I know it’s only Monday — but is anyone else already thinking about the weekend? I am. Because we’re headed to MAFIAoZA’s Music City Brewer’s Festival!
The event is coming up this Saturday — and in its 13th year, has a good lineup of music, food, and of course BEER.
The event typically sells out, which isn’t surprising given that a single ticket gives you access to 40+ local, regional, national, and imported beers. Plus, a portion of proceeds supports the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee!
I’m pretty pumped to attend the event and sample as much as I can. I have a history of doing booze fests after long runs (here’s me face-planting into a popcorn bag at a post-20 miler wine festival last summer), so we’ll see how this goes
I had the opportunity to interview Michael Dolan and Lars Kopperud, co-owners of MAFIAoZA’s, as well as Candace Price, event director and original event producer, about this big beer fest. Read below!
1. Why did MAFIAoZA’S decide to get involved and sponsor this event?
MAFIAoZA’S: Because our 12South MAFIAoZAs is just not big enough! MAFIAoZA’s Music City Brewer’s is about everything our customers love: pizza, beer, music, community, charity, and fun!
2. What local beer(s) would you say pair best with a slice of gooey pizza?
MAFIAoZA’S: MAFIAoZA’s pizza goes great with a pint of Blue Moon or Peroni. MAFIAoZA’s customers’ favorite local beer is Yazoo and Turtle Anarchy, but MAFIAoZA’s loves all the local beers its serves with its world famous pizzas and pastas!
3. What advice would you give people planning on coming?
MAFIAoZA’S: Get your tickets early, drink responsibility, and take a cab or call Uber!
4. What can attendees expect to enjoy the most at the MAFIAoZA’s Music City Brewer’s Festival?
MAFIAoZA’S: A wonderful Nashville community celebration and a chance to try our MAFIAoZA’s pizza as well as a wide selection of local and national beers!
5. How has the event changed and improved in the 10+ years it’s been held?
Candace: When we first started, it was much smaller – probably 1,200 people the first year and we host about 7,500 annually now over two sessions. It was just one session for many years and about five years ago we added the second session.
Many breweries (both local and national) have launched at our event and it’s a great opportunity to try beer that isn’t or hasn’t been available in the past. This year we are offering a limited number of tickets to the Friday night brewer reception that has always been private and it’s a fundraiser for our local brewers guild. The $75 ticket includes Friday night and early admission to session a on Saturday.
6. What inspired you to start this festival?
Candace: There weren’t any beer festivals in Nashville when we started and for many years, we were the only event that focused on craft brewers and the best way for new brewers to market their product. With a marketing and event background, our goal was to provide brewers and attendees a way to come together in a fun environment that provided marketing opportunities for brewers and educational opportunities for consumers.
7. How has the craft beer scene changed in Nashville in recent years?
Candace: In Nashville and all over the country, the craft beer scene is increasing in popularity. We have some of the best beer brewed in Nashville and our local brewers have grown from just a couple of players when we started to over 40 in the state now.
8. What makes this beer festival different from others in the area?
Candace: We are the original. We were the first event of the kind in the area for many years. We are the biggest beer event, and I’ve heard many people say the best. We are the only festival that has two options on sessions – we find that the earlier session tends to be a little more laid back and the second session provides a solid economic impact with all of the people heading to the downtown scene after the event…
9. What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen happen at the event?
Candace: We’ve had a beer garb contest — seeing some of the costumes and t-shirts that people wear can make you stop and giggle.
We’ve also had people that have met at our event and gone on to get married. We’ve heard many stories of that type of thing and it’s a little funny, but so fun!
10. What are your favorite Nashville brews?
Candace: There are so many! Yazoo holds a special place for me as they launched at our event before anyone knew who they were. I love their pale ale – you just can’t go wrong with that – ever. Bosco’s has some of the best seasonals; depending on what time of year you go in, you can find some really unique brews there.
I’m also a fan of Czann’s, which just officially started a little over a year ago, but has been a part of our local homebrew scene for a while. Czann’s just opened a new taproom and I’m anxious to get over there and check it out. One more i want to mention is Turtle Anarchy. Yum. They do some fun things with the beer, starting with a stout, adding coffee flavor, and even coconut on top of that. So many great brews, so little time…
So many great brews, indeed. I’m thankful for the opportunity to attend this upcoming event, and hope to see you there! Grab tickets before they sell out!