Some very notable beer festivals are run by breweries – Stone Brewing, Firestone Walker, de Molen, and Mikkeller to name a few. There are, of course, many great festivals that are not run by breweries however, it’s the brewer’s festivals that we’re sending a mighty hat tip to this month.
As someone who has attended festivals from three of the four breweries listed above, I can personally attest to their uniqueness. Often these are invite-only festivals wherein the invitees may be very familiar to the event organizer, brewing in their region, or perhaps someone the brewery wishes to collaborate with. Invitations generally stretch over international waters giving the festival-goer a broad spectrum of beers to sample. Due to scheduling conflicts, assumably many breweries can’t make the events yet it must be flattering to receive a personal invite from a brewery you admire.
If you’re a brewer or brewery owner, you are aware of how busy your schedule is just to keep the production schedule flowing. Now toss in a festival to organize – say 40 breweries, 5,000 attendees and all of the logistic headaches that transpire. I’ll take some liberties here and speculate that when a brewery runs a festival, they incorporate the things they love most about festivals and try to avoid the things that make a festival less enjoyable. All of this takes oodles of time to coordinate with the participating breweries to pull off a successful festival – and that’s exactly what they do.
You can see the same passion that is put into their beer trickle into the festival planning. Unique beers, breweries that are rarely in their part of the world and attendance by many of the brewers. All of this equates to an amazing festival and some very happy beer-loving fans.
Is there a downfall to having your own festival (besides all the sweat and tears put into it)? You bet. Tickets may sell out quickly and disappoint some beer fans. C’est la vie, you can’t please everyone (just make sure I get a ticket, ok?).
To the breweries who make it possible to have these amazing festivals, we salute you. Cheers!
Post by: Lynn McIlwee