There are still Tickets Available for this Saturday’s Historic Odessa Brewfest!

– And the Weather Looks Good!

This Saturday will see another installment of the annual Historic Odessa Brewfest. The event has become a regular stop during our “festival season” and we’re looking forward to going again this year.

Everything you need to know  you should be able to find in the press release below. I’d like to thank John Xuereb for continuing to keep us in the loop every year on this awesome event. We hope to see you there! (All photos: The Dogs of Beer)

**************************  Press Release  ***************************

The Historic Odessa Foundation and Cantwell’s Tavern Present

The Fourth Annual HISTORIC ODESSA BREWFEST

Tickets now on sale for this year’s fundraising festival on Sept. 9, 2017

ODESSA, Del. — August 16, 2017– The Historic Odessa Brewfest is back for its fourth round this September with more than 50 regional and national craft breweries on tap for this year, as well as live music on two stages, local gourmet food, colonial beer brewing demonstration, and artisans.

On Sept. 9, from 12 to 6 p.m., the Historic Odessa Foundation and Cantwell’s Tavern present their fourth annual Historic Odessa Brewfest. This signature fundraising festival wholly benefits the preservation, conservation and education efforts of the Historic Odessa Foundation, and its historic museum properties collectively known as the Historic Houses of Odessa – some of the best examples of Georgian architecture in Delaware, and the Mid-Atlantic region.

History and Hops

Held on the sprawling, bucolic grounds of the 247-year-old Wilson-Warner House, the 2017 Historic Odessa Brewfest will feature new and favorite craft brews from more than 50 breweries. A few of the local participating brewers include Mispillion, Big Oyster, Rar, Dogfish Head, Revelation, Blue Earl, and Burley Oak. New this year will be Founders Brewing of Mich., SweetWater Brewing of Ga., and Devil’s Backbone of Va. A complete list of all participating breweries will be available closer to the festival on Sept. 9. The current list can be viewed by visiting http://www.odessabrewfest.com/breweries/2017breweries. A VIP tasting from 12 to 2 p.m. will provide attendees with access to limited quantity beers.

In addition to tasting some of the finest craft beers on the market, attendees will have the opportunity of experiencing the colonial brewing process as reenactors and colonial brew masters Rich and Anna Wagner make beer on site, using historically accurate methods and materials—copper kettles, wooden barrels, hops and grains.

This year’s live musical entertainment line-up will be presented on two stages. Performing on the Main Stage from 12 to 3 p.m., will be up-and-coming country singer/songwriter Adam Yarger, and taking the stage from 3 to 6 p.m., will be perennial favorite, reggae evangelists Spokey Speaky. Performing on the Garden Stage from 12 to 3 p.m. will be acoustic jazz and blues artist Bruce Anthony, followed by accomplished, versatile solo performer Tony Mowen from 3 to 6 p.m.

At A Glance

Fourth Annual Historic Odessa Brewfest
Sept. 9, 2017, 12 – 6 p.m. (VIP Tasting, 12 – 2 p.m.)
Historic Houses of Odessa ­ 202 Main Street, Odessa, DE 19730
General Admission, $50; VIP, $70; Designated Driver, $15
Advance tickets www.odessabrewfest.com, or call 302-378-4119

Sponsors

The presenting sponsor for the fourth annual Odessa Brewfest is Wilmington Trust. Event sponsors include Crouse Brothers, National HVAC Service, Village at Bayberry/Blenheim Homes, Patterson Schwartz, State Farm/Chuck Montgomery, Cochran Liquors, and BCP Smyrna. Sponsorship opportunities are available and interested parties should contact the Historic Odessa Foundation for more information.

Links

For general and ticket information, as well as news, regular updates on participating brewers and ongoing 2017 Brewbracket (Finalists this year are Blue Earl Brewing vs 2SP), visit or follow the Historic Odessa Brewfest at:

Official website:                      www.odessabrewfest.com.

Facebook:                    www.facebook.com/odessabrewfest

Twitter:                        www.twitter.com/OdessaBrewfest

Time and Location:

12 p.m. to 2 p.m. – VIP Tasting
2 p.m. – General Admission
6 p.m. – All taps will close

Historic Houses of Odessa
Wilson-Warner House
202 Main Street
Odessa, DE 19730

 Ticket Information:

$70 VIP: early noon tasting, limited glass tasting mug, access to limited-quantity beers, and a food voucher. VIP tickets can be redeemed for future tours of the Historic Houses of Odessa.

$50 General Admission: gates open at 2 p.m. for ticket holders.

$15 Designated Driver: access to food, music and vendors, includes free soft drinks. Designated Driver tickets are only available at the gate, day of the event.

 Purchase VIP and General Admission tickets online, at www.odessabrewfest.com, or call 302-378-4119.

Volunteer Opportunities

Since not every brewery will be able to send a representative to pour beer, and help will be needed to keep the historic site clean, HOF and Cantwell’s Tavern are looking for volunteers for the day’s festivities. Prospective volunteers can call Cantwell’s at 302-376-0600.

About the Historic Odessa Brewfest

The Historic Odessa Brewfest is a fund-raising event for the Historic Odessa Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the legacy of the Historic Houses of Odessa for future generations, through commitment to the preservation of Odessa’s unique historic, architectural and cultural heritage.

About the Historic Odessa Foundation

Established in 2005, the Historic Odessa Foundation owns and operates The Historic Houses of Odessa, a 72-acre enclave of 18th and 19th century structures located in the town of Odessa, just two miles from DE 1 and just off U.S. Route 13 in southern New Castle County, Del. The historic buildings and gardens along with a well-documented collection of more than 6000 objects and furnishings offer a unique picture of Delaware’s colonial period in a rural village that played a vital part in America’s commercial history. The original town of Odessa, originally known as Cantwell’s Bridge, has retained much of its 18th century charm and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and home to a National Historic Landmark, and two National Park Service Network to Freedom sites. www.historicodessa.org

The Local Tap – What to Look For at the 2015 Odessa Brewfest

You still have time to pick up general admission tickets for this Saturday’s Historic Odessa’s Brewfest, the second iteration of last year’s newest beer festival to attempt to make a splash on the festival scene.

And believe me, it did. Situated on the on the grounds of the National Historic Register, 246-year-old Wilson-Warner House, the festival presented an amazing backdrop for the over 45 breweries and the over 1400 who walked pasted the volunteer manned entrance tables to experience the up to 6 hours (depending on the level of tickets purchased) of craft beer, wine and spirits that the festival was offering.

A couple of ladies chatting at the Odessa Brewfest.

Of course, the goal of any great festival should be to always improve upon the previous year which might be hard to do considering how good last year’s festival was, but event co-ordinator Jeremy Hughes and his team were up to the task. So let’s run down some of the highlights that this year’s attendees have to look forward to.

First the festival has increased it’s participation to over 55 breweries from around the US. Local favorites 16 Mile, 3rd Wave, Dogfish, Dominion, Evolution (Evo), Fordham, Frozen Toes (Pizza By Elizabeths), Mispillion River and Twin Lakes will be in attendance as well as US craft beer favorites 21st Amendment,  Allagash, Bells, Elysian, Evil Genius, Flying Dog,  New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Southern Tier, Stone, Victory, Weyerbacher, Yards and many others.

For those looking for something new locally, Smyrna’s Blue Earl Brewing, who attended last year only in a meet-and-greet capacity as Warlock Brewing will be attending this year pouring samples of their awesome beers.

On the national front, Delaware new comers Alpine Beer Company and Firestone Walker will also be pouring beers at their first Delaware beer festival.

And if you have not had a chance to try the continually sold out Not Your Father’s Root Beer, then Odessa will offer you a chance as well as the new addition to the alcoholic root beer craze Coney Island Root Beer.

James (C) and the folks from DOPS working hard as always.

If wine and spirits are more your thing, Odessa will have you covered again this year with Delaware Distilling, Harvest Ridge Winery, Painted Stave, Fenwick Wine Cellars, and Philadelphia Distilling.

However, when Jeremy was scouting other festivals in preparation of organizing his own, he noticed that the best ones offered more than just alcohol, “We wanted to create a beer festival that would separate itself from other beer festivals.  After attending quite a few of them myself, as well as many other types of festivals and events, I found that a beer festival can’t just be about beer.” [Quote from my review of last year’s Odessa Brewfest]

So of course, he was keen to improve upon those aspects of the festival as well.

To that end, Jeremy has upped the live music at the festival to two stages and four live bands including returning reggae evangelists Spokey Speaky, the contemporary country stylings of The Hung Jury, acoustic jazz and blues artist Bruce Anthony, and acoustic modern rock musician Bob Stretch.

Rich Wagner, colonial brewing historian and presenter will be one hand to demonstrate the art of brewing as it was in the 18th century.

Food will once again be an important part of the festival with Cantwell’s Tavern and The Roaming Raven food truck providing food to the attendees as well as cheese pairings from Fromage a Cheese Boutique, and ice cream from Hy-Point dairy.

The guys making the food happen inside the Roaming Raven.

Local artisans will also be a big part of the Odessa Brewfest including fine kitchenware from Paul Schiffelbein Woodworking and beer bottle crafts from Bottle Slumpers; Guy & Lady Barrel Cigars offering premium cigars from the Dominican Republic, and homemade jams and jellies from Fairview Farms.

Sound like a great time? It should. So if you’ve been on the fence as to whether-or-not to attend the Odessa Brewfest – hop off. Great music, food and beer are waiting for you.

THE INFORMATION YOU NEED:

For general and ticket information, as well as news and regular updates on participating brewers, visit or follow the Historic Odessa Brewfest at:

Official website:          www.odessabrewfest.com
Facebook:                    www.facebook.com/odessabrewfest
Twitter:                        www.twitter.com/OdessaBrewfest

Time and Location:

12 p.m. to 2 p.m. – VIP Tasting
2 p.m. – General Admission
6 p.m. – All taps will close

Historic Houses of Odessa
Wilson-Warner House
202 Main StreetOdessa, DE 19730 [MAP]

Ticket Information:

$70 VIP: SOLD OUT
$50 General Admission: gates open at 2 p.m. for ticket holders.
$15 Designated Driver: access to food, music and vendors, includes free soft drinks.
Designated Driver tickets are only available at the gate, day of the event.

Purchase General Admission tickets online, at www.odessabrewfest.com, or call 302-378-4119.

Along with the participating breweries, distilleries, wineries, artisans, musicians and festival attendees, Jeremy Huges and  his staff would like to thank:

Wilmington Trust – The presenting sponsor for the second annual Odessa Brewfest.

Event sponsors – Main Line Today and Delaware Today, Dover Rent All Tents & Events, SFG –Stecher Financial Group, National HVAC Service, Universal Mortgage and Finance, Inc., Mix92.9, WDOV Newsradio, WILM Newsradio and 94.7 WDSD.

The Historic Odessa Brewfest Benefits the Historic Odessa Foundation:

Established in 2005, the Historic Odessa Foundation owns and operates The Historic Houses of Odessa, a 30-acre enclave of 18th and 19th century structures located in the town of Odessa, just two miles from DE 1 and just off U.S. Route 13 in southern New Castle County, Del. The historic buildings and gardens along with a well-documented collection of more than 5000 objects and furnishings offer a unique picture of Delaware’s colonial period in a rural village that played a vital part in America’s commercial history. The original town of Odessa, originally known as Cantwell’s Bridge, has retained much of its 18th century charm and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and home to a National Historic Landmark,and two National Park Service Network to Freedom sites. http://www.historicodessa.org

The author would like to thank Jeremy Hughes for his time and information concerning this year’s Odessa Brewfest.

All Photos : The Dogs of Beer.

Disclosure: The author was compensated for this article with two VIP tickets. However, since Tracey and I believe in supporting our local festivals and their causes, we’d already purchased ours. The tickets will either be given to friends or used as give-aways on the blog. This compensation in no way influenced the content or tone of this, or future, articles.

The Local Tap – The Historic Odessa Brewfest 2014

Odessa 2“Build it and they will come.”

If Hollywood ever decided to remake that timeless classic in another vein, I would suggest, “pour it and they will come”, and switch the focus of the film from baseball to a brew festival.

OK, not really, but there is a good amount of truth to my flippant statement.  Over the past several years, brew festivals have been on the rise in our area.  I happened to be cleaning my kitchen a while back and in the corner of a shelf that collects everything I don’t know what to do with at the time, I found evidence to support this; tasting glasses from Kennett Winterfest (only 2 years old) and Wilmingtion Beerfest (only 1 year).   On top of that I learned last week that the Historic towns of New Castle and Delaware City will soon be hosting their second annual “River Towns Ride & Festival“, a co-city event and recreational bike ride which is hosting a beer festival in BOTH towns.

The proliferation of these festivals stems in part from event organizers recognizing that at this particular moment, having (or adding) a beer festival to your event is not only a great way to raise money (most beer festivals are associated with non-profit charity or historical organizations), but also a great way to get people to come out and experience first hand what your local area has to offer.

Points that were not lost on event co-organizer Jeremy Hughes when he and his team began the ground work for the Historic Odessa Brewfest as early as August of last year. “The town of Odessa is beautiful, full of amazing 18th century architect but amazingly unknown to many Delawareans, even ones only 20 minutes away”, he relayed to me.  “So, to attract more people to the town and to help raise money for the Historic Odessa Foundation we wanted to create an event that would do just that.”

But as Jeremy went on to say, even from that early start they wanted their event to be about more than just beer, “We wanted to create a beer festival that would separate itself from other beer festivals.  After attending quite a few of them myself, as well as many other types of festivals and events, I found that a beer festival can’t just be about beer.”

True, and many of them aren’t.  For instance, quality food has become a big part of what makes a great beer festival tick, and Jeremy knew he had an distinct advantage in that regard. “Cantwell’s Tavern provided the food utilizing local purveyors and farms like they always do to make sure the patrons were served high quality eats.”  Indeed, Chef Dan Sheridan started the Tavern’s farm-to-table philosophy from the minute it opened.  And with Cantwell’s located right across the street from the festival grounds and being one of the Historic Houses of Odessa, it was a natural choice. And it doesn’t hurt that your restaurant group owns its own food truck, the Roaming Raven, to help get all that great food out to the people.

(As always click on a photo in each gallery to open that gallery up full sized.)

Of course, the source of the food wasn’t the only advantage Jeremy had, “…we already knew the setting and landscape alone would set us apart.”  Indeed, the event was held at the Historic Homes of Odessa, on a field that surrounds their 1790 barn that on this particular day housed some awesome wines (that for some reason we didn’t get inside to try.  What we’re we doing all day?), along with Fromage a Cheese Boutique who were serving awesome cheese plates (which Tracey enjoyed greatly), as well as serving as a perfect backdrop for historic brewing educator Rich Wagner.

Despite this being their  first year, Odessa hit everything on spot, most likely due to Jeremy’s investigations into other events.  The volunteers were quick and friendly as the gates opened to let the crowd in.  I was a little worried about parking, but when we arrived for the VIP session we had no problem finding a spot close to the entrance.  There was plenty of water to be found in iced buckets around the grounds. The layout was great, and the bands was rocking.  All that was needed was a crowd of beer lovers.  And we and 1400 other festival lovers were happy to oblige.

We were lucky enough to be joined by Dogs of Beer co-founder Chuck and his wife Kat (aka, the Beer Goddess) for the day, which always makes a beer event that much more fun. Of course once we got inside we quickly surveyed the field to make note of where every one was.  Two of my favorite Delaware beers, Twin Lake’s Oktoberfest and Fordham’s Rosie Parks Oyster Stout, had recently been re-released so I was hoping that they’d made their way to the festival.  The beer gods were indeed smiling that day, as I was quick to get a taste of Rosie Parks as soon as we walked into the event, and indeed found Oktoberfest a few minutes later.

I finally got a chance to try 3rd Wave Brewing’s Bombora Double IPA (could be one of my new favorite Delaware beers) while talking with owner Lori Clough about the (enviable) problem of juggling multiple events – 3rd Wave was at five different events that day.  We soon bumped into Ron from Painted Stave Distillery as he was whipping up a batch of lemon drops using their Silver Screen vodka.  Usually I don’t hit the hard stuff that early, but Ron was pretty persuasive (he told me alcohol was going to go to waste if I didn’t drink it. What?  Ron wouldn’t lie to me!).  I also tried their Time Warp Espresso Vodka which normally isn’t my thing, but it’s named Time Warp – so how could I resist! And as always it’s great to see the DOPS team as they make any event better.

As a beer blogger, one of the great things about festivals is speaking to the people in the industry about what they’re doing now, and more importantly what they may be doing in the future. And to that end it was very nice to see Ron Price and his team from Warlock Brewing, the ink barely dry on his newly signed 5 year lease, and talk to him about his plans for his Smyrna based brewery. And when the subject of “their next beer to be canned” came up at the Mispillion tent, there was quite a lot of support for porter. Just sayin’.

But the wave of the future is that brew festivals are not made of beer alone.  A sentiment that Jeremy was quick to echo, “Whatever an event’s main theme is, whether a music festival, beer festival, wine festival, etc., you will always know that there will be a lot of music, beer or wine at said festival. What separates these events from others is all of the other “stuff” that the patrons can enjoy and experience.  It’s all about the experience.”

“…To make sure the festival goers weren’t just surrounded by beer, we made sure to bring in some local distilleries, seeing as craft distillers are now becoming just as popular as craft breweries.   We invited Fromage (a local cheese boutique from Middletown) and, Guy and Lady Barrel Cigar (a hand rolled cigar company out of Dover) that enforced the ‘Local Craft’ atmosphere we were looking for, and finally we topped it off with Paul Schiffelbein, a local [artisan] of handmade wooden cutting boards from Chesapeake City, MD.”

It’s a nice model – great location, great beers/wines/spirits, great local food, and talented local artisans.  It’s  a model that has served The Delaware Wine and Beer Festival greatly for many years, and one that future event holders should take note of.

The music for the event was supplied by local favorites Spokey Speaky and Philbilly, whose reggae and country vibes (respectively) supplied an awesome backdrop to the event. When Tracey had had enough beer fun, she claimed a table and sang along.

So what was the verdict? “I believe we had over 1400 attendees, over 45 breweries and over 50 vendors in general”, Jeremy said.  “In the end, it was exactly what we wanted and I think all of the festival goers experienced exactly what we wanted them too – a fun, ‘comfortable’, local Brew Fest.”

Jim Sturdivant (of www.4×3.net, the company behind the marketing and the Brewbracket contest) agreed, “Based on feedback at the festival and on Facebook, the event has been perceived very positively. People had a great time and are already looking forward to next year.”

When I asked Jeremy what the future holds, he indicated that they’d already started planning for 2015, “The date has been set for next year, the Saturday after Labor day which is the 12th of September.” Which means…

Until next year, Odessa!
See you next year, Odessa!

The Odessa Brewfest is a fund-raising event for the Historic Odessa Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the legacy of the Historic Houses of Odessa for future generations, through commitment to the preservation of Odessa’s unique historic, architectural, and cultural heritage.”

Jeremy Hughes and Jim Sturdivant would like to thank everyone who helped make the first annual Historic Odessa Brewfest a success, including but not limited to:

Marc Ashby (Director of Operations of Ashby Hospitality Group and business partner).
Debbie Buckson (Historic Odessa Foundation).
Jen Cabell (Historic Odessa foundation).
All the breweries, wineries and distilleries that attended.
Cantwell’s Tavern.
The Roaming Raven.
Fromage cheese boutique.
Guy and Lady Barrel Cigar.
Paul Schiffelbein.
The bands Spokey Speak and Philbilly.
Rich Wagner.
And last but not least, “… the volunteers, … and all the beer lovers who came out for a beautiful day in Odessa!”

The author would like to thank Jeremy Hughes and Jim Sturdivant for taking some of their valuable time to talk with me.