WHEELING, W.Va. — Those who brew and admire craft beer will want to visit Wheeling’s Heritage Port Aug. 20 for the third-annual Mountaineer Brewfest.
The event will present 11 West Virginia breweries, all serving the various beverages they’ve created. Brewfest founder Jeff Hayes said the program’s original intent was to promote these small businesses and familiarize residents in the Northern Panhandle with their products, and it’s since become one of the more recognizable craft beer festivals in West Virginia.
The industry has experienced a boom in the last decade. The Brewers Association, a national trade group representing independent beer brewers, reported a 16-percent increase in retail dollar value in 2015, up to $22.3 billion.
The reasons for this vary, but Hayes said the subject of craft beer offers consumers a unique experience, similar to traveling. The interest is as much about having a beer as it is knowing who made it and where it came from.
“It’s kind of like collecting…