A capitol beer event

By on April 18, 2018

The Harrisburg Beer Week collab brew for 2018 is a cherry-vanilla cream ale inspired by Zeroday Brewing. It is an homage to the creator’s love of vanilla ice cream topped with cherries.

Harrisburg Beer Week starts April 20

Founded by craft beer fans Sara Bozich, Chelsie Markel, Colleen Nguyen, Tierney Pomone, and Jimi Werner, Harrisburg Beer Week is entering its fourth year. On Thursday, I’ll travel up to the capitol and get a sneak peak (and just a taste) of this year’s 717 collab brew.

Inspired by Zeroday Brewing co-owner and brewmaster Theo Armstrong’s love of vanilla ice cream topped with cherries, this year’s brew is an “extra” cream ale brewed with milk sugar, “loads of cherries and Tahitian vanilla beans.” Armstrong and the group of regional brewers designed the beer to be “low in bitterness and approachable” and used Huell Melon hops and a grain bill of 2 Row malt and flaked oats.

“This year’s 717 Collaboration Beer’s tart, sour cherry flavor is balanced by just a hint of vanilla bean,” said Markel. “The hops used contribute layered flavor notes of grass, watermelon, and raspberry. The color of the beer is simply stunning with its vibrant red.”

Harrisburg Beer Week co-founder Sara Bozich. (Photos provided by GK Visual)

The 717 will go full release on Friday, April 20 (the first day of Harrisburg Beer Week) and will be on tap at Tröegs, Al’s of Hampden/Pizza Boy, Zeroday, and all Appalachian Brewing Company locations. That’s right, Lititz; go get it!

I’ll be live Tweeting the #HBGBeerWeek media kickoff on Thursday with #HopinAround starting at approximately 5 p.m. I might even make it to a few Beer Week events, as festivities run through April 29. One of my favorite happenings is already sold out, but the Little Big Beer Fest (this year taking place at The National Civil War Museum) isn’t the only fun to be had.

The 10-day, multi-venue series is a celebration of regional craft beer, featuring the Battle of the Homebrewers at Broad Street Market on Sunday, April 22; a mini-golf tournament and after party at Water Golf on City Island on Sunday, April 29; and tap takeovers, beer specials, and food pairings at venues throughout Harrisburg.

I’m going to try and check out the Brewed in Dauphin County exhibit presented by the Historical Society of Dauphin County. The exhibit, which highlights Harrisburg’s first brewer, the Dauphin County “beer drought,” and local breweriana, is on display at the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion at 219 S. Front St. Running now through June 30, the exhibit is open Tuesday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (for $5).

Outside of the cost of the Brewed in Dauphin County exhibit, proceeds from other Beer Week events — including sponsorships, merchandise sales, and raffles — benefit Harrisburg River Rescue & Emergency Services. In its first three years Harrisburg Beer Week has raised more than $80,000 for HRRES, a volunteer-run water rescue and emergency response team.

“When we first decided to create a Harrisburg Beer Week, we knew we wanted it to have a greater purpose,” said Bozich. “Uniting the local beer community is great, but it also is important for us to give back, and we find our fellow beer drinkers and breweries feel the same way. We also wanted to be sure that our beneficiary was truly local, and after some vetting, our group selected Harrisburg River Rescue.”

This is why you might see the hashtag #BeerForGood attached to some of the Beer Week posts, tweets, and snaps.

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

Harrisburg Beer Week co-founder Chelsie Markel.

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