View Full Version : favorite things at beer festivals

03-31-2008, 07:30 AM
Hi guys,

The organizer of our local brewers fest has asked me for some input this year about how to make the event more worthwhile for the brewers who participate. The Music City Brewers Fest is in July every year, attracts about 5500 people to downtown Nashville, and usually has about 30 beer booths. Brewers are asked to donate 8-10 half-barrels of beer, and are given two nights stay in the Hilton next door to the festival in return. It's already a great event, but the organizer is looking for ways to make it even better.

What are some of your favorite festivals to go to, and what do the organizers do to make them worthwhile?

03-31-2008, 07:41 AM
Having a few females of the species walking around with clipboards and taking names in modified beer gear always worked for us. A healthy set of mammalian
protuberances certainly doesn't hurt.

Step right up

03-31-2008, 07:50 AM
8-10 kegs of beer?? Wow that is alot. Lets not forget, when we are at a fest, we are working. Two nights accomodations is nice, but I would expect at least that. A two day beer fest is hardly a weekend get away. An after fest appreciation party, with food and drinks comped, is always nice. See if you can find someone to host, and "donate" the food and drinks like we do for the event. Is there food offered at the fest? If so hand out comp meal tickets. A hard working, beer savy volunteer team to give breaks to brewers works too. When it comes to a fest for me, I like a place to stay, some rest during the shift, and a full stomach.

03-31-2008, 09:05 AM
What I always have loved is when you show up to an event and they actually have thought out the logistics of unloading your truck and getting you into a parking spot without a 5 mile hike back to the festival. Having a team of volunteers to help load and load would be a great thing.

03-31-2008, 09:37 AM
If you've ever been to the Charlotte Oktoberfest- that's how to run a festival!
Some of the most important points (to me at least):

-Very well planned out- they have a refrigerated truck to put your beer on until the fest starts, special unloading and parking for brewers, only X amount of tickets sold, good venue
-Hotel close by with special events for the breweries
-Before and after events for breweries
-Break section for brewery workers (food, water,etc..)- they'll give you a fest volunteer for say 30 min so you can take a break
-I (and other breweries) just felt really appreciated!
- I can't remember if they paid for the beer or not
Really just a great time, great people. Even with all this they managed to donate $30,000 to a local charity!

03-31-2008, 10:00 AM
One of the things I am going to suggest is a "special" session, prior to being open to the general public. It would cost more, but only a limited number of tickets would be sold, and you would get a real glass instead of a plastic mug. Just like the session on Saturdays at the GABF before the awards are announced.

03-31-2008, 10:01 AM
Two of the fest we are doing this year are paying for kegs for the first time ($50 per 1/2). I did a quick Google search and with 5500 attendees at $35 per ticket, and with only 15% of the proceeds going to charity, this should be a minimal hit in the overall fest budget and would really help defray the breweries costs for attending.