Great news everyone - it’s finally THAT time of year again. The autumn chill is back in the air, the leaves have created their annual colorful hillside inferno, and people are popping in to their favorite specialty shops to pick up the latest and greatest in winter gear and accessories. One of the more popular festivals in the Western New York area not to be missed: the Holiday Valley Beer & Wine Festival, happening Nov. 6-7. If you’ve never attended or heard of this incredible event, allow us to 'pour on’ the details so you know what’s ‘on tap'…
This year’s event will again run as a two-part affair, proudly presented by the Ellicottville Brewing Company, Southern Tier Brewing Company, and of course the host venue - Holiday Valley Resort. Now in it’s 12th year of existence, the event has evolved from a rather quaint affair at the original Clubhouse Chalet, to one of the hottest tickets in town, due in part to the recent resurgence and popularity of the craft brewing industry throughout the region. On Saturday, Nov. 7 at 3:30pm, this event will continue its evolution, now utilizing the entire Holiday Valley Lodge, with all three floors having their own unique musical sounds and vibe. The ground floor will consist of a newly created ‘wine cellar’, featuring some of the finest vintners in the region, including the Winery of Ellicottville, Heron Hill Winery, Black Willow Winery, Merritt Estate, and more.
If wine isn’t your go-to, not to worry, the main level and upper level of the chalet are also playing host to a bouquet of regional and national brewers, as well as live bands throughout the day. Among the brewers who were in attendance last year (take a deep breath): Big Ditch, Southern Tier, Ellicottville Brewing, John Harvard's, Brooklyn Brewery, Voodoo Brewery, Victory Brewing, North American Breweries, Boston Beer Co., Hamburg Brewing Co., Empire Brewing Company, Shock Top/Goose Island, Three Heads Brewing, Sly Fox, Great Lakes Brewing, North Country Brewing, DG Yuengling, Son Brewery, Ithaca, Rohrbachs Brewing, Ommegang, Saranac Brewery, Consumers Beverage featuring Flying Monkey's Smashbomb Atomic IPA and craft brews from Sanzo, as well as a variety of season ciders from Vermont Hard Cider, DeMunck's Hard Cider, Original Sin, McKenzie & Black Bird … it’s safe to say there will truly be something for every pallet found at this festival!
If you cannot make it to the primary event Saturday, fret not spirit enthusiasts: the Brewmaster’s Dinner returns Friday evening, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever! Dubbed the ‘Golden Age of Hollywood Dinner’, guests are encouraged to don their finest suits, gowns and jewels, to embody the spirit of the Hollywood 40’s & 50’s. This dinner is now in its 10th year of production, and has featured such themes as farm-to-table, as well as course selections where the primary ingredient was none other than beer. Hors d’oeuvres get under way at 6pm, with the tapping of the traditional kolsch taking place at 7pm. From there, guests can mill about the various food stations, sampling beer paired with various food items. Most importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to pick the brains of the countless brewers on-hand, who are eager to speak of their craft with all who stop by.
Now here’s the important part - this event WILL (I repeat WILL) sell out, so do NOT delay getting your tickets. You don’t want to be the guy scrambling the week of, do you? Tickets are currently available at www.holidayvalley.com, Consumer’s Beverage, Wegman’s, and of course at Ellicotville Brewing Company and Holiday Valley Resort. Tickets for the Beer & Wine Festival are $52.50 until Nov. 1, at which point they will rise to $60 (if there are even any left). The Brew Master Dinner tickets are available for $65. Make a weekend out of it and inquire about some of the great lodging packages available at Holiday Valley, phone 716-699-2345.