July 25th, 2015 was a date to remember in Manchester, NH.
The party kicked off at 12pm sharp at Arms Park when the Granite State Brewers Association opened the gates to begin the 2nd annual SummerFest Brew Festival and Wing Showdown.
There were over 30 New Hampshire Breweries and a variety of restaurants who come to show off their chicken wing cooking skills. Did I mention there was a chicken wing showdown? Yes, you heard me right.
A general admission ticket for this event cost $30 and that grants you access to three hours of unlimited beer sampling. My friends and I stood in line early to get the extra VIP access (tickets $40) and to be some of the first people to hit the festival, because it may not seem like a lot but that extra hour gave us all a little more time with each brewer and first in line for the wings.
“We all have something in common here- we love beer!” said Bert Bingel, one of the co-owner of Bert’s Better Beers and sponsor of the event.
For me the festival featured many highlights included a Blond Gruit named “Albert 2” by Earth Eagle Brewings in Portsmouth. This unique beer had grilled rhubarb and sage blossoms which give it a pale color that packs some really good flavor. Each sip tasted like a mouthful of flowers. So fresh and refreshing.
If the festival has any flaws it’s the “Wing Showdown” part of the event. Good chicken wings were being sold, for very low price ranging from $.50-$1.00 per wing, but I was expecting a competition! I don’t know about many of you, but I love chicken wings, and it’s the best addition to any day filled with drinking great beer. I’d like to see how many wings we I could eat in 5 mins., a great competition that allows people to enter, I mean on a good day bet says I could eat 25 (just kidding…kind of). But how fun would it be to watch an eating contest over local wings? Maybe next year?
Overall the event was one of the biggest highlights of my summer so far. I was also lucky enough to attend last year, and it is great to see that it is only getting better! “This is a must go to event next year,” said Brooke Wheeler, 25, from Lake Sunapee, NH. “My favorite brewer is the Flying Goose and is so cool to see them here.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the event for next year I’d suggest you keep an eye on the facebook page here.