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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Wor. brewers take part in pair of craft beer festivals

(Oct. 15, 2015) Several Worcester County breweries took part in a pair of craft beer festivals – Double Down in Ocean Pines and the Good Beer Festival in Salisbury – over the weekend.
Double Down, held Oct. 9-11 at the Casino at Ocean Downs, featured Tall Tales and Fin City breweries, as well as wine from distributor Reliable Churchill.
The outdoor event, held near the harness racing track, benefited local nonprofit Diakonia.
“This is our third year we’ve been doing it and Ocean Downs has been awesome to work with,” Diakonia Volunteer Coordinator Susan Blaney said. “They do three food drives, nine weeks out the year, collecting food for us.
“For us that means we get about 400 pounds of food each day [from the casino],” Blaney continued. “We have the largest food pantry in Worcester County and it means a lot that we have all that food donated to us.”
Blaney said Diakonia provides 50-60,000 meals per year and more than 22,000 bags of groceries to struggling families in the county.
“That’s 100,000 pounds of food,” she said. “The community makes that happen.”
Candice Meyer, from Tall Tales Brewing Company, poured Some Beach Island Ale, Evil Apple Ale, Midnight Pumpkin and Red Headed Step Child during the event.
“These events help people try something they might not have tried before,” she said. “They let people know our brand a little bit more and hopefully get people out to the brewery.”
Shelly Bruder, owner of the Bruder Hill boutique in Berlin, ran one of several vendor tables during the event. She also donated proceeds from her sales to Diakonia.
“It’s a wonderful event, because it’s about giving back to the community and we love giving back to Diakonia,” she said. “I love being involved with them any chance I get.”
Meanwhile Good Beer, held at Pemberton Park Oct. 10-11, included dozens of craft breweries from across the country.
Worcester County participants included Burley Oak Brewing Co., Fin City Brewing Company, Assawoman Bay Brewing Co., OC Brewing Company and Backshore Brewing Co.
Brewmaster Vince Wright and his wife, Fin City Assistant Brewer Michele Wright, were both on hand during the event.
“The turnout is fantastic, the weather is fantastic and there are a lot of great beers to try today,” he said.
Wright said the event also helped prepare the brewery for the upcoming Shore Craft Beer Fest in Ocean City.
“Anything local that we can do, we love,” he said. “We travel a lot with our beer. Last week we were out in Hagerstown, and that’s a jog for us, but any time we can do something close to home we’re all about it.”
One of the longest lines during the two-day festival belonged to Berlin’s Burley Oak.
Brewmaster Bryan Brushmiller gave a beer talk on sour beers during the event, focusing on the brewery’s homemade strain of lactobacillus, the bacteria responsible for the “tangy” taste in sour beer.
“We talked about the souring process and the technicalities of souring wort, and in using kettle sours versus barrel-aged sours,” he said. “We also talked about the benefits of canning, because we do sour beer in a can.”
Brushmiller also said Burley Oak is the first American brewery to put a dry-hopped sour beer in a can.
“I think people like sour beers because it’s a sensory experience you usually don’t get,” he said. “It’s just a new way to use your tongue. IPAs were really popular for a while because it was that bitterness on your tongue, and now we’re putting that sourness on your tongue.
“I’m going to say sour is the new IPA,” he added.
Adam Davis from Backshore Brewing Company credited the clear skies and generally pleasant weather with the large turnout during Good Beer.
“Last year it poured and two years before that it was pretty awful weather wise, but we’re doing really well so far,” he said. “We’re pouring a lot of beer.”
Davis said Backshore would bring its Boardwalk Blonde and Downtown Sugar Brown to next week’s Shore Craft Beer Fest, as well as the Breakfast Porter and Autumn Harvest he collaborated on with Jason Weissberg from Assawoman Bay Brewing Company, Jerry Franklin from 3rd Wave Brewing Co. and Doug Grifith from Xtreme Brewing.
“I’m excited for them. I’ve never put beets in a beer before, so that will be certainly interesting,” he said of the Autumn Harvest.
“The [‘Breakfast’] molasses porter is a good recipe too,” he added. “I’ve never made that beer specifically, but just looking at the recipe and comparing it to how I would think to brew a porter and the porters I’ve made in the past, I think it will be pretty good. I’m excited for that one too.”
The Shore Craft Beer Fest will be held Oct. 24 in Sunset Park, Ocean City, and will feature 11 different breweries from across the Eastern Shore.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 at the door. Designated driver and VIP passes are also available.
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