By Erin Cleavenger
The fourth annual Hops on the Mon craft beer and food festival is set to pour into downtown Morgantown — from 3-7 p.m. Oct. 16, on High Street between Pleasant and Walnut streets — and promises to be about more than just beer.
Top Tier Beer Group, LLC is working with Main Street Morgantown to put on the event which will host more than 50 beer vendors, along with seven local food vendors and entertainment from local music artists.
Grace Hutchens, the event founder and owner of Apothecary Ale House on Chestnut Street, said the event has really grown in the past few years.
“It’s really turned into a community event,” Hutchens said. “What started about beer has kind of morphed into wanting to bring everyone downtown to have a good time and just enjoy the area and what it has to offer.”
Attendees will have a great selection of beer to try from not only a lot of West Virginia breweries, but also several national breweries and even some European beers.
“Our goal is to have a nice diverse selection,” Hutchens said. “We’ll even have the two West Virginia cideries there, as well as some other ciders.”
This year, the festival will also add a hard seltzer tent that will feature some craft seltzers.
Each year, the festival also hosts a competition for the food vendors.
“When we started the festival back in 2017, we thought adding a food competition would make it interesting for attendees and give the restaurants something to participate in,” said Jay Redmond, one of the event organizers. “So every year we have picked a certain food item and asked the restaurants to participate in a friendly competition.”
The local food vendors this year will vie for the top spot in the Super Slider Shootout contest. Festival attendees will be able to purchase sliders and cast their vote for which restaurant has the best. Those wanting to purchase food are encouraged to bring cash as vendors will not be able to take credit cards.
Tickets for the event are $30 and will include a souvenir glass and access to all the beer at the festival in two ounce samples.
“We want to stress this is a beer sampling event, not a beer-drinking event,” Redmond said. “With the number of different beers available, it will be impossible to sample everything.”
Designated driver tickets for those wanting to attend but not sample the beer are also available for only $10.
All tickets will also include musical performances by local rock band Goodwolf and Morgantown alt-country singer-songwriter William Matheny.
This year, due to COVID-19 concerns, the number of tickets will be limited by 60 percent in order to provide extra space to move around. Those interested in attending can find more information about the event along with ticket information on the event website hopsonthemon.com