Second annual Billtown Brewfest set for this weekend

Though the weather forecast predicts a warm weekend ahead, those in the city won’t have to look too hard to find a nice cold drink to refresh themselves with if they get too hot.

For the second year in a row, the Billtown Brewfest is coming to William­­sp­­ort’s Pine Squa­re Courtyard this Sat­­urday. The festival, which will feature craft beers from 30 breweries across Pennsylvania and New York, has tastings scheduled from 12 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m., and will also have live music.

“Last year was really great,” said Gina Ed­wards, Tourism Coord­inator for the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau. “From everything we hav­e heard this year, we are expecting as good of a turnout, if not better. We are expecting everyone to have a good time.”

Though the Billtown Brewfest is only in its second year, the event has had no trouble attracting craft breweries across the state. This year’s event is set to host well-known favorite’s like Troegs Brewing Company, Voo­doo Brewing, Lanca­ster Brewing and Straub brewing, just to name a few. Bringing in these fine breweries is something that the visitors bureau says wouldn’t be possible without its partnership with the Brick­yard Restaurant and Ale House.

“The (Brickyard) has really helped a lot with getting all of the breweries last year and this year,” Edwards said. “The breweries that came last year really had a great time, so most of them are coming back this year; they had a good response to it. We also have some new ones coming.”

With all but two of the attending breweries being based in Pennsylvania, it comes as no surprise that a few local breweries also will be participating.

“We have a lot of great breweries in Williamsport and Lycoming County, and we are super excited that we have the Bullfrog, Boom City and New Trail breweries all participating in Brewfest,” Edw­ards said.

Two other fairly local breweries joining in the festival include the Wellsboro House Brewery and Rusty Rail Brewing.

To go along with this year’s Brewfest will be a screening of “Poured in Pennsylvania,” which is a feature length documentary exploring the state’s craft beer industry that will be screening from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday evening at the Michael Ross Event Center, 144 W. Third St. The showing will have light appetizers from the Brickyard and a beer tasting from Straub Brewery. Though attendance is free, the showing is limited to the first 240 people, and those interested are encouraged to contact the visitors bur­eau to see if there is any remaining availability.

The visitors bureau is hoping that this year’s Brewfest helps bring ple­nty of new faces to the area this weekend.

“Not only is it great to have a good community event, but it is also a good event to bring visitors to Williamsport to see all the great things that we have to offer,” said Edwards.