Brewfest Returns to Main Street with New Time and Date

Brewfest 2016

For more than a decade, the Downtown Franklin Association (DFA) has provided beer lovers a taste of some of the best local, national and international brands during its annual Main Street Brewfest. This year, the event is moving its festivities to Saturday, May 7, so that attendees can enjoy warmer weather and a whole afternoon dedicated to 50-plus craft beers.

Presented by Lipman Brothers, the event will also debut new VIP options, in addition to extended tasting times and live music. Capitalizing on the natural backdrop of Historic Downtown Franklin, dozens of tasting sites will line Main Street from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and event organizers promise a focused emphasis on the latest craft brew product and a spotlight on Williamson County’s microbrewery market.

“From rebranding our look to changing the date and time, we couldn’t be more excited for what Brewfest is going to bring to ‘America’s Favorite Main Street’ this year,” said Kristy Williams, director of the Downtown Franklin Association, a subsidiary of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County. “We are constantly looking for ways to enhance the experience for our friends, and believe the changes we’ve made to this year’s event will add another dimension to the Brewfest everyone has look forward to each Spring.”

In addition to the array of local, national and international craft beers that will be available for tasting in the city’s historic core, festival-goers will also have the opportunity to purchase a VIP ticket that will provide an elevated experience unlike any Brewfest has offered in the past. Those ticket buyers will have access to an exclusive area offering food, wine, a specialty cocktail and additional craft beer that won’t be offered to general admission, plus a VIP lounge at JJ’s Wine Bar and a 30-minute head start at tasting sites.

Leading the event this year is Tyler Crowell of Corsair Distillery and Claire Marshall Crowell of A. Marshall Family Foods Inc., who will serve as the 2016 Brewfest chairs and collaborate with Lipman Brothers in hand-picking this year’s beer selections. As Franklin residents and community activists, the Crowells’ combined industry experience and insight into the world of craft beer is expected to add another layer of sophistication to the event.

The pair, assisted by co-chair Julie Walton Garland of Walton’s Antique and Estate Jewelry, will lead a committee of dedicated volunteers who produce the event each year.

“We’ve really thought through how to make this Brewfest a first-rate festival that outshines the rest, and I think the difference will be noticeable,” Crowell said. “It’s all about showcasing the best of the best in craft beer this year and we’re excited to be working closely with Lipman Brothers to select a diverse sampling from craft breweries, both local and abroad. I expect this to be our best year yet.”

Main Street will be closed to vehicle traffic at 5 a.m. and the public is welcome, but only ticket-holders will be able to participate in the beer tasting. In addition to the camaraderie and beer found on “America’s Favorite Main Street,” participants can also expect live music and food vendors along the avenues, to add to the festival-like atmosphere.

“There’s something unique about downtown Franklin, and Brewfest is just another one of those things that makes this place special,” Garland said. “Each year, the event provides a fun way to encourage participants to explore our retail district, shop at local stores and eat at downtown restaurants, and we want to ensure it’s a high-quality festival that people can enjoy in a safe and family-friendly atmosphere. ”

General admission tickets are $55 and VIP tickets are $85, and both can be purchased online here.. To encourage a better flow of traffic, ticket-holders will check in at City Hall to get a site map, a description of the beers and a complimentary tasting glass.

Attendees are also encouraged to arrange safe rides to and from Brewfest, and will be provided with multiple options for doing so. The Franklin Transit Authority is offering round-trip transportation to and from locations inside Franklin city limits for a $6 fee. To reserve a ride, call (615) 628-0263 or email [email protected] In addition, we’ve partnered with Lyft ridesharing service who will be offering a 10% discount to existing users who use the code TAPHISTORY10.

Those looking to extend their stay can find hotels available by visiting www.visitfranklin.com–but in order to take advantage of the trolley, the hotel must be within the Franklin city limits. The Drury Plaza Hotel in Cool Springs will also be offering special room rates and shuttle service for festival-goers who call and request reservations using group #2270197.

Franklin’s Main Street Brew Fest is produced by the Downtown Franklin Association, a nationally accredited Main Street Program and a division of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. Proceeds from the event go to the continued revitalization and promotion of the historic district, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and designated by the National Trust as a Great American Main Street and a Preserve America community. To learn more, visit Downtown Franklin.