18th annual festival is intimate, fancy affair
STORY WRITTEN BY ABBEY ZELKO
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Craft brews and fine foods — the theme for York Heritage Trust’s History Untapped microbrew festival is a little different than most.
You won’t find food trucks and yard games at this “artisan beer affair,” held at the Agricultural & Industrial Museum in York.
To ensure an intimate, fancy event, organizers of the 18th annual festival aimed small this year, capping attendance at 300.
“It’s not like one of the stadium kind of brewfests where there’s 1,000 people and it’s very crowded and the lines are long and you’re hoping you get to taste this beer or that beer,” York Heritage Trust Marketing Director Melanie Hady said.
History Untapped organizers have been there, done that.
Starting last year, York Heritage Trust remodeled the event, formerly called Microbrew Fest, to lower attendance, add fine dining options and give guests the chance to have one-on-one conversations with the brewers.
“As more and more beer festivals cropped up all throughout the community and beyond, we felt like we needed to do something to be different,” Hady said. “That’s when we came up with the idea that bigger isn’t better.”
But don’t let the small size of the event turn you away. While the festival is smaller than most, there will be plenty of beer and food to go around.
About 46 different beers from both local and national brewers and distributors will be available at the festival June 13, Hady said.
Some of the beers, like Liquid Hero’s American Amber Ale, are returning local favorites. But organizers also added new beers to the festival, such as the Home Brewers Association’s Carrot Cake Ale, based on their unique or hard-to-find quality, Hady said.
“You might not be able to find some of (the beers) at Holy Hound or the grocery store,” she said.
Gift Horse, a new craft brewery which plans to open on George Street in York, will join several other local breweries at the event, including Liquid Hero, Lancaster Brewing Co., Wyndridge Farm and Victory Brewing.
Gift Horse will bring its CitraWheat, an American pale wheat with hints of citrus; High Hops Ridge IPA, an IPA with balanced malts and hops; Roasted Irish Ale, a traditional Irish red with a dry roasted finish; and its small batch Hop-Bee Cider, Gift Horse founder Jason Snyder said.
Also new to the festival are Evolution Craft Brewing Co. of Salisbury, Md., Deschutes Brewery of Portland, Ore., Ithaca Beer Co. of Ithaca, N.Y., and Lagunitas Brewing Co. of Petaluma, Calif.
“We just love showcasing the local brewing industry as well as brand new things people have never tasted,” Hady said.
In addition to the beer, local eateries will prepare fine dishes to be paired with a beer from each brewery.
“A lot of other festivals have food available,” Hady said. “Sometimes it’s food trucks and you have to pay additionally. But we are working with local restaurants who are providing food and we’re pairing their dishes up with beers in a way that one complements the other.”
Ithaca Beer Co.’s CascaZilla, for example, is a hoppy red ale that’s a little on the sweet side, so it pairs well with the strawberry shortcake cupcakes from Sugar Cakes.
“There are two ways to do pairings,” Hady said. “Either you pick up something in the beer that also echoes in the food or sometimes you do the opposite and you contrast where you use lighter beer and serve it with a heavy dish like a hearty meat dish.”
Pepper’s Grille, also new to the event this year, chose the second option. They’ll partner with Gift Horse to serve beer-infused spicy chili mac and cheese, which goes well with a light mild amber beer, Pepper’s Grille co-owner Steve Walker said.
“We like to think outside the box and do different stuff every chance we get,” he said.
Black Cap Brewing Co. and Red Brick Bakery: Double IPA paired with chocolate stout cupcakes
Victory Brewing Co. and Victor’s Italian Restaurant:Victory Kirsch Gose paired with a braised pork slider with apple and pear chutney
Wyndridge Farm and Victor’s Italian Restaurant: Barndog Porter paired with chocolate craft mousse with hazelnut praline
Gift Horse Brewing Co. and Pepper’s Grille: Roasted Irish Ale paired with beer infused spicy chili mac
Spring House and Victor’s Italian Restaurant: Lexicon Devil paired with gouda meatballs
Deschutes and Never Forgotten Barbecue: Twilight Summer Ale paired with cheesy mac and cheese
Ithaca Beer Co. and Sugar Cakes: Cascazilla paired with strawberry shortcake cupcakes
Crystal Ball Brewing Co. and Blue Moon: Belgian Tripel paired with shrimp, beef and vegetable whole grain salad
Straub Brewery and GingerBabies: American Lager paired with spicy meatballs in sweet plum sauce