“Ale-lujah to the Festival of Ale!”

By Rachel Shuster

Pumpkin ale, seasonal ale, ale, ale, more ale….are you drooling yet? Well drool no more. The Festival of Ale at Higgins Armory in Worcester can satisfy your every craving. On September 15th from 6pm-9pm, take pleasure in indulging in dozens of ales from between fifteen and twenty craft brewers across New England.

This annual event has been a big part of Higgins Armory for the past seven years or so, bringing excitement to the Worcester community and beyond. Being her third year as the festival’s organizer and the Director of Education and Public Programs, Tara Young is excited for another successful year. Young says, “It’s a really fun event. What’s great is that the brewers don’t just come and drop off their beer. They stay and talk to everyone about their beer and brewery, which is really nice.” Although different brewers attend each year, some of this year’s featured brewers include Harpoon Brewery, Boston, Homebrew Emporium, W. Boylston, Long Trail Brewery, Vermont, Magic Hat, Vermont, Owen O’Leary’s, Southboro, MA, Redhook, Portsmouth, NH, and Wachusett Brewing Company, Westminster, MA.

The extravagant Great Hall on the museum’s third floor provides a wide-open and welcoming ambiance for the festival. With so many brewers attending, guests can make their way past the Great Hall to other rooms and floors to find more ale to sample.

So how does it work? “I definitely recommend buying tickets in advance. It isn’t uncommon for the festival to be sold out,” Young states. The new ticket pricing arrangement this year is $25 for Higgins Armory members, $35 for non-members, $45 for at the door, special group rates, and a designated driver rate of $5 and free soda. Each person attending receives a heavy, acrylic 2 oz cup served for sampling, as well as an awesome souvenir! All samples of ale are included in the ticket price. As for food, wash down every savory sip of ale you can get your hands on with a hot dog or other snacks. Soda will be available for those who want to take a non-alcoholic break. These are offered for an additional price. Oh and, sorry kiddies, no one under 21 allowed.

Questions? Call 508-853-6015 or email higgins@higgins.org.

So check out the Festival of Ale and find yourself whisked away to a time when armor was in style and ale was…well, that’s always in style.