The Nashville Predators celebrate craft beer and promote local charities with the 2014 Nashville Predators Craft Beer Festival.
Presented by Tavern ’96, the beer festival will be happening on Saturday, June 28th at Bridgestone Arena from 1pm to 6 pm. General admission tickets includes entrance to the festival, a souvenir glass, unlimited tastings and a voucher for an Upper Bowl ticket to a 2014 Predators home game Monday-Thursday in September or October (excluding Opening Night).
VIP Tickets include all of the general-admission privileges plus a VIP check-in area, VIP beers, a VIP tasting area (which includes food and special craft-brewed beer), free parking in the 6th Avenue garage and a voucher for a Lower Bowl ticket to a 2014 Predators home game Monday-Thursday in September or October (excluding Opening Night).
There are also two types of designated driver tickets available, as well as a souvenir t-shirt for sale. Attendees will get to enjoy craft beers, food, games and entertainment. Gnash, the mascot, will also be making an appearance, along with other Predators personalities.
The second round of the NHL draft will be taking place on Saturday as well, so all hockey fans in the audience will get a chance to watch the draft on TV while drinking drafts. Special thanks to Communications Coordinator Alexis Witman for helping me set up a quick interview with Director of Community Relations Rebecca King to preview the event.
This is the Second Annual Nashville Predators Craft Beer Festival. How did it originate?
– “We do a wine tasting every year, at the end of the season and know that each year, more breweries pop up. Craft brewing is swimming in Nashville. We have the availability in the building, which has air conditioning and bathrooms. I know that a lot of festivals are outdoors and they use port-o-potties, so we’re trying to think how to make ours different.”
“We also have the unique opportunity to have the attendees vote for their favorite brewery. At the end of the festival, we’ll announce who the winner is. Then, that brewery will get their beer poured at two to four Preds home games, depending how the schedule lays out. So, the smaller breweries that wouldn’t have the marketing budget to actually have their beers at a game get this unique opportunity. last year, Jackalope won. We had four games during the Thanksgiving week. They wore their shirts; they had signage. We promoted and it to our fans to let them know that Jackalope was in the building. It was a neat partnership that allowed us to bring in a brewery that doesn’t normally get poured at the arena.”
Will participants be voting for their favorite beers or for the best brewery?
– “We don’t do best beer. We let the brewers pick which beer they pour at the festival, it’s just for the best overall brewery. Just one category. One winner takes all.”
How were the breweries chosen for this beer festival? Some are local, some are not.
– “We work with Frugal MacDoogal. They’re a big sponsor of our wine tastings, getting our wineries onboard. Frugal connected us with the local distributors. We all work together and meet, periodically. Frugal and the distributors are the main people corralling all the big breweries. There are a few independents and Frugal and the distributors help us connect to them. We don’t just include the groups that have distributors.”
The Nashville microbrewery scene has really been booming. I’m guessing the festival is to promote local beer, as well as the Predators?
– “Yes. Definitely. We are using their logos on the Website. We want to make sure that people can connect back to their Websites and eventually become big fans of their breweries. We’re doing t-shirts this year, which we didn’t last year. On the back of the shirts will have all the breweries that are participating. Whenever I have friends come into town, I always point out all the different breweries that are in Nashville. It’s incredible how many there are, locally. We do have quite a lot that come from out of town, but a large chunk of the participants are local.”
“Last year, we had 40 breweries. This year, we have 60, so we have 20 more come onboard locally and from outside of Nashville.”
Generally, how many beers will each brewery be pouring?
– “Typically, they’ll have more than one beer. So, 60 breweries with usually two beers each… but we don’t limit it. So, if they brought a few, then that’s completely up to them.”
The proceeds of the festival go toward the Nashville Predators Foundation. Can you tell me a little about this organization and what it provides?
– “The Predators Foundation has been around since the inception of the team. We raise money all year long and then in the spring, at the end of the season, we give out grants to Middle Tennessee charities. The charities all benefit youth and families. Usually, we have about 100 organizations that are beneficiaries of these grants. There’s a whole list on our Website, if you want examples of who they are.”
“Each year, we incrementally increase what we give away. So, this year, we’ve given over $410,000 in cash to these charities. I would say we raise money to help other people. We also have the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund. This year, we have the goal or raising $200,000 for pediatric cancer research. We have a fund at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. That’s a big initiative of ours, along with Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber. And then we build playgrounds through KaBOOM, annually. We have a lot of projects, but we want to keep the money local and help local charities.”
What kind of entertainment will be provided at the beer festival?
– “We have a little band stage and last year, we had two local musicians sit and play a set each. We’re working on who they are, but we’ve got a couple acts out there. We’ll definitely have some live music on the concourse, during the event.”
“Also, the NHL draft is going on. We’ll have that on the TV screens. The main picks will already be done, but at least there will be a little bit of hockey entertainment going on.”
Will there be food available at the beer festival, as well?
– “Yes. We work with DNC Sportservice. They’ll have a concession stand open and they tailor their menu toward the beer festival. And then Tavern ’96 will provide the food for the VIP portion of the event. All VIP attendees get free food in the VIP area.”
What beers are included for the VIP ticketholders?
– “Wells Banana Bread Beer, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Palm Belgian Ale, St. Louis Gueuze Fond Beer, Innis & Gunn, Petrus and St. Stefanus.”
Are there any local Tennessee breweries regularly on tap at Predators home games?
– “The Predators have brews from Yazoo and Hap & Harry’s on tap at games. In addition, Tavern ’96, the beer festival presenting partner, which is located outside Bridgestone Arena’s Nissan SoBro entrance, has countless brews available from local breweries on a regular basis (menu here).”
A limited number of tickets available and VIP tickets are almost sold out. This event is 21 and over, no exceptions. Everyone must present a valid ID with ticket for entry. For questions, please contact AJ Rockwell at 615-770-2328 or [email protected]
For More Information:
– 2014 Nashville Predators Craft Beer Festival Ticket Information
– 2014 Predators Foundation Grant Recipients