Here we are, on the verge…we are about to launch our third annual Frederick Beer Week, kicking off with the Beerfest at Stillpoint Farm. For all of you out there, this 482785_502308003138151_1545370862_nmeans a week of events celebrating beer from Mount Airy to Boonsboro, and points in between. For those of us on the FBW board it means stress…it means keeping a close eye on ticket sales, it means dealing with promoting our events via Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other way we can…tattoos, sandwich board signs, summoning the demon Pazuzu to spread the word.

But we’re in the stretch run, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And when all is said and done, the proceeds from the Beerfest at Stillpoint, as well as Beer Judging 101 & 201 will go to our beneficiaries; Goodwill Industries of Monocacy, and Team Rubicon. Great beer will be had by all, and most of us on the board will go into hibernation for a couple of weeks.

Now, I want all of you to make it to the events you really want to go to, so I’m going to let you in on a little secret -go buy your tickets now. The festival at Stillpoint has a capped number of attendees, as do most of the other premier events. Seeing as I will be appearing on WUSA9’s morning news program on Friday to chat about Beer Week and the festival at Stillpoint.

If we sell out and you show up without a ticket, you will be turned away at the door. And we have sold out before. Same goes for the Beer Judging classes.

FBW has been interesting in regards to its growth – we have had growing pains, but they haven’t been significant. We try to control it as much as we can, but realize there’s only so much we can do. In year one we had 17 events. Last year it was 28. This year we are at 34, but by the time we finish out the week, it might be more like 36 to 38.

Even given the growth, I am happy with the schedule we have this year. If anything, I’m having a harder time this year figuring out what events to attend than I have in past years. It’s a good problem to have.

That said, if you haven’t made it to Dan’s in Boonesboro, or up to Madrones, or to JoJo’s – make the trip. They have some great taps – and Madrones, at least, will be doing events that will cover the lunch hour. Then, of course, there are the old standards – Brewer’s Alley, Barley and Hops, Bushwaller’s, and The Roasthouse…not to mention Flying Dog. Yeah, you really can’t go wrong this year. Except by waiting too long to get your tickets.

Be well, drink good beer, and see you at Frederick Beer Week.