Mystery brews

Brewers Association to host drive-thru and virtual hybrid event

Back in May, the New Hampshire Brewers Association reimagined a traditional brewfest as an online event with livestreamed chats, trivia and more with local brewers. The event was so well-received that the association has created a new event to build on its success: a drive-thru and virtual tasting hybrid event where participants can purchase a “mystery mixed pack” of New Hampshire craft beers online, featuring selections from more than a dozen breweries.

From noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, Backyard Brewery & Kitchen in Manchester will host curbside pickups. You won’t know what style of beer you get or which brewery it’s from until you come pick it up, although separate mixed packs of IPAs only are also available for the same price, Brewers Association Executive Director CJ Haines said. Participating breweries come from all over the state, including Manchester, Nashua and Concord, but also along the Seacoast and up in the Lakes Region and the White Mountains.

“Since you preorder them, you still get that element of surprise because you don’t know what you’re going to get,” Haines said. “None of the packs are going to be the same sets of beers.”

The drive-thru entrance will be set up in the back parking area of Backyard Brewery, where staff will direct you to the curbside pickup tents. Each mystery pack you purchase includes special tasting classes (two with each six-pack and four with each 12-pack) and access to the virtual portion of the event. Festival T-shirts and sticker packs can also be preordered.

After you order your mystery beer packs, Haines said, a Facebook group link giving you access to the virtual tasting will be emailed to you up to 48 hours in advance. From 4 to 6 p.m. later that same day, staff members of the breweries represented in the mystery packs will be logging on to a livestream, while festival goers can share their own comments and photos to the group.

“The brewers will talk about their beers and might tell some stories behind them,” Haines said, adding that the content will still be available after 6 p.m. for those unable to tune in. Tickets for $5 each are also available for people who want to skip buying the mystery beers. All proceeds benefit the New Hampshire Brewers Association.

New Hampshire Brewers Drive-Thru/Virtual Tasting event
When: Saturday, Sept. 12; curbside beer pickups are from noon to 4 p.m., and virtual tasting is from 4 to 6 p.m.
Where: Curbside beer pickups are at Backyard Brewery & Kitchen (1211 S. Mammoth Road, Manchester)
Cost: “Mystery Mixed” packs are $35 per six-pack or $65 per 12-pack (IPA-only packs also available); ticket includes specialty tasting glasses (two per six-pack and four per 12-pack) and access to the virtual portion of the event (participants will receive a link sent to them upon their ticket purchase). Tickets to the virtual portion only are also available for $5.
Visit: bfest.in/nhbg

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