The Undeniable Vixen’s Kaleidoscope View of Fresh Fest 2019
I think it goes without saying the chosen few that went to Fresh Fest are still glowing from the experience. The sheer joy of being in the midst of POC enjoying and drinking great craft beer was magical. This was the 2nd annual Fresh Fest located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Nova Place was a perfect venue allowing for indoor and outdoor vendors of food, clothing, and of course beer. I even had some delicious South African Rum. This was completely organic meeting up with other IG personalities elated to make the trip. The only expectation was having an amazing time and can we make all the events? How many additional bottle shares are going to take place? I found myself in a unique place following some of the best of the best beer aficionados. The love of the hop drew out a camaraderie and new found friendships made over that weekend. I would implore you to make plans to be a part of the Epic Black Mecca Beer Weekend
Here are my favorite insights from the weekend:
-Get a crew together
It’s always cool to go with a group, and that’s especially wise if you have the ability to drive down. If the date stays around the same time there’s a pre-season game so the city is buzzing with people. The flights are going to be higher than normal so budget and look into getting an AirBnB. Don’t be shy about letting people know you’re solo. People will make sure you’reincluded to an after party venue or a pop-up bar they may check out later that weekend.
-Extend that Vacation
I hate I missed out touring the city. I got in and hit the ground running with events. Pittsburgh has some great things to walk around and do in the city. Church Brew Works, Grist House, go and take a trolley at night to take a picture of the beautiful landscape or the Andy Wharhol museum before Fresh Fest events starts. Pittsburgh is a beautiful city. I loved all the hills and photo ready mountains. I was really giddy just looking at view from hotel room. I really loved the airport since they let me take my beer to go. I felt like I was in New Orleans as I casually sipped and waited for my plane to land. Pittsburg is cool with me.
-Make it a Date Night Weekend Getaway
I don’t know if it was a men’s weekend getaway or what but there was a plethora of married men there. They left their wives at home. Por Que? As an advocate of women who love and drink craft beer, it’s always wonderful to see other ladies out there drinking and sharing stories about their favorite beer. Don’t leave them at home. Bring them out to be with their Sistah’s in Hops! As we seek to have more diversity in the beer community we struggle even the more with seeing women, who are moving pieces, and striving towards excellence. They need the support and don’t you want to see someone that’s rooting for you that looks like you in the crowd? Absolutely.
-Fresh Fest Debriefing
My hope is that all the positive feedback with all lend an ear to action items to be considered for next year. One thing I was truly looking for was a map of some sort showing me where certain beers are located. Some beers ran out, which was cool for the brewery because they came with that fire but bad for me because I didn’t know where it was. I had my eye on certain items. Being the true nerd that I am, I take a pen to circle and locate certain booths to check out first. I want to ensure that I get a sample to avoid that issue. There’s always a method to my beer drinking. It’s the “Vixen Approach” of being sly/smart about everything I do. I still missed out on some items because I didn’t know where they were located.
We were drinking a lot of beer. There was no water-refill stations. I know you could purchase water but normally a water station with fresh water…it doesn’t have to be cold but wet. I had my water bottle from normal festivals and was surprised there wasn’t at least one. They didn’t have anywhere to wash your hands or hand sanitizers at the outside bathrooms. At least I didn’t see one. Those are minor bumps in the road for a 2 year event. It’s pretty excellent.
I would highly recommend anyone to mark their calendars for Fresh Fest 2020. You won’t be disappointed. It’s the family reunion with over 1500 of the closest strangers that you’ll never want to leave from. By the time you leave you will exchange a bond of family in laughter, joy and incredible beer.