It was a fun filled day for the city of Lewisburg, as they celebrated their first annual West Virginia Craft Brew Festival. CEO of the State Fair of West Virginia, Kelly Collins, told us, “It is a day filled with food, music and the craft beer. We have a couple of food trucks that aren’t found at the fairs, so you can only get them here at the craft brew festival and then we have music all day.”
The festival offered a wide variety of West Virginia craft beers with over sixty five on tap that people could taste for themselves. One of the breweries we talked to was the owner of Black Water Brewing Company, Lincoln Wilkins who said, “As you know craft brewing is really just starting to take hold in West Virginia in terms of its growth, you know five years ago we came home to West Virginia we had fibs breweries in the state now I think we have nearly twenty two licensed.”
With this being the state fairs first brew festival ever, it is all for a great cause! Collins told us, “It is a joint partnership with the Lewisburg rotary and the state fair of West Virginia and it’s actually to raise money for our scholarship fund. Over the last ten years we have given away over four hundred thousand dollars between the two of us. So it was a brain child of us sitting down together and trying to think as non profits what we can do to raise money for our scholarships.”
And although many people seem to be enjoying what the festival has to offer, they are still not forgetting the reason why they are here. Krista Bias of Beckley said, “I think anything that will support anything locally is really good and it’s also getting the word out about small businesses here in West Virginia, so I think if we can support local then that’s a great thing.” Tori Beurle and Heather Woody of Covington Virginia said, “I think it’s great that their drawing people to the state fair grounds because it’s here all year long, it’s a great area for everyone to come out and have fun. And it’s good to hear that we are donating all this money to local places.” Jessica Hancock and Amanda Burks of Charlottesville, Virginia told us, “That’s another reason why I enjoy doing something like this to help support any type of help that can support any type of community.”
The festival expected around fifteen hundred people to attend and all money will be donated to the scholarships funds for both the rotary and the state fair.