By: Jeremy Morris
We’ve been brewing beer in Wheeling since long before West Virginia was ever a state. Since 1812 to be exact, back when all beer was “micro-brewed”. This year’s Mountaineer BrewFest, will take place on August 17th at Wheeling’s Heritage Port, just a few blocks away from that original brewery site. The festival runs from 4-10 p.m.
In its sixth year, the Mountaineer BrewFest has grown to become the preeminent micro-brewery festival in the state of West Virginia. This year will feature 18 breweries showcasing 70 different beers from across the Mountain State.
While West Virginia has a long folk tradition of moonshining, home brewing has been growing in popularity. As a result, many of those home-spun brewing adventures have become legitimate business ventures. Micro-breweries have exploded across West Virginia in the last decade and we have a lot to offer the “tap-room tourist”.
“In West Virginia, you don’t just have a bunch of breweries located in a single city. They are spread out over a geographically diverse area and each one is very much connected to its home. From Wheeling to Elkins to the Greenbrier Valley, tourists who visit our breweries get to experience some of the most beautiful parts of our state.” says Aaron Rote, President of the West Virginia Craft Brewers Guild.
This year’s festival will feature a Safe Ride option for attendees. Safe Ride is sponsored by the Visit Wheeling, WV . A trolley will make a looping route before and after the festival. The trolley will make stops in major neighborhoods including stops within walking distance of several hotels . The festival will also feature a variety of food options and a great line-up of live music.
Several breweries will make their first appearance this year including the Brewers Guild’s own Rote, who operates Short Story Brewing. “For us, it’s a chance to introduce our beers to a new audience and a new town. When you’ve been stuck in a hot brewery all summer, it’s great to get out and celebrate craft beer with a bunch of like-minded folks. It reminds you why you got into this industry in the first place.”
Come quench your thirst for West Virginia microbrews in Wheeling on August 17th!
What you need to know
Parking: Free on-street parking in downtown all-day Saturday. Byrd intermodal parking garage at 14th and Main Streets, $5.00 per day.
Ticketing: Only 2,000 general admission tickets available and 200 VIP so there is no guarantee that tickets will be available at the gate. Reserve tickets here.
ID Required: Attendees must be 21 year of age, no one under that age will be admitted for any reason, you must have a valid photo ID to enter. Mountaineer Brewfest reserves the right to card anyone at any time. Wristbands must be visible at all times.
Transportation: Designated drivers (there special ticket prices for DDs) and using the Safe Ride option are highly encouraged. Free taxi services vouchers are available after the festival ends courtesy of BMG Transportation and the Mountaineer Brewfest (free within 15 miles). Uber and Lyft are available, but service can be spotty at times. The Hampton Inn operates a shuttle to and from their hotel to the venue for their guests. City bus system operates from 6 a.m -6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Routes and Fares
Gates: Gates open at 3 p.m. for VIP ticket holders and general admission at 4 p.m.
Sun Protection: Heritage Port is an open-air venue. You will be grateful for your sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.
Coolers & Alcohol: NO Coolers, large bags, or outside food are permitted inside the gates. No outside alcohol is permitted per West Virginia state law. Smoking at the venue is prohibited by city ordinance. Plenty of beer and food are available inside the gates.
Visit the festival website for more details