Somerset County gets grant for Seven Springs beer festival
The Somerset County Chamber of Commerce received a grant for more than $100,000 to help establish a Pennsylvania craft beer festival at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.
It is the second largest amount announced by Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday through a program to increase production and promotion of Pennsylvania-brewed beers.
“Increasing the quality, production, and sale of malt and brewed beverages produced in Pennsylvania is vital not only to our growing beer industry, but these improvements also enhance agricultural and tourism opportunities in the Commonwealth,” said in a press release. “These grants will explore how agriculture can better support brewers, give new tools and resources to beer makers, and ultimately help improve the craft beer experience for Pennsylvania consumers.”
The chamber received $105,000 for the Pennsylvania Craft Brew Festival, which is modeling after the success of the Pennsylvania Wine Fest held each year at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. The event is expected to attract 5,000 to 7,500 people and 30 producers to take advantage of tastings and brewer education workshops with an estimated $1.2 million economic impact for the Laurel Highlands region.
Chamber Executive Director Ron Aldom said that the event will be a new event held at Seven Springs. The chamber is working with the ski resort on the project.
“It’s a nice event to promote Pennsylvania-based tourism to Somerset County,” he said. “It is a win-win.”
Aldom said that state Sen. Joseph Scarnati of Jefferson County helped them secure the funding. He said they are still working on a summer/fall 2019 date.
Aldom said having the event at Seven Springs likely helped the county receive the grant, which will be used primarily to market the event that will showcase locally crafted beers.
“This is an area that is growing that market,” he said. “It should be good for everybody.”
Alex Moser, Seven Springs director of marketing and communications, said that the resort is honored to be part of the chamber’s project.
“We are honored to be a part of the Somerset Chamber’s project and chosen to be the venue to help grow the craft beer industry in Pennsylvania,” he said. “We think it will ultimately impact the region in similar ways to the Wine Festival.”
The money comes from Act 39 of 2016 which created the Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverages Industry Promotion Board and authorized the PLCB to approve up to $1 million annually for development and marketing of the Pennsylvania beer industry.
Visit Philadelphia received the largest grant at $125,000 for a Craft Beer Trail of Greater Philadelphia.
The PLCB awarded the inaugural round of grants supporting Pennsylvania’s beer industry in February, with grants for 13 projects totaling nearly $705,000. In June, the PLCB awarded $1 million in grants to enhance the Pennsylvania wine industry and increase production of Pennsylvania-made wines, bringing PLCB wine-grant funding to nearly $3 million since the first wine grants were approved in 2017.
State Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar, of Somerset said, “It was done without my knowledge or consent.”