Per Matt
Craft beer meets holiday cheer as the Half Christmas Beer Fest returns to Middle Tennessee on Saturday, July 16th!

The third-annual festival sponsored by Lightning 100 takes place at The East Pavilion from 6PM to 10PM. Attendees can expect holiday-themed shenanigans, more than 40 beers to sample and prizes for best yuletide costumes. Digital Media Specialtist Brian J. Waters previews the event and describes what it means to get weird with Lightning 100.

Last year’s event was a blast. What was the general reaction to it?
– “I think everyone had a great time at the event the last two years. We’ve only had positive feedback on the event. I think part of the charm is the effect Christmas has on people. Patrons normally show up with high spirits and leave full of spirits. People really get into this one, they kind of make the event… it’s almost like a Half Christmas miracle.”

What kind of Christmas cheer can attendees expect at this event?
– “Lt. Dan of Lightning 100 has been working on his Half Christmas playlist. It’s a lot of work. There is a lot of terrible Christmas music out there. We will have the pavilion decked out in lights, inflatables inflated, snow machines blowing and elfs pouring your beer.”

What’s new for Half Christmas in 2016?
– “We wanted to increase the selection of beers at the festival this year. Get some local favorites and some craft beers that fit the event. We’ve purchased some new inflatables, new DJ setup and more tacky decorations our interns found from thrift stores.”

What does it mean to “get weird with Lightning 100?”
– “Get Weird is a hashtag we’ve used every year. People get dressed for this one. We’ve had a Zombie Santa, Leg Lamp Lady, a few Cousin Eddies and even an unofficial appearance by the Wet Bandits. I’ve also seen people glue Christmas trees to hats, wear a onesy or just a swimsuit. It doesn’t matter what you wear at Half Christmas… just make sure to get weird.”

Are there any new breweries that will be featured this year?
– “Tin Man, Green Flash, Wiseacre, Lucky Bucket, Original Sin, Mill Creek, Bells, Dogfish Head, Yazoo… We added a lot this year.”

Will be any craft-beer exclusives or small batches offered at the festival?
– “Yazoo will release Exit/In’s Special 45 at the event. Lucky Bucket is bringing their Snowsuit beer back.”

Photo courtesy of Brian J. Waters

Photo courtesy of Brian J. Waters

The Pavilion East is a new location for the event. How will it be set up?
– “We will have a larger site featuring the North and South pole at The Pavilion East. The actual pavilion will feature our dance floor, karaoke lounge and new DJ setup.”

What’s the weather forecast for the event?
– “It looks like we might get some rain in the morning. We’ve tented off the main beer area in the yard. It’s a rain or shine event. There will be beer!”

Will there be a costume contest this year?
– “There will be a costume contest. We will have multiple prizes for the evening including tickets to shows and gift cards from local businesses.”

What kind of expectations do you have for this year’s cosplayers?
– “I’m hoping to see some group costumes this year. Maybe the McCallisters or Griswolds… or McCallisters vs Griswolds!”

Proceeds of this event will be donated toward Overwatch Alliance. Please tell me a little about the charity.
– “Giving back to the brave men and women that served our country is very important to Lightning 100.”

“Overwatch Alliance is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit dedicated to meeting the rapidly growing financial, physical, emotional and psychological needs of our military community. They know that some of the most important work in fulfilling those needs is being done by small, grassroots organizations. All across this great nation, these groups, almost always made up of volunteers, are reaching out to serve the military community on the local level. Overwatch Alliance is committed to providing grants to those operating community-based programs that are healing our nation’s heroes. To learn more about Overwatch Alliance or to donate visit their webpage.”

For More Information:
Half Christmas Beer Fest