For the second year in a row, two brewers from the Monadnock region have taken home the People’s Choice honors at the Wyman Tavern Brew Fest in Keene. The People’s Choice award for best brewer went to The Outlaw Brewery from Winchester. The Outlaw brought its Watermelon Wheat beer, its Experimental IPA with a blast of black licorice, and its Peanut Butter White Stout.
The best brew award went to the Brewers of Nye Hill Farm in Roxbury, for their ginger lime wheat ale called “The Statesman.”
Rick Swanson, one of the organizers of the Wyman Tavern Brew Fest, said, “These are wonderful honors for local brewers to receive, because many of the best craft brewers from New England were represented at the Brew Fest.” Each brewer will receive a trophy provided by Green Mountain Taps of Hinsdale, New Hampshire.
The Brew Fest was held on the grounds of the Wyman Tavern (1762), which is operated by the Historical Society of Cheshire County as a historic house museum. The event drew about 550 participants whose admission fees went to support the programs of the Historical Society. Twenty-four craft beer brewers, two local distillers, a meadery, and a cider orchard provided samples of their products for guests to taste. The Historical Society estimates that about $15,000 was raised after expenses to “help people find their place in history.”
New this year at the Wyman Tavern Brew Fest was a series of cooking demos by chefs from Keene’s restaurants. The cooking demos were organized by local restauranteur Luca Paris, who acted as emcee for such culinary stars as Chef Geo from the Stage Restaurant, Sushant Dhuri from Royal Spice, and Jordan Scott from Machina Arts. Cooking with beer and beer pairings were major themes of the demos as might be expected.
Festivalgoers had several food choices. Keene food trucks Street & Savory and Salt & Lime provided an eclectic selection of items such as poutine, house sausage, Korean fried chicken sandwich, pulled pork, and pad Thai street fries. Walpole Creamery dished out its locally sourced super premium ice cream.
For music at the Brew Fest, the Tavernators performed a lively selection of Irish tunes, interspersed with the occasional pub song, and The Cold River Ranters played a mix of instruments such as guitar, banjo, washboard, accordion and jawbone.
The Historical Society of Cheshire County has been collecting, preserving, and communicating the history of Cheshire County for 92 years. The Society puts on about 150 programs each year for people of all ages. For more information, visit hsccnh.org or call 352-1895.