Brew Skies Festival quenches thirst for bluegrass music

Gwen Woolf

Mix live music, craft beer, and beautiful scenery and what do you get? The Brew Skies Festival, Aug. 21–22 in West Virginia’s Canaan Valley.

Heading into its fourth year, the festival takes place at Timberline Four Seasons Resort near the town of Davis, less than three hours from Washington, D.C., using U.S. Route 48.

Both national and regional bands will present 25 performances over the two-day period. Headliners include guitarists Paul Barrère and Fred Tackett of the band Little Feat, the Larry Keel Experience, Woody Pines, and If Birds Could Fly. West Virginia favorites include Qiet, The Soul Miners, and LocalMotive.

Bluegrass will be paramount, but there will be a wide range of musical genres, including blues and rock, according to Stephen Dilettoso, of Mountain State Brewing Compay, which sponsors the event.

Performances take place outdoors on the main stage behind the lodge at the bottom of the ski slope and on a secondary stage called the Beer Garden.

Bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the music, which will be continual.

The festival will be a good chance to sample West Virginia’s craft beers — which are products of a growing industry — because it falls during the first-ever West Virginia Craft Beer Week.

Dilettoso said the state now has 11 breweries, with five more on the drawing board. At least nine of the breweries will be represented at the event. The 10-year-old Mountain State Brewing Company in Thomas is one of the biggest and oldest microbreweries in the state, according to Dilettoso.

A kids’ section will be available during the family-friendly event, which will also include artisans and food vendors. Lodging options are available at canaanvalley.org. The Canaan Valley Resort will have shuttle service to the festival.

Advance tickets are $55 for a weekend pass or $35 for a day pass. At the gate, prices rise to $60 for a weekend pass or $40 for a day pass.

Dilettoso said city dwellers will enjoy visiting the Canaan Valley, where the high elevation in the Allegheny Mountains often means cooler temperatures. Timberline Resort is known for its ski slopes, but has activities year-round. The region is full of opportunities for hiking, biking, golfing, horseback riding, fishing, boating, and whitewater rafting.

All that jazz

It soon will be time for smooth jazz enthusiasts to flock to Southern Delaware for the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, Oct. 15–18.

The lineup includes a special performance, “Honoring the Masters of Fusion,” featuring Gerald Veasley; Alex Bugnon; Chieli Minucci with Chris Farr and Tommy Campbell; 2015 Artist of the Year Marc Antoine; Al Sherrod Jr.; Boney James; and soul singer Betty LaVette.

The festival takes place at various locations in the Rehoboth Beach area.

The festivals:

What: Brew Skies Festival

When: Aug. 21–22

Where: Timberline Four Seasons Resort, Canaan Valley, W.Va.

Tickets/Info: brewskiesfestival.com

What: Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival

When: Oct. 15–18

Where: Rehoboth Beach, Del.

Tickets/Info: 800-595-4849; rehobothjazz.com

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