1st Annual Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Festival
The Virginia State Fair hosted the first annual Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, 7 October 2017.
There seemed to be a great deal of confusion about when the event would be held. It was in some places billed as a three day event, other times as a one day event. Apparently it was originally intended to be held three days (Oct 6, 7, and 8) but was later scaled back to just the 7th. Unfortunately only some of the promotional materials, including the pamphlets that were passed out at the entrance, were not corrected to reflect the date change.
If you managed to make it to the festival, you would have enjoyed a wide variety of some of the finest craft beer in Virginia. There were a number of breweries present from across Virginia serving up lagers, stouts, IPAs, Octoberfests, pumpkin ales, and so much more.
Each participant was given a tasting glass and unlimited tastings. There were quite a few people there, but you seldom had to wait in line, and if you did it wasn’t for more than a minute to get a tasting.
There were several breweries present, that you don’t normally see at beer festivals in central Virginia. Dirt Farm Brewing from Bluemont was there with a remarkable tart cherry ale. Reason Beer just recently opened their tap room in Charlottesville and was there with an excellent pale ale. Then there were others such as Back Room Brewery in Middletown, Bull Island Brewing in Hampton, Escutcheon Brewing in Winchester, and Bald Top Brewing in Madison.
Then there were the breweries that you see all the time, but are always glad to see again, such as Brass Canon and Alewerks in Williamsburg, The Rusty Beaver in Ruther Glen, St George in Hampton, and Tradition Brewing in Newport News. Ardent, Hardywood, Legend, and 7 Hills were there representing Richmond. The ever popular Starr Hill Brewery in Charlottesville was present, as well as Kindred Spirit and Lickinghole Creek in Goochland, Maltese Brewing in Fredericksburg, Beltway Brewing in Sterling, and Rock Bottom Brewing.
There was no room at the Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Festival for bad beer, and none was provided. There was not a bad beer to be had anywhere, so if you made it there, I know you had a good time. If not, well, maybe we’ll see you next year for the Second Annual Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Festival.