A Mountain of Beer at Berkshire East

On Tap: They’re building a brewer’s paradise, you should come

  • What: Franklin County On Tap / 3rd Annual Franklin County Beer Fest presented by Berkshire East and The Recorder
  • When: Saturday, July 21. Two sessions: noon to 3 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Where: Berkshire East Mountain Resort
  • Cost: Tickets $25 each – online pre-purchase, online ticket guarantees gift souvenir glass. $30 at door on day of event.
  • Contact: http://berkshireeast.com/franklin-county-beer-fest/ or http://ontap.recorder.com/

GREENFIELD -- To find out what’s new and tasty in our artisanal beer scene, you could drive from one end of the Berkshires to the other end of the Pioneer Valley. Or you could scour recent news articles and beer groups. But you could also set aside one afternoon this summer, book yourself a designated driver and hit a beautiful outdoor location that will have them all On Tap for you.

We’re talking about the Franklin County On Tap / 3rd Annual Franklin County Beer Fest presented by Berkshire East and The Recorder. It’s Saturday, July 21. And because you’re hearing about it in May, you know you’ve got the afternoon free to sample some of the myriad beers and meeting many of the folks created them.

If you haven’t been to Berkshire East in the summertime, you might be surprised by all this mountain resort has to offer. Think zipline canopy tours, the Thunder Mountain Bike Park, the Tree House Trail, and more. But on July 21, you’ll probably be thinking beer.

As of this writing, Abandoned Building Brewery, Amherst Brewing, Berkshire Brewing, Big Elm, Brew Practitioners, Bright Ideas Brewing, Building 8 Brewery, Down the Road Beer Company, Element, Hitchcock Brewing Co., Iron Duke, Lefty’s, New City Brewery, People’s Pint, Stoneman, Whetstone Station and White Lion Brewery were on tap to share their goods with the beer-loving public. There will also be non-beer brews from Artisan Beverage Coop, Bear Swamp Cidery and Headwater Cider.

Lefty’s Brewing Company, based in Greenfield might have its larger tap room open these days, but come July 21, you won’t be thinking about that. You’ll be with 400 of your best pals at Berkshire East, ready for sampling some of owner Bill Goldfarb’s finest. Goldfarb tells us he’ll most certainly be offering Lefty’s fan-favorite. “Definitely bringing our Fuzzy IPA. This is our number-one seller in our taproom every week!” Plus, you’ll probably find some Lil' Sticky IPA brewed with locally grown hops and the Graham Cracker Porter. For Goldfarb, “Brewing in Greenfield is an amazing community to be a part of. Doing business with so many supportive people and businesses around us is incredible.” Goldfarb will get to experience the fermentations of some of his neighbors’ beer labors as well. He says the On Tap fest is the perfect spot to sip and mingle with other brewers. “Absolutely! I love getting to experience all of the other wonderful brews fellow brewers have to offer!”

The award-winning Lefty’s (Advocate Best of the Valley Readers Poll 2016 and 2017, and The Recorder’s Franklin Favorites 2016 and 2017) is on a keg roll, and doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. Look for the Doc’s Double Whammy IPA with its slogan, “It’s just what the doctor ordered.”

Coming in from the non-beer side, keep an eye out for Artisan Beverage Cooperative, also out of the beer-fertile Greenfield hills. Folks rave about their Ginger Libation--a pre-Prohibition Jamaican style ginger beer. Their company is a worker-owned cooperative and we spoke to Garth Shaneyfelt, who, in addition to being a general manager/treasurer is also a neuroscientist (which is good bit of trivia to keep under your Solo cup.) He spoke of his fondness for the Greenfield area and how it’s nice to be able to bike to work in the rural area. He told us, “ Our Katalyst Kombucha has been a mainstay of the area for 10+ years and Ginger Libation is a fan favorite throughout the Valley (and beyond!)” Before he ran off to wear one of his many hats, he said he’s looking forward to the On Tap event., “It’s always nice to try the newest from our friends and neighbors. And I really enjoy trying out Stoneman Brewery and Bear Swamp Orchard ciders.” Plus: “don't forget to take advantage of the deal on Mountain Coaster rides. They’re super fun!”

With so much to taste and enjoy, if you’re 21 or older, head to Berkshire East for the day, and you’re bound to find a new favorite from the rich and rollicking nanobrew scene.