BeerFest2U is the Beer Festival We Need

Brewmasters will guide participants through the online event, which also includes music and other entertainment.

PHOTO BY JOHN ALTDORFER

A virtual, at-home beer festival sounds like the sort of thing that could only happen in 2020.

But consider the advantages: No waiting in line for tiny sips of beer, no crowds of increasingly intoxicated folks jockeying for space in the food line and (most importantly) no driving home.

BEER FEST2U is a new, online beer festival presented by the Brentwood-based Beverages2U. The company, which offers at-home delivery of beer and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, will deliver a box of 24 beers in advance of the online event, scheduled for Oct. 24.

“I do think the great ideas come out of turbulent times,” says Michelle Dangelo Arnoni, the event’s founder. “Part of it was the need that we had to bring some joy to people.”

During the two-hour main event, brewmasters and other representatives from the participating breweries will guide participants through a tasting. Special guest appearances from the likes of Steve Blass, Pittsburgh Dad and hip-hop legend Flavor Flav are also on tap.

“I also felt that we wanted to help the bar and restaurant industry,” Arnoni says. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to support out-of-work industry employees in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. “For us, those are our people.”

Beers included in the festival box include offerings from breweries including Breckenridge, Goose Island, Sierra Nevada, Great Lakes and locals including Penn Brewery and Hitchhiker. Slippery Rock-based North Country Brewing has crafted two exclusive beers for the festival, available only in the BEER FEST2U box. Arnoni says some of the other selections are very limited-availability beers.

“The breweries have been amazing to work with.”

Music from Pennsylvania musicians will open and follow the proceedings. Philadelphia-born R&B mainstay G. Love, frontman of festival favorites G. Love and Special Sauce, will provide a one-hour virtual afterparty. Pittsburgh-born singer Alana Solomon will perform before the festival proper begins.

In order to ensure delivery of the beers before Oct. 24, tickets for the event must be purchased by Oct. 15. Tickets, which include all 24 beers, are $99.

Arnoni says that, for beer lovers, the best part of a virtual event is the chance to pose questions to expert brewmasters from coast-to-coast.

“The craft beer lovers, it’s almost like a little beer cult. The fact that they can interact with their favorites is pretty great.”

Various add-ons, including additional beers and merchandise, are available. Tickets can be purchased at Beverages 2U’s website; Pittsburghers can opt to pick up their box in-person at the company’s West Mifflin location for a $20 discount.

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