The inaugural Top of the Hops Beer Festival will be Oct. 6 at Shopko Hall in Ashwaubenon and will include a collaborative brew from downtown neighbors Titletown Brewing Co. and Hinterland Brewery.
Promoted by PMI and Red Mountain Entertainment, and sponsored by Festival Foods, the event will be held the weekend the Green Bay Packers play the Colts in Indianapolis. Red Mountain Entertainment promotes some 22 beer festivals around the country.
The event will showcase 100 craft beers from around the world and include three beer gardens and a Brew Education Area for brewing seminars. The beer gardens will include an import garden and a cask-beer garden. Attendees will get a commemorative sampling mug and unlimited two-ounce samples. Live entertainment, games, and food provided by The Marq, Festival’s catering company, also will be included.
The state finals of the Samuel Adams Stein Hoisting competition also will be part of the event. Male and female winners of 175 competitions around Wisconsin will compete at Top of the Hops to win all-expense-paid trips to Boston for the competition.
Cora Haltaufderheid, chief operating officer for PMI, said they are planning for about 3,000 people this year, but the goal is to draw many more as the event develops.
Haltaufderheid said it was key getting the three major local beer distributors — Triangle, Dean and Kay — and the two breweries on board. She said some proceeds will go to the Wisconsin Brewers Guild, as well.
“It’s a one-time deal that will be brewed at both. There might be some competition to see which is better,” joked Bill Tressler, owner of Hinterland Brewery.
“We wanted a beer we all like to drink and maybe pushes the envelope a little,” Tressler said. “It’s not like this particular beer hasn’t ever been done before, but we want to take that style and make it something unique.”
They will make about 45 barrels of the brew, or about 3,000 gallons.
Weycker said they are excited about the possibilities of the festival.
“The Great Taste of the Midwest beer festival in Madison attracts 20,000 people,” he said. “Beer fests are very popular in the Midwest. As brewers, we love going to beer fests.”
Having Red Mountain involved is helpful because of its experience in organizing such events, Tressler said.
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