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Summer Lovin’

Temps are rising which means Summer is well on its way and its high time to get outside and enjoy your favorite brews while basking in the sunshine with hopefully a little entertainment involved as well. Fellow craft-beer lovers, read on for several events to check out in and around the CNY area this season!

Saturday, June 11th: Buried Acorn’s 4-Year Birthday Party. The celebration will include food, music and giant lawn games in addition to some of Syracuse’s best craft brews around. The fun kicks off at 12noon at 881 Van Rensselaer St. in Syracuse.

Saturday, June 25th: New York State Craft Brewers Festival in Buffalo, NY. This event hosted with the Western NY Brewers Guild will feature the likes of over 50 breweries. Any of the NYS Craft Brewers Association events are great because many of the brewers and their knowledgeable staff are on site, present, and able to talk about and answer any questions in relation to the specific beers that are being poured that day. You’re not getting distributors; you’re getting the real deal. There will be local food trucks, artisan vendors and a farm-to-table tent. The event runs from 2-6pm at Buffalo at Canalside, 44 Prime St., Buffalo, NY. A 21+ event, tickets are $55 in advance or $65 on the day of. Designated driver tickets are available for $15. Your ticket includes a 7-ounce commemorative tasting glass, and the DD ticket includes free bottles of water. For more info, including a list of participating breweries and to purchase tickets, visit: www. thinknydrinkny.com/buffalo/

Saturday, July 9th: BriteVibes Beer & Music Festival at Heritage Hill Brewhouse in Pompey, NY. Kicking off at 12noon, this exciting brews and tunes festival, (that is also associated with the NYS Craft Brewers Association), will offer access to over 50 breweries from in and around the Central NY area, live musical acts including Mike Powell, The Old Main, and Claudia Hoyser with two headlining acts still TBA, plenty of food options to choose from, local artisans, experiential exhibits, a BruBag competition (a lawn game combining beer pong and cornhole!), Fireworks at 9:30pm, and you can even pitch a pop-up tent (or bring your camper) and camp out overnight! Ticket prices range from $10 to $150, with camping prices ranging from $20-$40 per site, and parking is $10. For the full schedule of event offerings and to purchase tickets, go to: www. britevibesfestival.com/ Heritage Hill is located at: 3149 Sweet Rd. in Pompey, NY.

Friday, August 5th: Brew at the Zoo at Syracuse’s Rosamond Gifford Zoo. This happens to be my favorite summer event in Syracuse, and I always put it on my calendar far in-advance. (Hint: It’s always the first Saturday in August!) Where else can you just be a kid again, watching all the animals, seeing all the exhibits, all while sampling beer and wine along the way?? And it’s all for a good cause! This event sells out every year, so it’s a good idea to grab your tickets early – sale starts on June 1st. There will be local food trucks with food options for purchase, a silent auction, live entertainment, and over 100 different beverage tasting opportunities scattered throughout the zoo’s grounds. The event runs from 5:30-8pm. More details can be found at: www.rosamondgiffordzoo.org/zoo-events/upcoming-events/brew-at-the-zoo/

Sunday, August 7th: Middle Ages 27th Anniversary Party at Leavenworth Park in Syracuse. Hosted by Syracuse’s oldest operating brewery (est. 1995) and always a great time, this annual event runs from 2-8pm and boasts a laid-back atmosphere held rain or shine. Participants are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, canopy tents, picnic blankets and come hang-out for the day. You may also bring coolers and bags, but are advised against bringing any outside alcohol beverages or glass containers, as you may be subject to search. Several musical acts partake in the festivities and this year’s line up includes: Mike Powell, The Turbulents, All Poets and Heroes, and Dark Hollow. Several varieties of Middles Ages brews will be available for purchase all afternoon and food vendors are still TBA at this time.

Saturday, September 24th: Amazing Ballpark Brewfest at Syracuse Mets NBT Bank Stadium. This exciting event sponsored by The Hops Spot, Nave Law Firm, and radio station 95x, gives attendees the opportunity to walk around the stadium from 5-9pm sampling both local and national craft brews. At the end of the night, a sublime fireworks display will be showcased. The event is for those 21 and older, so leave the kiddos at home. Ticket prices are likely to range from $10 (DD) to $75 (VIP). Keep your eyes and ears tuned to the Mets Facebook and Instagram pages for further details.

In addition, The Syracuse Mets have once again brought back Craft Beer Fridays for the duration of the 2022 season. There are two options: For $25, persons age 21+ will receive a 200-level ticket to the game and 2 craft beer vouchers, and for $27, persons age 21+ will receive a 100-level ticket and 2 craft beer vouchers. The Hops Spot is the curator for the craft beer selection that changes weekly. The Fridays this summer that a home game lands on: 6/10, 7/1, 7/15, 7/29, 8/12, 8/26, 9/9 and 9/16. Bonus? There are ALWAYS post-game fireworks on Fridays too! To purchase, visit: www.milb.com/syracuse/tickets/craft-beer-friday

There are plenty of other events scheduled at individual breweries and cideries around CNY as well this summer.

• Syracuse Trivia Company has an extensive list of breweries to play at and test your random assortment of knowledge with friends and family. If you haven’t tried a trivia night, it’s well worth your while, and it’s free! Check out www.syracusetrivianight.com for further details. (And if “Team Duh!” shows up on the roster, I’ll be present, and you’ll have some fiery competition!)

• Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards 1911 main campus is hosting a great number of nationally renowned musical acts this summer including Modest Mouse on June 7th, Nathanial Rateliff & the Night Sweats on June 29th, Death Cab for Cutie on July 12th, Dashboard Confessional on August 9th, among several others. They’ll be serving up craft cocktails in addition to their great hard cider offerings.

• As well, Beak & Skiff is also hosting several Yoga in the Orchard events in conjunction with Sky Yoga Studio on Thursdays from 5:30-6:30pm during the entire month of June. Classes are outdoors and you must register in advance. Your $20 purchase gets you one hour-long class, a complimentary pint of hard cider afterwards, and you’ll receive 15% off of all retail purchases! Visit www.beakandskiff.com/events/ for more details and to purchase tickets for both the concerts and yoga.

• Other fun events where you’ll find a smattering of unique beer choices are at the different cultural festivals we have throughout Syracuse each summer. St. Sophia’s Greek Cultural Festival is held June 9-12 at 325 Waring Rd. in Syracuse, The Polish Festival is happening June 17-19 in Clinton Square, and The Syracuse Ukrainian Festival (in it’s 80th year!) is July 29-30 located at 207 Tompkins St. All of these events feature country-specific beer offerings along with amazing eats.

Get out there this summer and experience it all! Cheers!

Kristin Merritt
Just your average craft-brew loving gal slinging your monthly pour of beer education and the low-down on all things beer related in the immediate CNY area and beyond. Along the way I hope to give a few recommendations for your grocery list, events to attend, and local hotspots to hit-up for shenanigans with friends, ideas for date night, or at the very least enlighten you with a bit of random knowledge to use towards trivia night or simply give you and your teammates a suggestion on what to drink at the bar! Cheers!