If the Twilight Criterium wasn’t already one of the biggest events of the year in Athens, it’s about to be. My Athens is partnering with Twilight and hosting the inaugural Apps & Taps Invitational. On May 7 from noon to 4 p.m., spectators of the bike race can enjoy beer from over 24 craft breweries from around the country along with food from local restaurants.
“Outside of football games, [Twilight] is the biggest event that happens in Athens all year, period,” said Rachel Bailey, the executive director of My Athens. “So it seemed like it was really missing something by not having more of the food and beer culture represented.”
There will be six beer gardens along Washington street in the following locations with two between Hull and Lumpkin Streets, two between Lumpkin Street and College Avenue and two between College Avenue and Jackson Street. The setups will be right next to the race course for ideal spectating. Each of the six beer gardens will have four breweries and bring at least two beers and one or more special offerings.
Tickets cost $45 and offer unlimited samples of the breweries along with a plate from each of the restaurants including Five Bar, The Last Resort, South Kitchen & Bar and more. After 4 p.m., Apps & Taps will run Twilight’s VIP experience which includes courtside viewing at the start and finish lines, a fully catered dinner from Porterhouse Grill and unlimited Creature Comforts beer.
Apps & Taps hopes not only to make race day exciting for spectators, but also to help Habitat for Humanity, which has been involved with Twilight for the past three years.
“It’s incredible the amount of work, productivity and real change that’s coming out of [Habitat’s] office,” Bailey said.
Bailey says that if they sell out the Apps & Taps tickets, they will raise over $30,000 which will go towards raising House #86 for a lady named Ms. Peggy.
“In a way, this is going to be the house that beer built,” Bailey said. “That’s a really fun idea for us, to be able to bring such a strong statement about our culinary culture in front of the 30,000 people that come to downtown Athens for Twilight and in doing so create such a tangible and specific good.”
People who participate in Apps & Taps will not only be contributing to someone’s house, but also will get an experience at Twilight they can’t find at home on the couch.
“It’s really fun to talk about all these lofty things we’re doing and our hopes for the people that Habitat benefits, but at the end of the day, what we’re really hoping to provide for the 1,200 people we’re selling tickets to is a really good party,” Bailey said. “It would be great if people really connected emotionally with our mission, supporting Habitat and enriching the culture and city, but the most important thing to us is just showing people a really good time.”