Podcast: Session 19 – Tips & Strategies For Planning a Kick-Ass Beer Event


With the beer industry thriving, many events have surfaced that help celebrate the scene and its dynamic culture. Craft beer is all about community and  those responsible for producing the liquid that makes it all possible are always at the core of events designed to raise money for charity, bring awareness to specific causes, and provide a tremendous alternative to beer tents with $1 drafts of domestic light lager…all while helping elevate the profile of craft beer and introducing new enthusiasts to diverse, innovative products.

The generosity of the beer industry has led to the creation of many events. Most of them are planned well and support a great cause. Others, unfortunately, fall short. The object of today’s show is to pinpoint some of the aspects of good events and bad events and help anyone who is planning out a beer festival get started on the right foot.

In Session 19 of the Breaking Brews Podcast, Jason Cercone is joined by Meg Evans and Lauren Baker. Lauren made her first appearance on the show back in Session 3 while this is Meg’s Breaking Brews debut. If you listened to Session 3, Lauren talked about her role as Production Manager at North Country Brewing Company. Since then, she has transitioned to General Manager of The Harmony Inn (a bar and restaurant also owned and operated by North Country Brewing) and Meg has picked up where Lauren has left off, vacating her role as Head Brewer at Rock Bottom to make the jump to North Country as Production Manager. 

Both have experience running events small and large in their beer industry tenure. Most notably, Meg was one of the brain trust behind Brewtal Beer Fest, Pittsburgh’s first beer and heavy metal festival. For the past two years, Lauren has been at the helm of organizing and executing North Country’s annual Brewfest. Those events, plus a LOT of other in between, make these two ladies the perfect guests to tackle the subject of planning a kick-ass beer event.

If you are thinking about putting a beer event or beer festival together, what should you consider? This episode goes into great detail about many aspects, including but not limited to:

  • What is the purpose of your event?
  • Have you scouted out the location of your event?
  • How big of an event do you want to host?
  • Do you have enough bathrooms for your guests?
  • How do you plan on taking care of your vendors?
  • What are some of the common mistakes event planners make when executing their event?
  • Do your vendors have everything they need (instructions on when and where to unload, ice, dump buckets, water for glass rinses, etc.)? 
  • How do you ensure the best experience for vendors? For guests? For sponsors?
  • How do you acquire sponsors?
  • Does your event have a charitable aspect to it?
  • How do you properly stipend a brewery to have their beer poured at your event?
  • How will you ensure safe, responsible drinking at your event?
  • What do you do when months of planning go haywire day of your event and you need to think on your feet to make it all work out?
  • What steps can you take to ensure your event will return for a 2nd year and beyond?

Planning a beer event, big or small, needs to deliver something unique and memorable. If you plan your event properly, you can ensure things flow more smoothly. This session of the Breaking Brews Podcast dives deep into tips and strategies you should always have front of mind when putting together a beer event, no matter what size you have in mind.

If you’d like to read more on the subject, check out 7 Points to Consider When Planning a Beer Festival on Breaking Brews.

Connect with North Country Brewing:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

And The Harmony Inn:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

MUSIC CREDIT: All music heard on today’s session of the Breaking Brews Podcast is courtesy of purple-planet.com


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