Beerfields Craft Beer and Music Festival comes to Farmingville
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What do you get when you mix more than 100 brewers with eight rock bands?
The answer: Beerfields.
Now in its third year, Saturday's craft beer and music festival at the Pennysaver Amphitheater at Bald Hill in Farmingville is gearing up for its biggest draw yet, featuring Matisyahu, Ballyhoo! and Oogee Wawa.
"It's about enjoying the afternoon, listening to great music while tasting different craft beers," says co-chairman Scottie Campbell. "There's nothing that's in your face. It's a relaxed atmosphere. You can sit back and just chill."
HOW IT FLOWS
Guests, who must be 21 or older, get a 4-ounce tasting glass for samples from various craft breweries spread throughout the amphitheater from 4 to 7 p.m. while live music plays on two stages. Beer-complementing food -- think pulled pork sliders, turkey legs and soft pretzels -- will be for sale.
"If you tried to taste all these brands at a restaurant or bar, it would cost a lot of money," says co-chairman James Bonanno. "This is a great way to try a lot of different beers all at once."
After the beer tasting stops at 7 p.m., the national acts take the main stage and the festival transforms into a full-blown concert experience.
Here are some of the bands and breweries you will encounter as you make your way through the festival:
This year's headliner, Matisyahu, is a spiritual reggae-infused rapper who focuses on spreading hope through his music.
"The most important thing for me is feeling that sense of empowerment and strength that music can give you," he says. "I want my music to touch people."
Performing hits like "One Day" and "King Without a Crown," plus tracks from his new album, "Akeda," Matisyahu describes his live show as both "intense and joyful."
"There are moments where I get deep into the words and let the music saturate me to the point where I forget about the crowd," he says. "Then, other times, I'm staring directly into people's eyes to see who's connecting with the music. I hope they have a transcendental experience."
Reggae-rock party bands Ballyhoo! and Long Island's own Oogee Wawa will warm up the audience at dusk with their high-energy and upbeat demeanor.
"We live the party extreme lifestyle," says Jesse Roenbeck, lead singer of Oogee Wawa. "Our show is an awesome party with no fights or problems. It's all love."
Ballyhoo! singer-guitarist Howi Spangler seconds that thought, "It's our job to help people escape for a couple of hours."
A newcomer to Beerfields this year is Crooked Ladder Brewing Co. This indie brewer from Riverhead will be serving its beer straight from a repurposed fire truck sporting four taps on the side.
"It's all fresh and local," says co-founder and head brewer Duffy Griffiths. "Our theme is to make our beers drinker friendly. We don't try to overpower people with flavors."
Crooked Ladder will serve its Gypsy Red amber ale, 70 West IPA (India pale ale) and seasonal citrus-flavored brew Summeritis.
Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. is about to celebrate its fifth anniversary by opening a new 13,000-square-foot facility in Peconic next month. At the new digs, the company can brew in 12 hours what would normally take six days at the old location in Greenport.
For its first time at Beerfields, Greenport will pour its Harbor Ale and Summer Ale.
"It's a great opportunity to engage with someone who is unfamiliar with craft beer," says co-owner Richard Vandenburgh. "When they taste it, you can see the expression come over their face. It's like a revelation."
Port Jeff Brewing Co. is a Beerfields veteran that will be pouring its White's Beach Wit summer seasonal; Party Boat, "an aggressive IPA"; and Port Jeff Porter, featuring honey-chocolate roasted tones.
"People who are interested in craft beers want choices," says owner Mike Philbrick. "They are always looking for something new."
New this year: a VIP Deck where, for $125 a person, you can drink Krombacher beer all day, taste Jagermeister samples, enjoy catered food from Bobbique in Patchogue, use a private bathroom and have access to a full liquor bar as well as an indoor, air-conditioned area overlooking the stage. Tickets are limited to 250 people.
WHEN | WHERE 4-10:30 p.m. Saturday, Pennysaver Amphitheater at Bald Hill, 55 South Bicycle Path in Farmingville. Ages 21 and older.
INFO 800-745-3000, beerfieldsny.com
ADMISSION $75 ($55 advance)