The Hippo


May 25, 2020








Courtesy photo.

Food and brews

Wing competitors: 110 Grill, Bertucci’s, Boston Billiard Club, Burtons Grill of Nashua, Fratello’s, Margaritas Nashua, Not Your Average Joe’s, Peddler’s Daughter, Pig Tale, Shorty’s, Texas Roadhouse
Breweries: 21st Amendment, 603 Brewery, Able Ebenezer, Anheuser-Busch, Belhaven, Berkshire Brewing, Dos Equis, Estrella, Foolproof, Founders, Goose Island, Great Rhythm, Greene King, Heineken, Henniker Brewing, Jack’s Abby, Kelsen, Kona, Long Trail, Martha’s Exchange, Mighty Squirrel, Millyard Brewery, Moretti, Murphy’s Stout, Newburyport, Newcastle, North Coast, Omission, Otter Creek, Peak Organic, Redhook, Rising Tide, Riverwalk, Shipyard, Shock Top, Slumbrew, SoMe, Southampton, Spencer Trappist, Stoneface, The Shed, Trapp, Tuckerman, Uinta, Weihenstephaner, Wells & Young’s, Wexford, Widmer Brothers, Wormtown
Other alcoholic drinks : Best Damn Root Beer, Champlain Orchards, Citizen Cider, Devil’s Bit Hard Cider, Mix-A-Ritas, Pup’s Hard Cider, Stella Cidre, Strongbow, Woodchuck Hard Cider, Wyder’s Cider
Non-alcoholic drinks: Celsius, Essentia, Karma, Sparkling Ice, Vita Coco
Gate City Brewfest
Where: Holman Stadium, 67 Amherst St., Nashua
When: Saturday, Aug. 20, 1 to 5 p.m.; see website for information on pre-festival special events and after parties
Cost: $25 if purchased in advance online, $30 at the door, $10 for designated drivers and persons under age 21, free for kids age 12 and under.

Brews and beyond
Beer, wings, burger bar and more at Gate City Brewfest

By Angie Sykeny

 When Bellavance Beverage Company and the City of Nashua came together to create Gate City Brewfest in 2013, they never even considered hosting a typical beer festival.

“We wanted an event that was different from other brew fests,” Chelsea Murfitt, Bellavance marketing coordinator, said. “Our hope was to make it more of a community event that’s open to all ages and has something for everyone.”
The festival, happening Saturday, Aug. 20, at Holman Stadium, will feature not only beer, but also a chicken wing competition, a build-your-own burger bar, specialty food vendors, non-alcoholic drink samples and more.  
At the door, each attendee will receive a 4-ounce souvenir tasting glass, 10 beer sampling tickets, wing tasting tickets and a wing nut that they’ll use to vote for their favorite wings.
Eleven local restaurants will be serving up their signatures wings, some that are regular menu items and others that are made specially for the competition. Murfitt said some restaurants get very innovative with their sauces.
“Something kind of cool last year were these craft beer-inspired wings where they actually used beer to make the sauce,” she said. “I think that was a really creative way to be unique.”
There will be two winners of the wing competition: one decided by a panel of judges who will do a blind tasting of each wing, and the other decided by attendees who will cast their votes by putting their wing nuts in the bins next to the restaurants with their favorite wings. Whichever restaurant has the most wing nuts by the end of the day will win the people’s choice award. Both winners will receive plaques to display in their restaurants.
At least 50 brewers will be participating in the Gate City Brewfest, including local breweries as close as Martha’s Exchange and Millyard Brewery from Nashua, and breweries from across the country as far as 21st Amendment Brewery and North Coast Brewing Company from California. There will be some international imported varieties too, like Weihenstephaner from Germany, Belhaven from Scotland and Dos Equis from Mexico.
“We’ve brought on a lot of new breweries from all over, which is really exciting,” Murfitt said. “This year’s festival will have more breweries than ever.”
Samples also include other alcoholic beverages like Best Damn Root Beer, Bud Light Mix-A-Ritas and a variety of hard ciders, and non-alcoholic beverages like Celsius energy drinks and Vita Coco coconut water.
New this year, a Budweiser mobile bar will be there, and the Nashua Silver Knights will be running the grills for a build-your-own burger bar where attendees can choose from a wide selection of toppings to create a custom burger, then take a picture of it to enter it in the Best Burger Photo contest.
There will be a number of beer-related exhibitors such as Brew NH, Hop Head United and Granite State Growler Tours, as well as food vendors such as Mountain View Kettle Corn & Fudge, Nashua Whole Foods Market selling tacos, Kona Ice, Alex’s Ugly Sauce and Frost This Cakes selling cupcakes baked with craft beer.
While wings and brews are the main attraction, the festival has all kinds of activities and entertainment including a Positive Street Art art battle, live music, visits with the Budweiser Clydesdale (12:30 to 2:30 p.m.), balloon and caricature artists, face painting, bounce houses, a corn hole championship and more.
Gate City Brewfest is also hosting special events with local businesses on the days leading up to the festival, and after parties in the evening following the festival.
“We want to involve the community and the downtown businesses as much as possible,” Murfitt said. “Hopefully afterwards people will go downtown to some of these bars and restaurants and enjoy the after parties.” 

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