Fresh Fest Beer Fest is this weekend, and Pittsburgh is excited about it. So excited, in fact, that the festival had to change venues to accommodate the number of guests.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” says Mike Potter, co-founder of Fresh Fest, about the buzz around the festival. “The excitement is fun, and it’s scary.”
Fresh Fest Beer Fest will be held at the Nova Place Courtyard on Saturday, August 11 from 1:00 P.M. – 9:00.
The event is Pittsburgh’s first black beer festival, and the brainchild of three Pittsburgh entrepreneurs and members of the local beer scene, Day Bracey and Ed Bailey of Drinking Partners podcast, and Mike Potter of Black Brew Culture.
A first-of-its-kind event, Fresh Fest will bring much-needed attention to an underrepresented portion of the craft beer industry. Over a dozen black-owned/operated breweries from across the country will be in attendance, including: Black Frog Brewery in Holland, OH, Union Craft Brewing in Baltimore, MD, Cajun Fire Brewing Company in New Orleans, LA, as well as breweries in Massachusetts, Alabama, and North Carolina.
In addition to out-of-town brewers, collaborations with Pittsburgh’s local craft beer scene are an integral part of the event.
Over a dozen prominent Pittsburgh breweries (such as East End Brewing Company, Grist House Brewery, and Voodoo Brewery) are partnering with black entrepreneurs and artists to collaborate on a special beer brewed specifically for the event. A few of the collaborations include Shannon Harris of The Brew Brotha blog x Dancing Gnome Brewery, Chancelor Humphrey of Keep Pittsburgh Dope x 412 Brewery, and musician Byron Nash x Helltown Brewing.
“Whether that collaboration is on the beer style, the label design or the name, it’s so they can have some representation with that brewery and cultivate relationships,” Bracey told The Incline. “We think it’s a great way to start that dialogue in Pittsburgh.”
With both out-of-town breweries and special-release collaboration beers, Fresh Fest will offer an unparalleled selection of craft beers, ciders, and spirits. Tickets include unlimited pours of 50+ beers & ciders.
The event will also feature live music and entertainment, food trucks, a special VIP session starting at 1:00 P.M.
The hype surrounding the festival indicative of an interest in more culturally-inclusive events in the city. Potter says he knew was a possibility from the start.
“It’s a test run for something really big,” says Potter.
More information can be found online.