New beer festival launches in Stanardsville

GREENE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The first Greene Beer Festival was held at the Greene County courthouse in downtown Stanardsville on Saturday.

Event organizer David Lotterhos said this new event, timed to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, builds on the success of Greene County's Octoberfest celebration.

"We wanted to bring a lot of the excitement of the craft beer community and homebrewing community to Greene County," Lotterhos said.

Greene County homebrewers competed for prizes, and homebrewer Noelle Gray was a winner. She said homebrewing has been a passion of hers for the past six years.

“It's a rabbit hole,” Gray said. “It's everything that you want: biochemistry, microbiology and then just the beautiful flavors. Everything about beer is enticing.”

The festival’s homebrewing grand prize winner, Nick Janssen, gets to collaborate on a brew with Bald Top Brewing Company in Madison County. He was delighted with the prize.

"I haven't done a collaboration before,” he said. “This will be my first one, and I'm really excited. Should be a great time.”

The festival isn’t all about beer. There were a bouncy house and games for kids and a performance by a local clogging troupe.

"We want to make sure it's not just about drinking,” Lotterhos said. “We want to have people enjoy the craft brews responsibly, but also lots of games for kids, lots of family-friendly events as well."

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