As you may have noticed lately, Lafayette's craft beer scene is growing, and it is all because of the ever increasing number of beer enthusiasts (or beer geeks as we are sometimes affectionately called). And people outside the area are noticing. Red Mountain Entertainment, based out of Birmingham, Alabama and Blue Deuce Entertainment, based in Mandeville, Louisiana will be putting on the Top of the Hops-Lafayette Beer Festival sponsered by Abita Beer. Both companies are concert promoters in the South and have already presented many events in Lafayette at the Cajundome. Many Lafayette area businesses will be involved in the event as well, including Burgersmith, Zea Rotisserie & Grill, The Tap Room, City Bar, and Party Central. Be sure to thank them when you see them at the festival.
After talking to Jay Wilson of Red Mountain Entertainment, I get the feeling that the Top of the Hops-Lafayette Beer Festival will be similar in format, but much bigger than our annual Gulf Brew, a local beer tasting event that benefits the Acadiana Council of the Arts. I would expect nothing less from two companies that put on some of the best concerts in the South.
Jay Wilson says they will put on a total of six of these concerts across the South and when Abita Brewing heard one would be in Lafayette, they jumped at the chance to sponsor the event. The whole idea is to take part in the growing craft beer movement that is sweeping the United States. Come to the festival to learn about and taste some of the best craft beer in the world.
Craft beer is not your typical Bud Light or Miller Lite. Craft beer is hand crafted by small and medium sized breweries all across the country, as well as throughout the world. Many of these brewers started out as homebrewers, like the members of The Dead Yeast Society, and Andrew Godley of Parish Brewing Company of Broussard. Andrew and members of The Dead Yeast Society will be conducting Beer Education Sessions as part of Samuel Adam's Brew University. The first 40 people to attend the Brew University will get a complimentary Samuel Adams Beer Glass. A full listing of the Brew University's topics as well as times can be viewed in the Top of the Hops-Lafayette Beer Festival Sneak Peek Festival Guide.
The festival has a wonderful website with everything you could possibly ask about the event. Check it out by clicking here. On the website you can purchase tickets, sign up as a volunteer (yes you can be a part of the inaugural Top of the Hops-Lafayette Beer Festival and help build the local craft beer community), find out what musicians will be playing, what food vendors will be serving great food and nonalcoholic drinks, which breweries and beers will be represented there, and much much more. I highly recommend you download the festival sneak peek before you go.
So if you really want to have a good time drinking (responsibly) with friends and other Lafayette craft beer enthusiasts, show up on Saturday April 3, 2010. The event starts at 2 PM with VIP ticket holder events beginning at 1PM. Check out the website's FAQ section for exactly what's included at the festival and what's included with a VIP ticket.