Todd Antz was selling a ticket to the 2014 Fest of Ale recently at Rocky’s Italian Grill in Jeffersonville. The woman buying the ticket noted that she could barely believe how long the annual festival has been going on.
“This is the ninth year,” Antz said with a chuckle.
Wow. Nine years. It’s like watching your child grow up — one day your baby is a small get-together with a couple of tents and a few dozen beers, and now it’s full-on event, with 100-plus brews, wine and spirits from breweries and such from all over the U.S.
I think there are a few good reasons this festival has succeeded and grown:
- Even with a national list of beers, it is very much a local event, with local volunteers and attendees that all seem to know each other and enjoy interacting.
- It serves a great charity in the WHAS Crusade for Children that locals want to help. (I know I’m not the only one who remembers his parents and grandparents having “the Crusade” on all weekend.)
- It has become a social event. As in, I have family members who will text me to ask specifically if I am going. I know I’m not alone in this (see the first bullet point).
- It is well organized, affordable and DDs get in free.
- Todd Antz is very good at promoting the festival; it doesn’t hurt that he is known and respected as a community-minded guy, which prompts others to help with said promotion.
- Pretzel necklaces.
- There’s lots of beer.
Anyway, I’m going, and you should too. You can still get tickets, and the price goes up the day of the event. See you there.