Talk­ing hops at Vlamis’ Craft Beer Fes­ti­val

Lo­cal, re­gional beers sam­pled

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— Or­ga­niz­ers of the Vlamis Craft Beer Fes­ti­val credit Satur­day’s weather for the huge turnout at the sec­ond an­nual event.

“We did about 320 (tick­ets) last year,” An­thony Vlamis said, not­ing that about

ELK­TON

an hour af­ter the event started at noon Satur­day, 550 tick­ets had been sold, with more com­ing in the door of the Singerly Ban­quet Hall.

“We might use the sec­ond hall next year too,” he said, ob­serv­ing the stand­ing room only con­di­tions around each of the canopied brew­eries rep­re­sented.

Lawrence Colby held a stemmed glass and swished his beer around gen­tly, a move usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with wine.

“It’s to re­lease the aroma,” the Elk­ton man ex­plained.

Hold­ing the glass by its stem is also part of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“When you hold the stem the beer doesn’t get warm,” he ex­plained.

Dev­ina Colby sipped a blue­berry wheat beer. When asked, she said the idea of fruit-fla­vored beer doesn’t sur­prise her.

“I used to work at a liquor store. I’ve run into all kinds of stuff,” she said.

Sip­ping from the ar­gyleprinted com­mem­o­ra­tive glass, the Elk­ton woman said she prefers sweet beers.

Laura Palmer, on the other hand, pre­ferred a brew with char­ac­ter and more on the sour side.

“I like this New Bel­gium Botan­i­cal IPA,” she said. “It has good bal­ance, resiny hops.”

IPA means In­dia pale ale and refers to the early 1800s when Bri­tain was col­o­niz­ing In­dia and the many failed at­tempts to im­port beer. IPA beers are gen­er­ally strong and have higher al­co­hol con­tent, up to 9 per­cent.

Palmer and her friend Shirley Grif­fiths, both from Wilm­ing­ton, Del., scanned the list of avail­able ar­ti­sanal draughts to de­cide which would be tasted next.

“I ac­tu­ally like dark beer bet­ter,” Grif­fiths said. “The Im­pe­rial IPAs have a high- er al­co­hol con­tent.”

TropiCan­non, a pi­ratein­spired beer, was get­ting good re­views from the sip­ping crowd.

“It’s very cit­rusy,” Christina Do­minick, of Elk­ton, said, not­ing the weather can also af­fect the fla­vor of a beer dur­ing the brew­ing process. “In the win­ter, the fla­vor is sharper. Now that it’s start­ing to warm up, the cit­rus comes out.”

Kather­ine Spencer, of North East, was also en­joy­ing TropiCan­non, from Heavy Seas Beer in Bal­ti­more.

“It’s not too strong. It’s fruity,” she said.

Fran­cis Cap­paruc­cini had made one trip around the room and was tak­ing a break, eat­ing lunch and lis­ten­ing to the music of lo­cal band Take 2.

“I’ve tried all 25. I’m a big fan of DuClaw and Vic­tory,” the Elk­ton man said of his fa­vorite re­gional brew­eries. DuClaw Brew­ing Com­pany hails from Bal­ti­more, while Vic­tory Brew­ery calls Down­ing­ton, Pa., home.

Look­ing at the huge crowd, Cap­paruc­cini said Elk­ton needs more events like this.

“This brings the com­mu­nity to­gether,” he said. “This is fan­tas­tic.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Lon­nie Dot­son, Jes­sica Thomas and Heather Stan­ley were part of the huge sip and chat crowd Satur­day at Singerly Ban­quet Hall where Vlamis Liquors held its sec­ond Craft Beer Fes­ti­val.

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