Craft beer connoisseurs rejoice – the Good Beer Festival returns this weekend, and what a glorious return it is! The Good Beer Festival is enjoying its fourth year, and will be held this Saturday and Sunday (October 12 and 13) at Pemberton Park in Salisbury. While the focus of the Good Beer Festival is good beer (duh), there are plenty of other reasons to head to Salisbury Saturday or Sunday to partake in the event, from live music to a tasty array of festival foods.

Where to start…with the beer of course! The Good Beer Festival is designed to showcase craft beers from around the country, bringing a wide variety of beers to Eastern Shore locals and regional visitors alike. In addition to beers from around the country, there is also an impressive collection of Eastern Shore’s local breweries, to be showcased in the Local Beer Garden. Included in your admission ticket are sample batches of Delmarva’s finest, including 16 Mile, Burley Oak, Dogfish Head, Evolution Craft Brewing, Fin City, Shorebilly, Tall Tales and Third Wave. In total (including our local brews) the festival will feature 125 different American Craft Brews…Abita, Saranac, Victory, Breckenridge, Backpocket and Leinenkugel to name a few. Due to the clear overabundance of beer on tap for this weekend at the event, Wicomico County Recreation, Park & Tourism strongly encourages festival goers to drink responsibly. We also encourage those of you planning to attend to drink responsibly. If you plan to drink, designate a sober driver for your own safety and the safety of everyone on the road.

While the beer is flowing, enjoy the local vibes as well. The Good Beer Festival features live, musical entertainment as well, from smaller acoustic duets to large bands. Saturday’s entertainment line-up is as follows:

Main Stage

1:15-2:30: Captain Blue’s Grass Band

3:15-4:30 Eastern Electric

5:15-6:45: Bush Hawg

Bar Stage

12:30-1:30: Lauren Ventura

2:30-3:30: Chad Abernathy

4:30-5:30: The Hot Meals

Live entertainment continues Sunday, with performance from 12:30 to 6:30pm:

Main Stage

1:15 – 2:30: Rew Smith

3:15-4:30: Children of Vivid Eden

5:15-6:30: Pressing Strings

Bar Stage

12:30-1:30: Kevin Poole

2:30-3:30: Mike Weyrauch

4:30-5:30: John Emil

Of course it wouldn’t be a festival without food. The Good Beer Festival offers delicious foods from across the Eastern Shore. The High Spot, Holy Smoke BBQ, Dolle’s Candyland, Holly Hill Bakery, and Common Grounds are just a few of the vendors you can expect to find. In addition to food vendors are a number of craft and commercial vendors from around the region, with everything from handcrafted jewelry and wine glasses to informational booths.

New this year to the festival is the Firkin Garden, available on Saturday only. A firkin is a small wooden barrel that breweries use to make unique batches of craft beer. Firkins are traditionally unpasteurized, unfiltered and naturally conditioned in the cask they are made. Brew-masters like the freedom a firkin provides, as the small batched brews provide them with the chance to experiment with flavors and ingredients. Participating breweries will gather in the Firkin Garden with their unique brews. Admission to the Firkin Garden is $5 per person.

Home brewers will also be showing off their craft, with the Good Beer Festival Home Brew Competition Sunday. Admission is $5 per entry and there is no limit to the number of entries submitted per person. Judging will take place using the Beer Judge Certification Program Guidelines. 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place winners will receive $300, $200 and $100 respectively.

Other fun activities on tap include the Hangover 5K (and 1.5 mile walk) on Sunday at 11:30, Local Beer Garden and Learn How to Brew event, cornhole games (10 sets to be exact), and the Taster’s Choice Awards. For the After Party, head to Brew River Restaurant and Bar Saturday after the Festival concludes at 6pm.