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Cape Cod Brew Fest

As Autumn sets in, the nights get longer, the air gets colder, and the beer gets better...

AS AUTUMN SETS IN, the nights get longer, the air gets colder, and the beer gets better. Returning for its second year, the Cape Cod Brew Fest aims to bring a post-summer pick-me up to the Cape as it offers selections from many of the nation’s top craft brewers. The festivities are held on Saturday, September 28, at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in East Falmouth.

Cape Cod Brewfest

In the United States, craft brewing has grown exponentially in recent years; according to the Brewers Association, it was a $10.2 billion business in 2012. At the heart of this growth are beer enthusiasts like Matt Gray, owner of the Newport, Rhode Island-based Gray Matter Marketing. Gray founded the Cape Cod BrewFest in 2012, and this year brings a dramatic expansion.

“There will be twice as many breweries as we had last year,” says Gray, an estimate that pushes the total to more than 60. “In addition to the 200-plus samples of beer, we will have live music, food vendors, and of course amazing brewery reps that know everything about their beer.” The festival is housed in a barn on the fairgrounds. Each brewery has its own station stocked with brews staffed by knowledgeable reps—and sometimes even the brewmasters themselves—who are more than willing to share their love of beer with patrons. Out back, food trucks line up to serve hot meals.

Autumn is an ideal time to sample the whole spectrum of microbrews. While summer beers are generally light, crisp, and refreshing—the perfect pairing with a backyard barbecue—fall brews are dark, flavorful, and bold, incorporating everything from pumpkin to brown cane sugar. “The beers that are featured tend to be the year-round styles from every brewery as well as Oktoberfest and pumpkin specialty brews, which are a hit among craft beer fans,” says Gray.

This year, Gray says he and his team have drawn the best beers from all over the country, like the island-made selections from Kona Brewing Co. of Hawaii, and the simple canned ales from Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery. Meanwhile, local stars Cape Cod Beer, Nantucket’s Cisco Brewers, and Oak Bluffs’ Offshore Ale Co. are all on tap to return for a second year.

For those not familiar with the craft beer world, there is no better place to learn all about ABVs and IBUs than the 2013 Cape Cod Brew Fest. Along with 60-plus breweries and 200-plus samples of beer, cider, mead, and more, the friendly, celebratory, and communal setting is the perfect atmosphere for beer neophytes. Cheers to that!

Cape Cod Brew Fest features two sessions, the first from 1 to 4 p.m. and the second from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $55 for general admission and can be purchased online. Tickets are valid for one session only. For more information, visit capecodbrewfest.com, or call 401-318-2991.

WHEN: Saturday, September 28

WHERE: Cape Cod Fairgrounds, East Falmouth

INFORMATION: capecodbrewfest.com, or call 401-318-2991

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