Central Carroll: Maryland Microbrewery Festival setting a new record with 20 brewers lined up

Maryland’s premier beer festival, the Maryland Microbrewery Festival, will be held during Carroll County Beer Week, on Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the scenic grounds of the Union Mills Homestead — with a long list of Maryland’s best handcrafted and distinctive microbrews on hand.

Look for live music, crafts, and a wide variety of food vendors, including Aw Boy Fries, pizza, grilled veggies, hot dogs, pit beef and turkey, pork, nachos and cheese, ribbon potatoes, soft pretzels, funnel cakes, chocolate-covered fruit, turkey legs, a raw bar, German sausage, crab cakes, Maryland crab soup, nuts from The Nut Cart, and more.


In its 14th year, the festival has evolved.

“The biggest thing we have seen is that the event has grown in popularity with both attending microbreweries/craft brewers and those who come to the festival,” said Union Mills Homestead Foundation board member Sam Riley. “This year we will have 20 brewers, the most ever.


"Despite the growing attendance, the event is still popular with families, and each year we see many young parents coming out with their children.”

Continuous live music throughout the day will get everyone dancing. Look for the Arrow Horse Bluegrass band and local bands Gravy and Bootleg.

Interested beer brewers can check out homebrewing demonstrations, offered throughout the day by the Midnight Homebrewers’ League. Stop by their tent to see the process and for more information.

“In addition to having homebrewing [demonstrations] at the Microbrewery Festival, we have worked with our Carroll County Beer Week partners to try to incorporate home brewing into Carroll County Beer Week each year,” Riley said. “This year Carroll County Beer Week will include an event, “How to Homebrew Beer,” presented by the Carroll County Public Library’s Taneytown branch, on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. at Brewery Fire in Taneytown. Registration is required, but the event is free.

Details on the library event can be found at https://ccpl.librarymarket.com/events/homebrew. Learn more about Carroll Beer Week online at http://carrollbeerweek.com.

Adding to the fun, there will also be a cornhole tournament. Riley said cornhole was added to the event in 2016. This year, bags will begin to fly at 1 p.m. Find details on the microbrewery website or call Dale Moran at 443-867-4762 and sign up to play.

Meet and chat with Maryland brewers and get some insight into their brewing process while enjoying as many samples as you like from the list of brewers. While at the event, visitors can stroll the beautiful 16-acre homestead grounds. Check out craft vendors, demonstrations and the homestead shop.

“I enjoy the fact that we include our own blacksmith, Reb Staup, as a vendor each year,” Riley said. “He has his forge set up in the festival so attendees can learn something about nineteenth century crafts.”

Tickets at the gate cost $25, or visit the Maryland Microbrewery Festival website at www.marylandmicrobreweryfestival.com/ for $20 advance tickets. Those coming to enjoy the festival without beer sampling pay $5, and kids younger than 12 are free.

There’s ample parking, but if you want to stay out of the fray, use the shuttle service and take the bus from a satellite parking lot near the Carroll County Regional Airport in Westminster.

“I think folks should come out to the Maryland Microbrewery Festival so that they can celebrate Maryland craft beer at such a beautiful historic site,” Riley said. “We are so pleased to help promote an important, and growing, agriculturally based industry that helps us interpret our own industrial heritage. And with the proceeds of the festival going to help us preserve and operate the site, what a fun way to help preserve history.”

Learn more about the Microbrewery Festival and purchase tickets at www.marylandmicrobreweryfestival.com or for more information, call Jane Sewell at 410-848-2288.


Volunteer opportunity

To celebrate the NFL’s 100th anniversary, Ravens Huddle for 100 has partnered with the United Way of Central Maryland to host community-wide volunteer events on Sept. 23.

Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland was selected as one of the 60 projects.

According to information from Meals on Wheels, 220 lunch bags were provided by Under Armour for United Way volunteers to fill with shelf-stable items that will be delivered to Meals on Wheels clients. Now, they are looking for donations to fill the bags.

Please drop off your donations of instant pasta meal packets, granola bars, hot chocolate packets, canned veggies and fruit, and applesauce cups to Meals on Wheels on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Meals on Wheels is located in the Carroll Nonprofit Center, Suite 312, at 255 Clifton Blvd. in Westminster.

Celebrate Peace Day

Westminster Church of the Brethren is celebrating Peace Day, and they hope you will join them at the church on Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. to watch the inspirational documentary, “The Singing Revolution: The Story of How Estonia Gained Its Independence Nonviolently.”

Admission is free, and refreshments will follow the movie.

“I was looking for something our church could do to celebrate Peace Day,” church member Jeanne Dussault said. “My husband, Mark Woodworth, came across the video while researching information on Estonia. We first watched it through Netflix. It seemed to be a perfect fit for Peace Day, plus the Church of the Brethren has had a long-standing peace position which promotes solving problems nonviolently.”

Because the documentary has some old news footage that may not be appropriate for children, free childcare will be provided.

“The documentary is an amazing and inspiring story,” Dussault said. “It is free and open to the public, but we are asking people to register so we know which of our spaces to use … and how much in the line of refreshments to have on hand. “

The church is located at 1 Park Place in Westminster.

Call the church at 410-848-8090 to register, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mission Possible

I work at the Marriage and Relationship Education Center, and I wanted to share with you this event they are holding, just for families.

The Marriage and Relationship Education Center (MREC) wants families to share a meal together at their Mission Possible event, to be held at the Church of the Ascension on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Join MREC and the Carroll County States Attorney’s Office in celebrating National Family Day with a free spaghetti dinner, family activities, and a breakout session for parents and children in 5th grade and up. During the session, the Carroll State’s Attorney’s Office will show the movie “Heroin Still Kills.” Younger children will enjoy crafts and activities during this time.

There is no cost, but registration is required by Sept. 19 and a free-will offering will be taken.


Ascension Church is located at 23 N. Court Street in Westminster. Learn more online at register at www.mrecenter.org or call| 410-386-9003.


Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. Reach her at 443-293-7811 or LoisSzymanski@hotmail.com .

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