It was a looooong weekend and I’m still not sure we’ve recovered yet, but we had a hell of a time down at our very first Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival!
We had heard rumors of what was in store — over 24,000 attendees makes it one of the largest beer festivals in the country. After a few early morning deliveries on Friday we packed up the SUVs and headed down the Parkway.
After a bit of circling around the convention center, we located the entry ramp and got to drive right up to our booth (side note: dodging garbage pails and brewery reps is always a good time). It took a little effort to get things fully set up – we had never prepped for an event of this size – but came prepared to create a great setting to serve our beer and make us easy to find.
Friday night’s session was pretty low key (by comparison to Saturday) and it was great having some time between pours to chat about our beers, the festival, and the insanity that has been our lives over the past month and a half since we launched.
Friday in no way, shape, or form prepared us for Saturday’s session. I’m sure the post Session #1 drinking until 4am didn’t help but we were up and pouring beer to VIPs in Session #2 before noon. It took until about a half hour into the general admission portion of the session before our booth became inundated. It’s a good thing we roped our wives and some friends into helping us man the jockey box or we’d have been in trouble. The afternoon session flew by and the one hour downtime before the final session went even faster.
With about 15 minutes left in the session, the organizers rolled up and plopped a HUGE beer trophy on top of our table – we had been selected as the “People’s Choice” brewery from over 90 at the festival! It was a great moment for us as at NJ’s newest brewers. Since launching the beers a few weeks ago, we’ve been trying to get our beers into as many people’s hands as possible. It’s not easy being as small of an operation as we are. Based primarily in the northern part of the state, we were happy to finally get to share our beers with some new fans, and that the southern Jersey folks finally got a glimpse of what we are trying to do.
Stay tuned to our website and our Facebook page as we continue to grow. In the mean time, take a look at some of the pictures from a great first AC BeerFest for Bolero Snort Brewery below.