Per Matt
As July’s heat factor increases, the need for a cold drink is only magnified. Good thing the Music City Brewer’s Festival returns this weekend with Nashville’s Original Beer Fest!

On Saturday, July 31st, from 5 PM to 9 PM, Walk of Fame Park in downtown Nashville will celebrate the festival’s 20th anniversary, as well as local, regional, national and international craft beers, ciders, cocktails and other concoctions. VIP tickets allow attendees into the beer fest an hour earlier. Tickets are currently available through the event’s webpage, including designated driver passes.

I’m always interested to learn about which new breweries will be participating in this event. And since there was no MCBF last year due to the pandemic, more than a few new ones have opened. Harding House, Bold Patriot, TennFold and I Believe are just a few of the new breweries that will be present this year. A total of 48 beverage brands will be available for samplings, including breweries, cideries, seltzers, kombucha, plus a limited number of distilled spirits!

The projected attendance this year is 2,500 people and there will be a staggered gate entry, which will provide a different price point for those that might be looking for a less expensive ticket. Ride share services like Uber or Lyft is recommended, but there is parking under the park off 4th Ave. as well as plenty at the Music City Center just a block away. Organizers ask people with any symptoms or known exposure to please refrain from attending and their tickets will be refunded for those situations.

To get a detailed perspective about one of my favorite annual Nashville events, I contacted Regional Event Director Candace Price.

I asked her to comment on the longevity of this downtown event.

“Twenty years is a long time for an event to be around. We’ve seen a lot of change in the city of Nashville, the beer industry and the event, itself, has evolved. The city of Nashville and the landscape and the vibe have all changed so much. When we started, there wasn’t a pedal tavern, tractor-pulling bachelorettes and the Woo Girls didn’t exist, as far as we know. The beer industry was in a major growth mode, with craft breweries popping up all over. Nashville only had a few local brands including Blackstone, Boscos and Yazoo was just launching.”

When asked how the event has evolved, she responded, “It’s always been a place for consumers and brands to come together and for people to try new things that they will hopefully search out to purchase later, but the types of products available and many of the people are different than in the beginning.”

Entertainment options will include music by DJ Rod Youree and Haden Carpenter, along with all the yard games from Nashville Sports Leagues, fire dancers, puppies by the Nashville Humane Association, plus lots of photo opportunities. Speaking of the NHA, employees will be present to discuss volunteer opportunities and adoptions for another day (no onsite adoptions). You can also bring a donation and skip the line to further support the NHA.

As other beer festivals have come and gone throughout the years, I asked Candace what makes MCBF different from all the rest.

“I think the support of iHeartMedia and the radio stations that have such diverse audiences, makes this festival a little different. We have a wide range of novice and connoisseurs and for those that are just learning about the products, their palates are still adjusting. We provide an opportunity to try some entry level products and products for a more sophisticated palate, as well. Being introduced to new things is fun and exciting.”

As more live events return to Middle Tennessee, it feels good to know this is a safe environment for people to get out and explore the wonderful world of beer.

Candace offers a parting thought about this year’s event:

“I’m thankful to all of those that have been a part of this event over the last 20 years, including the brewers, the volunteers, the attendees, the sponsors, those that have helped us promote the event (like yourself) and especially my amazing staff! I’m blessed to have been able to do something that I love for 20 years (less 2020).”

We’ll drink to that this weekend! See you there, craft beer fans!!!