BOONE — Craft beer lovers and brewers will gather in Boone to celebrate the 12th annual High Country Beer Fest thatwill take place from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24. This summer’s event will feature more than 60 breweries, live music, local craft food and educational seminars — all served up in the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.

High Country Beer Fest showcases the best of locally crafted beers, as well as beers and ciders from craft and micro-breweries from across the region and the country. The event takes place at the High Country Fairgrounds, 784 Roby Greene Road, Boone.

“Favorite local breweries like AMB, Booneshine and Lost Province will be back this year. The lineup also includes Brown Truck, Fonta Flora, and many more fantastic breweries,” says Brett Taubman, director and founding member of the High Country Beer Fest. Taubman is also a professor in the Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences Department at Appalachian State University and directs the Fermentation Sciences.

Beer and education go hand in hand at High Country Beer Fest. Created in 2007, the festival helps support App State’s Fermentation Sciences program. More than $264,000 has been raised to date, helping purchase equipment and fund scholarships and research grants. Fermentation Sciences students also participate in the festival, serving up their brews under the label Ivory Tower Brewing.

“It’s more than a fun festival with great beer. The awareness, interest and funds raised through the festival help ensure a thriving future for craft beers and brewers,” says Taubman.

This year’s educational seminars will highlight fermented foods made by students and professors, including vinegars, hot sauces, kombucha and pickled vegetables.

“Whether you’re an aficionado or just enjoy a cold one on a hot day, you’ll find a lot to sample and enjoy,” Taubman adds.

Last year, Beer Fest drew more than 3,000 attendees. This year is expected to be just as successful.

VIP and General Admission tickets are available now on the High Country Beer Fest website, www.hcbeerfest.com, or at Peabody’s Wine and Beer Merchants at 1104 NC-105 in Boone.

General Admission tickets are $40 and include a sample glass for limitless tasting of more than 150 of different beers. VIP tickets are $80. These ticket holders receive a specialty tasting glass as well as a festival t-shirt, meal voucher and one-hour early entry into the festival.

Because HCBF encourages all patrons to be responsible and safe, Designated Driver tickets are also available for $10 each. All attendees must be 21 years or older.

Tickets are also available at the gate, $60 for General Admission, $100 for VIP and $15 for Designated Driver.

As a nonprofit event, High Country Beer Fest also donates a portion of proceeds to local charities and nonprofits. To date, more than $24,000 has been raised for these organizations.

Visit www.hcbeerfest.com for more information, including discounted rates from hotels.

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