Brew & Blues to offer more drinks, bands this year
By Joe Beck -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- Downtown is gearing up for an event that serves up a hearty combination of beer and one of America's traditional forms of music.
The second annual Brew & Blues festival runs from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Main and Chester streets.
Organizers hope an expanded musical lineup and a wide variety of beer waiting to be sampled by customers will allow the festival to build on the inaugural success of last year's event.
The 2,000 who attended last year found much to like, said Nicole Foster, president of the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce.
"First year events can be very tricky, but we were very pleased with how the event turned out," Foster said.
Brew & Blues offers a chance to taste more than 20 craft beers, some brewed right in Virginia. The state's roster includes Legend Brewing Co., Starr Hill, and Old Dominion Brewing Co.
The admission price -- $13 in advance and $15 at the gate for drinkers -- includes a full-sized Pilsner glass that festival-goers can take home as a souvenir.
Advance tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, 104 E. Main St.; the visitors center, 414 E. Main St.; or at www.brewandblues.com/tickets.
Drinkers will be allowed to carry open containers within a designated area around the entertainment.
Root beer and other non-alcoholic drinks will also be available.
The list of bands scheduled to perform has grown from two last year to three in 2011.
This year's bands are The Patty Reese Band, Moon Dog Medicine and Melodime.
Festival-goers arriving in the morning will find several downtown merchants offering promotions designed to appeal to the anticipated crowds.
For example, The Daily Grind coffee shop, will be offering coffee tastings that allow customers to sample various brews while learning where the product comes from, how it is roasted and other information.
The Main Street Book Co. and Around Your Kitchen will be joining The Daily Grind in giving customers discount coupons.
Coupons received at one store will be good for purchases made at the other two, said Janet Michael, owner of Java Media, who is helping organize the pre-festival promotions.
"It's just a good way to get traffic flow moving down the street. If you go into one store, you'll also visit the others, Michael said.