Belle Grove event to offer exclusive draft brews

Belle Grove Program Assistant Rich Coyle, left, discusses plans for the 21st annual Of Ale and History Beer Festival with Jay Massie, special event coordinator for Virginia Eagle Distributing. The festival will be held Saturday at Belle Grove. Rachel Mahoney/Daily

MIDDLETOWN – Belle Grove Plantation’s Of Ale and History Beer Festival this year will feature close to 70 brews for tasting, including a number of old favorites as well as some new local varieties.

This will be the 21st annual event to bring a variety of beer, vendors and live entertainment to Belle Grove as its 2016 season starts up.

A variety of local beers from Woodstock Brewhouse and Backroom Brewery in Middletown will make their first appearance this year. Winchester Ciderworks will also offer tastings of its Malice Cider at the festival.

Steve White is a draft manager for Dixie Beverage Company, which will be distributing Woodstock Brewhouse products. He said brewers from the company will be present at the festival to speak with guests.

“It’s going to be pretty neat to have Woodstock Brewery down because unless you go to their pub, they’re not ready to distribute yet,” he said. “So anybody that’s heard about them, they’ve got phenomenal beers…that’s a great addition, I think.”

At the Yuengling tent, Woodstock Brewhouse will offer tastings of its Seven Benter American Pale, its Beckford Parish Extra Pale Ale, its Tipsy Squirrel Nut Brown Ale and Casey Jones Vanilla Porter. Backroom Brewery will pour its Cilantro Lime Wheat Beer, Reliance Road Red Ale, Chili Pepper Red Ale and Blonde Ale from the Goose Island tent.

Jay Massie, special event coordinator for Virginia Eagle Distributing, said visitors this year can taste a variety of brews from the Georgia-based SweetWater Brewing Company.

“All their beers are anywhere from a pils…all the way up to something very hoppy,” he said. “There’s going to be several of them that we’re going to bring that aren’t in production of bottles, some of them are just in draft.”

Rich Coyle, program assistant at Belle Grove, said that not only is “Of Ale and History” the plantation’s main fundraiser, it also brings a diverse crowd to the historical site.

“It gives us a chance to connect with them,” he said.

Tasting tickets will include a commemorative Strongbow glass and eight tastings, with more available for purchase after 2 p.m. for $2 per additional tasting. General admission tickets for those not tasting beer will include two nonalcoholic beverages.

Besides the wide variety of flavors, attendees will be able to enjoy food from vendors like Shaffer’s, The Farm Effect and Royal Siam Catering. The Robbie Limon Band will perform at the stage around the back of the house from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Cazhmiere will take the stage from 3 to 6 p.m. Safford of Winchester and Harley-Davidson will be displaying vehicles, and attendees will have access to tours of the Manor House during the event.

Kristen Laise, said guests will also have a great selection of Mother’s Day gifts to choose from, between the local business vendors and the Belle Grove Museum Shop. She said visitors have enjoyed how the festival’s been laid out year after year.

“Basically, the same recipe applies,” she said. “People like that consistency, it makes it an easier event for us to run.”


• When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

• Where: Belle Grove Plantation, 336 Belle Grove Road in Middletown.

• Tickets: $25 at the gate, $20 in advance at Belle Grove’s Museum Shop, the Winchester-Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau or online until 5 p.m. Friday. Admission for those not consuming alcohol will be $10.

• Information/purchase tickets: http://tinyurl.com/jfofboh.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com