As an increasingly protean beer industry continues to evolve into whatever it’s going to be next, it’s always important to remember the importance of gathering together with friends and just drinking a few beers. That’s been a familiar pastime for millennia.
Speaking of familiarity, one of New England’s oldest beers festivals takes place right here in the Granite State and it’s the perfect excuse to spend a fun-filled weekend in the North Country.
The 2017 edition of New England Brewfest takes place June 23-25 at scenic Loon Mountain in Lincoln. You may be asking yourself, “How many times am I supposed to try all the beers over three days?” Don’t worry, you’re asking the wrong question. New England Brewfest is different than most other fests because of the array of exciting events surrounding the actual beer festival and its setting in the Whites.
The weekend kicks off Friday with two welcome events that’ll appeal to foodies and adventurers. Cafe Lafayette Craft Beer Train takes you on a two-hour train ride along the Pemigewassett River where you can indulge in a selection of locally-sourced dishes, each paired with a different craft beer. Each ticket includes the train ride and all food and beer pairings, but you must be at least 21 to climb on board.
One of the White Mountain’s newest breweries is hosting a cocktail-style party beer dinner: One Love Brewery Beer Pairing Dinner. Pairing stations and a one of a kind atmosphere will delight all of your senses and welcome you to the Whites for a weekend of fun. Head Brewer Michael Snyder’s beers are not to be missed in their natural setting! Your ticket includes all food and beer pairings and this is another 21+ event.
Saturday brings the main event, dubbed “Saturday On Tap.” Over 33 breweries and 100+ beers mean you won’t be short of sampling choices whether you’re ready to try something new from a brewery you’ve never heard of or you want to revisit some old favorites in the heart of an iconic ski resort. The VIP session starts at 3 pm before the rest of the punters fill in the area at 4 pm. Live music from the Cody James Gang and the Dusty Gray Band will soundtrack your fun and will unlock your body and move you to dance.
The best way to prepare for Saturday sampling is to have a hearty breakfast and get schooled at the New England Brewfest Seminars, which take place from 10am-1pm at the Loon Mountain Club. You’ll hear from industry insiders about what’s happening in craft beer and so much more. It’s a civilized way to spend your morning.
Sunday morning offers some relaxing closure to the weekend so that you can drive home with a clear mind and a full stomach. There’s a Brewers Brunch featuring a conversation with some of the Granite State’s top brewers and nourishing food. The buffet opens at 9:30 and the knowledge-sharing starts at 10.
If your Sunday mornings are typically spent at church, you’re covered! The Loon Mountain Ministry is hosting a non-denominational Christian worship service on the mountain-top amphitheater where a guest speaker will discuss the connection between beer, history, and religion. Trust me when I say it’s much deeper than you might think. Gondola rides begin at 10 am for the 11 am service and have a reduced $8 fee.
New Hampshire’s North Country is a magical place to spend a weekend and we strongly encourage you to head up for the New England Brewfest. More information, including the always-important ticket sales, can be found on their website, as can travel packages at resorts throughout the area. Most include shuttle service, which is great for both convenience and safety.
In addition to beery things, the Whites have a plethora of activities for the entire family. From hiking and shopping to scenic drives and a visit to the world’s largest candy counter, you can make your weekend up north work for you. For more information, check out Visit NH’s White Mountains page.
Brew New Hampshire volunteers will be around Lincoln during the weekend, so visit us at our booth or listen to us spin golden yarns during the seminars. We’ll be glad to meet you.