HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Thirty breweries, including seven from Mississippi, are scheduled to take part in the 2nd annual Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival.
Organizers of the event gathered for a news conference Tuesday at Brownstone's Restaurant to discuss the details of the event, which will take place Saturday, Apr. 12, 2014, from 1-4 p.m., at the Hattiesburg Train Depot.
General admission is $30.
In 2013, the inaugural event brought together 28 breweries and 400 people. Organizers estimate more than 600 will attend this year.
"I just think we're seeing the maturation of craft beer in Hattiesburg and in the State of Mississippi," said John Neal, owner of Hattiesburg's Keg & Barrel, one of only two brew pubs in Mississippi. "We had a wildly successful event last year and we expect to see more of that this year and the next three or four years, really expect to grow it into more of a regional event," he said.
"The event itself is an opportunity to get people downtown and after the event, to walk around and to visit the restaurants, to try one of those beers, along with some of the food at the nine or ten restaurants that we have here that sell a lot of these craft beers," said Tom White, president of the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association.
The first Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival was held on June 8, 2013, as part of Festival South, an annual, two-week series of music performances across Hattiesburg.
"We've stepped away from being part of Festival South, which we loved being part of, but bringing it into April, it won't be quite as hot outside and we can focus a little more on (the) craft beer area, instead of craft beer and other things," said Emily Curry, one of the festival coordinators and sales manager for Hattiesburg's Southern Prohibition Brewing.
For more information about the event, you can go online to www.hattiesburgcraftbeerfest.com.