Friday kicks off 9-day celebration of Midstate craft brew culture

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Raise a glass; Harrisburg Beer Week is back.

The celebration which kicked off Friday includes 200-plus events over the span of nine days. Proceeds will benefit Harrisburg River Rescue as they have in the past.

Downtown businesses are hyping the hops as the craft beer trend bubbles on.

“We sell a lot of IPAs,” Arooga’s bartender Alexandria Smith said, serving up suds for Friday’s lunch crowd.

“You go to to a restaurant and they have a huge variety of things to choose from,” she said.

Arooga’s is cashing in. They’re once again part of the Beer Week festivities and are promoting it with event guides on tables.

“We’re always excited for it,” general manager Adam Szar said. “I’m a big beer fanatic myself.”

“There’s a little bit of something for everyone,” said Tierney Pomone, a co-founder of the event.

There’s lots of places, lots of events to choose from over the next nine days.

“If you can’t find an event,” she said, “then you just don’t like beer.”

Now in its third year, Beer Week will once again be donating proceeds to Harrisburg River Rescue. In the last two years, they’ve donated $60,000 to the organization.

And the celebration of suds doesn’t stop at the city’s borders.

“It’s not just about downtown. It’s not just about Harrisburg itself,” Pomone said.

“It just continues to grow,” said Brandalynn Armstrong, co-owner of Zero Brewing in Midtown.

Her brewery is debuting two new beers for the week, one of them a collaboration with Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. in Carlisle and Tattered Flag Brewery in Middletown.

The three breweries got together to come up with a recipe then brewed them independently. Each of the three will have different characteristics, Armstrong said, encouraging people to try each of them throughout the week.

The brew, named Marketing Gimmick, also comes with a punch card. Visit all three places and you get a mini-growler labeled with the beer’s name.

“And this is the marketing gimmick,” Armstrong said, showing one of the small glass jugs.

It all pours into the goal of beer week: promoting Midstate craft brewers.

“Beer week is hectic,” Armstrong said, “but in that, you know, adrenaline-pumping, exciting kind of ‘it’s Christmas morning’ way.”

And for the businesses that take part, they hope to find a bump in the bottom line at the bottom of that pint glass.

“Hoping it brings some more business in,” Smith said.


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