In this Southern Brewer’s Festival Chattanooga, TN review we are going to cover it’s history, ticket prices, what you can expect and attendee reviews.
It’s not your average beer and cider festival, it’s praised as one the liveliest events of the year attracting scores of beer and hard cider enthusiasts nationwide such as Grant Arbitter who said, “I had a great time! Good cider and selection, got to meet with a lot of Brewers and talk shop about what to make next. Great crowd and all had fun!”
For 22 years The Southern Brewers Festival continues to be a Chattanooga summer tradition. With beer from over 50 breweries, live music from 2 pm – midnight, and hosted at Ross’ Landing Park adjacent to the Tennessee River, this is a beer festival not to be missed.
Some of the craft beer selections this year include but not limited to: Goose Island, Highland Brewing Co., Wiseacre, Bell’s, Hi-Wire Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Terrapin Beer Co., Wild Heaven Craft Beer, Tailgate Beer, Smuttynose Brewing Co., Chattanooga Brewing Co., Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats, Fat Bottom Brewing, and more!
Attendee Reviews and Testimonials
In this review, we’re going to cover the good, the bad and the ugly.
First, the good.
Meagan M. – “TONS of breweries, many that aren’t readily available in Chattanooga. The fact that the festival was split into two days this year is a plus, too, because you have more time to try more beers without getting completely drunk trying to cram them all into one day of drinking. Also, this year they had way more port-a-potties and they were fairly clean for the duration of the festival.
- – “There was plenty of green lawn spaces, complimented by a picturesque view of the river. And we got lucky with some fantastic weather too!
The idea of beer tokens resonates with me. Each beer is poured to 14oz at costs you one token. You get one token with your entry fee, but every token after that is $3. Most of the beer fests I go to are Drink All You Can, so I always feel inclined to drink like crazy to get my money’s worth. At this festival, though, you pay as you go so your cost for the festival is as much or as little as you like. Also, I found that because of this the crowd stayed a bit more tame throughout the entire day.
I also really liked that the festival was long: 2pm-12am. This meant that you could enjoy a few hours on the front end, head back to the hotel for a swim or grab some dinner, then come back to party on the rest of the night.
Beer selection was excellent! My favorite beer of all time, the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, was on tap at the festival!! I also tried out a really delicious pumpkin beer, and a couple of Red Ales. Overall, it was nice to check out some other brewers that don’t usually make it to Atlanta.”
Now the bad.
Meagan M. – “For $30/ticket, you should get at least one or two pours included. Or water. But no. You pay $30 just for the privilege of getting through the gates, then you pay $4/beer, and if you want water you have to pay $2-$4 per bottle. There are no water fountains around, and you’re not allowed to bring in your own water.”
Nicole H. – “By far the most expensive beer festival I’ve ever been to. $30 is pretty steep for admission to a festival. That $30 gives you entrance and a plastic cup (if you lose the cup you must pay a fee to get another). The $30 fee does not give you any beer at all.
You can watch people waste so much beer trying to get the foam to calm down for a decent pour and then watch these people measure your half of a cup to the centimeter. I enjoyed the beer and music, but would not pay that much again.
And the ugly.
THE UGLY Meagan M. -“There was only one local vendor–Good Dog, who I love–at this festival. The rest was crappy carnival food. Chattanooga has a wealth of food trucks… why not invite some of them to set up, too?”
Cody R. – “I would recommend not buying a ticket if there is a chance of rain. You could easily end up wasting your money.”
special note: General admission now includes 1 beer token, prices have been reduced slightly.
Southern Brewer’s Festival Tips, Secrets and Facts
* It’s a pay-as-you-go event, meaning that you drink in proportion to what you pay. Unlike other events where you pay one price and drink as much as you can, the crowds here are much tamer because people are forced to be more conscientious about their drinking. Great for crowd control and people with any drinking problems and aggressive behavior, not so much for those who don’t mind getting a bit tipsy without breaking the bank harming no one in their experience.
* Bring your lawn chairs or at the very least, some blankets to claim your space
Tickets! Get Yer’ Southern Brewer’s Festival Tickets Here!
So how much are these special event tickets to Southern Brewer’s Festival tickets going to cost exactly?
General Admission entry is $25.00 which includes concert, beer mug, and 1 beer token. Day-of-Event general admission is $30.00.
To purchase beer tokens in advance without waiting in line and receive 1 beer token FREE ($2.00 per token on-site), it’s $18.00 for 10 beer token bundles. 1 Token = half pour, 2 Tokens = full pour. Redeem this separate ticket at the front gate. This does not include admission. General Admission or VIP sold separately.
Lastly we have the V.I.P section – the Southern Brewers Festival – VIP Pier ($125.00).
Package experience includes the luxury of private partially shaded seating, breathtaking views of the Tennessee River, a bird’s eye view of the live music and a panorama of the entire festival. Bottomless beers poured from several different breweries and unlimited food. This pass also includes all day access to private air conditioned restrooms and the company of other like-minded craft brew and music aficionados.
Where Is The Southern Brewer’s Festival Location?
The Southern Brewers Fest is held at the historical Ross’s Landing Park, which offers up outstanding views of both the Tennessee River and surrounding downtown Chattanooga.
The entrance gate is located at Chestnut Street and 2nd Street (Corner of Hennens and the Courtyard Marriott). Event hours are from 2 p.m to Midnight held on a Saturday August 20th, 2016.
So there you have it. That’s the Chattanooga beer fest 2016 review in a nutshell.
If you’re looking to have a good time with family and friends while listening to premier live music over several glasses of cold craft beer, this festival is the place you need to be!
By the way, the Cider Dayze Festival is just around the corner for a fun road trip with friends and family to Michigan’s best for even more exclusive beer and hard cider selections.