craft beer

Event will feature over 40 different craft beers from at least 20 regional breweries

(Feb. 21, 2020) Shore Craft Beer’s Love on Tap festival is already outpacing ticket sales for any of its other festivals, according to CEO Ann McGinnis Hillyer. 

As of earlier this week, 40 VIP tickets remained and a little over 600 general admission tickets were still available for the event, set to take place on Saturday, Feb. 29 at the 40th Street convention center in Ocean City. 

“People should buy those quickly if they want to come in as a VIP,” Hillyer said. “Those will definitely sell out. I’m hoping for a sell-out crowd for the day of the event.” 

The Love on Tap festival is part of Shore Craft Beer’s strategy to make the Eastern Shore a craft brewing destination. 

From 1:30-4:30 p.m., participants can taste over 40 different beers from at least 20 local craft breweries, with VIP ticket holders getting an extra hour, starting at 12:30 p.m. 

Tickets cost $35 for general admission, $50 for VIP and $10 for designated driver. The code “thankyou2020” will save purchasers $5 on the Shore Craft Beer website. Tickets will be available the day of the event, unless they sell out in advance. 

Hillyer said the number of tickets was increased from 850 to 1,500 this year because of the event’s rising popularity. The festival was also moved from Seacrets on 49th Street to the convention center this year to accommodate more people. 

The convention center will be transformed into a beer garden, decorated with artificial grass and lights, along with bar stools and couches.

“You’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors at the beer festival, too,” Hillyer said. “You can take your beer outside, look at the water, come back in and play some games.” 

The festival will also have an app that was funded by a grant through the Rural Maryland Council for participants to check in to events, keep track of craft beers they’ve been drinking and for a chance to win prizes.

“You’ll get a message that says ‘Hey, you’ve only hit four of the 20 breweries, make sure you hit these breweries,’ so we can actually send messages as people check in to the booths,” Hillyer said. “And then, the different breweries will have prizes, so that some of the breweries, if they have stickers to give away or glasses to give away or cozies, you can spin to win a prize at their booth and pick it up right there at the booth.” 

In addition to the festival, there will be a panel, “Brewers, Bloggers and Beercations,” at the Ocean Downs Casino from 5:30-7 p.m on Friday, Feb. 28. The panel of beer bloggers, as well as Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan, will discuss craft beer trends and screen a short film.

One of the beer bloggers will be Zack Mack from Thrillist, a magazine that follows food and drink trends. 

Following the event, participants can head to Seacrets for the Liquor Before Beer pre-party from 8-10 p.m. for $5 craft distilled spirits. Both events are free for Love on Tap ticket holders. 

Fin’s Ale House and Bar in Berlin will offer a craft beer-focused brunch menu on Sunday, March 1. 

From Friday, Feb. 28 through Sunday, March 1, Poseidon’s Pub in the Ocean Downs Casino will offer a three-course, beer-focused meal for $30.

For more information and tickets, visit shorecraftbeer.com.

Elizabeth covers Worcester County issues for Ocean City Today. In 2018, she graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa with a bachelor of arts. After graduation, Elizabeth spent a year with Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Wilmington, Delaware.

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