On Saturday, the Nashville Predators hosted their second annual Craft Beer Festival. Set as an even bigger event than last year, guests were able to sample brews from over 60 different breweries and support the Nashville Predators Foundation at the same time. Adding to the uniqueness of the festival is that it’s held indoors at Bridgestone Arena, during the summer when air conditioning is a hot commodity.
“Last year was our first year doing it and we had 40 breweries,” said Rebecca King, Director of Community Relations for the Nashville Predators. “This year we have 60 breweries with over 200 beers. Last year, we planned the event in just under two months, so this year we had more time to plan and get the word out. We also partnered with several other festivals and they’re here promoting their events, too.”
Obviously, the big cause for the event is to support the Nashville Predators Foundation. The Predators have done an excellent job in bringing fun, unique events to the community that raise funds for the Foundation and Craft Beer Fest isn’t any different.
“We host four major events, this being the fourth major,” said King. “We have a golf tournament, casino night, wine tasting and now this event. All of the money that is raised goes into a grants program so we give money to nonprofits, which is unique. We’re not raising money for us, we’re raising money for our community.”
As the event continues to grow, it just means more people are exposed to the great things the Nashville Predators Foundation is doing.
“We’ve probably got over 2,000 people when it’s all said and done,” said Chris Parker, Executive Vice President and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer. “We try to find ways to be relevant with every audience. Obviously not everyone here would be interested in the wine festival, so you want to be as relevant as possible and engage as many people as you can. This has been a phenomenal event especially being at the tail end of Craft Beer Week in Nashville.”
This is certainly an event that shows promise to continue to grow each year. The breweries themselves are excited to share their unique brews with the community.
“We’re the only Indiana brewery available in the southeast,” said Eric Finch, Regional Sales Manager for Flat 12. “We’re super proud of that. We wanted to bring down some unique offerings for summer like our Cucumber Kolsch. It’s one of the only beers that features a cucumber. We use organic cucumber juice and the kolsch is a German style. We decided to do something a little bit different.”
It was one of the most unique beers offered at the festival and it garnered a very unique taste. The event brought breweries from all over the country, including Erie Brewing out of Erie, Pennsylvania.
“This is our first time here and we’re super excited,” said Aubrey McConnell, Erie Brewing Sales Manager. “We were able to share two of our beers, the first being our brand new one, Soleil Shandy. It just came out and was released on Tuesday. And then we also brought our cherry-inspired Derailed Black Cherry Ale. We thrive on making good, quality beers with all natural products.”
Local breweries to the Nashville area were also featured, such as Turtle Anarchy Brewing Company.
“This has been great,” said Mark Kamp, President of Turtle Anarchy Brewing Company. “It’s downtown, it’s partnered with one of the local sports teams and it brings people out that love craft beer all for the sake of charity.”
One of the unique brews from Turtle Anarchy is called “What the Fudge?” and it’s something that sets them apart from other companies.
“Every brewery is different,” said Kamp. “We don’t make the products any differently, but our recipes and styles make us different. We took our normal stout and infused it with chocolate. It’s just one variation of many that we’ve done including Thai Curry and many others.”
Not only did the breweries enjoy the festival, but many attendees enjoyed being able to sample the unique selection of craft beers.
“The $50 for the beer fest is well worth it,” said Rachel Vanderberg of Nashville, TN. “It’s nice in the middle of the day that you have air conditioning. I like American IPAs and the variety is definitely here for that. ”
As the Predators look to find more ways to keep the community involved in the offseason, be on the lookout for more fun events. Rumor has it that a chicken wing festival is on tap for July. Stay tuned for more details.