After a successful inaugural year as the ‘Taps and Caps’ craft beer festival, this past weekend some friends and I attended Hoptoberfest, which is Pikeville’s second annual craft beer festival. I was invited to attend the festival by a friend, Anthony Childers, who is a Pikeville resident, festival organizer for Hoptoberfest and craft beer lover. Anthony was instrumental in helping organize and bring to fruition the original ‘Taps and Caps’ festival in 2017 and helped re-brand it into this year’s Hoptoberfest.
As one of the organizers, Childers was responsible for selecting and ordering the beer for festival attendees. Using his own knowledge of and passion for craft beer, he carefully selected and curated a list of almost 100 different beers for sampling. These included local beers from the brand new Dueling Barrels Brewery and Distillery, other Kentucky craft beers from Ethereal Brewing, Country Boy Brewing, Goodwood Brewing, Blue Stallion Brewing Company and other craft brands from across the state and country.
After last year’s festival, one change that organizers made was to move the date to October in an effort to see cooler temperatures. Mother Nature didn’t cooperate completely, and while the rain was no where in sight, the sun was shining, temps were in the middle 80s and it was hot. As people were beginning to line up for entry, early access was granted to VIP ticket holders. This allowed them entry into the festival an hour before other ticket holders, included a free chicken wing buffet, which by the way was amazing, a festival t-shirt and access to covered tables and seating.
Throughout the day folks sampled beers, enjoyed live music, shared stories and laughs. As the festival began to wind down, people started to head over to the after party at Bank 253 , which was conveniently located within walking distance of the festival. This provided a great atmosphere for grabbing some post festival dinner and drinks and a chance to watch the University of Kentucky football game while discussing how great the festival was, and how good all the beers we sampled were.
While the game turned out to be a disappointment, the fun didn’t stop there. Festival organizer Anthony Childers had made plans for us to go back to his house afterwards. Once there, it was time to sample some incredible and rare bourbon and beer and enjoy a cigar on the porch while watching that evening’s UFC match-up and main event. This was seemingly the perfect end to an incredible day with friends in this amazing little town called Pikeville.
Early the next morning we packed up, exited the hotel and met up for one last goodbye over breakfast at Tudor’s Biscuit World. Childers joined us once more, as did a few other friends and we sat and chatted about the previous day’s fun and how much we all were looking forward to next year’s Hoptoberfest. This was certainly an experience I’ll never forget and one wasn’t expecting to be so much fun and memorable.