KILLINGTON — The Vermont Brewers Association Winter Festival will return to Killington Resort, according to organizers.

Amy Cronin, festival and marketing manager for the Vermont Brewers Association, said the event will be held March 23. Tickets are on sale at www.vtbrewfest.com for $44.

What’s a little out of the ordinary, Cronin said, is this festival will focus on collaborations between brewers.

“The majority of our brewers will pair up to create a new beer,” she said, adding that it’s fun for people in the industry to meet and work together on developing a new brew.

This is the second year the winter festival is being held at Killington, Cronin said. The festival was created to complement the summer festival that’s held in Burlington.

“We wanted to bring an event to the southern part of the state,” she said.

Last year’s event drew 3,000 people, she said. That’s about as large as the VBA wants the event to be, given the current venue. She said the $44 entry fee gets a person 15 “tasting tickets.” Beer can be sampled in 3-, 6- and 9-ounce sizes. One tasting ticket equals 3 ounces of beer, so someone could spread themselves out a bit, or if they find a beer they really like they can use most of their tickets on it.

The events raise money for the VBA, she said.

Besides beer, there will be vendors selling food and other goods, like coffee and cheese. DJ Dave will provide music, Cronin said.

Dale Patterson, owner of Rutland Beer Works, said his company will pair with another brewer for the festival; they’re just not sure yet with whom they’ll be working. Patterson said a brew can take a few days or a few months to make, so there’s some time to work with.

“Killington is fantastic,” he said. “And for us it’s local, so that’s doubly fantastic.”

He said Rutland Beer Works plans to open a tasting room on East Mountain Road next week, which will operate during the time of the festival. The room will have ten Beer Works beers on tap.

Andrea Gagner, chief executive officer of 14th Star, and events committee chairwoman for VBA, said many brewers participating in the winter festival don’t distribute outside Vermont, and that the Killington event is expected to draw folks from Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut, giving those brewers further exposure.

She said for now the VBA’s plan for the winter event is to slowly improve on it from year to year and see where things lead.

keith.whitcomb @rutlandherald.com

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