Grafton Food & Spirits Festival promises local flavor in bites, booze, and beats

Grafton Food & Spirits Festival promises local flavor in bites, booze, and beats

GRAFTON — For the seventh year, the Grafton Inn is fixing up a mouthwatering day dedicated to foodies throughout Vermont and New England.

Set to take place on Saturday, July 13, the festival will focus on a culinary experience that's uniquely Vermont, from the food to the craft beer, spirits, live music, and quintessential Grafton Village setting it all takes place in.

For those who attend the separate post-festival dinner, a flavorful evening unfolds with a special menu created by Mariano Gonzalez, Head Cheesemaker at Grafton Village Cheese Company, and the Grafton Inn's Chef Cal Hingston.

“This year we really want to celebrate our vendors, their superb products, and the experience of enjoying a summer Saturday in beautiful Grafton,” Innkeeper Angela Comstock said in a news release. “We know our new addition of a beer garden will be a huge hit, and we're especially excited to welcome Mariano Gonzalez this year. The dinner he's created with Chef Cal is not one you'll want to miss.”

Festivities kick off at noon with more than 25 vendors scheduled to attend so far, including festival sponsors Grafton Village Cheese Company, Sidehill Farm, and Drew's Organics.

New this year, attendees will receive a coupon book included with their admission, featuring discounts on goods from participating vendors. From kitchen staples to treats for the sweet tooth, festival-goers can look forward to an array of jams, syrup, honey, salsas, hot sauces, cheese, local meats, artisanal chocolates, and caramels.

Complementing the food are some of Vermont's tastiest beers, whiskeys, wines, and vodkas, represented through vendors such as Silo Distillery, Smugglers' Notch Distillery, 14th Star Brewing, WhistlePig Whiskey, and Vermont Vines.

Another new draw this year is the addition of a beer garden, where four Vermont craft beers will be served alongside cans of cider in the center of all the action. For a bite to pair with a pour, attendees can dig into their pick of local lunch fare.

Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery from Brattleboro will be represented via their food and beer truck, The Rollin' Stone. Dover Forge Restaurant from Wilmington will be bringing pulled pork and ribs, and Nomad Chefs will be whipping up tacos with all the fixings.

Festival entertainment will include lawn games and two live music acts. Ida Mae Specker and Will Seeders Mosheim take the stage from noon to 2 p.m., followed by Easy Street Duo from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

As food festival tradition goes, there will be sought-after raffle prizes given away during the event, including an overnight stay at the Grafton Inn, Grafton Village Cheese Company baskets, Ice Bar event tickets, dinner for two in the 1801 Tavern, and BBQ Night vouchers for the Phelps Barn Pub.

The festival wraps up at 5 p.m., followed by a four-course, reservation-only dinner set to take place outside on handcrafted farmhouse tables (weather permitting) at 6:30 p.m.

This year's menu focuses on local Grafton Village cheese and is brought to you by award-winning cheesemaker Mariano Gonzalez and the Grafton Inn's Executive Chef Cal Hingston. Each course will be paired with a different wine.

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