Brews of North Carolina, including from the Yadkin Valley region, will be the highlight of the second annual Big Elkin BrewFest slated for Saturday afternoon. This year, groups are taking advantage of the festival as a gathering place, with reunions planned, and organizers are still seeking volunteers.
Where there is beer, usually food isn’t far away, and Jeff Yockel, chairman of the brewfest committee for the hosting Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce, said this year’s festival will feature more food trucks than the first edition of the event. Some of those food vendors are local, but he said others are from places like Raleigh and Greensboro.
“We want to give people not only a unique taste of brews they haven’t had before, but also food,” Yockel said.
This year’s food will include 13 Bones, King Queen Haitian Cuisine, Las Gringas, StrEat Provisions and Putters Patio.
Those food options will complement beers from 13 North Carolina breweries, several which are new to the beer festival. Elkin breweries, Skull Camp Brewing and Angry Troll Brewing, will be on tap at the festival and will be joined by West Bend Winery and Brewery of Lewisville, Blowing Rock Brewing Company of Blowing Rock, Preyer Brewing of Greensboro, Carolina Brewing Company of Holly Springs, Primal Brewery of Huntersville, Hi-Wire Brewing of Asheville, Nickelpoint Brewing Co. of Raleigh, Bold Rock Hard Cider of Mills River, Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company of Concord, Hoots Beer Co. of Winston-Salem and Sugar Creek Brewing Company of Charlotte.
Music will fill the air of Elkin Municipal Park where the Big Elkin BrewFest will be held, with the band line-up including Loose Strings Band, Time Sawyer and headliner Big Daddy Mojo.
The biggest difference between the inaugural festival and this year’s second event will be the times, Yockel said.
From 2 to 3 p.m., the festival area will be open to VIP ticket holders only, before the festival grounds open to all ticket holders at 3 p.m. Then at 7 p.m., breweries will stop pouring to ticket holders, while the music will continue until 8 p.m.
Yockel said the idea behind the 7 to 8 p.m. time period was to provide an opportunity for the brewery representatives to taste each other’s beers.
With the festival ending at 8 p.m., he also said it won’t be as dark for brewfest visitors to find their cars and allowing more light for those cleaning up the grounds.
“Last year, we saw people stopped drinking about 30 to 45 minutes before the end, so we don’t think it will be a big deal,” Yockel said of the time changes.
Those holding VIP tickets will received etched glasses, and other ticket holders will be provided with stadium cups sponsored by the Reeves Theater.
“Another difference this year is last year we told the breweries we didn’t know how many people to expect so they came on good faith and we split ticket proceeds with them. This year, we are buying the tapped kegs outright,” Yockel said.
“The neat thing is we have four class and family reunions who are meeting this year at brewfest, so we have a tent area long Big Elkin Creek set up just for them,” Yockel said.
Also, on Friday night, Angry Troll Brewing’s tasting room and restaurant in The Liberty building on East Main Street in downtown Elkin will have live music and have some other breweries’ beers on tap, Yockel said.
“We are still looking for volunteers for Saturday,” Yockel said, asking that those available and interested reach out to Misty Matthews at the chamber, 336-526-1111. Volunteers receive a free T-shirt and a number of free tastings.
Those interested in tickets to Big Elkin BrewFest can visit www.bigelkinbrewfest.com or call the chamber at 336-526-1111. Tickets also can be purchased at the gate.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.