Spring is approaching, and that means a few things: March Madness is right around the corner, and beer festivals should soon get into full swig. (See what I did there? Swig instead of swing?)

Last year, we talked about strategies to use when approaching a beer festival: what to do when there are so many choices. That still sits as one of the most viewed posts we’ve ever had. And then we did a follow-up piece on how it went. It was as much a review of the Roswell Beer Fest as it was a retrospective on the planning we had done the week before.

And now the Roswell Beer Fest (March 23) is almost here, and it’s time to revisit those strategies. (Word on the streets is that they’re looking at having over 400 unique beers this year!) This time, it’s an anticipation of what might be there. I have a good feel for the lay of the land (and love how they break up the areas based on style, rather than by brewery.) I’d like your feedback this time. There have been so many new breweries and new beers released into the wild in the last year – both locally and around the world.

What is the ‘it’ beer we need to be looking for?

If you were to name the top new breweries and top new beers (anywhere – doesn’t have to be local), what would you name? Obviously, we know all about Wild Leap and Variant and Pontoon, etc. They’re killing it, and everyone knows it. I’m talking about the breweries and brewpubs … the specific beers that are outstanding that not many people know of yet. What are the top 3 “must-have” beers and breweries for a beer fest today? Read between the lines here, you could potentially have a say in what beers are being offered! When else have you had that opportunity?

Share this post in your beer snob circles … comment below with those beers that should be at the top of my list for the event. You can always email as well. Thank you in advance – and also let us know if you’ll be at #RBF2019.

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March 5, 2019
Mike Pennington

Author: Mike Pennington

Mike Pennington, normal, 40-ish, father of three, living the suburban dream north of Atlanta.  

9 Replies to “Beer Fest – What Are the “IT” beers?”

  1. Avatar
    Steve says: March 5, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Bearded Iris
    Untitled Art
    Old Nation Brewing
    Wrecking Bar

    1. Mike Pennington
      Mike Pennington says: March 5, 2019 at 3:03 pm

      Thanks, Steve! Everything from Burial is a winner, and I have some BI Homestyle in the fridge right now! I know Old Nation was killing it with Boss Tweed and M43.
      Just happy I don’t live closer to Wrecking Bar, or I’d get myself into major trouble.

    2. Avatar
      Jeff says: March 5, 2019 at 3:28 pm

      I am not a huge Burial fan, but will make sure it is part of our order. Bearded Iris, YES, Untitled Art (drinking this one as we speak) Old Nation M-43 already on order. Need to find out who is distributor for wrecking bar beers.

      Jeff @ Roswell Beer Festival

  2. Avatar
    Skip L says: March 5, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    I’d LOVE to see more “locals” barrel aged offerings (barleywines, stouts, tripels, dubbels) by Cherry Street, Monday Night, Atlanta Brewing Co., Orpheous, Burnt Hickory, 3 Taverns… and some harder to find or not as common distro to GA such as The Bruery, Prairie Artisan Ales, Bottle Logic, Goose Island, etc. etc. Don’t get me wrong, its great to have the common BA offerings like Innes & Gunn, New Holland’s Dragons Milk and (Alltech) Kentucky Bourbon Barrel – but there are sooooo many BIGGER BETTER options that draw attention to beer geeks like me. This could be an optional special purchase “upgraded pass” for those interested to help offset costs. Not necessarily “VIP”, but a next level up purchase and pass required to get in to the section and get those pours. Cheers and see ya at the fest!

    1. Mike Pennington
      Mike Pennington says: March 5, 2019 at 3:14 pm

      Thank you, Skip. And I couldn’t agree more. I love the BA-stuff. I do think that the VIP tent had a few whales last year. And I look forward to finding more of them in 2019!

    2. Avatar
      Jeff says: March 5, 2019 at 3:32 pm

      Skip, The Bruery and Prairie will be part of the order like previous years; I will keep my eye out on some other options; send me details on specific beers in our distribution network.

      PS – just got off the phone with Cherry Street, barrel aged reserve beers ordered (although will be limited to VIP due to cost)

      Keep the ideas coming yall,


      1. Mike Pennington
        Mike Pennington says: March 5, 2019 at 4:01 pm

        Scored some Cherry Street BA beers? That’s amazing. If the VIP ticket wasn’t already worth it … it just got there. I was up there Saturday and the BA program there is amazing.

  3. Russ
    Russ says: March 5, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    I would love to see some stuff from brewpubs turned distributors, like Cannon brew pub in Columbus. I also will second the request for more barrel aged stuff as THAT will draw people like flies to honey!

    1. Mike Pennington
      Mike Pennington says: March 5, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      Now you have me thinking about places like Moon River in Savannah … showing off their GABF gold medals.

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