Hundreds gather for beer

Roy Pitz

Roy Pitz, a brewery in Chambersburg, sample their Frolf the Farm Saison and Old Jail Ale Saturday.

Shippensburg area locals kicked back Saturday afternoon with drinks, food and yard games at the first Shippensburg Beer and Wine Festival.

Attendees were welcomed at the Shippensburg Fairgrounds with a souvenir pint glass to sample beer and wine from dozens of vendors. From porters to India pale ale (IPA)s and wines of every kind, guests lined up to fill their glasses with the drink of their choosing.

The event was organized by the Shippensburg Area Chamber of Commerce (SACOC), Downtown Organizations Investing Together (D.O.I.T.), and Shippensburg Area Development Corporation (SADCO), according to Dan Baer, committee chair of the festival and chair of the SACOC’s board of directors. 

All three organizations work to improve Shippensburg through various projects and events and Baer said the money from the festival’s ticket sales will go directly to the organizations to fuel further improvements and events for the town.

The festival was created to bring Shippensburg residents together for a new yearly event, Baer said.

“There’s been a lot of other communities around the area that have done these, and we felt it was something that we could bring to Shippensburg that hadn’t been brought here before,” Baer said. “We felt that there was a good opportunity to bring the community together.”

Most attendees sipped drinks under a pavilion or mingled with friends from vendor to vendor. Others entertained themselves with cornhole, ladder ball and the live music that set the relaxed mood for the festival.

Local Chambersburg brewery Roy Pitz was one of the many vendors offering samples. A small crowd gathered around their tent to try their Frolf the Farm Saison and Old Jail Ale.

Sarah Richards, wife of Roy Pitz co-owner Ryan Richards, said the festival was off to a great start as a yearly tradition.

“I hope that they have it each year,” Richards said. “I couldn’t have even told you it was the first year just by looking at it.”

According to Richards, Shippensburg’s festival stood out for having a mix of beer, wine and food, a sight rarely seen at similar festivals in the area. Most festivals also provide small sample glasses to taste drinks compared to the pint glasses handed out at Shippensburg’s festival.

“I’ve never been to a brew fest with full pint glasses, so kudos to Shippensburg,” Richards said.

Baer said the committee for the festival will discuss how it can be improved in the following years, and thanked the Shippensburg community for a successful first year.

“I want to thank the community for their support,” Baer said. “That’s very important.”

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