Celebrate with the Irish!

Full Kilt

Kegs, Corks and Kilts set for March 7

After sell-out crowds in the first two years, the third annual Kegs, Corks and Kilts event features more fun, more vendors and more space at the Altoona Grand Hotel on March 7.

“We listened to our guests and we will be utilizing both the ballroom and the Tropical Courtyard at the Altoona Grand for both sessions,” said Candance Holliday, event marketing manager for The Mirror.

“We will have half of our breweries, wineries and distilleries in the Ballroom with Full Kilt playing and the other half will be offering tastings in the Tropical Courtyard with entertainment by The Irish Pretenders! We did this for the comfort of our guests because this event sells out each year,” she added.

The Irish-themed craft beer and wine tasting event includes previous year’s participants ReKlaimed Vines of Huntingdon, City Beverage of Altoona and Ruga Rue Jerkey of Hollidaysburg.

Irish Pretenders

Ruga Rue Jerky will have it’s distinctive hand-crafted jerky products and debuting a new flavor called Sweet and Sassy, said co-owner Dori Stone. She and husband/co-owner Mark offer 17 beef jerky flavors crafted from a select cut of top round beef and four turkey jerky flavors.

“We have many different flavors that are very distinct,” she said. “When you are eating honey garlic, you know you are eating honey garlic. This is a handcrafted product so we cut fat out and hand spice the jerky. We don’t add nitrates or perservatives and we are gluten-free.”

Flavor suggestions largely come from Mark Stone but also from satisfied customers.

“It takes a couple of weeks and several runs to craft a perfect blend of beef jerky,” Dori Stone said. “The first run may not be what we want so we tweak the recipe until we get the product to where we think it tastes amazing.”

The Kegs, Corks and Kilts event translates into new customers, said Kristy Knouse, owner of ReKlaimed Vines, who attends the Taste of the Alleghenies event for the third consecutive year. ReKlaimed Vines makes its wine in McVeytown but has a tasting floor and shop at 233 S. Fourth St., Huntingdon. “We’ve had customers travel to Huntingdon because they liked what they tasted” at the Grand Hotel event.

“It’s close to our location which is nice. They put on a good event with the music and the amount of people they allow in and the number of vendors. It works out really nice,” Knouse said.

With more than 300 wineries in Pennsylvania, Knouse said they “pride ourselves on trying to do something different than what other people are doing … We pride ourselves on doing something different and try to make wine more approachable.”

The winery’s ‘Merica, is very popular and an example of how wine and fun mix. Winery staff yell “‘Merica” in a “very fun and loud way,” Knouse explained. “It’s one more way we try and make it fun.”

Another way to add fun to the weekend is make it a weekend at the Altoona Grand Hotel, Holliday said. “We have worked closely with the Altoona Grand Hotel on this event the past three years and they are offering a special room rate for all our guests to make this a perfect weekend getaway!”

The timing of the event hits a perfect note, according to Jake Denis, general manager/principal partner, for City Beverage of Altoona. “It’s a great event they are hosting and it’s the perfect time of year after being in the house all winter. It’s the perfect time to try great beers.”

Beer fans will also have the opportunity to sample products from eight different breweries including Logyard Brewery in Kane, Pennsylvania, New Trail Brewing of Williamsport, Specialty Sweetwater Brewing in Atlanta, Georgia.

Attendees will also be among the first to sample Leinenkugel Spritzen — with its three flavor choices — officially launches in April.

“It’s a malt and low calorie and a great low carb summer drink,” he said.

Also expected to be popular at the tasting event, Denis said, is the industry’s first cold, alcoholic coffee-flavored beer from Pabst.

“It was the first hard coffee to enter the market and it’s been selling extremely well since it entered the market in the fall,” Denis said. “It’s the first one out. It’s new and everone knows the Pabst name. It’s been around for years.”

Tickets for this event can be purchased by visiting www.centralpatickets.com. For more information about Kegs, Corks, & Kilts call 946-7542 or checkout the (Altoona Mirror) Facebook page.”

Mirror Staff Writer Patt Keith is at 949-7030.

If you go

What: Third annual Kegs, Corks and Kilts

When: 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. March 7

Where: Altoona Grand Hotel

Tickets: $30 at CentralPATickets.com or $40 at the door