The Gahanna Brewfest won’t be big. And that’s intentional.
The organizers behind the first-time event, set for May 24 at the Creekside Plaza, are limiting attendance to 500 people and there will be only 10 breweries, all hailing from central Ohio. The idea is to create a more intimate event where craft beer fans can chat with brewers and not a drunk-fest with volunteers pouring samples as fast as they can.
“The goal is to get local breweries together at a local venue for the local craft beer drinker,” said organizer Don Henderson of Craft Draft Brewfest, a marketing company. “That’s what it’s all about.”
He questioned whether the large beer festivals that attract thousands will remain popular given the demands on craft brewers. The sheer number of beer tastings and festivals now in Ohio is overwhelming. Anyone who's attended a large festival knows they can devolve into a drunkfest and the opportunity to chat directly with brewers can be limited because of the size of the crowd.
“Do they need these big huge events?” Henderson asked. “I don’t know. I can see it slowly gravitating away from that.”
Craft Draft Brewfest wants to put on about 10 smaller events a year in Ohio. Each will have a similar theme: local breweries and a limited number of tickets, and the event being held at a local place that supports craft beer.
The Gahanna Brewfest is its first effort. Actual, Buckeye Lake, Elevator, Four String, Homestead, Hoof Hearted, Rockmill, Seventh Son, Wolf’s Ridge and Zauber are slated to participate. (Catawba Island pulled out.) There are expected to be 30 beers available.
The event, sponsored by Local Cantina, begins at 6:30 p.m. for VIP ticket-holders and 7:30 p.m. for general admission. VIP tickets are $65 and include 25 samples, access to specialty beers, an 8-ounce souvenir mug and food from Local Cantina. General admission tickets are $45 and include 25 samples and the mug.
A portion of the proceeds benefit Ohio CASA/GAL Association, a nonprofit that organization helps abused and neglected children through the court system.
For more details or tickets, click here.