Monday, May 29, 2017

THE BEER BEAT: Fest of Ale is almost here, though New Albany Craft Beer Week wasn't.

(Apologies for the premature publication)

In terms of unique hits, the 2016 debut in New Albany of Keg's Fest of Ale was one of the top stories of the year.

Keg Liquors Fest of Ale will move to New Albany's Riverfront Amphitheater in 2016.

In terms of media exposure, both traditional and social, no one does it better than Todd, Tisha and their helpers. For this reason, I concede to a degree of sloth in getting the word out in 2017 (see press release below).

No event ever "promotes itself," though not unlike NABC's annual Gravity Head, Fest of Ale comes awfully close. It's an area classic.

This said, regular readers may have noticed a certain absence in the run-up. The fact that nary a word has been breathed to me with regard to the omission probably can be interpreted in several ways. More about these in a moment.

In 2016, I took a stab at organizing a New Albany Craft Beer Week to precede Fest of Ale, and to culminate with it. It's a common promotional device, and one exercised widely. It didn't happen in New Albany this year.

I plead to partial responsibility, citing extenuating circumstances. My mother's final illness and death sapped me tremendously, and there for a little while, I wasn't quite myself. The April "spring break" trip I was sure we'd have to cancel became a coda of sorts, dedicated to recovery. By then it was late April, with too little time to get the New Albany Craft Beer Week's ball back into the air.

Still, I might have thrown something together, and didn't. No one noticed, and that's telling. Perhaps there's no need for such promotion; it certainly doesn't hurt my feelings if this is the case. The right time for it may not have come -- or is "craft" beer's acceptance level such that it isn't needed?

As with the New Albany Restaurant and Bar Association's lack of forward progress, it might be that the owners and managers most likely to spearhead the event are too busy with their everyday working worlds, which is perfectly understandable.

Or, as a dissident and resident civic contrarian, I'm just not the one to take on such an organizational responsibility. Outspokenness comes with a price, and resistance doesn't pay a living wage.

And while I remain a business owner until my partners buy me out (or, as is increasingly likely, lawyers actively intervene), not being involved with business on a daily basis has an isolating effect -- although planning for a new venture continues.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: These aren't complaints, just as dispassionate an analysis as I can muster. In my experience, it's seldom the case that one big reason explains an occurrence. Rather, several little reasons achieve critical mass.

Overall, my verdict is that without a compelling need or demand for a New Albany Craft Beer Week, there was little reason to stage it.

Que sera sera.

For those planning on attending Fest of Ale, enjoy.


12th Annual Keg Liquors Fest of Ale

June 3rd, 2017
3:00 PM -7:00 PM
New Albany Amphitheater

Time is almost up for you to get your tickets for the 2017 Fest of Ale. We are in our second year at the New Albany Amphitheater and it has been a fantastic spot for our festival.

Thousands of fun loving beer drinking folks from Southern Indiana and Louisville gather annually, rain or shine for the this popular annual “Fest of Ale” event, presented by Keg Liquors to sample beers from around the world, socialize with friends, and raise funds for our children in need! This grassroots fun Fest promoting independent breweries and businesses offers over 250 amazing craft and import ales for sample, and raises thousands of dollars for the Crusade for Children.

Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the gate on the day of the event. Tickets are available at either Keg Liquors locations, or online at

Don't miss the area's best beer festival!

Keg Liquors
Keeping Kentuckiana Beer'd since 1976

617 E. Lewis and Clark Parkway
Clarksville, IN 47129

4304 Charlestown Road
New Albany, IN 47150

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