Sunset Park Beer Event Approved

OCEAN CITY — Resort officials this week approved the Shore Craft Beer Fest scheduled for Oct. 24 at Sunset Park in downtown Ocean City.

With the proliferation of local breweries in recent years, it was only a matter of time before most of them collaborated on a special event in Ocean City. The Shore Craft Beer Fest in October will help promote the resort area as a growing destination for craft beer enthusiast. Ocean City Development Committee Executive Director Glenn Irwin pitched the idea to the Mayor and Council at Tuesday’s meeting.

“It’s a first-time event and we expect it to be very popular,” he said. “Micro-brew festivals are extremely popular right now and ours is going to start our small, maybe a couple hundred people.”

The event is slated for Saturday, Oct. 24 with a rain date of Sunday, Oct. 25. Irwin said there will be nine breweries represented, some of which are right in Ocean City and other that are within 30 minutes of the resort. Each of the participating breweries will bring two samples of their craft brews for the participants to try.

Each brewery will have representatives on hand pouring their own beer and providing participants with additional information about the various craft brews. In addition, each brewery will have a table to display promotional materials about their operations and directions for participants to find them after the event in Ocean City.

In a slight departure from other special events, the Shore Craft Brew Fest in October will include one or more food trucks to supply participants with something to eat while they are sampling the various craft beers. Ocean City has resisted food trucks, largely in deference to existing brick and mortar businesses, but Irwin said it was appropriate to have one or more food trucks on hand for an event of this type.

“It’s going to include all of our local breweries along with a couple of food trucks,” he said. “We felt it was important for an event of this type to have food available.”

The event will run from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 at Sunset Park. The first hour from 12:30-1:30 p.m. will be reserved for VIPs, while the beer festival will be open to the general public from 1:30-4:30 p.m. The cost for VIPs is $40, while the general admission is $25 in advance or $35 at the door.

“This is one of those events that really has the potential to grow,” said Councilman Wayne Hartman. “We have seen the popularity in microbrews in recent years.”