3Qs: Matt Leff, organizer, Tupelo Craft Beer Festival

By Sarah Robinson/NEMS Daily Journal

Matt Leff of Nashville-based Rhizome Productions is the brains behind the upcoming Craft Beer Festival in Tupelo, which will include samples of 60 to 80 beers from at least 25 breweries, food and musical entertainment. He spoke to Daily Journal business reporter Sarah Robinson on what to expect at the inaugural event from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, at Veterans Park.

Q. WHAT DO YOU DO to help keep the number of “over-served” guests to a minimum?
A. WELL, WE TAKE several angles to monitor our guests’ consumption. First, our tasting cups are 6 ounces in total size, and we only fill them to a 2-ounce pour line. We train our volunteers and staff on pouring beers so they do not over-serve guests.
Additionally, our core staff and security team monitor the crowd throughout the day. Further, we provide free drinking water for all guests so they stay hydrated.
We also offer great food, local music and educational seminars that break up people’s sampling time.

Q. IS THERE ANY TYPE of public transportation being offered?
A. WE ARE WORKING CLOSELY with A1 Cabs to have as many taxis on site from 4 p.m. to get people home safely. We also are selling a shuttle that will get people back and forth from Oxford. Furthermore, we offer designated driver tickets so drinkers can bring their safe driver with them.

Q. WHO ARE SOME of your favorite vendors and what are some of your favorite beers we should look for?
A. THE AMAZING FOOD from the Neon Pig and Papa Vs.
Favorite beers: Sue from Yazoo Brewing Company, Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing Company, and the cask offering from Red Brick Brewing Company should be awesome. Also very excited to have two new Mississippi breweries participating – Lucky Town Brewing and Crooked Letter Brewing.