By Maralisa Marra
The Ferguson Memorial City Park was flooded with eager attendees supporting their local breweries for Shinnston’s first Rollin’ Brews beer festival on Saturday.
Conversations of their favorite beers, memories of eating and drinking at the breweries present, and talks of both high school and college football filled the air while everyone drank, sang, and danced the evening away.
Shinnston musician Andy Benson kicked off the event when he took the stage to share his hometown melodies with the crowd. Other performers were Aristotle Jones, Corduroy Brown, Forever Strong, and Shinnston’s own Last Year’s Model, which closed out the evening with their alternative rock tunes.
Benson said he thought the event went very well for the first year.
“I was able to speak to people from all over the area and beyond, and they spoke very highly of Ferguson Memorial Park and the hospitality shown by the event coordinators and volunteers. As a Shinnston citizen, it was nice to not have to drive to Morgantown or Charleston to be able to experience local craft brews and food vendors,” Benson said.
“I hope events like this continue and the community will continue to embrace it and see Shinnston thrive,” he added.
Organizers said the event was a hit.
“The first annual beer fest was a great success,” Maria Cusack of Black & Teal Concepts said. “We had a wonderful turnout with a fun and relaxed energy. The city, vendors, bands, volunteers, sponsors, Ace Hardware, and the Pike Street Bike’s community came together and created a truly special event in Shinnston. I was so proud to be a part of it, and we are all looking forward to next year.”
The event was sponsored by Ace Hardware.
“I think it [the festival] met expectations for the first year. I learned a lot and got some advice from people who were there about what they’d like to see next year,” said Adam Southern, owner of Ace Hardware. “The crowd was fantastic, laid back, and a great vibe. Hopefully we can grow the event and make it a yearly thing.”
Attendees enjoyed drafts from local breweries all over the state: Screech Owl Brewing, Big Timber Brewing, Clendenin Brewing Co., The Rambling Root, Short Story Brewing, High Ground Brewing, and Stumptown Ales.
There was a wide variety of brews to suit all craft beer drinkers.
Clendenin Brewing Co. offered their signature Clendenin Cream Ale for those who enjoy a smooth, light ale with no bitterness. For those looking for something to make them pucker, Clendenin Brewing Co. also brought their signature watermelon gose that they call Puckermelon which offers the best of both worlds: a little sour and a bit sweet. They offered two other brews, as well: a red ale called Amber Knight and their Mothgirl American IPA.
The Rambling Root brought along their cream ale that they call their Regular Beer for those looking for a light, smooth ale with a hint of bitterness, as well as their American IPA Sunday Funday and a Brohemian Rhapsody blend.
Short Story Brewing offered craft beer enthusiasts their Chasing Daylight IPA, and they also broke out one of their fall blends called Oktoberfest featuring fall spice notes for a warm and cozy feeling.
Screech Owl Brewing even offered their Wild & Wonderful Strawberry Ale for those looking for a fruitier flavor, and the other breweries featured a number of different light and dark brews, as well.
The event coincided with The Rollin’ Coal Gravel Grinder, a gravel bike race hosted by Shinnston’s own Pike Street Bikes. Owner Jason Martin previously said that some of last year’s race participants said that the Gravel Grinder is one of the most difficult bike races on the East Coast.