MIDDLETOWN – Beer lovers from around the area will descend on Belle Grove when the plantation hosts the 24th Of Ale and History Beer Festival from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m Saturday.

The longest-running beer festival in the state of Virginia will feature beers from various local beer distributors and breweries, as well as food and live musical entertainment

Rich Coyle, of Belle Grove Plantation, said that the beer festival is an essential fundraiser that helps support the plantation’s preservation projects and education programs.

“This particular event generates in a single day more than any event we do,” he said. “It’s an event we’re somewhat dependent upon.”

The festival will include several beer distributors, including Dixie Beverage Company and Virginia Eagle Distributing Company, as well as local breweries, including Siblings’ Rivalry Brewery and Box Office Brewery. For many of the beer distributors taking part in the festival, this event is about celebrating the area they grew up in and giving back.

“To me, it’s very important because I grew up here,” said Jay Massie, of Virginia Eagle Distributing Company. “Every year, my family would come to this event. This is one of the few events I go to and participate at because it’s a family event.”

Aside from the beer tastings, the festival will also play host to several local bands. Blues band Mojo Mothership will perform from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., while the Robbie Limon Band will take the stage from 3-6 p.m. The Massanutten Antique Tractor and Gasoline Engine Club will have tractors on display throughout the day.

Several food vendors, including Shaffer’s Barbecue Palace, Royal Siam Catering, Three Fires Wood-Fired Pizza, A-1 Kettle Korn, and Insta Roll Ice Cream, will be on site. Local businesses and the Belle Grove Museum Shop will also have unique products for sale.

Festival gates will open at 11 a.m. and tastings will be offered starting at noon until 5:30 p.m. Advanced tasting tickets can be purchased online for $25. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate for $30, with additional tastings available for purchase after 2 p.m. for $2.

Designated drivers and guests under 21 may get into the event for $10 and will be given two complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. Admission will include access to all performances and vendors.

Tickets are available to purchase online at www.bellegrove.com. Tickets can also be purchased at all area Handy Mart locations, the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, and the Belle Grove Museum Shop.

– Contact Donald Lambert at dlambert@nvdaily.com