, August 3, on Shields Drive at 802 Restroom’s new complex in Bennington from noon to 3:30 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to come and enjoy unlimited sampling of home-brewed beer, wine, mead, cider and more, plus entertainment and eats from the area’s food trucks.
New this year is VIP Tickets that allow participants into the event an hour earlier (at noon) to try rare and limited beverages. Designated Driver tickets are also available. Tickets are limited and are projected to sell out fast so if people are interested they’re encouraged to purchase tickets online here: https://www.bennington.com/summerhomebrew.
“I think the opportunity for brewing in this region of Vermont is still really untapped,” Will Gardner, lead organizer of Hopridge Farms says. “There’s a lot of opportunity to define what the Southern Vermont beer scene is going to be about and we find ourselves trying to continue to build that brand with the chamber. With our award-winning Winter Homebrew Festival growing, we thought this summer festival was the next great partnership with the regional chamber.”
Gardner continues, “From the start of these festivals and now seeing the landscape five years later, we’re witnessing some very talented players in the brewing arena pop up. With Bennington’s proximity to metropolitan areas like Albany, New York City, and Boston being so close, it makes sense to have more action here in Southern Vermont, considering where we are geographically. I am amazed that at every Homebrew event the beer is as good if not better than commercial beer. The home brewers from our region are as good as they come!”
“Talk to Will for a couple of minutes and you see he is intelligent, thoughtful and down-right excited about the brewing culture in Southern Vermont,” states Matt Harrington, executive director of the Chamber. “The camaraderie that forms between fellow brewers at these festivals is palpable and I could see where partnerships and new businesses have a higher potential to emerge because of these festivals. These festivals are a gathering point for new brewing entrepreneurs. A sharpening of skills, honing talents and receiving feedback both from other brewers, as well as patrons is key. And of course, these festivals are fun! As an organization that supports business and tourism, we want more breweries in the region; we want to encourage that growth. We hope this summer festival is another opportunity for people to try their hands at the craft.”
“We are working to entrench the craft beer movement here in Southern Vermont and what better way than to showcase the next wave of professional brewers,” adds Gardner. “ We will continue to bring these events to Bennington as long as they keep supporting them.”
“This year we have the best of the best,” describes Gardner. “We will have the same amount of brew volume for our patrons and over 100 different kinds, but this year we’re featuring a select 19 brewers. In previous years we’ve had around 40. These 19, in my mind, are the best the area has to offer in homebrewing and were excited to showcase the following: James Frankel, Spencer Lanning, Julia Guilia, Frederick Conlin, Lee Deets, Raymond McCarthy, Richard Holland, Jonathan Barrows, Jeffrey Stannard, Donald Groff, Bryan Kutzner, Michael Clark Pywar, Jonathan Belk, Kiev Rattee and Kiel Jeffery.”
Vendors at the Summer Homebrew Festival will also be on hand selling local art, chocolates, hot sauces, kimchi and more. Those vendors include Audreys Art, Hoppy Valley, Outdoor Secrets Unwrapped Hot Sauces, That’s Different Chocolates, and Rooted In Vermont: Vermont Farm to Plate Network. Plus the festival will have Hound Dogs, voted to have the Best Philly Cheese Steak, serving up the areas finest made to order food for the crowd.
“As with all our events, we simply could not do it without our community of sponsors,” adds Harrington. “They will be at the festival and we encourage patrons to say hello and have a conversation with them as they have helped to put this event on. They include our presenting sponsor Greater Heights Tree and Land Management, our host and porta-potty sponsor 802 Restrooms, our media sponsors The Bennington Banner and CAT-TV, and our food sponsor Heritage Family Credit Union. We thank them very much for their encouragement and generosity!”
For more information please visit: www.bennington.com/summerhomebrewfestival or call the chamber offices at 802-447-3311.
–Bennington Regional Chamber of Commerce
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