The 2nd annual Phoenixville Beer & Wine Festival returned on Saturday, May 12, 2018 to the Kimberton Fairgrounds. Attendees sampled beverages from local and national breweries, wineries, as well as trying out local mead, cider and spirit options.

The event raised money for Building Better Neighborhoods – a group of local residents​,​ who recognize the need to take responsibility for the financial well-being of non-profit organizations that serve our community. Proceeds raised will be distributed to local non-profit organizations, directly benefiting libraries, police athletic leagues, SPCAs, abuse shelters, volunteer fire companies and more.

Starting with the VIP session at noon, people could sample some special beers and wines for one and a half hours before the general admission began. Loved the VIP glasses, nearly twice the size of the regular glasses. Great addition to set apart the VIP experience that you never see at other festivals (on top of the additional half hour of VIP time, usually limited to just one hour).

 

My Favorite Beers

As always, I have a few favorites. This year at the festival, patrons could vote for their favorite breweries, and the two winners, Well Crafted Brewing Company and Pennsyltucky Brewing, were definitely near the top of my list. Of course, there were MANY great breweries, and I’d love to include them all, but the following are the ones that really stuck with me afterwards.

 

Stoney Creek Homebrewers

I spoke to Bob Witt, one of the homebrewers from Stoney Creek Homebrewers, about the organization, sharing my interest in starting to homebrew as well. As he explains, Stoney Creek is “a great resource for getting into this wonderful hobby. Everyone is always willing to help out.”

He had brought along his own creation as well, what is known as a SMASH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer. “Keep it Simple” was clean, crisp and refreshing, a combination of just one hop (Citra), one grain (Maris Otter) and one yeast (American Ale yeast from Wyeast).

According to Bob, a SMASH beer is “a great way to test your brewing process and learn about ingredients before getting into the more complex recipe development.”

They had quite a few beers available, and they were all top-notch. Great to see so much love and dedication to the brewing process from this group of homebrewers.

 

Crowded Castle

Crowded Castle Brewing Company’s Over the Moat is a British style pale ale made with a special yeast to give it a fruity body.

Dark gold in color, it’s pretty malty with a strong fruity flavor. It’s a step outside of my wheelhouse, but I am not at all disappointed.

 

Cape May Brewing Company

When don’t I mention Cape May Brewing Company? One of my favorite breweries, I always love the opportunity to try something new from them. Always Ready is a juicy, Northeast Pale Ale, lovingly crafted in honor of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The tropical aromas pull you in, pineapples, mangos, and citrus zest enticing you to drink this smooth, medium-bodied brew. Massively hoppy, the juicy tropical fruits and dry wheat flavors balance it out well. Excellent example of the style.

 

Rebel Hill Brewing Company

This is a 6.8% IPA that was originally brewed to honor the Philadelphia Eagles, re-released by Rebel Hill Brewing Company, but this time double dry hopped with heaps of Mosaic accompanied by Columbus. Citrusy, hoppy goodness. I can’t wait to visit this BRAND NEW brewery located a half mile away from my home.

 

Honorable Mentions

Pennsyltucky Brewing – Orion: a fruity and floral hopped Pale Ale.

Black Mammoth – Hoptician: You have to know from my articles by now, I just LOVE a good New England IPA, this one doesn’t disappoint. I hope to learn more about this brewery, currently a bit of a mystery to me, with no

Well Crafted Brewing – Split Coast IPA: Resinous Columbus, Simcoe and Azacca hops backed with a pilsner and oat base, this is a truly bi-coastal IPA.

 

Grabbing a Bite

On top of all the beverage choices, a variety of food trucks and restaurants were also available to keep the crowd well fed. Nick’s Roast BeefHeart Food Truck are two great standouts.

Beerfest regulars The Cow and The Curd were on hand as well, serving their signature beer battered Wisconsin cheese curds…

And of course, I have to mention local Phoenixville barbecue darling Uncle B’s BBQ, always serving the highest-quality slow smoked meats, delicious sides and creative twists on classic dishes.

 

Keeping Entertained

John Valerio was playing his signature sound during the event, keeping the crowd moving with original music influenced by John Mayer, Matt Nathanson, Edwin McCain, and Sister Hazel.

 

Photo Gallery

Andrij Harasewych
Editor at The Craft Beer Diaries. Devoted husband and father. Excessively geeky. Comic books, video games, and craft beer are my vices. Favorite beer style easily the IPA. Growing love for the DIPA, specifically.
Andrij Harasewych
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