Fest of Ale brings 100 breweries, beer aficionados to New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater
Story by Mandy Wolf Detwiler | Photos by Danny Alexander
If you’re a Kentuckiana beer connoisseur or just plain like a pint or two on a hot day, there are fewer places to enjoy a brew than the Fest of Ale at the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater. Now in it’s 12th year, the event not only brings together more than 100 breweries with beer fans, it also raises money for the WHAS Crusade for Children.
This year’s Fest of Ale will be held 3 to 7 p.m. June 3 at the amphitheater. Hosted by Keg Liquors, there will be more than 250 craft and imported beers to sample. Keg Liquors owner Todd Antz is the son of a Jeffersonville firefighter who spent plenty a day raising money for the Crusade for Children. Looking for his own way to help, Antz spearheaded Fest of Ale more than a decade ago, which raised more than $16,000 for the Crusade in 2016.
“Last year was our first year at the New Albany amphitheater,” Antz says. “That was a huge change from us over where we had held it in Clarksville before. Just that setting of the river in the background (and) there was so much open space that we were able to set up and use. We’ve learned from that first year.”
Don’t expect random guys pouring small tastes of ales. Representatives from breweries big and small will be on-hand to field questions and talk about their offerings.
“We have over a hundred different breweries represented, and we’re one of the few beer fests in the area that I’ve seen actually brings in the majority of the actual brewery employees themselves,” Antz says. “Through the event and my stores, we’ve just established good relationships spectrum, whether it’s people just getting into good beer, or you’re a hardcore person who’s knee-deep in good beer.”
There will also be a small sampling of vino available.
“We usually have eight to 20 different wineries there,” Antz added. “There will be a good combination of local and national wineries represented. We get as much as we can locally, but then some of my distributors actually come in and pour different wineries as well too.”
Live music will also keep the event, well, hopping. Food trucks are available.
“We suggest to people that you’ve eaten a good lunch before you come out. We see many people make that mistake,” Antz laughs. “Keep well hydrated. It’s not a sprint, and it’s not drink-as-much-as-you-can. I tell people to be choosy. There’s more beer there than any one person can make it through. Look for (beers) you haven’t had before, or experiment with a style you might not have tried before. With 250 different beers available, there’s something there for everybody. I always try to push people outside of their comfort zone.”
No one under the age of 21 may enter the event, and designated drivers are encouraged and enter free of charge, but are not permitted to sample. Volunteers at the event will also call a taxi service if needed. Fest of Ale is handicapped accessible.
New this year is a shuttle service in conjunction with Mellow Mushroom, which is located in Louisville. For an extra $15 per person, attendees will be shuttled back and forth from the pizzeria’s two locations in the Highlands and on Shelbyville Road.
Tickets to the Fest of Ale are $40 in advance or $50 on site. The event will be held rain or shine. To purchase, visit Keg Liquors at 617 E. Lewis & Clark Pkwy. in Clarksville or at 4304 Charlestown Road in New Albany. Tickets may also be bought online at www.kegliquors.com.
Inside Scoop on Abbey Road on the River Tickets
Ultimate Ticket to Ride
If you’re a true fan of 60s music, you’ll want to spend every minute at Abbey Road on the River, which comes to Jefferonsville May 25 to May 29. The Ultimate Ticket to Ride tickets will give you access to the festival every day Thursday through Monday. The very best ticket, you’ll be able to see all concerts and events including Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, Peter Asher, The Grass Roots, Mark Lindsay, Ambrosia and The Family Stone. The Ultimate Ticket to Ride enables you to have reserved seats in rows 2 through 11 after 6 p.m. plus all-day access to the air conditioned indoor venue, 300 Spring, as well as all late-night activities.
Cost for the Ultimate Ticket to Ride is $219.95 for adults (plus all applicable fees) and $79 for kids under 21.
Note: If you purchase the Ultimate Ticket to Ride package, you’ll get a 20 percent VIP discount at participating merchants. See the list at GoSoIN.com/abbey-road.
Exclusive Saturday Main Event and Backstage Meet and Greet
If you want guaranteed front-row seats, the Saturday Main Event package is for you. Front row seating begins at 5 p.m. for Mark Lindsay and includes all concerts for the rest of the evening at the Main Stage including The Grass Roots, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone and The Family Stone.
6:15-7 p.m. Meet the artists backstage, including Peter Asher, Peter Noone and Mark Lindsay.
Then head back to your seats for shows featuring The Grass Roots, Peter Noone and The Family Stone.
Single Day Reserved
If you can only stay for a day or two, you might want single-day reserved seating tickets. These are valid Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and include all concerts and events including Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, Peter Asher, The Grass Roots, Mark Lindsay, Ambrosia, and The Family Stone. These tickets will give you access to the reserved seats in rows 12 through 30, which are available after 6 p.m., and all-day access to air conditioned indoor venue 300 Spring and late-night activities. Single Day Reserved Seats are theater style and are sold on a first come, first served basis. The on-site box office will exchange your ticket for a reserved section special wristband.
General admission tickets are available and give you access to all outdoor concerts and events including Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, The Grass Roots, Mark Lindsay, Ambrosia and The Family Stone on Saturday; Ambrosia on Friday; Jake Clemons and The Love Concert on Sunday. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis. General admission seating will be behind reserved sections, where applicable. Lawn chairs and blanket seating.
Discounted general admission tickets are available for purchase at all area Thornton’s for just $20 (regular price is $35) and they include free admission for a 21 and under guest.
Dinner 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.