The response to last year’s Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival was overflowing, so the fifth annual edition of the FestivalSouth event has been moved to Town Square Park on Saturday, June 10, to provide more room.
“It’s pretty exciting because it’s a new start,” said Jennifer Clark, who is organizing the event. The Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association is the host for the Craft Beer Festival from 5-8 p.m.; VIP tickets provide entry at 4 p.m.
Because of the state’s 200th anniversary, the Craft Beer Festival also will have special food vendors.
“This year, as we celebrate the bicentennial of Mississippi, we are encouraging the Mississippi breweries to bring with them a representative of a restaurant to sample and sell their food from around the state,” Clark said. “Also we will have some food vendors that set up and sell food as well. In the VIP tent, we will have about five or six local restaurants in there also.”
FestivalSouth is Mississippi’s only multi-week, multi-genre arts festival, setting this event apart from other beer festivals, as the art and artists behind craft beer are showcased.
Five years ago marked a major shift in how Mississippians enjoyed craft beer. In 2012, a small change in beer laws brought about a huge economic and cultural impact that is still being felt.
Hattiesburg is a champion for the expanding craft beer movement, because it is home to Southern Prohibition Brewing, founding members of Raise Your Pints, a number of craft beer bars and stores and many Mississippi Craft Beer Week events. According to the Mississippi Department of Revenue, Mississippi breweries saw an increase of almost $100,000 in gross sales from 2014 to 2015.
More than 30 breweries are expected to attend the Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival and more than 100 beers will be available to sample. There will also be live music.
General admission tickets are $35 each and include a sampling mug, unlimited sampling and complimentary soft drinks and water while supplies last. VIP tickets are $70 each and include access to the Festival one hour early, a swag bag, a Festival T-shirt and access to the VIP room, which includes delicious food from local restaurants, specialty beers not available to general admission ticket holders and VIP-only restrooms.
Designated driver tickets are also available for $5 each for soft drinks and water, while the VIP designated driver ticket allows early access to the Festival and VIP food.
The event promotes safety with a partnership with GroveRideNow. Festival attendees can schedule rides to and/or from the event through the GroveRideNow service. The Hattiesburg Trolley will also serve as a complimentary shuttle service to select Hattiesburg restaurants and bars after the event as well.
Online ticket purchase is recommended. If tickets are available the day of the event, they will go on sale at 5:30 p.m. (30 minutes after General Admission ticketholder access). VIP tickets will not be available at the door.
To purchase tickets visit www.hattiesburgcraftbeerfest.com