Raise a glass to Brew Fest

Raise a glass to Brew Fest

August 22nd, 2011 by Barry Courter and Lisa Denton in Life Entertainment

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, I was going to start this off by talking about the crazy good musical lineup at this year's Southern Brewers Festival, but the number 150,000 keeps rattling around this ol' empty skull of mine. It represents the number of dollars last year's festival raised for Chattanooga Kids on the Block, a local child advocacy group that uses puppets for education. That's a lot of hops.

LISA DENTON: I'll drink to that. Apparently a lot of other people will as well. Last year's donation was the largest to date, and more than 10,000 people were in attendance. Brew Fest is one hot party on the riverfront.

With the great lineup -- Los Lobos, Railroad Earth, George Porter Jr. & Runnin' Pardners, Anders Osborne and New Familiars -- I'm wondering which of the musical acts you are most excited about.

BARRY: That's the thing. Any one of these acts would make for a good time. Everybody knows their remake of the hit "La Bamba," but Los Lobos does way more than that. They are a great headliner, but I bet I've heard fellow music lover Jeff Styles talk about seeing Railroad Earth in Atlanta almost as many times as he talks about the bands he's helped book at Riverbend. (That would be a lot, for you folks scoring at home.)

Anders Osborne is a great guitar player that blues fans will love, but the hippies like him, too. I'm not as familiar with George Porter Jr., but the New Familiars have been drawing good crowds here for a couple of years. So I guess the advice here is to go early and put a baby-bottle nipple your beer mug. You'll want the day to last.

LISA: A nipple on your beer mug? Fine, have your baby way. Oh, sorry, that may be an expression only my family ever uses.

Anyway, there are 30 brewers coming from all around the South and other points across the map from California to Massachusetts. They're bringing more than 75 handcrafted ales and lagers.

Plus, a half-dozen vendors will be serving up food, including the event sponsor, Big River Grille & Brewing Works.

Just remember that a $20 ticket covers the music and one beer token. You'll need cash for additional beer and food purchases. And don't forget that you don't have to partake to party. Vendors will be serving soft drinks, lemonade and water too.

BARRY: It all takes place on the green at the 21st Century Waterfront and gets under way at 2 p.m. Saturday. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and make a day of it.

Don't forget also that the Boomers & Seniors Expo is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Vicki Lawrence will be doing a 90-minute show as both herself and her "Mama" character she originated on "The Carol Burnett Show."

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.