BERRYVILLE — Craft beer enthusiasts in Clarke County will not have to travel far on Saturday to enjoy samples of suds made in northern regions of Virginia.
B Chord Brewing will host “Brews in the Blue Ridge: Clarke County’s First Craft Beer Festival” on Saturday at the county fairgrounds just west of Berryville. Eight breweries from the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley regions will take part in the festival, as will various food and arts-and-crafts vendors.
Other activities will include live music, a glass-blowing demonstration and a cornhole tournament, proceeds of which will benefit charities.
B Chord is based in Round Hill, a village in western Loudoun County. However, it has supported the River and Roots and Watermelon Park festivals in Clarke County in the past. Its manager, Erik Burnham, said that after the brewery learned that River and Roots would not be held this year, “we just wanted to come together to host a community festival … to help fill a big void.”
Burham admitted that when planning started for the festival, B Chord did not realize that the 2019 Hop Blossom Craft Beer Festival in Old Town Winchester was being planned for the same day.
He does not expect that festival to hurt attendance at the Clarke County event.
Since planning for “Brews in the Blue Ridge” began, Burnham said, people in Clarke County have told him “they want to go to a beer festival, but they get anxious about the large crowd” at Hop Blossom and would prefer to attend a festival that is less crowded.
They also are concerned about having to drive from Winchester back to Clarke when they have been drinking alcoholic beverages, he said.
“We don’t want anybody getting drunk,” Burnham said, emphasizing that the festival is intended for people to sample beer, not guzzle it.
Anyone who appears to be intoxicated no longer will be served, and they will be encouraged not to drive, he said. He mentioned that the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office and Berryville Police Department will be closely monitoring the festival.
Overnight camping will be provided to discourage people from driving after they have been drinking, he added.
General admission is $40, with children under 12 admitted for free with their parents. Although the festival is aimed at adults, the food and craft vendors, live music and camping could interest children and teenagers, Burnham said.
By allowing minors into the festival, he said, “it will keep it easier for parents because they won’t have to hire sitters” to watch their children.
Those wanting to participate in the cornhole tournament will pay $50, which includes admission. Half of the tourney proceeds will go to the Clarke County Ruritan Club, and the other half will go to the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST), Burnham said.
Angelman syndrome is a nervous system genetic disorder that can cause delayed development, intellectual disability, severe speech impairment and problems with movement and balance, according to a National Institutes of Health website.
Performers at the festival will include the Songs From the Road Band, The Woodshedders, Hard Swimmin’ Fish, Burning Dirty and the Randy Thompson Band. Arts and crafts vendors will included Altered Elements LLC, J & J Farm, The Eden Fund International Jewelry, Caitlin’s Creations, Paparazzi Accessories by Hope Johnson, Bill Kitt’s Locally Crafted Pottery, Jordan Xu High Art and Moon Daddy Designs.