Hops and Harvest Festival

30 Sep 2017
Columbia Lakefront

Craft beers flow cold in the wooded setting of Lake Kittamanaqundi, an idyllic setting for sampling beer, cider and wine.

  • When? September 30th 2017
  • Where? Columbia Lakefront
  • Price: $40 - on sale from 1st June

Thirsty? Ready for a locally brewed beer? A hops, kip and a jump away from Columbia's Symphony Woods Park you'll find finely brewed hops and locally harvested eats.

Columbia's got your taste buds covered when over 25 breweries and cider mills set up shop and pour unlimited samplings. Usual suspects like Flying Dog Brewery, Heavy Seas Beer, Union Craft Brewing, Pub Dog and Evolution Craft Brewing are all keen to get you to try glasses of the good stuff.

"What's your poison?" Heavy Seas Beer founder Hugh Sisson might ask you but we're assured that the skull and crossbones mascot doesn't mean the beer's unsafe for consumption. Maryland's craft beer scene is indebted to this buccaneer turned pioneer brewery. Back in 1984 founder Hugh Sisson and his father Albert decided to start their own brew pub, then illegal in Maryland. Undaunted, they introduced a bill to Maryland legislature in 1987 which was (handily) passed first time and hey presto - the beer revolution began. Today Heavy Seas is a multiple award winning brewery on the East Coast, producing nearly 20 different beers. Look out for them at Hops and Harvest.

Picnic blankets and lawn chairs are a good idea but waterproofs are essential as the beer will flow come rain or shine. If you’re not convinced by the craft beer, try something tasty from the popular food trucks like Greek on the Street and Carnivore BBQ. There’s enough delectable food fare going on here to get you hopping with excitement. Or you could save your dollars and bring a picnic.

Founded by the Brewers Association of Maryland (BAM) in 1996, Hop and Harvest brings enough breweries to Maryland that it is able to pull beers from over a centenary of casks and barrels. Although things are hopping we can't exactly say that things are hip-ping. You can only attend one of the two drinking sessions so keep this in mind when you purchase a 40 dollar ticket. The midday session runs from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. and the twilight one from 5 p.m. til 9 p.m. Nobody knows what happens between the hours of four and five when the beer taps close.

What it lacks in hip it makes up for in hipsters. Artisans set up along the banks of Lake Kittamaqundi; check out the doodle and painting booths, wire sculptures and browse handmade cigar box instruments. A DJ livens things up a bit in Baltimore suburbia but Hops and Harvest is by and large for the seasoned beer drinker, eager to work their taste buds and learn more about the burgeoning American craft beer scene.

Designated drivers pay a 20 dollar admission price and there are options for return bus tickets from nearby Baltimore, Frederick and Silver Spring if you are coming from further afield.

Be sure to reap what Columbia has been busy sowing all summer if you’re in town this autumn. After all those beers, we reckon you'll be merrily hopping home too.

  • Get there: The official website recommends driving, but advises early arrival to ensure parking.
  • Stay: Book accommodation in the town centre or try Oakland Mills if that's too pricey.

*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!