(Feb. 1, 2019) Today marks the first day of FeBREWary, a month dedicated to craft beer as designated by Gov. Larry Hogan.
Several craft beer events are planned this month, including the fourth annual Shore Craft Beer Fest on Saturday, Feb. 23.
“October 2014 is when I started this and Maryland had 19 breweries at the time … now we have well over 25 on the shore and I was trying to figure out why other destinations were being designated as a top 10 craft beer designation and the shore and Maryland were not,” Event Organizer Ann Hillyer said. “What they had were the governor’s proclamation of a craft beer month. For example, Virginia designated August.
“I talked to the Office of Tourism and Development and they wanted to focus on a month where tourism is historically less active, which all the winter months are,” she continued. “The shore has world-class beer and beauty at all times of the year but it’s particularly nice here in the offseason because it’s calm, quiet and it’s a great time to go inside of a brewery and have a beer and go hike or go birding.”
Craft beer specials will be provided throughout the month, with challenges offered on the Shore Craft Beer app, available for mobile devices. The app features different challenges and trials which can lead to various prizes.
“Anybody who takes advantage of any Love on Tap specials during the month of February for Craft Beer Lovers’ Month will be entered to win a free two-night stay at the Hyatt in Ocean City, so it’s a big prize,” Hillyer said. “We’re not doing the same giveaways that we did last year, and anyone who checks into the festival will be entered to win tickets to the next festival.”
Eight bars and restaurants are participating in the event, including Seacrets on 49th Street, the Globe in Berlin, Harpoon Hanna’s in Fenwick, the Greene Turtle on 116th Street, Zippy Lewis Lounge in the Dunes Manor Hotel on 28th Street, Longboard Café on 67th Street, Evo in Salisbury and Breakers in Rehoboth.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, the fourth annual Shore Craft Beer Festival will be held at Seacrets on 49th Street from 1-4 p.m. with an exclusive extra hour from noon to 1 p.m. for VIP ticket holders.
“Seacrets is a great venue for this kind of beachy event so there’s no better place to be in the winter than here for this festival in Ocean City,” Hillyer said. “It’s good for our community and our economic vitality and it’s pure fun.”
Twelve breweries from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia will provide samples. RavenBeer from Baltimore and Cult Classic Brewery of Stevensville, will be participating in their first-ever Shore Craft Beer Fest.
Shore Craft Beer Fest: Love on Tap at Seacrets sold out at 850 attendees last year and is projected to sell out again this year.
“Love on Tap has been a huge success in the previous years with attendees coming from all over the mid-Atlantic to celebrate local craft breweries,” Seacrets Marketing and Advertising Manager Jackie Miller stated in a press release. “The Eastern Shore is home to world-class beers and the festival is a way to showcase a part of the community.”
The first 800 guests will receive commemorative glasses for unlimited beer tastings. VIP guests will also receive a free commemorative T-shirt.
Two bands, Brett Andrews and Company and Full Circle Duo, will play during the festival. Food pairings will be offered as well.
“We’re really pleased to be putting this on again. It’s become a really fun annual event,” Hillyer said. “A lot of people are planning their vacation around this event so we’ve sold a lot of hotel packages already. This is the reason we started Shore Craft Beer is to bring people to our area.”
Participants must be 21 and have a valid ID to enter. Tickets for general admission cost $35. VIP tickets cost $50 and designated drivers pay $10 and will be offered soda and water.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.shorecraftbeerfest.com.