Bloomington Craft Beer Fest! perspective of an organizer

This is going to be a good one.

In only five years Bloomington Craft Beer Fest (BCBF) has become one of the marquee events in South Central Indiana. In it’s third year, 2013, BCBF was named Bloomington’s Best Festival by VisitBloomington.com. The fest had its first sell out crowd in 2014. Those of us who were involved in organizing BCBF couldn’t be more proud of the party we threw for 3,200 of our friends.

Every year we adjust to our guest’s feedback. In the past few years we’ve improved the checkin process, doubled the number of port-a-potties, and worked on maximizing the flow within the fest site. This year will be no different and we are all very excited about all of the ways we will be improving the BCBF experience.

First up, we have partnered with the Monroe County Community Kitchen to manage parking at the site. This means we’ll have a dedicated team of volunteers making sure that those who choose to drive to the fest have a much smoother time finding a parking spot. There will be $5 parking charge this year, but we think it’ll be worth having a more streamlined experience. It goes without saying that we encourage guests to take advantage of our $10 Designated Driver tickets and to be responsible in their pre and post fest transportation choices.

We are also expanding the check-in space and waiting area. Those who have attended BCBF in the past have seen our check-in process evolve to include multiple steps and a waiting area that maximized fest time. This year we have allocated more space to check-ins which should keep people flowing into The Woolery Mill as soon as the gates open.

My personal favorite change this year is all about location, location, location. Our 50+ guest breweries will be more spread out over the site this year than they have in the past. We are taking advantage of more of the space available on site. We will have at least three distinct areas where guests will find some of their favorite brews. We will have more food vendors as well, which we expect will keep things moving.

At last we get to the dirty business. Along with the new layout, guests will have more options for where they recycle their “used beer” (I’m talking about port-a-potties). Not much to say about this other than you’ve all been heard.

While this event now sells out, check here for availability of tickets http://www.bloomingtonbeerfest.com/

Not only is this the fifth annual BCBF, 2015 marks the third annual Bloomington Craft Beer Week. BCBW includes all of your favorite established and up-and-coming Bloomington breweries as well as highlights from breweries around the state. BCBW runs through 4/11 and is featuring multiple venues who are participating for the first time. Be sure to ask about BCBW specials while you dine out this week! Read our story and find the schedule HERE

Also don’t forget to check out the Bloomington Ale Trail (http://www.bloomingtonaletrail.com/) which kicked off on Saturday 4/4. Once you start you have six months to collect stamps from the six participating breweries and get entered into a drawing for a behind the scenes tour.

By Terry Durkin: Terry has been co-chair of the Bloomington Craft Beer Fest, ambassador during Bloomington Craft Beer Week, and general beer lover!