By Alicia Dziak
Beer! Wine! Food! Music! While that describes many of the fun-filled weekend in Ellicottville, all the best of the best come together next weekend for Holiday Valley’s 14th annual Beer and Wine Festival, Nov. 10 and 11. Imagine dozens of your favorite craft brews and vinos together all in one place. Sprinkle in some live music and entertainment, a Cajun feast and a little Voodoo magic, and you’ve got yourself a weekend full of memories.
On Friday, Nov. 10, head to the Beer and Wine Dinner, themed “Beer on the Bayou” which starts at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Valley Lodge. “It’s a group effort,” said Holiday Valley’s Marketing Director, Jane Eshbaugh, of the entire Beer and Wine Festival Committee’s selection of this year’s theme.
This event will feature several dishes prepared with and pairing with unique and special brews, featuring Voodoo Brewery. Guests will begin their journey to the bayous of Louisiana with the “Ragin’ Cajun Cocktail Hour” and the dark magic of the Voodoo Mama, who will entrance guests with her dark magic and shadowy powers.
“The atmosphere will be dark and mysterious with some Voodoo magic (and Voodoo Brewery beer) thrown in for good measure,” Eshbaugh explained. “The menu includes delicious Cajun/New Orleans specialties like crawfish, jambalaya, alligator tail, shrimp, gumbo and beignets – all prepared with beer as one ingredient!”
As with many events at Holiday Valley, dressing up in theme is encouraged.
Music and song, provided by Michael Nugent, will be a mixture of jazz, Cajun and Southern rhythms.
The Beer Dinner usually sells out, so don’t wait to buy your tickets. “We still have tickets available. There is a limit of 160 guests so we’ll sell tickets until we’re full!” Eshbaugh said.
On Saturday, the fun continues with the Holiday Valley Beer and Wine Festival, legendary for great beers, wines and good times. From 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., enjoy over 30 craft brewers with over 100 beers and wines from New York State and the region, plus entertainment on three floors of the beautiful Holiday Valley Lodge.
Breweries include 4 Mile Brewery, Big Ditch Brewing Company, BlackBird Hard Cider, Boston Beer Company, Bronx Brewing, Brooklyn Brewery, Buffalo Distilling, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., CB Craft Brewers, Cider Creek Hard Cider , Community Beer Works, DG Yuengling, Ellicottville Brewing Company, Empire Brewing Co., Erie Brewing Co., Flying Bison Brewing Co., Great Lakes Brewing Co., Hamburg Brewing Co, Hazlitt’s Orchard and Cider, Innis & Gunn – Aaron Wurl from Certo, Ithaca Beer, Long Trail, McKenzie’s Hard Cider, Muskoka Brewery , Naked Dove Brewing Co., North American Breweries, North Country Brewing Co, Ommegang, Original Sin Cider, Pizza Plant Italian Pub, Resurgence Brewing, Rohrbachs Brewing, Rusty Nickel Brewing Co., Saranac Brewery (The Matt Brewing Co.), Shiner Beer-Spoetzl Brewry, Shock Top / Goose Island , Sierra Nevada, Sly Fox, Southern Tier Brewing Company, Three Heads Brewing, Vermont Hard Cider Co (Woodchuck), Victory Brewing, Voodoo Brewery, Willoughby Brewing Co., Wolavers/Otter Creek/Long Trail.
“We have a few more (breweries) this year; all offer several different beers, so we’ll have well over 100 to sample,” Eshbaugh noted.
Beer is not the only beverage on tap at the lodge. Wineries included Victoriabourg Wine Estate, Casa Larga Vineyards & Winery, Main Street Winery, Merritt Estate Winery, Midgard Winery, Savage Winery, Winery of Ellicottville and Venditti Vineyards. Distilleries include Black Button Distilling, Honeyoye Falls Distillery, Southern Tier Distilling Co. and Saint Lawrence Spirits Distillery.
Each ticket includes a $5 voucher redeemable for food in the cafeteria. The menu includes German favorites like sausage and pretzels, plus hot dogs, burgers, fries and poutine. In addition, EVL Cheese, jerky from Dom’s Butcher Block, Kettle Corn and the Bavarian Nut Company will offer snacks for festival patrons. Gary Liota from Santiago Cigars will be hand rolling cigars on the second floor deck.
All three floors of the Holiday Valley Lodge will be hopping with great music. The second floor features “Buffalo’s Greatest Party Band”Hit N Run. The Tim Britt Band will keep things lively on the main floor and Michael Nugent’s dreamy voice sets the mood in the Wine Cellar on the ground floor.
Festival tickets are $60 and on sale at www.holidayvalley.com and also at Wegmans stores. You must be 21 to purchase a ticket and also to attend the festival. “You are issued a 3 oz. beer tasting glass and you can fill it as many times as you want with beer and wine samples,” said Eshbaugh. “Your ticket also includes a $5 voucher that can be redeemed in the food court.”
Designated drivers pay just $10, which includes the $5 food voucher.
End the weekend with a Kegs and Eggs breakfast, held on Sunday at John Harvard’s Brew House at the Tamarack Club from 8 to 11 a.m. Cost is $12.95. The drink special, Ultimate Bloody Marys, are only $6.
“Besides giving folks a chance to try so many varieties of craft beers, the Beer and Wine Festival is a great social scene and the perfect set up for a November weekend while we wait for the ski season to start.” Eshbaugh said.
For more info, visit www.holidayvalley.com.