Alright brew fans, the days seem to be getting warmer, well almost, and spring is hopefully around the corner from us. It is time for all of us to prepare ourselves for the influx of beer festivals coming to a town near you. It is always a hard decision for me to figure out which ones to go to. Having two children cramps your festival lifestyle quite a bit however, one festival I always make the trip to is The Thirsty Orange. The best part of this festival is that it is relatively small in attendance so you get up to the brewers easier and the all attending brewers are required to bring one keg of something you will not be able to get anywhere ever again. What more reason do you need to head on over to Johnson City and have at it? This year I hear the location will move from the Mellow Mushroom parking lot to the Millennium Centre at ETSU. This looks like a fantastic location to hold a beer fest having a good amount of space and a parking garage next door.
The Friday before the fest you can come to the Thirsty Orange Beer Dinner at the Battery Restaurant, where they will have 5 breweries represented with 5 unique beers and 5 dishes made using that specific beer. The Battery is a great venue and will have low country/Charleston style food infused with the beer. For those that don’t want beer but want something different, all 5 dishes can be served with Urban Orchard Cider as substitute if they prefer (just let them know in advance). Here is what they have for the 5 breweries:
Wicked Weed/Oscar Blues Collaboration, Sleepy Owl Brewery – w/ head brewer Brian Connatser, Wolf Hills – w/ head brewer Drake Scott, Urban Orchard Cider Co – w/ head brewer Josie Mielke, and a surprise brewery.
The morning of the festival they will have the Run for the Booty. It is a color run with gold coins on ETSU’s campus and it’s going to EPIC. So you can burn off some calories before the festival and replace them. This will make BeerSnob Rob happy.
During the festival be sure to be on the lookout for the Wicked Weed/Oscar Blues collaborations well as other collaboration brews. Urban Orchard Cider Co will be bringing a variety of cool ciders. They will have the Big Orange Mixology Station from shaved chocolate to boba balls and Mr. Ratchet will be running with the 2 mobile infusers stations where you can run a choice beer through an infuser containing who knows what for a killer flavor experience.
Well I believe I have presented many reasons to head on over to Johnson City on April 11th for the beer dinner and April 12th for the festival and if not maybe this will change your mind: