Article by: Lindsey Fleming, The Dominion Post
This year, Hops on the Mon — set for 3-7 p.m. Saturday on High Street, between Pleasant and Walnut streets — lands downtown. Since its inception, in 2017, organizers of the craft beer and food festival have envisioned hosting the gathering in the city’s center and Barbara Watkins of Main Street Morgantown is happy to have them.
“The more events we have, that ’s always a good thing,” she said. “It helps with economic development because it brings people to the downtown district and they can see all of the different businesses we have.”
Watkins added that while Hops on the Mon has a more “adult vibe, ” families are certainly encouraged to check it out. “There’s music and food,” she said. “It’s a different set of people than for Kids Day, but everybody is welcome.”
More than 50 breweries from 14 states and five foreign countries — including 14 West Virginia breweries — will offer festival-goers a chance to sample libations available from down the street, across the country, and around the world.
Eight area restaurants are on board for “The Perfect Pierogi and Dumpling Showdown” food challenge that boasts a $1,000 grand prize.
The eateries include Black Bear Burritos, Tin 202, Table 9, Hill & Hollow, Madeleine Marie’s Catering and Takeout, Bourbon Prime, Starport Pub, and The Rambling Root. Other vendors and artisans will also be featured.
Maryland band Optimus Riff, along with Morgantown’s own Hello June will perform.
“We will have more than 120 different beers,” said organizer Grace Hutchens, who owns Apothecary Ale House and Cafe. “People love seeing their favorite local breweries right next to their favorite Belgian beers or national breweries from out west.”
She also points out that the festival is a chance to “be meticulous in choosing what you want to drink.”
“It’s not a beer-drinking event, it’s a beer-sampling event,” she said. “Because they’re samples, there’s no harm in not drinking it if you don’t like it and you can discover what you do like and savor it.”
This year’s food contest features pierogies, as Hutchens said, “they make a good accompaniment to beer.”
Those interested in voting may purchase each restaurant’s offering for $5. Grace encourages attendees to bring cash for food purchases, as well as arrange alternate transportation and to drink responsibility.
Tickets cost $35 and are limited to 1,000.
“We’ve scaled down from last year, because our footprint is a little smaller downtown,” Hutchens said. “We really wanted to make this a nice intimate event. ”