Photos courtesy of Winter Homebrew Festival/Hopridge Farms/Southwestern Vermont Chamber
Vermont Business Magazine The Southwest Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Hopridge Farms will present the fifth annual Southern Vermont Winter Brew Festival on Saturday, April 30 in downtown Bennington, Vermont at the Bennington Athletic Center, formerly the Catamount School on North Street.
The Saturday festival, which was canceled in 2021 due to the COVID pandemic, will open its doors at noon to exclusive VIP ticket holders for a private tasting of the region’s best craft beers. General tickets will open the doors to these ticket holders from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and can be purchased online at www.vthomebrewfests.com. Each ticket holder receives a commemorative drink, the chance to try regional beers and dishes, and the chance to vote for the winners of each.
The festival invites the best home brewers in the North East asking them to bring their best home brewed beer, cider, mead, braggot and wine for a chance to be crowned “Best Home Brew”. Additionally, the festival also invited regional restaurants to submit their best winter dish which could include soup, chowder, chili or stew for a chance to be crowned “Best Winter Dish in the Region”. “.
“We’re excited to be back after a hiatus and officially open ‘festival season,'” said Matt Harrington, one of the festival’s creators and executive director of the Southwest Vermont Chamber of Commerce. . “This year we are also delighted to have a brand new location at the Bennington Sports Center to show off and host the festival in the North Street front yard. It’s a great location, close to the city center and with plenty of parking options.
The festival, and its sister festival, the Summer Homebrew Festival, gave homebrewers the opportunity to have their beer reviewed and improved, with the winter festival being the eleventh gathering of homebrewers. “We’ve seen pro-level beers and home brewers emerge from our festivals. When we launched the festivals, our vision was to create an ecosystem and proving ground for home brewers to showcase their beers, get feedback and grow,” remarks Will Gardner of Hopridge Farms, the other festival producer.
“Over the past 6 years we have seen many of our home brewers enter the professional industry, with one being head brewer at a local shop, while four others have opened their own breweries, including two here in Bennington (Farm Road Brewing & Harvest Brewing), another in Fort Edward, NY (Slick Fin Brewing Company), 1Way Brewing in MA, and yet another in Queensbury, NY (Bloodville Brewery).
Homebrewers to watch this year
2022 Winter Brewing Festival home brewers include: Invisible Mountain Brewing, The Jolly Fool Brews, Catseyesoup Brewery, Side-Gig Brewery, Shady Brewing, Teddy K’s Brewing, River Valley Brewing, TYRANNICAL RUFFIANS, Vintage Tree Cidery, All Nighter Brewing, R’s Hole Brewing, Bear Hole Brewing, Intolerance Brewing, Smooth Liquidation, Albany Brew Crafters – Group B, Scattered Light Brewing, Oxford Brewing Company, Albany Brew Crafters – Group A, Groff Garage Brewery (GGB), Yuppie Beers, 7 Balls Brewing and Level 3 Brewing!
Unique and eclectic sellers
Vendors will also be on hand selling everything from maple products, nuts and fudge, to chocolates, hot sauces, and more. Vendors this year include: Outdoor Secrets Unwrapped Hot Sauce, Nutty Bavarian and Kettle Fudge, Highland Ledge Farm, Hoppy Valley Farm, A Taste of Pomegranate Tarot, PhytoCare Vermont, and Mettowee Valley Maple!
Best winter meal
Local restaurants and food vendors have signed up so far to share their best soups, chilies, chowders or stews with you: Ramunto’s Pizza, Outdoor Secrets Unwrapped, Madison Brewing Company, 421 Craft Kitchen and Bar, Hannaford Supermarket, and many more to come!
Sponsors for this year’s festival include presenting sponsor Coggins Auto Group, brewing sponsor John Ray and Sons, food sponsor The Bank of Bennington, supplier sponsor LeafGuard and Dion Snowshoes, venue sponsor Kaman Composites and sponsor On Draft Farm Road Brewing.
Special thanks to our host, the Bennington Sports Center, Hannaford Supermarkets, our media sponsors The Bennington Banner and CAT-TV, and music provider Jim Woodard.
For more information and to order tickets, visit: https://www.vthomebrewfests.com
(Bennington, VT) –– The Southwest Vermont Chamber of Commerce