Beer enthusiasts in the Auburn area can look forward to Friday, April 27 when the Hotel at Auburn University will host a celebration of craft beers at its second annual Aprilfest event.
Aprilfest, a play on Germany’s Oktoberfest, will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and will showcase a variety of independent microbreweries, including six from Alabama and several other national and international breweries.
Guests can enjoy live entertainment at the event, which will take place around the hotel’s outdoor pool and inside the Terrace Room. Several brewers and representatives from the breweries will be at the hotel to talk with guests, and a selection of small bite pairings prepared by Chef Leonardo Maurelli III and the hotel’s sous chefs and staff will be provided at various stations throughout the hotel.
Aprilfest will specifically highlight microbreweries, breweries that produce a limited amount of beer and are associated by consumers with innovation and uniqueness.
According to data released by the Brewers Association, a trade association that represents craft brewers, craft beer is catching on in the U.S. as its annual sales and volumes have increased from last year.
“The production of craft beer is blowing up, especially in this region,” said Mathew Mokler, a beer representative of Birmingham Beverage Co./Alabev. “In the last four years, six breweries have opened up in Alabama, which many people are not aware of.”
The six Alabama breweries that will be featured at Aprilfest include Straight to Ale and Yellowhammer Brewing from Huntsville, Avondale Brewing Co. and Good People Brewing Co. from Birmingham, Back Forty Beer Co. from Gadsden and Blue Pants Brewery from Madison.
Other breweries that will be featured include SweetWater Brewing Co. from Atlanta, Wild Heaven Craft Beers from Decatur, Ga., Clipper City Brewing Co. from Baltimore, Bell’s Brewery from Kalamazoo, Mich., and Innis & Gunn from Edinburgh, Scotland. More breweries may be scheduled to attend the event.
The founder of Wild Heaven Craft Beers and the two founders of Good People Brewing Co., the most popular brewery in Alabama, are all Auburn graduates, according to Mokler.
“Bell’s is the most popular brewery of the bunch, especially nationally,” Mokler said. “They have some of the highest rated beers in the world, and spring is officially here once you have your first Oberon Ale.”
The Hotel at Auburn University had its own Oktoberfest this past fall, but created Aprilfest to highlight the lighter craft beers that are offered in the spring and summer.
“As the seasons, change, so does the beer selection most people drink,” Mokler said. “During winter, you’re going to drink darker, heavier beer. We’re leaving the stout phase and going to the pilsners, the lighter beers, the wheat beers, the flavored beers.”
In addition to the wide variety of craft beer selections, guests can enjoy various hors d’oeuvres and finger foods at Aprilfest. Some food selections include famous Caja China roasted whole pig, Apalachicola raw oysters, tuna crudo, ceviche, brisket sliders on milk bread and homemade mustards and sausages.
Tickets for Aprilfest are $45 and may be purchased in advance in the executive office of the Hotel at Auburn University or on the day of the event depending on availability. For more information about the event, you may contact the hotel at 334.321.3179 or Mathew Mokler via email at mmokler@ala.