Cask act

By on October 1, 2014

Thousands attended the sold-out, sun-splashed Craft Beer Fest Sunday

Dave Russell laughed while patiently waiting behind 50 people in line for the inaugural Lititz Craft Beer Fest on Sunday.Crop Guitar 1

“We’re clearly going against the grain here,” joked Russell, of Elizabethtown.


That jovial spirit typified the mood among the 2,000 lucky ticket-holders attending the sold-out, sun-splashed event that featured 50 craft brewers.

Joe Haines of Lititz took a break from a scheduled geocaching weekend to join the scheduled three-hour party. Haines sampled his favorite Paidiea Pale Ale from Saint Boniface.

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“I know I can get Saint Boniface (from Ephrata) just about any time but I love it,” said Haines, who wore a Jimmy Buffett T-shirt.

Mike Hummel of Adamstown, appeared undecided but settled for a PB&J stout from another local brewer, Conestoga-based Spring House.

“It’s early, I’ll get around to tasting the others,” he said.

Michael Weaver of Lancaster attended with his girlfriend Andrea Kelly.

“You couldn’t get a better setting for their first year at this and the weather is great,” he said.Crop Twins

Kelly said she was not surprised to see a crowd that appeared to be equally divided among men and women.

“Not all women care only for Coors light,” she said while sampling a Smoked Rye IPA from Red Castle Brewing from Lehighton, Pa. “I appreciate a good IPA as much as the guys.”

Dan Custer of Wyomissing tasted his first IPA Imperial Red from Lagunitas Brewing from Petaluma, Calif.

“I’m sure I’ll never get through half of the craft brewers here but I’m sure I won’t go away unhappy,” Custer said.

Also not unhappy was Richard Nuffort, Lititz Craft Beer Fest co-coordinatorCrop girl good

“This is our first one and we decided to hopefully do it right,’ Nuffort said. “This is a real boost to the Lititz AMBUCS and the Warwick Community Ambulance Association and their mission in promoting independence and mobility for people with disabilities.”

The event was sponsored in part by Weis Markets, Stray Lights, Ensinger Graphics, Miller Printing, Northwest Savings Bank, JoBoy’s Brew Pub, St. Boniface Craft Brewing Company, Lancaster Homebrew, Halligan Homebrew and others.

While the festival enjoyed almost universal support from ticket-buyers — who said they would come back in 2015 if the event returns — attendees had plenty of suggestions on how to improve it.

Facebook followers suggested the event: add better identifying flags for each brewer; extend the event a few blocks to alleviate congestion; provide a punch list of brewers and beers; add more water stations to wash 3-ounce sample glasses; add a fourth hour to the event; and add a VIP hour before opening.

Karen Clifton of Lebanon echoed the opinion of many football fans who missed their Sunday afternoon NFL fix.

“Next year it should be on a Saturday, it would be even better,” said Clifton, who sported a Steelers jersey.

Nuffort said a Saturday event was not really practical because it might “interfere with the downtown merchants, who rely on Saturday for sales.”

“We are coming into the holiday Christmas season, people are shopping here in the fall, and we’re almost in October,” Nuffort said. “We intentionally stayed away from a Saturday so we didn’t interfere with retailers – though many of those are open today.”

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at or at 721-4455

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One Comment

  1. kates

    October 2, 2014 at 11:29 am

    I live on Main St, and though I didn’t have a ticket to taste, I walked about the fest for a while. I thought the entire event was well organized, fun, and classy. Some of the suggestions would make it better, but it was a great inaugural event for what will hopefully continue as a Lititz tradition.

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