Reporter: Parker Slaybaugh
Lynchburg, VA - Dozens of breweries came together Saturday for the first annual Virginia Craft Brewers Festival in Nelson County. The purpose of Saturday's event was to promote the Virginia Craft Brewing Industry.
Organizers say the event is really about showing what Virginia has to offer when it comes to Craft Beer.
The State Tourism Corporation hopes that having more craft beer breweries in Virginia will bring more craft beer enthusiasts to the Commonwealth.
Saturday, beer wasn't the only thing on tap. Mother Nature decided to brew up a concoction of her own.
"Yeah we wish we could have had a little better weather today, but things are still going to happen," said Justin Billcheck, who is the promoter of the Virginia Craft Brewers Festival.
Despite the Rain the festival still took place at Devils Backbone Brewing Company.
Mike Hill says he and his family are regulars at local festivals. He says he's glad this festival showcases only local businesses.
"We like good beer, we're big fans of live music in this area and we've been to a bunch of events out here, and it's always a great time, rain or shine," said Hill.
Craft beer has become extremely popular in the Commonwealth over the past decade.
The Governor's Office named August "Craft Beer Month" in Virginia, and The Travel Channel named Virginia in the top seven beer destinations in all of North America.
"Whether you're a resident or from out of state, you can drive though any area in Virginia and you're going to find fantastic and unique craft beer," said Wirt Confroy, who is with the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
Confroy says the craft beer industry is good for Virginia's economy.
"It's a great opportunity for us to really help bring more people to these communities and experience craft brew, and then have them stay the night and shop and really enjoy the area," said Confroy.
For Hill, and others who live in and around Nelson County, vacation has taken on a new meaning.
"We do like doing tourism in Virginia, but it usually meant going to the beach or towards the mountains but this is like being able to vacation at home," said Hill.
At Saturday's event the Virginia Tourism Corporation took time to help promote a new slogan for Virginia's Craft Beer. Everyone has heard of Virginia is for Lovers, but now the slogan for Virginia's Craft Beer says "Love On Tap".