Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Top of the Hops seeks to educate the public on the nuances of beer. By Wynce Nolley
“Beer is a best friend of mine. When I’m lonely I can have one anytime. You may find it sad, yeah, but I know it’s true, that I’d rather have a beer as a best friend than you.”
— Renella Rose Champagne
The 2nd Annual Top of the Hops Beer Festival is coming back to the Cajundome Saturday, April 9. The event is presented by Abita Beer and features more than 150 beers from breweries as close as Broussard and as far away as Belgium.
“Really it’s about the beer. Our hopes are that people come there and they haven’t heard of half the beers,” says Jay Wilson of Red Mountain Entertainment, which is organizing the event with the help of Louisiana-based Blue Deuce Entertainment. “So we’re not looking to pick the simple beers. We’re looking to get radical with some of these distributors.”
Some of these not-so-simple beers Wilson mentioned that enjoyed huge success with crowds when the festival visited Mandeville before arriving in Lafayette include the Wells Banana Bread Beer that yields a modest 5.20 percent alcohol by volume; the Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock that sports a handsome 5.80 percent ABV and Meantime’s Coffee Porter offering an attractive 6 percent ABV.
“We’re not just repeating the beer list from last year,” explains Wilson. “We’re really spending time changing it up. Shiner’s got a new beer called Ruby Red Bird. I’ve never heard of that before, but probably half of Lafayette’s never heard of that before either. Our goal with the distributors is to tell them, ‘Look, bring some cool stuff that people will get blown away by.’”
This year’s festival will also feature Chef Kevin Hawkins of Rouse’s Supermarket demonstrating how to prepare a dish named “Rouses Green Onion Sausage Simmered in Sam Adams Beer,” which will use only locally grown produce and locally caught fresh seafood. Hawkins, who provides cooking classes and demos at the Rouses’ Supermarket in Youngsville, was a smash hit with past festival-goers, according to Wilson.
“We just had him do something in Mandeville a few weeks ago that was incredible,” Wilson says. “He’s very entertaining.”
There will also be live music to soothe the slightly sober with the Blacklight Bros kicking off the festival from 2 to 3:45 p.m. followed by Badcats from 4:15 to 6 p.m.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel with this kind of event,” says Wilson. “This is more of an annual thing where people can look forward to spending four hours with their friends, hang out, try some beers, listen to some music and go to the education sessions.”
General admission to the four-hour festival will run $35, which gives you a souvenir in the form of a two-ounce sampling mug, a very comprehensive festival guide, access to the Samuel Adams Brew University Tent that holds seminars on everything beer, free parking and of coarse access to the vast craft beers offered.
However, if you’re looking to get more out the Top of the Hops Festival, a VIP package is available for $60 that gets you into the festival a full hour before everyone else and access to the Party Central VIP Lounge, which features exclusive beer tasting selections and complimentary food.
There will also be Designated Driver tickets for $15 and of course VIP Designated Driver tickets for $25 with the obvious difference being the omission of beer sampling.
“Our goal is to educate,” notes Wilson. “It’s not a drunk fest. It’s not a keg party. I think that’s a real important thing to emphasize is that it’s really an opportunity to learn about new beers that they’ve never heard of and to debate with each other and to figure out if they like it or don’t like it.”
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.