Beer won’t be served at this year’s Yadkin Valley Wine Festival, but never fear, beer lovers. This year is to be the inaugural Big Elkin Brewfest, an event created to celebrate and promote local breweries. The festival is slated for Sept. 24 from 3 to 9 p.m. at Elkin Municipal Park.
“We’re in the top three as far as fastest growing states in the country for new breweries,” said Jeff Yockel, a partner with Skull Camp Brewery. “There are 40 breweries scheduled to open in 2016 in North Carolina.”
With more than a hundred breweries already in the state and more on the way, including the newest to open soon in Elkin, Angry Troll, Yockel said a beer festival was a must to begin promoting this new and fast-growing industry.
“Beer festivals are a major way of introducing all these new beers,” he said. Getting the newest brews into the hands — and mouths — of consumers is the main goal of the festival, as well as to introduce visitors to all the Elkin area has to offer.
“For Elkin we not only have Skull Camp and Angry Troll opening up this year and we thought it was an opportunity to showcase those two breweries but also bring in other breweries across the state to focus on beer but to also focus on Elkin,” Yockel said.
About a dozen breweries are expected to be at the festival, including Winston-Salem-based Foothills Brewery as well as breweries from Raleigh, Greensboro, Boone, Asheville and more.
“We’re hoping to bring a bunch of people in to Elkin who have never been here before for the experience of getting that wide range of beer opportunities to try,” Yockel said.
Details are still being hammered out, but the festival also will feature food trucks and live music. It is slated for the same day as the annual Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival.
“The idea was to bring in different demographics to Elkin that day to hopefully enjoy the pumpkin festival and the brewfest,” said Misty Matthews of the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Advance tickets and T-shirts for the Brewfest will be sold at the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival on May 21.
For more information, visit the Big Elkin Brewfest page on Facebook.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.