Sometimes (OK, most of the time) we drink beer just because we love it. But this weekend, drink beer for a good cause: the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Austin Area.
The nonprofit that provides after-school programs and other services to kids is raising money by offering us all tasty craft brews at the Austin Specialty Beer Festival noon Saturday at Fiesta Gardens. In its first year, the festival will have beer from about 50 breweries from Texas and beyond, from Thirsty Planet to Alaskan Brewery and even the just-available-to-Texas Firestone Walker.
“Hopefully people come not wanting mainstream beers that you can get just anywhere,” Mark Albers, resource development coordinator for the nonprofit, said of the event he hopes will become long-standing in Austin. He added that a plus is knowing your money isn’t going to a for-profit or a person, but for a cause.
What does that money get you? First of all, pay online and it’s $10 bucks cheaper – $30 rather than $40 at the gate (which is cash-only). No matter what amount festival-goers fork out, the price guarantees an ASBF tasting glass and 10 beer tickets. Each beer ticket goes toward one pour, a 2 oz. sampling. If the samples aren’t enough to slake your thirst before the 10 p.m. closing time, pay up another 10 bucks and you get 10 more beer tickets.
Other ticket options include VIP passes ranging from $55 for a single person and $400 for a group of eight. With these, you can arrive at the festival an hour early and have access to a VIP tent with light snacks and reserved seating. And for the poor souls suckered into designated driving that day, take comfort in knowing that at least you only have to hand over $20.
There will also be food trucks on site, since nothing goes better with beer than Kebabalicious or the Peached Tortilla.
Albers said that in addition to the beer and the food, some brewers will be available to talk about their beer, although their attendance isn’t required.
He’s always been a beer drinker, but noticed his “horizon expanded while planning for this event.” It’s now his personal goal to try a new brew each weekend.
Saturday certainly seems to be a good day to expand your beer palate and explore various styles. To purchase tickets in advance or to find more information on the festival, visit http://www.austinspecialtybeerfestival.com.