Beer, wine to be bought at Arts Fest close to Penn State in State College

Beer, wine and cider are coming to the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, higher recognized merely as “Arts Fest.”

Arts Fest and the Central PA Tasting Trail are working in tandem to arrange a short-term gated space in downtown State College that intends to promote alcohol, each for consumption solely inside that space and to take house within the type of bottles, cans and growlers. No public consuming is permitted exterior of the gated space, which shall be situated inside the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza on South Fraser Street.

State College Borough Council unanimously accepted the concept Monday night time, permitting for a particular allow that quickly permits open containers in sure locations. According to Arts Fest govt director Rick Bryant, alcohol shall be bought at MLK Plaza from midday to six:30 p.m. July 14-16.

“This will be a nice addition to the festival,” Bryant stated. “Part of the reason for the festival is economic development and, the Tasting Trail, they’re all local businesses. We’re proud of our Centre County products here, and we’re delighted to show them off.”

Arts Fest runs from July 13-17, and this summer time marks the return of the longtime pageant after a two-year absence because of the COVID pandemic. Alcohol has not been beforehand served there, though the Central PA Tasting Trail usually bought “passports” on the fest that rewarded purchasers for visiting Centre County’s craft beverage producers.

Celesta Powell, managing director of the Tasting Trail, stated the nonprofit’s 14 members all intend to take part, and so they’ll seemingly stagger appearances — with a number of totally different companies every day — because of the restricted area. A schedule of appearances shall be introduced within the coming weeks on the social media of each Arts Fest and the Tasting Trail.

Powell termed the setup a “mini craft beverage garden.”

“For our members, because we’re located all over Centre County, the visibility of being down in the Central PA Arts Fest is just really nice for us to let people know what products there are here in the county,” Powell added. “The visibility at the Arts Fest is really important for us.”

Based on the borough ordinance, spirits nonetheless can’t be served on the premises, not like beer, cider and wine. It was not instantly recognized if bottles of spirits might nonetheless be bought there to take house, nevertheless, because the borough was unable to reply previous to publication.

Bryant and Powell stated a number of planning stays for the occasion, as they needed to first see if borough council would approve their request earlier than getting too far forward of themselves. Now that council has, the 2 corroborators intend to nail down extra specifics within the coming weeks.

For now, prospects must present ID earlier than receiving a wristband and coming into the gated space of MLK Plaza. The native companies will even take nice care in not overserving folks, Powell stated, since their licenses are on the road.

It’s not but recognized what the capability is or precisely what the setup would possibly appear to be, though Bryant anticipated extra tables and chairs to be added.

Powell intimated this was a very long time coming, because the Central PA Tasting Trail has needed to do that for years. It didn’t beforehand broach the topic, partially, as a result of it wasn’t positive how such a transfer could be obtained. But borough council handed an ordinance permitting for such exceptions in 2017, alcohol began showing at native farmers markets, and the pandemic helped loosen some alcohol-related legal guidelines — comparable to cocktails-to-go — that made organizers suppose now was the fitting time to pursue the change.

“There’s a really big difference between a ‘quality’ pour and a ‘quantity’ pour,” Powell added. “We are ‘quality.’ So we are intent on making it a place that you’re going to be able to sit down, maybe have some sort of entertainment or something there to keep you hanging out — and that you’re enjoying what we have to offer, not racing through things thinking it’s a contest. So that’s really our focus.

“And I think we’ll be very mindful of what the borough expects from us because we want to do it again.”

The Central PA Tasting Trail consists of the next members: Axemann Brewery, Barrel 21 Distillery, Big Spring Spirits, Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks, Good Intent Cidery, Happy Valley Vineyard & Winery, J.L. Farm & Cidery 814 Cider Works, Keewaydin Cider Mill, Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery, Otto’s Pub And Brewery, Pisano Winery, Robin Hood Brewing Co., Seven Mountains Wine Cellars and University Wine Company.

Arts Fest, which has run (practically) yearly since 1967, options a number of hundred artists and distributors promoting their wares all through downtown State College and on Penn State’s University Park campus. The occasion routinely attracts about 125,000 guests yearly.

For extra info and future updates, go to and

Josh Moyer earned his B.A. in journalism from Penn State and his M.S. from Columbia. He’s been concerned in sports activities and information writing for practically 20 years. He counts the perfect athlete he’s ever seen as Tecmo Super Bowl’s Bo Jackson.

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