One of the most underrated beer festivals in the Philadelphia area has been the Valley Forge Beer & Cider Fest held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA. This venue has several spaces suitable for events of any size; however, public transportation is not readily available as much as in the city. As far as the 2017 edition of the beer festival, it left much to be desired due to the lack of brewers and addition of home improvement vendors.
Given that this beer festival took place nearly 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia, there were a few newer breweries in attendance such as Crowded Castle (Phoenixville) and Tin Lizard (Bryn Mawr). In addition, some of the familiar breweries had a nice showing: Manayunk Brewing, Evil Genius (NE Philly), Lagunitas (Californina), Fegley’s (Allentown, PA), and Southern Tier (NY).
Unfortunately, there were some notable absences by mainstay PA breweries including Victory, Troegs, and Weyerbacher. This observation led me to question why these popular breweries were omitted, but vendors such as Bath Fitter, Homespire Windows and Andersen Windows took up space. As a result, I did not find myself sampling as much as usual.
In conclusion, I will mention that I attended the beer festival as a volunteer with Manayunk Brewing. I cannot thank them enough for allowing me to help out during the afternoon session and share many of my experiences not only with the brewery rep, but the crowd in attendance as well. Hopefully, next year’s show will be a vast improvement.