6th annual FriendFest, Kutztown, adds 6 new breweries & 4 new wineries

Patriot photo by Roxanne Richardson Friend Inc. hosted its 5th annual FriendFest Benefit Beer and Wine Festival Feb. 23 with three sessions at 1, 4 and 7 p.m. at Beltzner Hall in the Kutztown Fairgrounds.
Patriot photo by Roxanne Richardson Friend Inc. hosted its 5th annual FriendFest Benefit Beer and Wine Festival Feb. 23. Francis Franny Waldron and Sara Disciascio offered low-calorie Blackberry Wheat and Scottish Ale beer samples from Long Trail Brewing Company, Vermont. They dont brew the blackberries, but instead the berries are fermented.

Friend Inc. Community Services in Kutztown once again hosts their FriendFest Benefit Beer and Wine Festival to help those in need in the community.

This benefit beer and wine festival allows Friend to raise needed funds to continue to provide services to hundreds of less fortunate families in our community, said Friend Inc. Executive Director Sandra Wise. Our service area includes individuals and families living in the Kutztown, Fleetwood and Brandywine school districts.

The sixth annual benefit event will be held Feb. 22, with two sessions beginning at 3 and 6:30 p.m. at Beltzner Hall in the Kutztown Fairgrounds. According to the events website, http://www.friendinc.org/events/friendfest.php, all proceeds go toward helping to end poverty in rural Northeastern Berks County.

My favorite aspect of this event is that hundreds of people throughout the county come to enjoy themselves and at the same time are supporting a worthwhile cause, Friend, said Wise.

Funds raised benefit the programs and services offered by Friend, Inc. Community Services. The multi-services social agency supports the well-being of those in need and is committed to strengthening the lives of families and individuals living in Northeastern Berks County, according to the website, http://www.friendinc.org/. Currently, Friend, Inc. provides a client-choice food pantry, information and referrals, budget counseling, financial crisis intervention, and facilitates partnerships with other local service providers.

FriendFest is the premiere fundraising event for Friend, Inc. Community Services, said Wise. Held every February for the past five years, the event brings breweries and wineries to Kutztown along with good food and good music for attendees to taste and enjoy. This is now the sixth year.

In addition, we couldnt do all of this without the dozens of volunteers giving of their time to make the event successful, said Wise.

When asked what will be the same this year, Wise said, Providing the music for the event as always is Frog Holler and the Wallace Brothers Band.

Both bands from Kutztown.

Besides the returning breweries and wineries, there are six new breweries attending and four new wineries, said Wise.

Participating breweries (confirmed as of Feb. 5) include Boston Beer/Angry Orchard, Funk Brewing Company, Golden Avalanche Brewing Company, Kutztown Brew Crew, The Lion Brewery, Neshaminy Creek Brewery, Saucony Creek Brewing Company, Susquehanna Brewing Company, The Traveler Beer Company, Tregs Brewing Company, and Yards Brewing Company.

Participating wineries (confirmed as of Jan. 23) include Bee Kind Winery, Buddy Boy Winery, Long Trout Winery, Peace Valley Winery, Sand Castle Winery, Sorrentis Cherry Valley Vineyards, Stonekeep Meadery, Tolino Vineyards, and University Wine Company.

Whats new this year?

This year, there will be two sessions instead of three, she said.

The first session is from 3 to 6 p.m. and the second session runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Sponsors include Deka, Security Service Company, The Jewelry Source, Rockland Embroidery, A&R Marketing, Watkins Architect, LTD, Kathy Greiss; ReMax, Bob Hobaugh, Chris & Mekena Messer. Media sponsors include Land Displays, Berks County Living, Reading Eagle and Fleetwood Bank. In kind sponsors include Godiva Chocolatier, Unique Pretzels, Redners , Knights Rental, Optimist Club, Graphics on the Go, Simmeria, Bettys Wraps, Kutztown Fire Company.

Purchase tickets in advance and at the door. Designated Driver tickets reduced price, in advance and at the door. A sandwich is included with the price of admission and additional food will be available for purchase. Volunteers appreciated! Visit www.friendfest.org for more information, or contact Cathy Dill at 610-683-7791.

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.