Out & About

Macon Beer Festival back, with some changes

Beer aficionados and novices alike line up for a taste of different brews being served up at last year’s Macon Beer Festival.
Beer aficionados and novices alike line up for a taste of different brews being served up at last year’s Macon Beer Festival. bcabell@macon.com

This year, the Macon Beer Fest brings some changes to a much loved annual tradition.

“This is our fifth year,” Steven Fulbright, Main Street Macon manager, said in a recent phone interview. “We are changing it up a little bit. We will be centralized at the corner of Poplar and Third streets. We will have up to 30 craft beers from all over the Southeast, and your ticket will give you unlimited pours while the beers last.”

“This is a fundraiser and is part of the Pints for Prostrates,” Fulbright said. “Last year, we had 70 people who did the screenings and we will be offering free screenings again this year. One in seven men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Georgia ranks fourth in the nation in the number of cases, and it’s becoming even more common than breast cancer. We are offering free PSA blood tests, which aren’t affected by the alcohol people drink. This way, men can get free beer and a screening at the same time, making it easier and less scary.”

Pints for Prostates partners with health care providers, organizations and suppliers; brewers, restaurants, retail stores, beer industry groups and other interested parties to get critical information to men. More information is available at www.pintsforprostates.org.

The decision to concentrate the event allows attendees to take in all the best of Macon.

“This is a partnership between Main Street Macon and the Downtown Rotary Club of Macon,” Fulbright said, “We want to support downtown businesses and encourage everyone to go and enjoy good food after they finish drinking. This is one of our signature events and one of downtown’s signature events. We are anticipating 1,500 people this year. We’ve sold out every year and expect this year to be the same.”

“We have a committee of really dedicated people,” Fulbright laughed. “The guys on our committee are enthusiasts and are determined to pick out the best beer. They have really picked out some great beers. This is definitely a beer-drinker’s destination of choice.”

Tickets include a three ounce tasting pilsner and unlimited tastings. For those who are acting as designated drivers, the music will be free. People with VIP passes will have access to special casks and craft selections, food pairings, a T-shirt, a commemorative pint glass, private bathrooms and early entrance into the beer festival and swag.

“It’s an open festival and even people who don’t want to drink beer can come to watch the bands,” Fulbright said. “We’re really excited to have two bands, Rewind Retry and Second Wind Band.”

Rewind Retry is from Macon and was founded by four local university students. Its repertoire ranges from catchy, head-bobbing singles to more thoughtful and asymmetrical numbers. Second Wind Band makes music perfect for dancing.

“We know people are going to have a great time,” Fulbright said. “It’s a good cause, a great location, good music, and lots and lots of good beer. Everyone should buy their tickets quickly.”

Macon Beer Festival

When: Saturday, August 22, 2015, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Where: Downtown Macon

Phone: 478-301-5470

Cost: $35 Regular Admission; $75 VIP Tickets