|Photo by Robin May|
The AcA’s major annual fundraiser, Gulf Brew is a tasty, time-tested event.
By Dominick Cross
It’ll be beer here, there and everywhere come rain or shine when the sixth annual Gulf Brew gets to pouring Saturday, July 21, 6-9 p.m., at Parc International.
On tap, but actually served from bottles, will be more than 150 fine craft and specialty brews for the Acadiana Center for the Arts’ major fundraiser of the year. That’s 50-plus more than last year. Of course there will be music and food, as well as brewing demonstrations, a gaming area and an educational brewer’s tent.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the event. A designated driver (non-taster) ticket is available for $15.
A limited number of VIP Hour tickets ($75) are available and that gets you in an hour before the doors open, special beer and food selections and access to VIP rest rooms. “So instead of being there with 3,000 of your best friends, you’re only there with about 400 of your best friends, which is a big plus because you get to try the beers first,” the AcA’s Bree Sargent says with a playful smile. Sargent, like the rest of the AcA staff, is helping coordinate the event.
New this year is the Brewer’s Tent. “A lot of people come to this event for the festival atmosphere and the beer, but a lot of people come because they are beer aficionados and they want to talk to beer people,” says Sargent. “We’ve got quite a few people coming in from around the country to talk about their beers.”
In a Gulf Brew exclusive — “because you can taste them at Gulf Brew, but you can’t buy them later,” says Sargent — home brew clubs such as Lafayette’s Dead Yeast Society and Mystic Brew of New Orleans will have samples of their work. Under the big tent, in the education center, the home brewers will demonstrate how to make a home brew, and that beer will be served at next year’s event.
With all eyes on the weather lately, it should be noted that the festive event is held in air conditioned tents. If you recall, it rained last year.
“It started raining about half an hour before the end, which actually worked out because people started leaving and we didn’t have to kick them out,” says Sargent. “So we do it no matter what. The whole thing is tented. It’s one big, giant, air-conditioned tent. You can get out of the rain. It’s not a big deal.”
All of the local and regional breweries will be on hand, including Parish, Bayou Teche, Abita, Covington Brewhouse and others.
Volunteers, some 350, pour two to three ounces of beer from bottles into 3.5-ounce plastic cups. The bottles and the cups will be recycled behind the efforts of the Green Room and the Recycling Foundation.
The event is not just for the beer aficionados, beer amateurs and the just plain beer lovers, but for the breweries themselves. La. 31 got its start at Gulf Brew and Lazy Magnolia, a Mississippi brewery that rebuilt after Katrina, got its second wind at the fundraiser. “We’ve actually had several success stories from people like that,” says Sargent. “They met their distributors at Gulf Brew.”
Of course, the beer lover can expand his or her taste at the event. “You can come here and try a little bit of everything,” says Sargent. “You might not always want to buy a six-pack of something you might not be interested in, but here you can taste it.”
As in previous years, a brew book will be available, but this year’s book will include a blank area for you to make your own notes because your memory may not be as sharp after 150 tastes. And speaking of beer drinking, Lafayette cabs and a towing service will be on hand if need be for a free ride and/or tow.
Gulf Brew, no matter how you slice it, is “our biggest fundraiser of the year,” says Sargent. “It’s a really good time, but it’s not just for fun or for beer, it actually supports everything we do here at the AcA.”
Proceeds support programming that begins in September because “you can’t sell enough tickets in our little theater to cover the costs of some of the shows we bring in,” she says, as well as for outreach programs such as Art in Education. “We have a lot of community development and outreach throughout Acadiana.”
Music will be provided by a deejay, Brother Dege Legg, The Rayo Brothers and Corey Ledet. Three venders – food trucks Viva La Waffle and Freetown Fries along with Deano’s Pizza – will be selling food. Soft drinks and lighter domestic beers will be available, too.
And don’t worry, there will be plenty of portable rest rooms.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Casual cool for Thanksgiving
Shop Lafayette goes strong
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.