Last year was only our first Shore Craft Beer Fest: Chincoteague, but the day was just so perfect that we had to do it again. (And hopefully again and again and again until the end of time.)

If you’ve ever been to a beer festival in mid-spring, you know that it’s the perfect time of year to be outside, surrounded by friends and family, drinking a cold craft brew. And if you’ve ever been to Chincoteague Island, for Shore Craft Beer Fest or otherwise, you know just what an ideal, picture-perfect setting the region provides.

Shore Craft Beer Fest: Chincoteague, co-sponsored by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, means good food, great beer and plenty of atmosphere. Summer might be a ways away from April 28, but if the weather allows — which it did last year — you can really soak up the sun and kick off the season right. Even if the weather doesn’t allow, this is one Shore Craft Beer Festival you don’t want to miss. Just ask the people in the pictures below.

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10 reasons not to miss Shore Craft Beer Fest: Chincoteague

1. The beer

Chincoteague Beer Fest
The most obvious but possibly most important reason to attend Shore Craft Beer Fest: Chincoteague is the beer. Local craft breweries like Backshore Brewing Co., pictured here, are on hand to provide you with unlimited tastings of the best beer the Eastern Shore has to offer. Shore Craft Beer Fest: Chincoteague’s featured brewery of 2018 is Black Narrows Brewing Co., a new brewery that calls Chincoteague its home and is the first-ever brewery to hit Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

2. The food

Chincoteague beer fest food
What’s a beer fest without great food? Food trucks from some of the finest restaurants the Shore has to offer will be serving up entrees and even desserts all day (see Chincoteague’s famous Island Creamery, pictured here, doling out ice cream at last year’s festival).

3. The family

Chincoteague beer festival family
Children are always welcome at this festival, and will be allowed in free since there’s no entrance fee. They’ll also be kept entertained with kid-friendly activities throughout the day.

4. The whole family

Chincoteague beer fest pets
Furry family members are allowed in, too!

5. The setting

If you’ve never been to Chincoteague Island, then this festival provides you with the perfect excuse. If you have been to Chincoteague before, you know the island’s got plenty of things to keep you busy even after the festival ends.

6. The art

Chincoteague plein air
Part of what makes Shore Craft Beer Fest: Chincoteague so unique is the presence of local artists painting plein air masterpieces right before your eyes. The artists paint scenes from the festival and then convene at the wet paint sale afterward, where a portion of the proceeds benefit the Chincoteague Cultural Alliance.

7. The lodging

No place to stay? No problem. The Fairfield Inn & Suites on Chincoteague’s Main Street is offering a festival package that includes a two-night stay at the hotel, 2 VIP festival tickets and an event t-shirt. If this is something you’re interested in, call the hotel at 757-336-0043 for details and reservations. If you’d rather be outdoors, the Chincoteague Island KOA is offering packages, too: stay one night in a Deluxe Cabin or an RV site and receive two GA tickets, a six-pack of craft beer and pint glasses. Call 800-562-7730 for details and reservations.

8. The horses

the horses Chincoteague
If you are bringing your whole family along, the kids will especially enjoy seeing the wild ponies as you drive through the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. It’s just one of the quirks of the island, and you’ll be sure to discover many more during your trip.

9. The after-party

Chincoteague beer festival Ropewalk
You’d think that the beer festival was the party in itself, but nope: there’s an after-party, too. Head to The Ropewalk when the festival ends at 4:30 p.m. and those with festival wristbands will enjoy happy hour prices until 7.

10. The beer

Chincoteague beer festival
It bears repeating that there’s going to be some really, really great craft beer at this festival. There’s all of the above that work to make the event so great, sure, but what you’re really coming for is the local craft beer, which is some of the best in the world. Black Narrows, Cape Charles, Evo, Backshore and Hoop Tea, 3rd Wave, Tall Tales, Fin City, Dogfish and more. They’ll all be there, and hopefully you will, too.
Kristin Helf
Author: Kristin Helf

Kristin is a writer and picture-taker in Ocean City, Maryland. She likes puppies, pumpkin ales and watching movies for the Ocean City Film Festival in her spare time.

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