The Scene

Hot Springs Craft Beer Fes­ti­val

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - In This Issue -

Adding to the ever-grow­ing list of an­nual Hot Springs events is the Hot Springs Craft Beer Fes­ti­val, which is ready to start the beer flow­ing for a third time on May 21 at Hot Springs Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

At­ten­dance was “up quite a bit” last year with about 1,200 peo­ple at­tend­ing, said Rob Pratt, event co­or­di­na­tor and Beer Baron, and the num­ber of beer ex­hibitors is ex­pand­ing each year, as well. The first event in 2014 was to have been held at Hill Wheat­ley Plaza, but the weather fore­cast called for “tor­na­does, tsunamis, hur­ri­canes,” Pratt said, laugh­ing.

The very ac­com­mo­dat­ing con­ven­tion cen­ter staff jumped in and they were quickly able to move the event there and “it proved it­self to be the place to be.” The doom and gloom weather fore­cast­ers were found to be cry­ing wolf with weather sunny and in the 90s, but Pratt said ev­ery­one was com­fort­able in the air con­di­tion­ing at the cen­ter. “It worked out so well we de­cided to just keep it there.”

With about 50 ven­dors the first year, 85 last year and 93 beer ven­dors lined up this year, “It just keeps get­ting big­ger and big­ger,” Pratt said. The fes­ti­val is a fundrais­ing event or­ga­nized and pre­sented by Arkansas Event Man­age­ment, with prof­its go­ing to sup­port cul­tural and com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties in Hot Springs.

The ven­dors come from all over Arkansas and the United States, and even other countries. “We tried to get as many as we could from Arkansas. We tried to en­tice them, but there were some who just felt this wasn't their market,” Pratt said, not­ing they have ex­hibitors com­ing “from New York to Cal­i­for­nia to Florida” and ev­ery­where in be­tween.

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