Lanier Brew Fest
When: 3-9 p.m. May 6
Where: Tap It, 1850 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville
Cost: $10 for entry and samples; $15 for entry, samples, and souvenir glass
More info: www.tapitgrowler.com
A variety of craft beer will be on tap at the second annual Lanier Brew Fest in Gainesville.
Hosted by Tap It Gainesville Growlers, the tasting event will be from 3-9 p.m. May 6 at 1850 Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville.
Last year, the growlers store hosted the craft beer festival in April and another one in November. Lanier Brew Fest was the more successful one, prompting the owner to make it an annual event.
“We really introduced people to our business and made people aware that there are places popping up in Gainesville that serve good craft beer, not just your run of the mill Bud Light,” Tap It general manager Patrick McCormac said. “We had a lot of beers that were newer to the area.”
The event will sell craft beer from 15 breweries, 13 of them are local. Breweries include Left Nut Brewing Co., Monday Night Brewing and Cherry Street Brewing Cooperative.
Tap It also will sell Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale in honor of the running of the Kentucky Derby on the same day. Tap It will have the horse race on a big screen and will hold a hat contest in conjunction with the derby. Winners will receive Tap It merchandise.
In addition, Tap It will also have commemorative glassware and festival T-shirts for sale.
The event will feature free cornhole and other tailgating games such as ladder ball and 4 square set up outside. Darts, ping-pong and shuffleboard will be in Tap It’s basement.
The event is rain or shine. Booths for beer will be inside and outside for samples and pints.
Tickets are $10 for six 4-ounce samples or $15 for the same amount of samples plus a souvenir glass. After sampling, attendees may purchase $5 drink tickets for a pint.
Tickets can be purchased in the store, at the door or over the phone by calling 678-897-3985.
Three food trucks will serve food for purchase. They are Cousins Maine Lobster, Island Chef Cafe and Espetada.
Two live bands will play throughout the day. Homemade Pants will play from 3-5:30 p.m., and Ted Tuck and the Ultra band will play from 6-9.
“They play mostly rock music, covers, up beat rock, blues, soft rock,” McCormac said.
Last year, the event’s attendance exceeded the store’s expectation. Organizers hope for the same this year.
“We had about 800 people come through last year, so we’re hoping to hit a 1,000 this year,” McCormac said.
He encourages people to bring their own lawn chairs and purchase tickets prior to the festival to avoid long lines.
This event is partly credited to the uniqueness of the store itself.
“There’s not really any other craft beer store like us,” McCormac said. “We have so much to offer because we’re a craft beer bar located in an outdoor living store. We even sell Green Eggs (grills) and flowers.”
Tap It Gainesville Growlers was started by Zach Thompson, Ryan Thompson and Brad Sample as an extension of their store Pro Outdoor Living.
The website, www.tapitgrowler.com, says its aim is to provide craft beer that can be taken home and shared with friends. A growler is a jug used to transport beer. Tap It sells growlers as well as fills any reusable growler a customer brings in.
According to the website, prices range from $7-$30 or more.
McCormac has been with Tap It over two years and has seen the company grow to new levels.
“We’ve grown from a small tap room to these bigger festivals,” McCormac said. “We’ve talked about expanding. It’s interesting because right now Georgia’s beer laws are changing. We hope that the laws affecting us will allow us to open more (locations).”