Hop’in Around: Special edition: Lititz Craft Beer Fest

By on September 25, 2019

The blow of an air horn. Three hours of fun in the sun. And just like that, another successful Lititz Craft Beer Fest is in the books, helping to raise thousands of dollars for the efforts of the Lititz AMBUCS.

The last day of summer, Sept. 22, was a hot one, but it did not deter a sold-out crowd from enjoying music on two stages from bands like Jimmy and the Whale and Two Pints Shy, grabbing a bite to eat from Gnaw Jaw or Sugar Whipped Bakery, or engaging in the camaraderie of fellow beer-enthusiasts.

Speaking of beer…

Immediately I was drawn to Une Année Brewery of Chicago, not just because of their unique name but because I heard they specialize in sours. And, when I asked what they were pouring the reply was, “sours.” After a tiny bit of coaxing I was told the brewery specialized in fruited, wild ales and were pouring a plum, a raspberry, and a blackberry on Sunday. So, I tried all three, and I was glad I did. If you missed this opportunity, make sure to find some of this stuff if wild fermentation is your thing.

Rose Hershey and Tim Smith, formerly of Lititz, now living in Manheim, had a blast at the Beer Fest. “We were watching our friend Kody Pitts perfor the song to Tim. It almost made Tim choke on his pretzel.” (Photos by Steve Heydt)

The next brewery to grab my attention was RaR (okay, maybe I was influenced by brewery names this year), an outfit out of Cambridge, Md. With some beer names not suitable for print, RaR poured samples of a blueberry and plum sour and a lemon-lime sour. The lemon-lime was the quick-consensus favorite and really made you pucker.

There were a lot of great breweries at the fest. Local faces mixed with out-of-state additions. Speaking of out-of-state, I don’t know if festgoers have had enough of Maine Beer Co., or they just didn’t recognize the subtle-styled brewery, but there was no line when I found my way to the rep pouring beers from one of the best breweries on the east coast. I was stunned!

Quick shout outs before I run out of space: Charm City Meadworks pumpkin mead, something to talk about; Oliver Brewing Co.’s Tell Your Citra I Have a Secret IPA, flawless; Hidden River Brewing’s Community with Propinquity English mild, a welcome addition among a sea of IPAs and sours; and 2SP Brewing’s Voluptuous Fuzz, the IPA-lover’s wheat beer.

Homebrew competition

And a big part of the Lititz Craft Beer Fest is the homebrew competition, where each year some pretty good — if not great — amateur brewers square off for prizes and bragging rights. First place went to Matt Campbell (who really needs to just start his own brewery) and his Clockwork Oransje, a milkshake-gose hybrid brewed with orange peel, coriander, pink Himalayan salt, and lactose; the beer also rested on fresh orange zest and Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans after primary fermentation. Clockwork Oransje also won the Cox Brewing Company Brewers Choice award.

Matt Campbell, a Warwick High School grad, won first place in the annual homebrew competition. His creation, Clockwork Oransje, also won the Cox Brewing Company Brewers Choice award.

Coming in second is no slouch, Steve Palmer’s Did it all for Chinookie gathered a lot of chatter amongst beer samplers. Third place went to Bill and Steph Hapenovich and their Mid Day Mango. Rounding out the awards were Pour Man’s Brewing Company Brewers Choice winner One Way or Another by Josh Shock, Dave Hume, and Zach Shock; and Spring House Brewing Co. Brewers Choice, What’s Wrong With Cloud 8? by Wayne Swartz and Jason Bartch. Congrats to all.

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.


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