BENNINGTON >> Next weekend will mark the second Four Corners North Homebrew festival, and organizers are excited that this year's will be even better than the original.
The festival will feature sampling of home-crafted beers from over 50 brewers, many different interesting food options, and live music. Visitors who pay $20 will receive a sampling glass, be able to sample the beers, and will vote on the winners of the competition. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers. Those who aren't interested in drinking can get into the festival for free, and homemade root beer will be provided to children by the Taphouse at Catamount Glass. Music provided by the Julie Shea Band throughout the day. There will also be raffles of items donated by local businesses to offset the cost of running the event.
The street festival runs from noon until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6. Tickets can be purchased in advance online, or purchased at the door.
County Street will be shut down to traffic from North Street to School Street from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on the day of the event, in order to allow for setting up and taking down the tents and other equipment, according to event organizer William Gardner, who works as a brewer at Madison's Brewing Company. He said they were increasing the size of the event this year, and would be purchasing two large tents for guests, so the event will go on rain or shine. As with last year, brewers are encouraged to decorate their tables, and a prize will be awarded to the best. The Bennington Police Department and Bennington Rescue Squad will be on hand in the event of an emergency.
"I'm very impressed with the support of the town," said Gardner, "They've all been very receptive to anything we've asked for." He specifically named Town Manager Stu Hurd, Economic and Community Development Director Michael Harrington, and Chamber of Commerce President Matt Harrington as key individuals who helped make the event possible.
The festival is running at the same time as Bennington Arts Weekend, which takes place at Camelot Village. Gardner said a free shuttle will be running between the events from 12-4, and will make a round trip every 20 minutes or so. There will be a stop at Earl's Service Station on North Street, and another on Main Street. Gardner said many people have asked why the festival is being held on the same day as another major town event, to which he has responded, "We feel as though it makes sense to have it town-wide, with events going on everywhere."
In terms of food, the Bennington Rotary Club will be selling food with a Bavarian Brewfest theme. D's Market and Deli, of Bennington, will be serving hot dogs and sausages. Fancy Pants Cakes, of Bennington, will have beer-infused cupcakes. The Chuck Wagon, a New York-based food truck, will have fried mac and cheese, bratwurst, and more. Mark Shaw will be selling various chocolate covered treats. Kim West of The Lunch Box will be on hand with hamburgers and hotdogs, Barry Richardson will have popcorn, and Mike Nigro will be serving up cotton candy.
The will also be hop plants, homebrew starter kits, and more for sale at the event. During the festival, homebrewers will be able to be identified by their orange shirts, and volunteers by their green shirts.
The Homebrew Festival is sponsored primarily by the businesses of Four Corners North, which refers to the intersection of North and County. The full list of sponsors includes the Tap House at Catamount Glass, Bennington Potters, Hawkins House, Home Depot, Uncle Bob's Septic, Green Mountain Tent Rentals, Earl's Service Station, Bennington Rescue Squad, Brew Your Own Magazine, the Beverage Den, Wills Insurance, Madison's, Merchant's Bank, Kevin's Sports Pub and Restaurant, Bank of Bennington, Bennington Beverage Outlet, Vermont Moneysaver, and the Bennington Fire Department.
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.