Raise a glass to men’s health this weekend at the expanded Macon Beer Festival.
Patrons can try 24 different beers across eight downtown venues. The proceeds will benefit Pints for Prostates, which raises money for prostate cancer awareness and research.
“We’re the only ones in the state of Georgia that are doing it,” said Steve Bell, who was behind efforts to bring a Pints for Prostate event to Macon. “Their slogan is to reach men through the universal language of beer.”
The festival was started last year by the Rotary Club of Downtown and had 16 beer choices at a single venue.
“I wanted to grow the event so we’d have more exposure,” he said. “We don’t have any type of event like that in downtown Macon ... and plus there really weren’t any good events that deal with men’s health issues.”
Rotary partnered with Main Street Macon to host this year’s larger festival.
“People really showed a lot of interest in having a beer festival,” said Mechel McKinley, manager of Main Street Macon. “Main Street is all about building partnerships and working together to promote existing events.”
The Rotary Club will have a venue at 567 Cherry Street with other sampling venues at Bearfoot Tavern, Cox Capitol Theatre, Downtown Grill, the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom, Lemongrass, Roasted Café and Lounge and the Rookery.
“Each venue has three different beers to try,” McKinley said. “They are of all different varieties. It is a real good mix that I think people are going to be excited to try.”
Each tasting pour will be three ounces, she said.
The event also will feature information on prostate cancer and men older than 40 will have an opportunity to get a free PSA screening at the festival. Medical organizations will have personnel on hand to answer questions.
Bell, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 42, said the cancer affects men at the same rate breast cancer affects women but there is not as much publicity.
“It’s not something men really wanted to deal with or talk about,” he said.
Bell wanted to bring the event to Macon to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer and make men more comfortable discussing it and requesting testing.
“Since I’ve had it, I’ll talk about it as open and up-front as I can be about it,” Bell said.
The event is limited to 500 and advance tickets can be purchased online at www.ovations365.com or at the Grand Opera House box office. All of the tickets are “will call” and can be picked up in Third Street Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Admission includes a four-ounce tasting glass and lanyard with the Macon Beer Festival logo on both.
“They will also have a map of all of the venues as well as all of your tasting tickets,” McKinley said. “We’re really excited for people to have the opportunity to visit all of these different venues. We think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Macon Beer Festival
When: 4-7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Downtown Macon
Cost: $17.50 in advance, $20 day of
Tickets: www.ovations365.com or in person at the Grand Opera House box office, 651 Mulberry St. Online tickets involve $1 fee