A couple of years ago, I attended one of All About Beer Magazine’s World Beer Festivals, a series of craft beer festivals held in various cities annually throughout the country. This one was being held in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. The night before the event, over a beer of course, I sat down with the fairly extensive list of participating breweries, and began ticking off which ones I wanted to make sure I didn’t want to miss the next day. Maybe I hadn’t noticed before, but suddenly I realized that quite a few, nearly half, of the participating breweries were from that particular festival’s home state. I quickly realized that such a circumstance was very possible when the state in which such a festival was occurring had seen, as North Carolina has, quite a bit of craft brewery growth over the previous several years. At the time, the state boasted close to 50 craft breweries and brewpubs, and has continued to grow since. The next day, I happily settled in for an afternoon of beer tasting that deservedly featured some serious home field advantage.
Which brings us to present time and place. Just over two weeks are left before the 2013 Big Lick Beertopia beer festival, held in nearby Salem, Virginia. (June 8th, 12-6) While the scope of Beertopia is a bit smaller than one of the World Beer Festivals, I couldn’t help notice that roughly fifteen (counting Green Flash) out of the thirty nine participating breweries are from the state of Virginia. It’s hardly a majority, and not quite half. But it’s close to forty percent of the total, which isn’t anything to snub a nose at. True, there are a wide range of reasons breweries attend festivals. Some are available at the time of the festival, others are not; some see a benefit to attending, while others may not; for some, it comes down to a simple matter of the cost of attending. Regardless, I’d like to think that in terms of Virginia’s growth in craft beer interest, and breweries, that roughly forty percent isn’t bad, and is maybe, hopefully, a sign of such growth within our state.
Of course, good beer comes from all corners of our nation, and any craft beer fan will tell you their curiosity isn’t limited to just their home state’s product. But when the chance to rejoice in a little home based pride comes around, it seems only natural to do so.
Having said that, thebeerroad is giving one lucky reader a chance to do just that. The first person to respond to a simple question about Salem’s Parkway Brewing, which will be at this year’s festival, will receive one (1) 10 tasting ticket to this year’s Big Lick Beertopia, courtesy of the Roanoke Jaycees who put on this event each year. Here are the instructions – answer to the question by leaving a comment to this post on the blog (click at the top of this post on “Leave A Comment”). I’ll notify the winner via email, and it may take until this evening or tomorrow morning for me to get back to you. Here’s the question – what is the name of Parkway Brewing’s (Salem, VA) Brew Master? How simple, right?
Thank you again to the Roanoke Jaycees, who put on the festival, for letting me do the ticket giveaway this year. A great event, and a worthy cause! Ticket is good for 10 tastings at this year’s festival, as described above. Admission is still subject to ID Check at the entrance to the event, and for all that attend, please drink responsibly and stay safe!