Crews were busy hauling in kegs and putting up signs Friday in anticipation of the biggest Top of the Hops Beer Fest ever in Biloxi. The buzz that higher alcohol beers are now on tap is attracting more attention and more breweries.
"It expanded the number of brands that can be here and expanded the number of patrons that want to come," Project Manager Trevor Starnes said. "There are about 30 to 40 new high gravity beers."
Beer lovers will get to sample around 185 beers from 61 different breweries from across the country, including California, Colorado and New York.
The past two years have been sold out with 3,000 visitors and Starnes said this year, tickets are going fast.
"There are new people coming because they can't get the brands at the bars or the grocery store, so the only time they can really try them is here," Starnes said.
John Rogers with Diamond Beer Brewing Company out of Arkansas is excited to be able to pass out a local favorite that hit the shelves after the new law went into effect in July.
"We got five distributors and they all picked up on the Two Term Double IPA," Rogers said. "It's been really good. I's been flowing at the tap houses, selling at all the stores and has taken over as our number one seller in Mississippi right now."
Festival goers will also get a taste of South Mississippi newest brewery.
"We are very excited about Crooked Letter Brewery," Rex Distributing VP of Sales Ann Magruder said. "They opened their doors Saturday and we have been able to do first batch sampling, one a night. Just one keg a night, because we had to have enough kegs for tomorrow [Saturday] night."
One thing is for certain: Every beer fanatic who goes to the Top of the Hops beer Fest will find a brew to please his or her palate.
The festival is Saturday night at the Coast Coliseum Convention Center from 5pm until 9pm, and tickets are still available. There are also special discounted tickets for designated drivers. And for those who need a ride home, Yellow Cab Taxis will be waiting outside.
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