ROSCOE — It was a Spring Fling Festival, on a day that didn’t feel much like spring, following a winter that didn’t feel much like winter. But on Sunday, hundreds of people came out for a celebration hosted by the Roscoe NY Beer Company because, hey, every day feels like a good day for a beer. The brewery, which started up in Roscoe just three years ago, already hosts several seasonal festivals annually, but this was the first year for the Spring Fling, said Shannon Feeney, director of marketing and events for the beer-maker. Feeney estimated as many as 500 people had passed through by mid-day, a remarkable turnout given Sunday’s cold, damp weather, she said.
Twenty-five vendors were set up under tents, selling everything from farm market items and produce, to artwork and photography, to jewelry and handcrafted goods, to food and wine. Also on hand were Nicole Guite, Sullivan County region manager for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and puppy raiser Barbara Ward-Blank. The two brought along Otter, a 6-month-old female black Lab; and Fuchsia, an 11-month-old female German shepherd, to help persuade folks to sign up to become puppy raisers for the visually impaired. The band Milkweed performed original folk, bluegrass and Americana tunes with their tight harmonies, as well as covers that included the Shirelles’ “Mamma Said.” Band members Joseph Alston — sounding every bit like Buddy Miller — and Jackie Colombo, both of Binghamton, teamed up with Pete Lister of Newton, N.J., two years ago and have been on the road ever since, they said. But there were plenty of locals on hand Sunday, too, including Mary Magnetico of Grahamsville, who owns Chestnut Creek Baked Goods. Magnetico is a 2014 graduate of SUNY Sullivan’s culinary arts program, and will earn a second degree in hospitality and tourism from the school in three weeks. So she may have been showing off a little when she came to the festival armed with her Red Ale Cake, made with Roscoe NY Beer Company’s Trout Town Rainbow Red Ale, and Pepper Jack and Brown Ale Bread, featuring the brewery’s Trout Town Brown Ale. Over at vendor JADA Hill Farm’s booth, Maggie Tuttle, 33, of Monticello, purchased some all-natural bug repellent and patchouli-scented goat’s milk glycerin soap.
While Tuttle sipped on a cup of stout, her boyfriend, Ed Schutte of Liberty, was trying the porter. “I like whiskey, though,” Schutte said. Jeweler Joan Nicole Schlafer of Loch Sheldrake, who also makes her living as a theatrical model builder, was doing well selling her wares, along with artwork by her husband, Nicholas Clemente. “It’s been not that many people stopping by, but people are buying,” Schlafer said. “For the weather, it’s been a great turnout.”
Inside the brewery’s tasting room, folks were shoulder-to-shoulder at the bar. Master Brewer John Hughes of Roscoe said there were nine varieties on tap, as well as a non-alcoholic root beer. Among the top sellers were the brewery’s flagship Trout Town American Amber Ale, Eagle India Pale Ale, and the aforementioned Rainbow Red and Brown ales.
Elaine Fettig, who owns the brewery along with members of the Vallone family, attributed their success to “a wonderful town, and a wonderful town spirit.” “The beer is great, but so is the spirit,” she said.