One Competitive Beer Festival

By Tripp Liles

There is an area of Milton that the locals refer to as Crabapple. It’s a little enclave of a community and at the heart of it lies a small mixed-use concept that is home to Olde Blind Dog, which is a great authentic pub. Those guys along with Pinnacle Beverage will be hosting the Big South Beer Festival at the Milton City Hall plaza on April 14 in support of Children’s Charities.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the craft beer movement is more than a passing fad and there are numerous beer festivals all around including the Roswell Beer Festival we highlighted last month. But the Big South event will be unique in that it will feature a competition style format featuring AHA/BJCP (American Homebrewers Association and Beer Judges Certification Program) certified judges. They will judge beers from fifteen categories with each brewery able to enter three beers, one per category. The breweries participating will be from throughout the Southeast with many local favorites like Gate City Brewing and Abbey of the Holy Goats. This event came about as a general effort of local leaders to increase the awareness of the growing vibrant area.

“This all started with (Milton) Mayor Lockwood saying we need a festival and you guys are going to do one… I said uh, okay,” stated Chuck Squires of Pinnacle Beverage. “We also knew we had to make this beneficial to everyone and we have Children’s Charities. They do great work… it’s a great charity.”
For those of us not judging, all we have to do is enjoy the great spring weather and world-class beer. At the event they will feature beers from 50 breweries from throughout the Southeast where you can sample as much as you wish, responsibly of course, in a customized tasting glass.

Of course you cannot have beer without food and the event will feature samples from some of the best restaurants in the area. And let’s also not forget the entertainment, as there will be live music from Jack’s River Band (pictured) and Process of Elimination. Jack’s River Band plays Southern Rock favorites and music from their latest album Woodland Creatures. Process Of Elimination plays hits from the 80s and 90s.

Another unique aspect to this event is the fact that you will be able to purchase many of the beers available. All beers that have an appointed distributor in the Atlanta market will be available for sale. Purchases are facilitated through their mobile website www.bigsouthfestival.com. Open the mobile friendly site on your smart phone and purchase your free samples favorites, which can then be picked up at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe located at 12280 Houze Rd. in Alpharetta.

Tickets to the event are $40 for the first 1,000 and $50 for all else. For more information visit www.bigsouthbeercompetition.com and for more info on Children’s Charities see our article.