String your pretzel necklace together and book a ticket. Salty, edible bling is always the best kind.
No sooner than a raft of interesting craft beers have been welcomed into retail shops in Oxford thanks to recent changes in the law, the Oxford Craft Beer Festival will be held on April 20 and 21 from 1 p.m. to 6:00 at Colonel’s Quarters at Castle Hill. A mind-blowing 140-plus craft beers will be available for sampling along with food, live music, games, and more. Chefs from local eateries including Lenora’s, McEwen’s, and Rice & Spice will prepare special noshes to pair with brews.
Beers representing a plethora of breweries will flow, with brewmasters from a number of them on hand to answer questions and put on demonstrations created especially for the event. Joe’s Craft Beer retail shop is also a partner for the event. Among the veritable blitzkrieg of brews from all over will be labels from regional brewers such as Mississippi’s Lazy Magnolia and Crooked Letter Crooked Letter and Louisiana’s Abita and Bayou Teche. Food vendors will present barbecue, jambalaya, brats, and much more, all to complement the myriad flavor profiles of the beers.
Let’s pretend I’ve had a few and already forgotten that I told you about the 140-plus beers. Did I tell you about the 140-plus beers? Well click here to spend a while perusing them. And another thing: This festival will feature 140-plus beers. Wow, you’re pretty.
VIP ticket holders will gain access to the exclusive VIP Lounge hosted by EatingOxford.com, where brewmasters and local chefs will team to prepare dishes that incorporate craft brews.
Live music by local groups Swampfoot on Saturday and Silas Reed ‘n’ Da Books on Sunday will complement the flavor exploration. Art vendors will be present, as well, offering creations such as beer soap, so even though the event is over, you can show up at work Monday ensconsed in the fresh smell of lager. Other fun will include a pretzel necklace contest. Plus—brace yourself—the event will feature around 140-plus beers. I mean really pretty. Sublimely gorgeous.
The event’s organizers, Darryl Parker and Liz Barrett, anticipate a sellout and encourage the public to secure tickets. General admission is $35/day; VIP is $75/day, and the offerings appear well worth the price tag for each package. General admission includes:
- Souvenir two-ounce sampling mug
- Unlimited sampling of 140-plus beers
- Live entertainment
- Access to the Brew University Area with seminars such as Cooking with Beer, Brewing 101, Pairing Beer with Food and more
The VIP ticket gets you all of the above plus:
- Entrance into the fest one hour early (at noon) to take advantage of an exclusive beer tasting experience
- Access to the VIP Lounge
- Beer tasting selections not available to the general admission ticket holders
- Complimentary food from 3 to 6 p.m.
“When Darryl approached me about heading up the VIP area at the Oxford Beer Fest, I jumped at the opportunity,” says Barrett, proprietor of the EatingOxford.com site and blog. “Any time EatingOxford.com can bring more exposure to Oxford restaurants, I say yes. I also believe that pairing our local chefs with craft brewmasters to create one-of-a-kind dishes will be a unique experience that folks will be talking about for weeks. My hope is that attendees of the VIP event will walk away with a newfound appreciation and understanding of the pairing of craft beer and fine cuisine.”