Sunday, August 2, 2009

FloydFest Beer Garden

One of the best features of FloydFest is that they provide a Beer Garden for patrons who would like to indulge while listening to music. Alcohol policy varies by festival with some banning all alcohol, whereas others provide alcohol throughout the general festival grounds. FloydFest strikes a balance by providing the aforementioned beer garden with its own stage and for the first time, a beer tent adjacent to the main stage. They also promote local producers of beer and wine - particularly the two neighboring wineries: Chateau Morrisette and Villa Appalaccia Winery. Chateau Morrisette offers most of their sweet portfolio at the festival to fullfil the tastes of the attendees with their sangria easily being the most popular drink. Villa Appalaccia's wines are drier - but very drinkable during the day in the Italian tradition in which they are based.

As for beer, Charlottesville's Starr Hill Brewing is a constant at major festivals and we've always liked their Wheat, Pale Ale and Amber Ale. There were two new breweries this year, Radford's The River Company Restaurant and Brewery and Winston-Salem's Foothills Brewing. For only being open a few months, The River Company Restaurant and Brewery, makes a good hefeweisen while I liked Foothills Brewing's Pilsner and Pale Ale. Ironically, we cared the least for the most popular brewery, Magic Hat Brewing Company. The red colored summer ale was boring, not even refreshing, and the other beer I sampled was so nondescript I can't remember it.

Now if you liked the wine at the event, the tasting rooms for both the winery's were open throughout the festival. In addition, these wineries share a tasting facility in downtown Floyd with two other local producers: Blacksnake Meadery and Foggy Ridge Cider. We brought enough home to keep us stocked until our next visit to Floyd.
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