All kinds of beer lovers will unite June 22 for ale appreciation, lager love and wheat beer wonderment.

The York County Heritage Trust's 16th annual Microbrew Fest will hit York City with more than 40 breweries -- most of them local -- and taste tests are encouraged, said Melanie Hady, spokeswoman for the historical organization.

The festival started out as a very small gathering, but now the crowd that attends is usually about 1,000 to 1,200 strong, she said. Hady said the group is a mix of beer-making beginners and craft-brew connoisseurs.

"There are also lots and lots of people who just enjoy beer," she said. "They might not know the intricacies of brewing, but they know what they like and what they don't like."

The festival is split into two sessions: a premium session from 4 to 6 p.m. and a general session from 6 to 10 p.m. For a higher price, the premium session offers a less-crowded experience, exclusive beer-tastings and more intimate interactions with the brewery representatives, Hady said.

The regular session draws a bigger crowd and has the same format: one price to walk around the Agricultural & Industrial Museum and

spend time tasting and exploring different craft brews.

The venue is partly outside and has an open plaza where people can "relax and hang out and enjoy some hopefully nice weather," she said.

The winners of the Heritage Trust's fifth annual homebrew competition will also be announced at the festival.

If you go: Tickets are available online at www.yorkheritage.org and at the Historical Society Museum, 250 E. Market St. Premium session tickets are $60; general session tickets are $40; and designated driver tickets are $15.

In addition to tasting craft beers, ticketholders will receive a catered dinner from Roburrito's.

There will also be live entertainment throughout the evening by the house band, The Bottom Feeders, a local band that plays music that appeals to all ages, Hady said. The JC Fisher Band is also playing.

--Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.