The music has been booked, the prices are set and the tickets are on sale for the inaugural Big Elkin Brewfest to be held this fall.
The event is an effort by members of the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce to promote local and state breweries in a similar fashion to the promotion of wines through the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival. Already more than 11 breweries have confirmed their participation in the brewfest, set for Sept. 24.
“We have the Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival, a family craft event which tends to draw local people to downtown, and with the brewfest, we saw an opportunity to draw people from out of town to the pumpkin festival and for the brewfest,” said Jeff Eidson, outgoing chairman of the chamber board. “Hopefully people will start coming for the whole weekend.”
He said he recently returned from a trip to the west coast, and “nothing that I could do topped the things I could do here,” adding that living in Charlotte and Raleigh would not allow people to enjoy what they do every day living in the Elkin area.
Another goal of brewfest and bringing visitors to the area is to showcase all the area has to offer, especially for those who work in a career which can be done from anywhere, in hopes some will choose to relocate and help grow the local economy.
He said other highlights of the area that contribute to that goal are restaurants, the new music venue being created at the Reeves Theater, the trail systems and more. “We want to be the best place to live in North Carolina,” said Eidson.
In order to ensure the brewfest is a success, the organizing committee, lead by Jeff Yockel of Skull Camp Brewery, is pushing the sale of advanced tickets, in particular advanced VIP tickets. He said the advanced sale of tickets is vital to getting additional breweries as well as food trucks to commit to attending, that it is worth their while to make the trip to Elkin for the day’s event.
Each committee member, which includes Eidson, Yockel, Myra Cook, Misty Matthews, Thomas Eidson, Natalie Golikov, Anthony Sebastian, Kevin Stainback, Cicely McCulloch, Robert Ball and Paul Hammes, has 100 tickets to sell in the next month. Tickets also can be picked up on Market Street at the chamber office.
With the pumpkin festival scheduled for the morning and afternoon of Sept. 24 along Main Street downtown, the Big Elkin Brewfest will kick off at Elkin Municipal Park from 3 to 9 p.m. Entertainment for the event will include Luke Mears Band from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Big Daddy Mojo from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and Electric Darling from 7 to 9 p.m.
Standard tickets, which cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door, include 15 beer tastings and a beer tasting cup. VIP tickets, which cost $50 in advance or at the door, include unlimited beer tastings, a beer tasting cup, a commemorative been glass and a Brewfest T-shirt.
Yockel said the group also is seeking out volunteers to help during the brewfest.
“North Carolina is in the top three states in the country as far as fastest growing brewery industry,” said Yockel. “We had 120, and 40 more are opening this year. People have a choice to make.”
Breweries committed as of the annual meeting were Skull Camp, Angry Troll, Foothills, Big Boss, Lost Province, Catawba, Bold Rock, Hoots, Four Saints, 26 Acres and West Bend.
For more information about the Big Elkin Brewfest, visit www.bigelkinbrewfest.com, the event Facebook page, or call the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce at 336-526-1111.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.