As we get closer to summer, our events calendar really starts to fill up. American Craft Beer Week — happening now — kicks off a summer season filled with festivals, tap takeovers, pop-up beer gardens, and every kind of event to tickle your fancy and get our beers into some unusual places.
In fact, this coming weekend is one of our busiest, with six events on Saturday alone, spread all throughout the area.
We caught up with our Chief Celebrations Officer Randi Friel to get the lowdown on what to expect this summer.
Thus far, we’ve seen a successful American Craft Beer Week. Our Tastings with a Lady event — a guided tasting of Lady in Room #10 — was well-received, and Battle of the Sextels is always a lot of fun.
“American Craft Beer Week is a great time for craft beer,” Randi says. “It highlights small and independent craft breweries, it gives us the opportunity to show our passion for this industry, and the winners are our fans.”
And it’s not over yet! We still have two events scheduled over the weekend: Paint Your Pint and our much-anticipated release of Catch the Drift. At Paint Your Pint, you’ll buy a pint glass, then you’ll get a chance to paint it how you see fit — and it’s one of the events on the calendar that’s great for the kids, as well.
“People love bringing their kids to the brewery — and we love having them — but there’s not usually much for them to do here,” Randi says. “Luckily, we have some really talented artists on staff. Kaitlyn is super creative, so it’s going to be a fun event, for adults and for kids.”
Everyone at the brewery is stoked for the release of Catch the Drift, though Dan Petela might be the most stoked. After winning our internal homebrew competition, we scaled his recipe up to a limited batch size, and we’re releasing it on Saturday at noon.
“A New England IPA, my favorite!” Randi gushes. “But that label! So stoked to see it on our shelves! I’m eager to see the excitement from our fans for this limited release.”
You can stop by the Brewtique and pick up your 4-pack, then head to any number of events we have planned throughout the region, like Spring at the Farm at Beach Plum Farm. A favorite event of the Brew Crew, with hayrides, food, and piggies, you’ll be able to tour the farm market and check out the working farm while sipping on Cape May IPA and The Bog.
“Spring at the Farm is so different from any other event,” Randi says. “It is laid back, rustic, family-friendly, and, most importantly, free!”
As far as activities go, they have everyone covered: moms, dads, grandparents, kids. And the food is out-of-this-world.
“I mean, you’re on a 62-acre farm,” Randi says. “I don’t think you can get any more fresh than that. A few years ago they added a farmhouse market where they sell their farm-raised meats and veggies, eggs, and local food products.”
We’ve also got the Beer, BBQ, and Bacon Showdown up in Morristown, and this one sounds like a really fun event. Not only will you be able to sample our beers, but they’ve gathered together some of the best restaurants, gourmet food trucks, and chefs — all offering a killer array of mouth-watering barbecue and bacon creations that you’ll love to pair with Follow the Gull, The Bog, Always Ready, and Harmonic Rhythm.
“It’s pretty cool that you can finally get our beer in this area!” Randi says. “We attended Beer, BBQ, and Bacon last year, and we were a huge hit with both attendees and judges. They even added another category to their beer-judging contest, Most Unusual Brew, inspired by The Bog.”
And this festival is just the tip of the iceberg. As we head into the summer months, Randi’s got her work cut out for her. Deciding which festivals to attend isn’t an easy task — we’d love to attend all of them, but we simply don’t have the staff to do so.
Yet, there are a few that Randi looks forward to each year. The festivals organized by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC) — such as Hops Fest, Craft Beer and Crabs Fest, and Harvest Fest — are “always a good time.”
“The Summer Ale Festival at the Philadelphia Zoo always sticks out in my mind, too,” she says. “This year, they’ve added a second festival, OktoBEARfest. The zoo shuts down a little early, so it’s like having the zoo all to yourself and 4,000 of your closest friends. You don’t have to deal with all the school trips and get the chance to try nearly a hundred beers.”
There are a handful of beer festivals out there that are big for us as a brewery. We’ve got SAVOR coming up June 1st and 2nd in Washington DC. Held in one of the most gorgeous halls in our nation’s capital — the National Building Museum — this lottery-based festival hosted by the Brewers Association pairs some of the nation’s best beers with small plates created by Adam Dulye, Executive Chef of the Brewers Association.
“This year there were over 270 breweries that entered the lottery, and we were one of the lucky 90 breweries picked,” Randi reports.
In addition to all of the great beer festivals Randi has planned, we’ve also got scads of our own events planned.
“This summer is gearing up to be awesome,” Randi says. “Philly Beer Week runs June 1-10, and I can’t wait. We’ll be hosting a clambake with the crew at Johnny Brenda’s, we’ve got a Quizzo Tap Takeover at Interstate Drafthouse, the London Grill is hosting a great event with a pairing menu and a tap takeover and a firkin, and then I’ll start planning my favorite event of the year — our anniversary party.”
Randi’s got a full plate, and she’s lucky to have such a great Events team backing her up.
“They’re fun, hardworking, knowledgeable pros!” she says. “They get shit done and they rock while they do it. I don’t know where we’d be without them.”
To find out when our Events team will be near you, check out our Events page! In the meantime, swing down to the brewery this weekend for your chance to grab a 4-pack of Catch the Drift, then check out Spring at the Farm. It’s looking to be a great weekend!