Story courtesy of MassLive.com
For years, people have talked about the city of Springfield making a big comeback. Well, when it comes to craft beer, it already has.
This year, there are two beer festivals in town: the Worthy Craft a Beer Showcase and Valley Fest occurring in late August. The Worthy runs noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The Worthy Craft Beer Showcase has become one of the most beloved beer festivals in the area by true beer aficionados. A block of Worthington Street (in front of Theodores’ and Smith’s Billiards) is cordoned off for the festivities. Tickets are $40
In talking to people who have been to the festival several times, one thing they like is the intimate atmosphere in what is basically a beer block party.
“This beer festival is such a welcoming environment to enjoy beer craft beer, both local and out of state, with a crowd of people who are as friendly of a group you’ll find,” said Brock McConkey of Northampton, who has attended three of the Worthy fests over the years. “It’s event not to be missed.”
The unique angle for this celebration is that brewers are asked to bring one flagship beer and one specialty brew to showcase to drinkers. Of course, they usually sneak more than two brews in, which is fair game and which makes beer fans happy.
There is also a home brewing contest, which showcases some real brewing talent by amateurs in the area. Contestants bring a minimum of five gallons to participate, and each festival attendee is given two tokens, which are used for voting. Attendees can drop one or both of their tokens into a brewer’s collection bucket by 2 p.m., after which each bucket is counted, with the winning homebrewer being allowed to make their beer at Amherst Brewing on its system to serve it as official fest beer next year.
Last year, Josh Britton of Footbridge Brewing in Wilbraham won the homebrewing contest for his Alien IPA, which will serve as the official Worthy Fest Beer this year.
Tyler Guilmette, head brewer for Northampton’s Brewmaster Jack is looking forward to his inaugural year at the festival. Guilmette usually attends all the big brewfests around Massachusetts, but has not been to the Worthy before.
“This is the first year I’ve been invited and I am very excited to be going,” he said. “We will have the usual suspects like Stray Dog Lager, Ambrewsia IPA, and Total Eclipse Porter. We’ll also be bringing some specialty IPAs, like our Hoppiness is a Warm Pun.”
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