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The first-ever Hops & Harvest Festival will feature craft beer and food vendors all from Maryland.
The first-ever Hops & Harvest Festival will feature craft beer and food vendors all from Maryland. (Handout)

Columbia resident Chad D'Amore had been hearing from locals that they wished there was a fall event like spring's annual Wine in the Woods Festival. So D'Amore decided this was the year to make one.

Hops & Harvest Festival, a new local beer and food event, will take place Oct. 8 at the Columbia Lakefront, D'Amore said Tuesday. CoFestCo, D'Amore's new event production company, has partnered with the Downtown Columbia Partnership and the Brewers Association of Maryland to put on the festival.

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The rain-or-shine, 21-and-up event will only feature beers and food trucks from Maryland, he said.

"Columbia doesn't have anything like this in the fall," said D'Amore, who said he has 10 years of event-production experience, mostly in the Washington area. "There's kind of a hole there. … When I tell people about the festival, they're like, 'Finally!'"

Tickets ($40) are on sale now for both sessions — midday (noon-4 p.m.) and twilight (5 p.m.-9 p.m.). Attendees will receive an event cup and unlimited tastings from more than 25 brewers, including Flying Dog Brewery, Heavy Seas Beer, Union Craft Brewing, Pub Dog and Evolution Craft Brewing. Festivalgoers will not be able to attend both sessions, D'Amore said.

Twenty percent of proceeds from tickets sold through Aug. 31 will be donated to the Ellicott City Partnership's flood relief efforts, D'Amore said. CoFestCo will also offer complementary booth space for Ellicott City businesses displaced by July's historic flooding.

Food trucks like Carnivore BBQ, Greek on the Street, Java Cruiser and Bmore Brulee will be on hand, with more to come, D'Amore said. More breweries will also be announced closer to the event's date.

D.C. cover band For the Win will perform, and an opening act — either another band or a DJ — will be added, he said.

While some beer festivals are held in open spaces without much to offer visually, D'Amore hopes Hops & Harvest Festival's woodsy location will appeal to locals.

"The venue is absolutely beautiful," D'Amore said. "It's not your average parking lot."

For more information, go to hopsandharvestfest.com.

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