LAKE HARMONY — In its 26th year, a local beer festival hasn’t gone flat. Instead, it has more to do than ever before.
The Annual Great Brews Beer Festival, held at Split Rock Resort in the Pocono Mountains, has been pushing the cutting-edge of the beer world over the course of its quarter-century run. And that’s true this year, with more breweries, new types of drinks and more entertainment than years past.
The event will run from noon to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 19 and 20.
Ashley Lyon, 24, marketing manager for Split Rock, said the event got started after the original event organizers saw wine festivals in California, and they wanted to bring something similar to Pennsylvania.
“We have the newest things in the beer industry,” Lyon said. Some of those new developments include over 100 different beers to sample from both big name breweries such as Blue Moon, Magic Hat and Yuengling and a wide array of lesser-known breweries.
“We’ll even have alcoholic sparkling water,” Lyon said.
Besides the number of beers and other beverages to sample, beer lovers, and those who enjoy other beverages, have plenty of things to keep them entertained. The festival will have musical guests to help drive the party, divided across three separate stages on the property.
“We take over the sports complex (at Split Rock), and we transform it into the Beer Festival,” Lyon said. “We’ll have stages set up in the sports complex.”
Taking the stage will be various bands from the NEPA music scene, and fans can be excited to see acts like A Pair of Nuts, The Tommy Guns Band, The Frost, Kartune and Dashboard Mary, with A Pair of Nuts playing on both days.
In addition to the music, attendees can try their hands at backyard games like cornhole and even bigger versions of classic games like giant beer pong and giant Jenga. Winning these games has its benefits.
“Winners could win overnight stays, water park tickets, T-shirts,” said Lyon, listing some of the possible prizes.
As with most beer festivals, food vendors will be on hand from companies like Caribbean Cuizine and Family, Jim Thorpe House of Jerky and the Sweet Lush Cupcakery. TVs will be set up to show football and other sports.
And if you can’t find a designated driver, Split Rock Resort can help you out.
“We have lodging packages, too, so you don’t even have to drive home,” said Lyon.
A $40 ticket gets you one-day access to the beer samples, admission to the musical acts and a free glass for your beer. Tickets are $35 a piece for groups with 25 or more people, and $10 for a designated driver. Parking is free.
Lyon said about 2,000 people attended last year’s event. She’d like to see that admission number grow to 3,000 and its looking good. He said nearly 1,500 tickets have already been purchased.
“Make sure you bring your friends,” Lyon said. “It should be a good day.”