Finally: the Ephrata Brewfest!

By on June 15, 2016

Not without its bumps and setbacks, The Ephrata Brewfest is now definitely a go. More than a dozen brewers and several hundred beer fans will descend on downtown Ephrata’s Whistle Stop Plaza Saturday, June 25, for the inaugural event. The affair, which will help raise funds for the Ephrata Public Library, Downtown Ephrata Inc., and the Ephrata Rec Center, is several years in the making.

After experiencing setbacks in 2015, organizers decided to push back the event into 2016. Rumors concerning the reason for the delay ran rampant around the beer community. Co-organizer Erin Treese recently set the record straight.

“We had the hope to make it work last year, but there were some licensing issues [with the PLCB] that were not anticipated. It wasn’t anything locally … we just hit some red tape we weren’t expecting to hit,” said Treese. “[The brewfest] is something DEI has wanted to do for some time.”

Treese sits on the DEI board and is a craft beer fan. She prefers local beers from St. Boniface and Black Forest; the two Ephrata breweries will be pouring at the brewfest.

“I am big into the [India Pale Ales],” said Treese.

 

Ephrata Brewfest organizes (From left) Erin Treese, George DiIlio, Jim Summers, Susan Rowe, Penny Talbert, and Joy Ashley, met to Tuesday to plan the layout of craft beer festival the Whistle Stop Plaza. Tickets are selling fast for the event scheduled for Saturday, June 25, from 1-4 p.m. The affair will help raise funds for the Ephrata Public Library, Downtown Ephrata Inc., and the Ephrata Rec Center, (Photo by Patrick Burns)

Ephrata Brewfest organizes (From left) Erin Treese, George DiIlio, Jim Summers, Susan Rowe, Penny Talbert, and Joy Ashley, met to Tuesday to plan the layout of craft beer festival the Whistle Stop Plaza. Tickets are selling fast for the event scheduled for Saturday, June 25, from 1-4 p.m. The affair will help raise funds for the Ephrata Public Library, Downtown Ephrata Inc., and the Ephrata Rec Center.  (Photo by Patrick Burns)

 

The Ephrata Brewfest will highlight beers from Lancaster County. Moo-Duck Brewery in Elizabethtown is bringing their seasonal Big Sit Summer Ale and their Mosaic-hopped, flagship pale ale called The Great 38 — this is good news for people who love beer with a lot of citrusy hops. Wacker Brewing Company, Union Barrel Works, Lancaster Brewing Company, Cox Brewing Company, Stoudt’s Brewing Company, and Mad Chef Craft Brewing will round out the list of Lancaster-based breweries.

“We wanted to keep it local because we felt it was important to highlight what Lancaster County has to offer when it comes to craft beers,” said Treese.

Organizers did expand out of the county slightly, including York County’s Howling Henry, Snitz Creek Brewery from Lebanon County, and Battlefield Brew Works of Gettysburg. Howling Henry will bring their Maibock and IPA, and possibly their newest and most unique pale ale, which incorporates basil and onion. Battlefield will show off its Red Circle Ale with strawberries, and Mandarina pale ale made with orange peel.

The festivities will take place at the Whistle Stop Plaza, and will utilize the connecting alleyway and parking area. When at a beer fest, it is highly recommended to make sure you stay hydrated and fill your belly. The Ephrata Brewfest will feature food from the Souvlaki Boys (Greek fare), Mara-Leo’s (an Italian Food truck), and home-style cooking from Bountiful Feast Roving Restaurant. Brew fans will recognize these mobile units from other beercentric events and as one-time regulars at St. Boniface. The Hill will be selling fresh-carved prime rib sandwiches with horseradish sauce or au jus at the brewfest. For those looking for a non-alcoholic drink, The Hill will have an assortment of craft sodas on hand.

“We thought it would be a great idea to let people — as they are drinking and enjoying their beverages — get different snacks if they want. It also highlights the area as they are all local [vendors],” said Treese.

Ephrata businesses are rallying around the event as well. Black Forest Brewery will offer event wristband wearers happy hour prices all day on Saturday; the 1777 Americana Inn Bed and Breakfast offers 10 percent off a weekend stay and a $10 dining credit to the brewery. The Historic Smithton Inn offers Brewfest ticketholders a 10 percent discount on a two-night stay for the weekend. Hometown Refurnishing and Parkhill Jewelry will have extended hours until 4 p.m. on June 25; Hometown Refurnishing offers attendees 15 percent off any purchase excluding delivery, and Parkhill Jewelry will give beer fans a 25 percent discount on anything in the store. Scratch Cupcakes, which will be pairing cupcakes with beer at the event, will be offering a 10 percent discount from 1 to 6 p.m.; the discount does not apply to pre-orders or catering.

“We hope people come out and support downtown,” said Treese.

For entertainment, Ephrata Brewfest has booked Mark DeRose, who will bring the acoustic trio version of his Dreadnought Brigade to play some bluesy rock originals. Local musician Danny Frederick, who describes his repertoire as classic and modern rock covers “with some pop thrown in,” will also take the stage.

The Ephrata Brewfest is sponsored by Weis Markets; Members 1st Federal Credit Union; Nicholas Ermolovich, Esq.; and Lancaster Craft Beer Tours. The event runs from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 25. There is no VIP hour. Tickets are limited to 500, cost $30, and can be purchased online (with a $2.64 website fee) at this link,  or by visiting the Ephrata Library, Ephrata Rec Center, or Black Forest. Tickets at the gate are $40. Designated driver tickets cost $10.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *