It’s been a while since we had gone to a brew fest, we have become a bit particular about them, and try to avoid some of the massive mainstream ones that result in overcrowding rush sampling. We decided to give this one a shot, as my sister-in-law had been there the previous year and gave it a good recommendation. The first good sign of a brew fest is the hours that it runs. There are a lot of them out there that last only three hours. I’m not sure how you are expected to sample 100 different types of beer in that time frame. This one had seven hours of sampling, and with 15 breweries on hand, that becomes very manageable. In fact, we were even able to drink a couple full glasses of the beers we really enjoyed. The second good sign is the pricing. It’s a good deal when you get a sampling glass (13 oz) and ten 3 oz sampling tokens for $22.50 online. Since Red Shedman Farm Brewery is also part of Lingnore Wines, they threw in some free wine sampling as well. They also had wine to purchase, which makes the family battles of beer versus wine fall to the wayside. If you wanted to upgrade, they did offer VIP for $35, which got you double the tokens and a three oz bigger souvenir glass. Honestly, I find that the upgrade typically isn’t really worth it. Especially when you can get five more tokens for $4.
Pulling in through the rolling hills, you are quickly reminded that you are on a farm. We lucked out, and our parking spot ended up being right by the entry. There was only one entry point, which resulted in quite the long line wrapping around the fence. This line didn’t seem to die down till we left and they were closing the entry down. Once inside, there was a pavilion area with all the breweries and wine to the left. Beyond the pavilion was a steady sloping hill covered in festival goers and another pavilion for the bands at the bottom. Directly ahead was a barn house, which had wine sampling and other vendors inside. To the right was the food, as well as other odds and ends vendors. After claiming our spot, we grabbed a couple of samples and headed for the BBQ. We got to the fest early, around opening time, but it seems there was a lack of BBQ at this point. Some of our group did recon missions to figure out what others were up and running while one of us staked a spot in the Pork Authority line. There were a couple of other vendors that had pulled pork, such as the Jerk Chicken place, but by the time I had considered moving over there, that line had increased as well. By then, the Falafel line had also become dreadfully long. I waited it out, and after about 30 mins or so, I received my BBQ. It was tasty, but my overall disappointment that a festival have the letters BBQ in it, seemed to be lacking said article continued.
The music was great, and there were plenty of areas for families to play. The beer tasting lines tended to be long, but moved pretty quickly. It was nice that there were a bunch of different styles represented, as I’ve been to plenty of festivals that are overloaded on IPA. So other than being a bit packed and desire for more BBQ, this was a nice festival. It was made even better by the awesome weather we had that day, and the fun atmosphere that the crowd helped create. A couple of days later, we saw notes that the festival planners are going to try and take care of some of the lines and lack of BBQ for next years event. So will definitely add this to our list of festivals worth visiting.
Red Shedman Farm Brewery
13601 Glissans Mill Road
Mt. Airy, MD 21771
301.831.5889 or 410.795.6432
Barley & Hops
Man About A Horse