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Magic City Brewfest returns to Birmingham for its 8th installment

The 8th Annual Magic City Brewfest returns to Birmingham's Sloss Furnaces on June 6 and 7.
The 8th Annual Magic City Brewfest returns to Birmingham's Sloss Furnaces on June 6 and 7.
Free the Hops

The Birmingham Chapter of Free the Hops will bring its 8th Annual Magic City Brewfest back to Sloss Furnaces on Friday, June 6 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, June 7 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Magic City Brewfest is an annual fundraiser for Free the Hops and it is the organization's original craft beer festival experience. This year's festival will feature over 200 craft beer offerings from over 70 local, regional, national and international breweries, and that includes at least 17 breweries that have never attended a previous Magic City Brewfest. Included among all of those tasty draft and bottled offerings will be plenty of beers that have been brewed exclusively for the event as well as some rare and exclusive brews that can be found being poured from The J. Clyde Fire Truck. If that does not present you with enough options, The J. Clyde sponsored Alabama Cask Ale Garden will be returning again this year to feature firkins from most of the Alabama breweries in attendance. Finally, the newest addition to The Magic City Brewfest will be a homebrewing demonstration put on by members of the Carboy Junkies. The demonstration will begin at the start of the Saturday session and will be available to anyone interested in learning the brewing process or looking to pick up some new brewing techniques.

To go along with this top tier craft beer experience, Magic City Brewfest attendees will also be able to enjoy some of the best restaurants and musical artists the area has to offer. For snacks and full-blown eats to enjoy throughout the event, an assortment of local, craft beer-friendly eateries and establishments will be on-site as food vendors to provide attendees with tasty fest food and non-alcoholic refreshments. Both sessions of the festival will also feature live musical entertainment from the following acts: Buggaboo and Low Down Dirties on June 6, and The Valley Roots and Aaron Blades Band on June 7.

Advance tickets for the Magic City Brewfest can be purchased for $34.50 (plus fees) per person, and you can arrange yours online at Ticketmaster or by visiting any of the participating retail locations or breweries. If tickets last to the day of the event, they will be available for $40 each at the gate. Your ticket gets you access to unlimited beer samples at one session**, a commemorative tasting glass, and access to the live entertainment. Designated drivers are also welcome to attend for a reduced ticket price of $10 each. Proceeds from ticket sales go to benefit Free the Hops to aid in their mission of bringing better beer to Alabama.

The Magic City Brewfest will officially wrap up the Free the Hops beer festival season for the summer, and it truly is a cannot miss event if you are even remotely a fan of craft beer and in or near Alabama that weekend. Tickets tend to disappear quickly for this event each year, so go ahead and arrange your tickets as soon as possible to avoid inevitable feelings of regret if tickets happen to sell out. That said, please remember to drink responsibly and stay hydrated throughout the event, and make sure to arrange for safe transportation back home afterwards. I look forward to seeing you all at the fest. Prost!

(** ABC regulations do not allow for unlimited free samples, so you will be required to pay a penny per pour. This is done on the honor system, so you can throw a couple quarters in the bucket at the first station you visit and that should cover you for the entire festival. The money collected from the penny buckets will go to benefit a local charity.)