It’s been called a “craze,” a “renaissance” and a “revolution.” Those are all words that have been used to describe the growth in popularity that craft beer has experienced in recent years. This spring, residents of Waynesboro and others in the area will get a taste of what the buzz is all about.
Mainstreet Waynesboro, Inc. is currently in the process of planning the first Waynesboro Brewmaster Beer Festival. The event will be held from 12:00 to 4:00 on the afternoon of Saturday, May 16 in the Grove-Bowersox Parking Lot behind the Waynesboro Post Office.
More than 30 craft beers from more than 15 microbreweries are expected to be available to sample at the event. The confirmed list includes a number of businesses located in central Pennsylvania, including Chambersburg’s Roy Pitz Brewing Company, Hershey’s Troeg’s Brewing Company and Gettysburg’s Battlefield Brew Works.
“The guys at The Beer Shed here in town have been incredibly supportive of this idea,” said Scott Hershberger, Mainstreet’s director of economic development. “They’ve been tasked with the important responsibility of recruiting breweries, and nearly everyone they’ve contacted has jumped at the chance to get in on the action.”
Live music will be provided by Jon Ingels and Lucky Punk. Food vendors are being invited to participate as well.
Another attraction offered during the afternoon will be three educational breakout sessions led by a few of the brew masters who are bringing samples of their product to town. Representatives from Roy Pitz and Battlefield Brew Works have agreed to speak, as well as former Waynesboro resident, Andrew Maxwell, who has found success with Rivertowne Brewing Company in suburban Pittsburgh.
“To have Andrew return home for our festival and join our impressive list of participants is very exciting,” said Hershberger. “With the rise of craft beer and the hobby of home brewing, we think our audience will really enjoy hearing stories about the beer-making process and how a few of these ‘masters’ journeyed into the industry.”
Tickets are $25 a piece, but anyone who orders before Saturday, April 25 can take advantage of a special “Happy Hour” (Early Bird) discounted price of $20. People who want to attend the festival for the food and music and not consume alcohol can buy a “Designated Driver” ticket for $10.
Tickets can be ordered online by visiting www.facebook.com/WBBeerFestival. They can also be purchased at the office of Mainstreet Waynesboro, Inc. (13 West Main Street), The Beer Shed (226 Walnut Street) and the office of the Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce (118 Walnut Street).
At this time, sponsors of the festival are Alma Oyer (“Barrel” level), F&M Trust and Greg & Debi Duffey (“Keg” level) and McLaughlin’s Energy Services (“Pint” level). The Beer Shed is sponsoring the five-ounce souvenir mugs that attendees will use when consuming their samples, and Buchanan Automotive will be donating a tent.
Hershberger says additional sponsorships are welcomed between now and May, and he encourages anyone interested in supporting the project to call 717-762-0397 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Mainstreet Waynesboro has been organizing annual community events for years, and we look forward to adding a craft beer festival to the line-up. This will help raise funds for our non-profit organization while ensuring that we can continue our mission of attracting people to this town well into the future.”