The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 21, 2013

Imbibers’ spirits high as rain also wets whistles

First fest draws 600: $15G — and pint glasses — raised as city idea tastes success

— SUNBURY — Nearly 600 attendees of the first Lake Augusta Wine and Brew Festival went for the tents when the skies opened up Saturday afternoon. They certainly didn’t head home.

The crowd was good “and happy,” said Dana Walter, winemaker at Spyglass Ridge Winery in Sunbury. “It’s been no trouble at all” despite the weather, he said, pouring yet another sample of Spy Cat, the winery’s popular Catawba-Chambourcin blend.

“I’ve seen a lot of regulars here that come to our events, plus new people trying us out,” Walter said. “It’s been really good. I’m glad we’re here.”

Sunbury’s new amphitheater on the Susquehanna River proved to be the perfect setting for the festival, featuring six wineries and 11 breweries — two of them local home-brew clubs — and a hard-cider outfit from Benton. All were well-represented, and the fun was flowing.

“Everyone here is happy, and this is a good thing for Sunbury,” said Cory Fasold, manager at Brewers’ Outlet, Sunbury, which presented the event with Sunbury Revitalization Inc. “It’s raining, and the place is packed. What does that tell you? This has been good exposure.”

Brewers’ Outlet provided 62 cases of beer for seven state-based breweries and also sold nearly all 600 tickets, at $25 a piece, for the event. Tickets were gone in mere days.

“We had very good planning,” said Zach Stotter, of Sunbury Revitalization. Even with a sellout crowd, most people were able to find tickets via Facebook or word of mouth. The $15,000 in proceeds raised will benefit continued revitalization efforts in Sunbury, “but we were not as concerned with profit as much as having a good event this time,” Stotter said.

Mission accomplished. Everyone was laughing, smiling, dancing to the music of Sean Farley and Royal Benson and having a great time.

Lori Walters and daughter Jess, both of Northumberland, were relaxing with friends and brews at a table under the tents.

“It’s great they’re doing this,” said Jess, who had been to similar festivals elsewhere. “It’s an awesome turnout.”

Lori Walters also thought the crowd was well-behaved.

“Despite all the things that could’ve happened,” she said, “this went really well.”

The festival itself was a first of its kind for Sunbury. If anyone thought it would devolve into drunken mayhem, they were wrong.

Beer vendors were having a banner day, many of them said. Marzoni’s and Susquehanna Brewing ran out of beer before they ran out of customers. Other vendors were nearing the end of their supplies with more than an hour left to the four-hour event.

Two local home-brewers, Three Beards of Northumberland and Que Brew Crew of Isle of Que, Selinsgrove, were big hits. Three Beards’ bacon brew and chocolate cookie-dough stout were tapped early. Que Brew’s River Rat, an English-style ale akin to Bass, was on the last of seven kegs with about two hours left in the festival.

“We’ve had a lot of fun,” said Three Beards’ Levi Strouse, showing just how the contraption worked to infuse the beer with bacon.

n Email comments to

Text Only
  • Baby, 3 others hurt in Route 11 crash near Danville

    DANVILLE — Two women, an infant and the baby’s 2-year-old girl sister were taken to Geisinger Medical Center following a three-vehicle chain-reaction accident at 3:14 p.m. Friday on Route 11 near Steve Shannon Tire and Auto Center in Mahoning Township.

    July 26, 2014

  • eyebrows.jpg Coming Sunday: Browsing for brows

    As makeup sales soar, four tips to make your eyebrows raise others'. Coming Sunday

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • William Cameron to spend $12,000 to find new chief

    LEWISBURG — The William Cameron Engine Company will pay a State College consulting firm more than $12,000 to help the Lewisburg fire house find its first paid chief after its first national search to fill the job ended without a new leader.

    July 26, 2014

  • Ann Targonski DA clears officer in Sunbury shooting

    SUNBURY — Three shots from a Taser could not stop 390-pound Erick Trometter from attacking Sunbury’s then-acting Police Chief Brad Hare with a large filet knife, so the veteran officer drew his gun and shot the 22-year-old city man in the leg, according to a report issued Friday.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • stauffer25br.jpg Area cyclist pedals 4,233 miles in 21 days for race

    Growing up in a Mennonite family, Jesse Stauffer often traveled the roads in Snyder County on a bicycle.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amazon worker pilots drone around Space Needle

    Police say an out-of-town Amazon employee was the operator behind a drone that buzzed the Seattle Space Needle this week.

    July 25, 2014

  • Carjacked vehicle strikes crowd, killing 2 kids

    Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her car at gunpoint and drove it into a group of people on a corner in Philadelphia on Friday, killing two children and critically injuring three other people, police said.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man calls police chief "brain dead"

    A Liberty Township man was cited for placing a sign calling Mahoning Township’s police chief “brain dead and hell bound.”

    July 25, 2014

  • New warden returning to Lewisburg penitentiary

    David J. Ebbert has been tapped to replace Jeff Thomas as warden at United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers to escalate wage demands

    Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.