Craft of brewing

On Saturday, June 11, Downtown Hattiesburg will host brewery representatives from throughout Mississippi, the South and even from across the United States. 
 “The Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival showcases Hattiesburg, and especially Downtown, as a hot spot for the craft beer movement,” said Andrea Saffle, director of the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association. “Festival attendees can enjoy downtown before and after the event, and also meet many of our downtown partners inside the event as well.” 
This event takes place from 1-4 p.m. at the Train Depot during FestivalSouth, Mississippi’s only multi-week, multi-genre arts festival, setting this event apart from other beer festivals, as we showcase the art and artists behind craft beer. 
"FestivalSouth showcases the best of our region across many areas,” said Dr. Mike Lopinto, artistic director of FestivalSouth.” 
Our region's leadership in the craft of brewing makes the Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival a natural fit in FestivalSouth and has become a highlight of our three-week run."
The mission of this event is to support and expand the ever-growing craft beer movement in Mississippi. Hattiesburg is a champion for this movement. It is home to Southern Prohibition Brewing, some of the founding members of Raise Your Pints, a number of craft beer bars and stores and many Mississippi Craft Beer Week events.  
The craft beer movement has swept the nation, but because of antiquated laws, Mississippi was behind on this trend. However, in 2012 when new legislation was passed allowing beer with higher alcohol content, Mississippi began to rapidly catch up. Since then this state has gone from one brewery to 13. 
According to the Mississippi Department of Revenue, Mississippi breweries saw an increase of nearly $100,000 in gross sales from 2014 to 2015. These increases have added jobs and have given Mississippi’s economy a big boost. 
“The Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival is an incredibly unique event and brings with it a great impact on tourism here in Hattiesburg,” said Matthew Godfrey, director of Sales and Advertising for the Hattiesburg Tourism and Convention Commissions. “This event provides an experience for Hattiesburg to share its story with our visitors. We at VisitHattiesburg are happy to support and promote this truly one-of-a-kind festival.”
“We expect to have more than 30 breweries represented and more than 100 beers to sample,” said Saffle. “There will also be live music and great food for purchase.”
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 that includes delicious food from local restaurants, specialty beers not available to general admission ticket holders, and VIP-only restrooms. There are also designated driver tickets available.
“If you’ve ever been overwhelmed at the craft beer choices in the grocery store, just want to try some new things, or already have a passion for craft beer, this event is for you! Beer lovers and novices alike will enjoy this festival,” said Jennifer Clark, Beer Festival coordinator. “It is a fun, relaxed environment where you can meet the people behind the beer, hear their stories, experience new tastes, and enjoy some old favorites all in one place.”
The event promotes safety with a partnership with GroveRideNow to offer a “Safe Ride Home” program. On sale with tickets this year are “Safe Ride Home” tickets, available for $4-$8 (depending on distance) for transportation tickets home and $8-15 for round trip tickets. Event attendees who purchase these tickets can go home directly from the Festival, or enjoy a complimentary shuttle to select Hattiesburg restaurants and bars before going home.
Online ticket purchase is recommended. If tickets are available the day of the event they will go on sale at 1:30pm (30 minutes after General Admission ticket holder access). VIP tickets will not available at the door.
With the support of breweries, sponsors and event patrons, this event has continued to grow. Please join us as we continue to showcase Hattiesburg as a hot spot for the craft beer movement! 
For more information about the festival, sponsorship opportunities, and to purchase tickets visit www.hattiesburgcraftbeerfest.com or contact Festival Coordinator, Jennifer Clark, 601.270.2756, Jennifer@EmergeEvents.com.

 

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