By Dennis Seid
TUPELO – The second Tupelo Craft Beer Festival will be held at a later date and at a different location than this year’s inaugural event.
The festival will be held March 22, three weeks later than it was this year. Also, the event will be held in the Fairpark District instead of Veterans Park.
Matt Leff of Nashville-based Rhizome Productions, which is putting together the festival again, said the 2013 event was a success, even though attendance was short of the 1,500 he had hoped for.
“This was our first year, craft beer in Mississippi was a fairly new concept, it had snowed the day before. … all in all, it did well,” he said.
Veterans Park is an ”underutilized site,” and moving the festival to downtown Tupelo in Fairpark was ideal, he said.
Leff said the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association approached him about moving the event to Fairpark, an idea he favored.
“We wanted to go there last year, but due to some scheduling conflicts we weren’t able to,” he said. “We also had to prove ourselves. … and I think we’ve done that.”
Debbie Brangenberg, the executive director of DTMSA, said having the Tupelo Craft Beer Festival to Fairpark, is a “perfect fit for downtown.”
Leff said he expects some 40 breweries to attend, up from 36 this year. Food also will be available at the event, with the Neon Pig, KOK and South among the participants.
“Since we’ve had this year’s festival, there are more breweries in Mississippi and they’ll be participating,” he said. “I can’t guarantee that everyone that showed up this year will return next year, but we’re expecting more companies will show up.”
Admission this year’s festival was $35, but it’s expected to go up to $40.