Final preparations are underway for Chattanooga’s premier beer and music event set to take place this weekend.
The 19th annual Southern Brewers Festival is Saturday, Aug. 24 at Chattanooga’s Riverfront from 2 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $30 at the gate. The festival is presented by Big River Grille & Brewing Works.
All proceeds will be donated to Chattanooga’s Kids on the Block and Chattanooga Community Kitchen.
Beer fans will have the opportunity to sample product from 35 microbreweries, with up to 75 different varieties of ales and lagers. Music (See Spotify playlist below) will be more funky, soulful and psychedelic than past years. Bands include Galactic, North Mississippi Allstars, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Yarn and Nashville’s up-and-coming St. Paul and the Broken Bones.
What: Southern Brewers Festival
Where: Riverfront Parkway
When: Saturday, Aug. 24, 2 p.m.-12 a.m.
How much: $30 at the gate, $150 for VIP
For more information: Click here
Lindsay Killian, a field marketing specialist for Craftworks Restaurants and Breweries, said ticket sales are already exceeding last year's. Event planners expect about 15,000 at the festival throughout the day.
"It’s definitely a festival catered to beer and music lovers," Killian said. "I think it’s really going to be a great atmosphere."
This is also the first year that two charities will benefit from proceeds.
"All of this is about giving to charity," Killian said. "We have grown so much that we’re able to make sizeable donations to two charities for the first time."
Over seven years, Chattanooga Kids on the Block has received almost $900,000 from the festival. Last year’s festival allowed for $173,000 alone.
Additionally, Craftworks spent $130,000 this year to renovate the Chattanooga Community Kitchen on 11th street. The kitchen feeds 350 to 400 people daily.
On Monday, Jonathan Clark of Chattanooga Brewing Company was more than ready for the festival.
A small crew was helping him keg the beer they plan to take on Thursday. The marketing—banners and posters—were completed.
"Everything is pretty much done," Clark said. "We’ll take five barrels of beer in two styles."
His company, along with The Terminal Brewhouse and Big River Grille & Brewing Works, will provide local flavor to Saturday’s festivities.
Chattanooga Brewing Company opened in 2010 and operates out of their Frazier Avenue location. Currently, the brewery offers four beers: Imperial Pilsner, Hill City IPA, Two Taverns Pale Ale and Winter Warmer.
This will be the third time the company has participated in the festival.
"Having the charities they are able to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to is pretty incredible," Clark said. "They make it a good time for the people at the event, with music and the amount of brewers and who knows how many beers."
Clark said the past decade has seen a huge resurgence in both the interest in beer and the varieties available in Chattanooga.
"I think we’re still in an upswing over the past few years, with places opening up like Universal Joint, where the focus is on integrating craft beer as a part of the experience," he said. "It’s kind of the way wine has been for years in fancy restaurants. When I lived here and went to high school in the '90s, it was nothing like it is today."
Of the 35 vendors represented, Lagunitas Brewing Company from Petaluma, Calif., is traveling the farthest to attend.
An eclectic mix of live music will be featured at the festival. Here are the schedule and a Spotify playlist.
2:30 p.m.: Yarn
4:30 p.m.: St. Paul and the Broken Bones
6:30 p.m.: North Mississippi Allstars
8:30 p.m.: Robert Randolph & the Family Band
10:30 p.m.: Galactic
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