HARRISONBURG — Brothers Craft Brewing is hosting its third annual Great Outdoors Music Festival this Saturday to commemorate the fun of summer and ring in the fall.
“The philosophy behind the great outdoors day is to be in the outdoors all day long enjoying local music, local organizations and local craft beer,” said Josh Harold, taproom manager at BCB.
With images of mountains, trails and sunny rays lining the taproom — it is no surprise BCB has a festival dedicated to enjoying time outside. Beyond the brewery’s affinity for nature, Great Outdoors is also the name of BCB’s flagship pale ale. At least 14 beers will be available — 10 on tap indoors and four outside from a jockey box. Visitors should expect to see experimental variants in Great Outdoors as well as exclusive flavors.
“We’ll probably switch some out from some more of our exclusive and bigger beers. What we like to do with our large festivals is — that’s a good time to break into our reserves and our cooler, look in our cellar and say ‘what’s a beer people are clamoring for that we haven’t poured very much at all, maybe only a couple of times or not in a long while?’ ” Harold said.
Flavor Savor BBQ is a Harrisonburg-based food truck that regularly serves patrons at BCB. In addition to staples like pit-smoked pulled pork, southern style beef brisket and the monster mac, Flavor Savor will also be serving its famed swamp water chicken.
Chris von Czoernig, the owner of Flavor Savor, prepares the chicken in a homemade Carolina vinegar marinade and style of slow-cooking in the smoker to give the meat more flavor while preserving all the juices. He said Harrisonburg has been highly receptive to his experiments and he has established a strong relationship with BCB.
“I have a good base of people that generally come out to most of my setups there. It’s a good way to guinea pig some new things or something a little bit different that most likely might not work out outside of town,” von Czoernig said.
Chris Howdyshell will emcee and lead an open jam from 2-3 p.m., and guests are welcome to bring their own instruments and join in. Mike Frazier will blend folk and rock in original songs from 3:15-4:30 p.m. A New Shade of Blue will provide progressive bluegrass from 5-6:30 p.m. Ben Kunkle Band’s alternative Appalachian rock will come on at 7 p.m. to finish the evening.
Frazier lived in Harrisonburg for nearly two years and during his stay frequented BCB as an artist. He said he is glad to return, because spaces like BCB create a culture that supports original music from performers.
“As long as it’s Harrisonburg and at Brothers Craft, I’m sure it’s going to be awesome. Honestly, I’ve only had good experiences playing music in the town of Harrisonburg,” Frazier said. “There’s a great community of just people who really appreciate original live music, which I think those breweries like Brothers Craft kind of nurture.”
Each year, multiple organizations from around the area attend the festival to share the various outdoor activities available in the region. Scuba Buddys, Brian Mayes Karate, Rocktown Urban Wood and Nrocks are among many tents that will be set up at the event.
Nrocks is an outdoor recreation facility in West Virginia that provides adventure tours. Bryan Williams, Nrocks’ front desk supervisor, said the business has returned each year to table at the Great Outdoors Music Festival because of the fun and positive atmosphere BCB has cultivated for both guests and local businesses.
“We go because we like the owner, and they’ve always been really good to us. We went there the first year and didn’t know what to expect, and it was kind of fun.”
The alley and back parking lot will be closed for the day so artists can perform on the loading dock, which is converted into a stage. The expanded patio area allows guests to immerse themselves in the seasonal mood with games of giant Jenga, giant Yahtzee, cornhole and a campfire with a s’mores building station.
The festival is free to attend and the celebration will last from noon to 11 p.m.
“Anytime we can get people outside and having a beer and relaxing — that’s kind of my favorite part. That’s the thing about Great Outdoors day. My hope is for a nice day… real cool breeze but sunshine, beautiful weather, people enjoying themselves, being active,” Harold said.