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To the outside world, Chattanooga might not seem like a big beer town. No one would confuse it with Portland or Boston. But what outsiders don’t realize is that Chattanooga has its own great beer community—and it’s growing. In fact, it’s starting to attract some attention: Livability.com recently included it in its list of the Top Ten “unexpected” beer cities in America. And local beer lovers should already know that one of the best days of the year is coming up fast. For those not in the know, we’re talking about the 19th Annual Southern Brewers Festival, coming to the Chattanooga Riverfront (Ross’s Landing) on Saturday, Aug. 24.
Running from 2 p.m. until midnight, the Southern Brewers Festival is a full day celebration of all things beer. More than 40 breweries will be on hand, with multiple styles of beer on tap, totaling around 100 different beers to taste. These breweries range from local companies like Moccasin Bend Brewing Co., Terminal Brewhouse and Chattanooga Brewing Co., to nationally recognized brands like Blue Moon, Samuel Adams and Yuengeling, with plenty of regional beers from across the South, as well as the rest of the country. After 19 years, the festival has become a local tradition, one that keeps getting bigger and bigger. It was recently named the Best Brewer’s Festival in America by Draft Magazine, while Maxim listed the fest in its top three.
Admission comes with a complimentary commemorative 14-oz. glass and one beer token to use towards your choice of beer. Additional tokens will be available for $2 each. Two tokens will get you a “full pour” of 12 oz, while one token gets you a “half pour” of 6 oz. All ages are welcome—and kids 12 and under are free—just make sure the beer drinkers among you bring along an ID and don’t forget to designate a driver.
The money you’ll spend doesn’t just go towards your own beer enjoyment—you’ll be downing a brew for a good cause. All proceeds from the event go to Chattanooga’s Kids On The Block program and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen. Last year alone, $173,000 dollars were raised, and since its inception 19 years ago, the Southern Brewers Festival has brought in nearly one million dollars for various local Chattanooga charities.
If that wasn’t enough, this isn’t just a beer fest; it’s a full-blown one-day music festival, too. This year’s edition carries the heaviest-hitting lineup so far, starting with headliner Galactic and their very special guest, Corey Glover of Living Colour. Rounding out the lineup are Robert Randolph & the Family Band, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, North Mississippi Allstars and Yarn. Whether you go for the beer or the music, or both, this is one annual event you don’t want to miss.