Elkin’s inaugural Big Elkin Brewfest is slated for Saturday at the Elkin Municipal Park following the annual downtown Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival. Organizers said the new brewfest will feature beer from some of North Carolina’s best breweries.
“This is the first annual beer festival,” said Jeff Yockel with Skull Camp Brewery. “Elkin has their wine festival and it’s been going on for about 20 years. Two year ago, Elkin allowed breweries to come into the wine festival and it was very successful, but the wineries wanted to keep it as a wine festival so we decided to do our own festival and make a separate event. We decided to do it the same day as the pumpkin festival because we figured that there would be people going to both. We can take advantage of the crowd coming in and this is the time of the year to have a beer festival. It’s already got that tradition built into it.”
Tasting tickets are $20 in advance through Eventbridge and $25 at the gate. Tickets will include 15 two-ounce beer tasting tickets and a special tasting cup with a logo. Pints also can be purchased for $5 at the event directly from each brewery. VIP tickets for $50 also will be included for unlimited tasting, a tasting mug, special parking, a Brewfest T-shirt and a signature commemorative pint glass. Admission for non-tasters is $5. Children under the age of 12 can enter for free.
Guests also can enjoy live music with Luke Mears Band, Big Daddy Mojo, and Electric Darling.
For those wanting to satisfy their appetite, food will be served by 13 Bones from Mount Airy selling BBQ and ribs, Herrera Vineyard from Dobson with its hamburgers and sandwiches, and Putters of Dobson with brats and chicken.
Beer Army is going to be set up at the festival. A local nonprofit organization, Beer Army raises money for veterans and will be holding a silent auction for veterans.
The festival is hosting 15 breweries from all around the state, including the cities of Raleigh, Asheville, Charlotte, Asheboro, Boone and Winston-Salem, each bringing their finest craft beers and ciders. Local people will get a chance to try something they’ve never tried before.
Two of the state’s new breweries have never put their beer out on the market, including Angry Troll here in Elkin and 26 Acres from Concord, and they will have a chance to showcase their brews.
Breweries signed up for the festival include Angry Troll, Skull Camp, Big Boss Brewing, Westbend, Foothills, Winston-Salem, Lost Province, Catawba, Hoots, Four Saints, 26 Acres Brewing Company, Nickelpoint, Sugar Creek, and Bold Rock Hard Cider.
“We’re very fortunate to have amazing craft breweries from across the state interested in attending our first year for the festival,” said Louis Jeroslow of Angry Troll Brewery. “It’s very exciting for the guests here.”
Preparations for the beer festival started back in February.
“I’m new to Elkin so for me I don’t know all these things, but everybody has stepped in,” said Yockel. “We need security so we’ve had the EMS people and law enforcement offering to help us. We’re also running shuttles. YVEDDI has vans around the county, and they’ll be running shuttles for people in the hotels in Elkin and Jonesville. People will be drinking and they won’t want to drive. We’ve also got a lot of volunteers helping collect and sell tickets.”
Yockel and Jeroslow are hoping for a good turnout this weekend so they can continue to expand and grow the festival in the future.
“Hopefully, this is the first year of many,” said Yockel. “More than half of the people who come in here are from out of state. We’ve already got visitors coming into this area on the weekends. They want to escape the big cities and can go hiking, explore the breweries, and just get away from everything. We have two breweries in town now and I think we’ve seen the success of the wine festival and the crowd it draws. I think it’s the area. This is the perfect spot for people looking to get away for the weekend. We’re hoping they come in to enjoy this town. Adding one more festival like this moves us in the path of turning this place into a destination location.”
“It’s very exciting for Elkin and the region,” said Jeroslow. “One of our visions of Angry Troll is to establish and capture the spirit of these types of centers for gathering and community and the exchange of ideas and information. Pubs and breweries historically have very much been a center for congregating and community building as well as exchanging ideas, and that spirit continues on in several different areas around the world. I think the explosion of breweries across the state heightens that desire in people to have a strong relationship with the industry of what people craft locally. I think people miss that aspect.”
The brewfest, being held from 3 to 9 p.m., is sponsored by the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Elkin Valley Trails Association and the Elkin Jaycees.
For more information and tickets for the Big Elkin Brewfest, visit BigElkinBrewfest.com, Facebook or call the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce at 336-526-1111.
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.