June 7th, 2015 • No Comments
We Feature literally hundreds of Beer Festivals at TasteUSA – So when a recent Report came out from Eventbrite about Millenials choices when it comes to Food and Beverage Festivals (Report here – it may be restricted..) it was no surprise that Millenials and frankly all ages over 21 prefer craft beer festivals to all other food and beverage events!
Since TasteUSA is the #1 Food and Drink Festival Website in the US, we have a special insight into what makes for a successful or not so successful event. Below are some observations/anecdotes on how you the craft beer festival organizer can improve the ticket sales and audience of your event.
1)Always Go Local – today Foodies and craft beer lovers want to know what’s going on in their neighborhood when it comes to eating and drinking. You’ve probably heard it before – “locavore” but it means much more. Today’s craft beer audience is younger – Millennial if you prefer – and they want a story behind their craft beer experience. The best way to tell a story is to let the newest local breweries taste at your Festival. The good news is that craft breweries are popping up so quickly, this shouldn’t be a problem!
2)Great Food Is a Necessity – Gone are the days when you could hold a craft beer festival and just have pretzels, jerky and fried foods to fill the stomachs of attendees. Today’s craft beer aficionados are generally “Foodies” and they want a culinary experience to boot! I’m often asked to define “Foodie” – The Eventbrite survey simply asked if Festival attendees were serious about food – and 50% said “yes” – that pretty much makes you a Foodie!
The key to delivering a positive food experience at a Festival is to have a variety of cuisines – and the easiest way to do this is to use local food trucks if available. I’ve been to events with as many as 60 food trucks, but you may only need a few – it really depends on the number of people who are attending and if you have other food vendors.
I recently helped an Organizer by suggesting that rather than use the venue’s food service, that they should consider using a local food incubator called Mess Hall. Since Mess Hall already curates local food producers, this was a win-win – a great variety of food items and local food producers! You may not have a food incubator in your Region, but there are literally thousands of food vendors – it can’t hurt to check out a few brew festivals in your region and see who’s selling food – do your homework!
3)Add a Second Theme – Simple – just add Bacon! Seriously, Bacon Festivals are Hot right now in the US – we should know, TasteUSA Features More Bacon Festivals than any other website! Here are some other themes – each is linked to an actual event we Featured:
-BBQ – Beer, Bourbon & BBQ – well that’s actually 3 themes!
-Food Trucks – West End Food Truck Rodeo – built in draw – food trucks represent American inventiveness, freedom and ingenuity – they also are catering kitchens on wheels!
-Seafood – multiple potential themes: Crab, Oyster, Lobster, Crawfish or regional themes like Chesapeake, Alaskan, etc. – Chesapeake Crab & Beer Festival
-Cider – DC Craft Beer & Cider Festival – did you know that Cider is the fastest growing alcoholic beverage category? It’s also generally gluten-free – while few craft beers are free of gluten – so you’ve opened up a new marketing channel!
-Taste of <your town/city here> – Great Tastes of Tysons – why not – everybody loves to check out local restaurants and of course local beers!
4)Add Buzz with Social Media – Ugghhh..Social Media – it’s too much work .. or is it? Keep it simple – setup a Facebook “Fan Page” (you’re on Facebook – right?), and put a link to it on your website (you have a website right? If not, email us Email TasteUSA we can help!). Twitter too – create a name on twitter that is simple and try to include “beerfestival” somewhere in the name. Instagram? Maybe.. Pinterest? The answer is we’re all evolving with Social Media – there are no easy answers. I’m only talking free marketing here – if you decide to advertise, market your event Give Us a Buzz or hire a marketing consultant. That may be overkill – maybe all your craft beer festival is a quick start?!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler – TasteUSA
Categories: beer festivals, Charlie Adler, Craft Beer, Food Trucks, Uncategorized
Tagged: bbq festivals, beer and bbq, beer and bourbon, beer and facebook, beer and social media, beer and twitter, beer tastings, cider festivals, crab festivals, craft beer festivals, crawfish boils, DC Beer Festivals, food incubator, food truck festivals, idrinkonthejob, lobster festivals, locavore, Mess Hall, oyster festivals, seafood festivals, taste of 3 cities food truck festival, tasteusa
March 4th, 2013 • No Comments
I wanted to learn how to make the juiciest fried chicken and fluffiest biscuits in DC..
Chicken in the Fryer..
I had the really great luck to attend a cooking class on Thursday, February 28th, 2013 at a totally new facility in DC – the Union Kitchen. So you may ask what exactly IS Union Kitchen? That actually might be hard to explain, but let me give it a try – it’s a place for Start-Up food businesses to go the next level in production and ultimately business success. But not always..it’s also a commercial kitchen for Food Trucks and other food producers who can schedule a time and then produce their product for commercial purposes..but it’s also one more thing – a potentially excellent venue for hands-on cooking classes and events. In a nutshell, it’s an exciting opportunity for food ventures in DC to go to the next level – I was PSYCHED to go to this event! (Note: Here’s a really good explanation by City Paper )
Union Kitchen – DC’s Newest Food Business Incubator!
The Chef: I stole this from the Chef’s bio on her website, but I also would like to add that the chef was excellent at organizing and teaching a cooking class – she had wonderful rapport with the 10 attendees and she was very organized and straight to the point of the class – let’s get cookin’! Jessica also mentioned to me that she’s working on a commercial recipe for her Southern pimento cheese ..but I didn’t get much detail, I’m sure there will be more to tell..From her page: Jessica O’Neal started JLOkitchens to share her love of Southern cuisine with the District. She teaches cooking classes at CulinAerie, is a personal chef for a very tall man and is currently developing a line of Southern food products at Union Kitchen. She will gladly trade you her tasty pimento cheese for honest feedback and/or champagne.
The Class: This class was held in a commercial kitchen, so we used the same industrial equipment that all of the commercial businesses use, but our recipe was for producing similar amounts to what we would make at home. We got right down to cracking eggs, adding them to the flour with hunks of butter and making biscuits. The basic format was that we were shown how to make each dish with basic recipes and then broken down into groups to cook for the group.
The Secret to Great Biscuits: 1) cut in half..
Step 2: Layer and Press!
–Sweet Potato Herb Biscuits with Honey Butter – I finally learned the secret of making great biscuits – hunks of butter and folding the flour and compressing to create layers for steam and flakiness..
–Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken – I actually missed the recipe for this part and basically all I did was flip some fried chicken (my fault – I was off on a tour of the facility!)-a much longer than expected slow fry in the oil made this chicken both crispy and cooked through..but the meat was really juicy – I ate it down to the bone!
-Creamy Cheddar Grits with Smoky Greens – this is actually 2 dishes, but they were combined. The secret is in both the type of corn grits and in the way they are ground – stone ground is best. And cheese was added at the very end only as a topping, rather than in the cooking process. We used curly Kale, but any green works for this dish.
–Cornbread Custard with Berry Coulis – this was a very simple dessert essentially using store bought corn bread, breaking it up and adding eggs and milk into a custard and heating at a relatively low temperature – simple, but classic comfort food!
-Bourbon Whipped Cream – real Bourbon..I should know, I was sipping some of that Jim Beam during the class..
Charlie Adler..cooking on the Job!
Conclusion: This was a really fun event in a great location..I was warned about this neighborhood, but when I found the space (it was a little hidden – but it’s an old warehouse building, c’mon!) and parking in front, I began to think – people are just living in the past..this facility IS the future of DC and the entrepreneurs who run it are the next wave for DC. Jessica gave a great cooking class and the facility is perfect for a multitude of events – there’s even additional spaces for Pop-Up Dinners, wine tastings and more culinary endeavors. OK, so it’s a bit edgy, but you know the expression – you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette – Cheers!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
The class is just getting started..
Categories: Charlie Adler, cooking classes, culinary events, Foodie, tastedc
Tagged: ., Charlie Adler, City Paper, cooking classes, Cullen Gilchrist, dc cooking classes, DC culinary, dc events, dc Food Trucks, food incubator, food startups, I Drink on the Job, idrinkonthejob, Jessica Murray, Jonas Singer, tastedc, Union Kitchen, Union Market