The 2020 Athens Beer Week is approaching — and approaching quickly, where Athenians and out-of-town transplants can enjoy tours of local breweries, craft beer celebrations, special tappings and more.
The Red & Black has prepared a comprehensive guide of what to expect on every day of the weeklong festival.
Monday, March 30
The week will kick off on Monday with a “beer dinner” at Taste of India at 6:30 p.m. Throughout the dining experience, attendees will eat four courses of Indian cuisine paired with five hand-picked craft beers for each course. A secured seat at the dinner will cost $40 plus tax and gratuity, and reservations must be made by calling Taste of India.
Owen Ogletree, the founder of Classic City Brew Fest, will host the meal along with the manager of Taste of India, Akansha Chhabra. Craft beer makes for a great compliment to spicy foods, Ogletree said.
Tuesday, March 31
On Tuesday, the Creature Comforts Brewing Co. storefront will serve a selection of local craft beers chosen specifically for the festival. Following the open tasting, Ogletree will host a free “Beer Science Cafe” seminar and accompanying tasting at Little Kings Shuffle Club at 6 p.m.
The 90-minute seminar will unveil the science behind cask-conditioned ale and what separates it from draft beer, Ogletree said. Spots must be reserved in advance online.
To conclude the night, Hi-Lo Lounge will host beer trivia at 8:30 p.m., where guests will have the chance to win two free passes to Classic City Brew Fest.
Wednesday, April 1
Festivities will begin at 4 p.m. at Terrapin Beer Co. with a pouring of special brews, followed by the opening of Creature Comforts’ tasting room at 5 p.m. Southern Brewing Company will also have a lineup of celebratory beers available for taste in their taproom at 5 p.m. These same events will also take place on Thursday.
To end the night, touring musical "The Choir of Man" — which follows a cast of tap dancers, instrumentalists and poets performing songs in a pub setting — will make a stop at the Georgia Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Terrapin will provide free beer before the show.
Thursday, April 2
Terrapin, Creature Comforts and Southern Brewing will open their tasting rooms at the same time as Wednesday.
Friday, April 3
More tasting will take place on Friday, beginning at 1 p.m. at Terrapin, 3 p.m. at Creature Comforts and 5 p.m. at Southern Brewing.
Saturday, April 4
Saturday’s festivities will include more beer tastings at Creature Comforts at 1 p.m. and Southern Brewing at 2:30 p.m. Following the tastings, Terrapin will host its 18th Anniversary Carnival from 4-8 p.m.
This event will be packed full of rare brews, food trucks, carnival games and live performances by Dusty’s Ragtime & Novelties. Attendance is $26 per person, and tickets can be purchased online here.
Sunday, April 5
The week will conclude with the 25th annual Classic City Brew Fest on Sunday. The event will take place at the Athens Cotton Press from 2:30-6 p.m. and will include over 50 exclusive cask ales from local breweries, local draft booths, live music and food trucks. Tickets are $39.99 and can be purchased online.
Classic City Brew Fest is not a typical festival full of beers that you can buy from any local package store, Ogletree said. For Brew Fest, Ogletree will provide a 10 gallon English-style cask ale to the participating breweries. The breweries will then get the chance to get creative by personalizing the cask with their own fusion of flavors.
Ogletree hopes that by attending Classic City Brew Fest, guests will grow their appreciation for beer by experimenting with new flavors and acknowledging the complexity of its taste.
“These are beers you can’t find anywhere else,” Ogletree said. “When people show up and try it [the beer] they’re just blown away .”
After the festival, there will be post-Brew Fest gatherings at Trappeze Pub, Akademia Brewing Company and Hi-Lo Lounge. Trappeze will be serving special kegs, casks and hearty food plates. There will be a free shuttle running from the Brew Fest to Trappeze once the festival is over.