Here’s one for beer lovers, homebrewers and hop enthusiasts in particular: The 14th Annual Madison County Hop Fest (official site) in Oneida, NY.
Things kick off Friday, September 18 with a paired beer dinner… though that appears to be sold out. Luckily the main event is Saturday, and you have a few options:
* Hop Fest – The admission is free and the event features guest speakers, a raffle, homebrew clubs, hop exhibits, hop growing and the crowning of Hop Queen 2009. 10am – 5:30pm.
* Taste of Hops: a food & beer pairing. This runs from 12:00 to 2:00 pm and features local restaurants and businesses including The Colgate Inn, The Copper Turret, Meyers Chocolates, and Ye Olde Landmark Tavern. Tickets: $15 advance/$20 door (only 150 available).
* Brewery Sampling - This runs from 2:30-5:30 pm with over 40 styles of craft beer to sample. Tickets: $25advance/$30 door.
On Sunday you have the option to go on a tour of local hop kilns; tickets for that are $45.
This event is designed nicely, becuase it gives you options on how much you want to participate, and there’s something for every budget. The Madison County area used to be a global hop superpower. You can read more about it in an earlier post and also this historic New York Times article I wrote about earlier in the year.