If you went to last year’s Savannah Craft Brew Fest and had a great time, then you’re in luck because this year’s lineup of events and beers is pretty much an exact copy, only bigger.
The eighth annual Savannah Craft Brew Fest takes place from 1-5 p.m. Sept. 5 at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center. Tickets are $45 for pre-sales and are available online or at both Habersham Beverage locations. Ticket prices increase to $50 at the gate and the chances of a sell-out are high.
The folks at Red Mountain Entertainment are back again to produce another stellar, signature Savannah event featuring multiple beer gardens, a mead garden, a cider garden and an import garden. The VIP tickets are already sold out, like last year, and the band Souls Harbor returns as well.
IF YOU GO
What: Savannah Craft Brew Fest
When: 1-5 p.m. Sept. 5
Where: Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, 1 International Drive
Savannah has events going on before the festival, too! For more information on Savannah Craft Beer Week, go towww.savcraftbeer.com.
According to Alex Colee, project manager at Red Mountain Entertainment, the silent disco was such a big hit last year, they are bringing that back as well. The silent disco takes place in a tent area and the people inside are wearing headphones playing popular dance tunes. Everyone outside the tent can see those folks dancing and singing but they can’t hear the music. It may sound strange, but Colee says it’s surprisingly fun.
Colee also says the mixology garden is also back with World of Beer as the official sponsors and “their bartenders will be making beer cocktails. That’s always fun.”
Also returning is the World of Sam Adams and their brew university, which includes a popular event from last year, the stein hoisting challenge.
So, what’s different this year?
The sports bar is returning, but since Savannah Craft Brew Fest lands on the same day as the Georgia game, Colee says they decided to expand the area and bring in more lounge furniture so guests can relax and enjoy watching the game.
There will also be a cornhole tournament. Teams can sign up online for the bracket-style competition. Winners will receive a custom Harpoon UFO cornhole set.
And the beer choices are bigger this year, too. Colee says last year about 150 craft beers were offered for sample, but this year’s range is closer to “200 really great beers.”
Part of the expansion is due to the growing craft brew scene here in our home state.
One of those craft breweries responsible for the expansion of our local beer selections at the fest is Southbound Brewing Co. — one of the title sponsors for the fest (another first for Southbound).
According to Carly Wiggins, one of the founders of Southbound, “Now we really do have a very vibrant craft brew scene in Savannah.”
According to Wiggins, when Southbound came on the scene, Georgia craft brews were just warming up.
“There is no reason why everyone doesn’t have multiple Georgia beers on tap these days. We now have almost 40 breweries in Georgia and it’s just growing and growing.”
Southbound will also be at the fest in an expanded area from last year. While you can expect to see your favorite Southbound brews on tap, the crew is bringing out some of their releases, including Black Circle. Wiggins says the signature brew is dark and hoppy and another collaboration with Rock 106.1.
For the fest, Wiggins says the guys from Rock 106.1 took a special cask of Black Circle and added ghost peppers. It will be at the fest as well.
“The guys decided they wanted to do something wild. It should be pretty spicy.”
Southbound will take part in the after party at The Rail from 6-10 p.m. Sept. 5 and then from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 6, they will be at Tybee Island Social Club with other Georgia craft brew reps.
While Wiggins admits Southbound is her baby, she says it’s important to support all Georgia craft breweries.
“I live and breathe Georgia beer and we all have to support each other. That’s what the great thing is about events. It won’t be just one brewery.