The Sykesville Craft Beer Festival is coming back this November for the second year since it dedicated itself solely to beer.
Featuring local microbreweries and food trucks, the event — which for many years also was combined with a chili cook-off — will be held rain or shine on Main Street from noon to 5 p.m., Nov. 10.
“Before it was our chili and beer festival,” said Downtown Sykesville Connection Executive Director Julie Della-Maria Friday, “but we removed the chili. We just bring a large amount of various diverse food trucks to represent all the regions of the world.”
The chili cook-off was moved to the town’s Harvest Fest on Oct. 14, making room for 43 craft beer brewers to offer unlimited samples at the beer celebration this year.
“It is making us one of the largest Maryland [beer] festivals,” Della-Maria said.
And Della-Maria thanks the general manager of E. W. Beck’s, Dan Feehan, who she calls the “beer master.”
“He single-handedly recruited more than 40 microbreweries,” she said. “That's fantastic because E. W. Beck’s is also one of our title sponsors. And they are in participation with us all year long [in a] hunt for the best brewery to make sure the quality of the event is increasing every year.”
The festival’s other title sponsor, Market Tavern, is also a great fit for the festival, Della-Maria said.
“It just makes sense,” she said, “because Market Tavern is the other place where you can enjoy very unique microbrews.”
Assist2Sell, Granite Pro and Tevis Energy also sponsor the event each year and bring volunteers to help out on site and host activities. Additional volunteers from the community can sign up online.
Brewers at the festival will include Flying Dog Brewery, Monument City Brewing Company, Wyndridge Farm, RAR Brewing, Austin Eastciders and Victory Beer, among others.
New to this year's festival will be a cocktail tent and Enter Exit Escape — the Westminster-based escape room game company — to offer a collaborative gaming experience with seven other businesses on Main Street.
But Della-Maria’s favorite part of the event is the joy Sykesville residents and other locals get out of the fall celebration.
“The festival, I don't know why it’s like that — maybe it’s the beer, I don’t know — but people show up with this smile on their face,” she said. “They have a beer and smile.
“It’s a sea of smiling faces,” said Della-Maria. “That festival reflects the intensity of the community the strong community feeling. When people are together on Main Street, you can just see, you feel it. And that's my favorite part of it. You feel and it’s electrifying.”
Free shuttle service will be available, with pick-up at Freedom Park and Sykesville Middle School, a loop through the nearby “Park and Ride,” and drop-off at Main Street.
Early admission tickets are on sale for $35 and the day of the event, tickets will be available for $40.