The hours until the gates open at both the Kennett Brewfest and Cheesetoberfest at Fordham and Dominion Brewing are growing fewer and fewer. And we're growing more and more excited. You can be an old pro at craft beer festivals and grilled cheese/mac & cheese beer afternoons, or a newbie, either way, attending one of these events is pretty much a guarentee you're Saturday afternoon is going to be better than anyone who's missing these events!
Here's a few thoughts and ideas on how to make the most of your day without needing a nap midway through!
Kennett Brewfest is in its 18th year this year, so the folks behind the fest have this day down to a science. And it shows. Whether they have rain or crazy hot October Saturday afternoons, nothing stumps them on how to create a pretty fantastic afternoon. Both the Connoisseur Tasting and the Brewfest have once again attracted a pretty killer line-up.
For the Connoisseur going folks, we have a few thoughts on how to have the best afternoon you can. Eat breakfast. Yes, one of our favorites inclusions in this ticket is lunch from Talulah's Table (because when don't we like an excuse to have some of their amazing food!), but you need a nice base going because you have 1 hour and 30 minutes to try to visit as many of the 39 breweries that will be there for this special part of the afternoon.
Thought #2: stay hydrated. That should be a given any time you're indulging in a beer or two. You'll thank yourself later on that one.
Now, I'm not going to suggest you turn into a total beer nerd like me, but have a bit of a game plan. Kennett is so great about keeping a running tab of who is pouring what during both sessions, and that, for us, is pretty darn important in making sure we maximize our 90 minutes of Connoisseur fun. We're excited to check out a couple beers, including:
- Starr Hill Shakedown Stout with Godiva shavings and chili
- Victory's Kennett Square 5-grain Saison
- Flying Fish Coffee IPA
- Shawnee Craft Wet Hopped Saison
- Zero Day Brewing Blue Agave Saison
- Evil Genius Fresh Hop IPA
- Hill Farmstead, because it's Hill Farmstead, and because they're bring Grassroots IPA and Double Galaxy Double IPA
- Sole Artesian Clink on Randall with Mandarin Oranges and Hops
- St. Boniface Hegemony Stout with Coffee, Chocolate and Vanilla
- Forgotten Boardwalk - Round Trip Hoppy Saison
- Round Guy Hipster Frogger
- Coppertail Cranberry Hibiscus Berliner
- Tired Hands - Rust & Decay
- Conshohocken Island in the Sun Pineapple Double IPA
Don't get me wrong, this is just the short list. We want to try as many as we can. After goodness knows how many craft beer events the two of us have gone to together over the years, we've pretty much perfected how to do that. Get there early. I'm slightly embarrassed by the time we'll be leaving our house to get up to Kennett to stand in line. But it's worth it, we'll get in there and we'll get to drinking. Our other suggestion, use the buddy system. Buddy up with whoever you're going with and each grab a different beer and try each other's beers. Note your favorites, and if there's time, sneak back and get a second pour of those beers. But most importantly, even though you may have taken our advice to ensure you've had breakfast, don't skip out on lunch. Besides the fact it's from Talulah's, you're doing a lot of drinking in a pretty short period of time. Take the time to eat. You'll have time to digest everything during the half an hour break between sessions.
Joining the fest for the main Brewfest? A lot of our thoughts on the Connoisseur Tasting hold true for this session too. Eat breakfast and arrive early. As we're finishing up the Connoisseur Tasting we've watched the line grow longer and longer, wrapping around the very large block the festival is held on. Sure, you have 6 hours of good ol' craft beer fun, but why not get in there a little sooner, right?! There's plenty of awesome food options around the Brewfest. Be sure to save a little room for them while you're at it.
Another super helpful piece is the map that the amazing organizers publish a day or two before the Fest each year. Check out the Connoisseur Tasting Map and the Brewfest Map. The Brewfest's Facebook page always has a crazy amount of information posted on the days leading up to the Festival, like the Connoisseur Tasting beer list and a one-page beer list for the Brewfest. Our lists are already printed out!
Have more questions? Check out the Frequently Ask Questions page. Scan the Kennett Brewfest Facebook page for tons of other useful info like available taxi cabs if you end up having a little too much fun at the fest! Oh, and don't forget your ID. That would be a major buzz kill even before the afternoon has a chance to start!
Take a peek at some of the Kennett Brewfest fun we've had over the years:
Rob Pfeiffer tapping a firkin at last year's Fest: http://on.fb.me/1QflOA7
The fun we had in 2013: http://on.fb.me/1OrgkDq
What we thought you needed to know in 2012: http://bit.ly/1VKgBSq
Now onto a little Cheesetoberfest fun!
Fordham and Dominion knows how to put on a good time. We've witnessed it several times over the years, including taking part as judges at last year's Cheesetobefest.
Where do we begin with Cheesetoberfest. It's a German-themed afternoon filled with so many creative twists on grilled cheese and mac and cheese from area restaurants, beer and German music. Seriously, it doesn't really get much better.
This year you'll be sipping on Octoberfest, Copperhead Ale, Gypsy Lager and Spiced Harvest Ale. Nice. Are you the DD or just not into beer? (It's okay, we can still be friends). Fordham and Dominion will have plenty of their Handcrafted Sodas on hand for you crazy fools.
Still need tickets? You're in luck, General Admission Tickets will be sold at the door today. Thank goodness for that!
Our advice is similar to our Kennett Brewfest advice. Arrive in enough time to get yourself parked and to get in line a little early. Folks get eager to get awesome afternoons like today started! The pre-eating factor isn't quite there for Cheesetoberfest since all you're doing is eating (and drinking!) Come hungry, but not doubled-over with hunger pains hungry! Be patient, and be friendly to one another. Don't let han-gry happen! Even better, check out what has changed from last year. Well done, FoDo!
Most importantly, enjoy those bites of deliciousness you're going to encounter throughout the afternoon. And vote wisely - there is some serious competition showing up for Cheesetoberfest! Check out who's coming: http://bit.ly/1N4S4FI
Have more questions? Of course the brewery put together some clever answers to good questions: http://bit.ly/1jgyKLW
Here's a sweet recap of all that was Cheesetoberfest 2014: http://bit.ly/1sWuPHX