Art of Beer to be held May 16


  The inaugural Art of Beer craft beer sampling festival will be held May 16 from 4 to 8 p.m. at 210 At the Tracks in historic downtown Gadsden. The event is being presented by the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts, Back Forty Beer Company and Greater Gadsden Area Tourism and proceeds from the event will support the arts in Etowah County.

Festivalgoers will be able to sample over thirty craft beers, enjoy live music and bid on beer memorabilia in a silent auction as well as view the Art of Beer breweriana collection on display in the Chan exhibit gallery at the Hardin Center. All festivalgoers will receive a commemorative Art of Beer sampling mug. There will be food available for purchase.

You may upgrade your ticket to the VIP experience, which allows access to the VIP room at the festival. There will be additional beers to sample that are not available in the main event, and there will be access to the Alabama State Homebrew Competition awards event between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. in that same room. 

Also included in the VIP experience is an invitation to a special gallery event that will be held at the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts on Friday, May 15 at 7 p.m. in the Chan Gallery.  There will be a beer tasting hosted by Blackstone Pub & Eatery, as well as a special brew from Back Forty Beer Company aged in an oak barrel that will be tapped at the event. Heavy hors d’oeuvres from the Back Forty Test Kitchen will be on hand and the food will be beer inspired and use locally sourced products as well as products from the Back Forty Beer Company. Jason Wilson of Back Forty Beer Company will share the story of why the oak barrel aged beer is significant to Gadsden. There will be a breweriana collection on display from collectors around the state of Alabama showcasing beer and brewery memorabilia, as well as the art produced in a paint out on April 30 of still lifes at the center. This display will run the entire month of May.

“We are so excited about this festival”, said Tami Brooks, marketing director of the Hardin Center and event organizer. “There is so much interest in craft beer right now, and with Back Forty Beer Company right here in downtown, it’s a natural. The Art of Beer, in this case, encompasses not only art, but food, memorabilia, craft beer and the homebrew beer being entered in the competition. I think it’s going to be a great festival and a wonderful way to bring people to Gadsden and show off our community.”

Tickets are on sale now at General admission tickets are $25 and VIP are $50 until May 1. After that time the ticket price will increase by $10 to $35 and $60, respectively.

The homebrew competition is an AHA/BJCP sanctioned competition. For rules and submission procedures, visit

The American Homebrewer’s Association will be holding a rally in association with the event at the Back Forty Beer Company Saturday evening after the festival. That is a separate ticketed event from the festival and competition and attendees of the rally will have the opportunity to meet AHA director, Gary Glass. For more information about that event contact the AHA.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Jonathan M. Welch, Attorney At Law, Greater Gadsden Area Tourism, Back Forty Beer Company, Supreme Beverage, Birmingham Budweiser, Blackstone Pub & Eatery, Exchange Bank, Rock 105.9, Downtown Gadsden, Inc., Holiday Inn Express & Suites and Gadsden Mall.

For more information, visit or call 256-543-2787. 

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