Bloomington Craft Beer Festival Preview

This Saturday marks the 3rd Annual Bloomington Craft Beer Fest held at the Woolery Mill (2200 West Tapp Road) in Bloomington from 4-7pm. This will actually be my first experience at the festival, but I served on the planning committee this year (more on that later) and we have a great festival coming your way! Advanced ticket sales are on a record pace this year, but there is still time to get your $50 VIP, $35 General Admission, or $10 Designated Driver ticket here. Keep in mind that online ticket sales will end about 24 hours before the event. Advance tickets are also available at Bloomington Brewing Company, Big Woods Brewing, Upland Brewing, Bloomington Kilroy’s locations, Bloomingfoods, The Tap, Dunnkirk, and Big Red Liquors (downtown location only). Subject to availability, there will be ticket sales of $45 General Admission tickets and $10 Designated Driver tickets (no VIP) at the gate. VIP tickets get you early entry at 3pm and a special gift. Bloomington Beer Fest The first thing everyone wants to know is which breweries will be participating. We are expecting an increase from 39 breweries in 2012 to over 50 this year! A few more additions are likely, but confirmed breweries at the time of this posting include:

450 North
ACE Premium Ciders
Against the Grain
Barley Island
Bier Brewery
Big Woods
Bloomington Brewing
Bluegrass Brewing
Boston Beer (maker of Sam Adams)
Broad Ripple Brewing
Brugge Brasserie
Country Boy
Crown Brewing
Falls City
Figure 8
Finch’s Brewing
Flat 12
Fountain Square
Four Horsemen
Great Crescent
Half Moon
Hawcreek Brewing
Iechyd Da
Lafayette Brewing
Left Hand
Mad Anthony
New Albanian
New Belgium
North Coast
Oliver Winery (serving meads)
People’s Brewing
Power House Brewing
Rock Bottom (Downtown Indianapolis)
Sun King
Thr3e Wise Men
Three Floyds
Three Pints
Tin Man
Traveler Beer Company
Turoni’s Main Street
Two Brothers
Upland Brewing

In addition to the breweries attending, additional offerings will be poured by Indiana distributor World Class Beer. There will also be a table for special Firkin offerings from an assortment of breweries. Indiana homebrew clubs will again be on hand to pour some of the finest amateur offerings from the Hoosier State. Want to expand your horizons? Check out Oliver Winery for samples of their meads! Beyond the beer, attendees will be treated to live music from Bloomington’s 220 Breakers and Asheville, NC’s Secret B-Sides courtesy of Bloomington’s own Lowdown Sounds. In addition, you can expect some unique games and activities not seen at past festivals. These are still being finalized as I write this, so mum’s the word on details for now. Food will be available from multiple vendors, and your favorite Designated Driver will have access to a special area with free sodas and other perks. For those who have not been out to Woolery Mill, this event is open air but contained under a roofed structure that offers some protection from inclement weather. So fear not, dress warm, and come enjoy the day with us. Now that the entertainment is out of the way, I’d like to highlight a few additional aspects of this year’s festival. My role on the planning committee was focused on incorporating aspects of sustainability in planning and operations. Some of you have likely visited events like the Great American Beer Festival or Michigan Brewers Guild festivals and noticed a strong commitment to environmental concerns. I’m very pleased to have witnessed and participated in these ideals being embraced by the Brewers of Indiana Guild. Thanks to support from the planning committee, Lee Smith of the Brewers Guild, and some key sponsors; the following initiatives will be a part of this year’s festival:

  • You can bike to the festival and park like a VIP! A free, secure bicycle parking area will be offered right in front of the festival entrance. Your bicycle will be safely stored and monitored by staff while you enjoy the festival and have safe transportation home. Big thanks to Salt Creek Cycles of Bloomington for sponsoring the bicycle parking.
  • We will be collecting and recycling all plastic, aluminum, glass, paper, and cardboard materials from the event. Attendees can help by looking for the conveniently located “recycling center” banners and disposing of these materials in the proper bin.
  • To minimize food service waste, our food vendors will be utilizing compostable materials. You can dispose of your plates, silverware, etc. along with your food scraps in specially marked “Compost” bins. Compostable materials will be delivered and composted at the historic Loesch Farm west of Bloomington. Loesch Farm is part of the One World Enterprises group that includes Bloomington Brewing Company. Big thanks to Jeff Mease of One World/Bloomington Brewing for his support of this initiative!
  • In addition to one hour early entrance, VIP ticket holders will receive a mini frisbee gift that is made in America from recycled tires.

It’s important to note that attendees play a critical role in making initiatives like these successful. You can help by placing recyclable and compostable materials in their proper bins. If you’re unsure of where to place something, please ask one of the friendly volunteers on staff. Most of all, just come out and share in another wonderful Indiana craft beer festival! Cheers, Nathan