‘Of Ale and History’ beer festival returns to Belle Grove Saturday

MIDDLETOWN – The 23 annual “Of Ale and History” Beer Festival returns to Belle Grove on Saturday. Gates open at 11 a.m., tastings begin at noon and festivalgoers can enjoy the craft or specialty beer, ciders, food, vendors and live entertainment until 6 p.m.

“Of Ale and History” has become the marquee beer event in the Northern Shenandoah Valley and the longest running beer festival in the state.

Rich Coyle, the program assistant for Belle Grove, said depending on the weather the event typically draws over 3,000 beer lovers. Saturday’s weather forecast calls for temperatures in the low 80s.

“The idea of the event is to celebrate the whole spectrum of beers,” Coyle said. “From Maryland to Middletown to North Carolina, there’s something for every taste bud.”

More than 60 breweries, specialty beer and cider businesses have signed up to participate in the festival, including Woodstock Brewhouse, Alesatain Brewing, Devils Backbone, Bold Rock IPA, Starr Hill and Wicked Weed. Some breweries also will bring rare or limited kegs to tap during the afternoon.

Steve White, with Dixie Beverage, said it’s an opportunity for beer fans to come out and sample beers they might not otherwise try.

Food will be available for purchase from Shaffer’s BBQ Palace, Royal Siam Catering, 0 to 60 Energy, A-1 Kettle Korn and Papa Joe’s Funnel Cakes.

Local business along with Belle Grove’s museum shop will offer unique gifts and products for sale.

Live entertainment will include Cazhmiere and the Robbie Limon Band beginning at 11:30 a.m.

This year’s featured beverage host is Yuengling, session beer sponsor is Pabst Blue Ribbon, and the non-alcoholic beverage sponsor is Snapple.

Advance tasting tickets are on sale at www.bellegrove.org. Tickets are also available at all area Handy Mart locations and the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, 1400 South Pleasant Valley Road in Winchester, and the Belle Grove Shop.

Tasting tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate. Tickets include a commemorative tasting glass and eight beer tastings. Additional tastings may be purchased for $2 each.

New this year: guests may opt to exchange two tastings for a can of session beer at the Pabst Blue Ribbon tent.

Proceeds from the festival help support Belle Grove’s preservation projects and educational programs.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to come out and enjoy a day with us while supporting the historical aspect of the museum,” Coyle said.

Additional sponsors include Grove’s Winchester Harley-Davidson, iHeartMedia, Mid South Building Supply and Stafford of Winchester RAM.