This is a guest post from Sean Hertzsch. Sean is a bourbon and beer guy that really likes wine. He avoids vodka as much as possible, but gin makes him happy. He likes to think of himself as a well rounded drinker, but we will see what happens at the end of the night. Sean blogs at http://minguswaits.com
Once again, Beerfest is upon us. May 20th and 21st will bring the second annual Columbus Beerfest to the Greater Columbus Convention Center in the Grand Battelle Hall. 75,000 square feet of beer tasting greatness! This year’s celebration of all things hoppy and malty has over 175 craft beers for beer fans to try and enjoy.
I’ve heard from several people that the first Beerfest events didn’t go very well. That is a shame because I was lucky enough to go to the winter version of this festival in January and it was awesome. I really liked going as a VIP. That first hour of limited lines allowed the VIPs to try almost all of the more esoteric beers without much of a wait. More importantly, that extra hour gave us enough time to sample almost all the beers, even when wait times got longer. I even liked the little glass we got.
The big change this year is the addition of the “Connoisseur” tickets. These tickets provide all the benefits of the VIP tickets (one hour early admission, an 8 oz glass instead of the smaller plastic cup, and 25 sampling tickets), plus admission to the “Connoisseur Reception Area” from 6pm to 8pm. This area will feature eight exclusive beers as well as special hors d’oeuvres prepared specifically to compliment these beers. The Connoisseurs will also have special seating with a view of the festival from within the reception area. Sorry folks, VIP won’t cut it to get in here. You will need special tickets costing $65.
As before, CD101 will be presenting the event. The main stage will be featuring several sure-to-be excellent local bands, though the actual list has not been released yet. The last Beerfest had some pretty good bands, but the sound was bad, so I guess you take the good with the bad. I seem to recall there was some food off in a corner, but I didn’t partake in any of it.
If you are on the fence about going to this year’s Beerfest and the idea of trying lots of awesome craft beer isn’t enough incentive, keep in mind the proceeds go to charity: the Big Joe Duskin Music Education Foundation. There is a big story about this guy on the web site and it is a pretty good read. The gist is that the foundation is set up to educate as many children as possible about music. This is accomplished by hiring musicians to spend a half day in schools performing and teaching various styles of music. The winter Beerfest enabled more than 16 schools to get presentations from the Columbus Jazz Association.
Tickets are $30 for regular admission, $45 for VIP and $65 for Connoisseurs. You can purchase tickets online. There are special prices for Designated Drivers, so be sure to bring one along. Just remember to drink responsibly and have a great time! Craft beer should be loved, not quaffed.