Great Atlanta Beer Fest Preview
Atlanta’s newest beer festival is slated for October 8, 2011, at Turner Field, the home of the Atlanta Braves.
Dubbed the Great Atlanta Beer Festival, this fest touts 150-plus brews from all over the world, including from eight Atlanta area breweries. The date strategically falls on the first weekend of Atlanta’s second Beer Week, which runs October 8-16.
Tickets went on sale August 17 with the first 500 priced at an early-bird special of $25. Those sold out in about 10 hours. Until the day of the fest, tickets are available online or at the Turner Field ticket office for $35, at the door the price will be $45. According to organizer Mike DiLornardo, ticket sales have been brisk; he predicts an attendance of 4,000 to 5,000.
DiLornardo says he chose Turner Field for a variety of reasons.
“It’s an awesome venue for a beer fest for starters, and they have plenty of room for us to host a lot of people,” he says.
The festival will be situated in the Grand Entry Plaza and Monument Grove.
“We ultimately have room for 10,000 patrons, so we hope to continue to grow the event in the coming years and be one of the biggest beer fests in the country,” he says.
This endeavor is hosted by the same folks who organize the Atlanta Summer Beerfest and the Atlanta Winter Beerfest. Those two fests are held at the Maquerade Music Park and lay claim to a faithful squad of repeat volunteers. This loyalty will bring the experienced crew to “The Ted” to pour beer and help staff the new fest.
“We are grateful to have such a great group,” DiLonardo says. “I really think they add a nice personal touch to our events.”
Of course, beer is the star of the fest. International, domestic, regional and local brews will all be poured. Atlanta area beers include Sweetwater, Terrapin, Red Brick, Wild Heaven, O’Dempsey’s and Jailhouse Brewing, all proven favorites with Georgia beer fans. New to the local line-up are Monday Night Brewing and Red Hare Brewing.
In addition to being able to sample a still-expanding list of beer, attendees will be able to keep up with their favorite college football teams. Nineteen TVs in the 8,000-square-foot Chop House Restaurant and Bar will cover SEC and select college football games. and the 33-foot screen in the Plaza will have a featured game as well. DiLornardo predicts this will be the Georgia vs. Tennessee contest.
If beer and football aren’t enough, all games in Scout’s Alley will be free for fest patrons. Live music will be provided by local party band “Butt Naked,” and the Braves’ “Heavy Hitters” drumline will play during the band breaks.
Gates open at 3 p.m. and the fest continues until 8 p.m. Complete information, including parking info, what football games will be shown, and a complete list of beers that will be available, can be found at greatlantabeerfest.com.