October 17th, 2015 • No Comments
So why not start with a National Cherry Blossom Festival Grand Sake Tasting? This image comes from the National Cherry Blossom . I attend this event almost every year and find that Sake is still a bit of a stranger to my palate – I shall explain: often the most highly rated “Daiginjho” which are the most expensive because of the process of buffing down the rice to such a small size – don’t have the most flavor. They can actually be quite subtle and even a bit mushroomy/earthy even floral notes. I guess it’s like Pinot Noir – which when they’re great are awesome, but when they’re made in a tough vintage or stored improperly, they can be quite drab! Although there’s food at this event, it’s really about the sake.
UFO Siting at Taste of DC – Cafe Bellas!
There was a UFO siting at Taste of DC – WhAAaatttt?? No, it’s this new Pop Up Cafe Concept called Cafe Bellas. Overall, I enjoyed Taste of DC – I went on the late side, so I couldn’t partake in the wine and beer tents which had virtually no lines and a pretty decent selection, especially of craft beers.
So what was the most unusual food I saw at any event? See the image at the Korean Festival for “Wild Caught Fresh U.S. Eel”..yep, those slippery little creatures ended up in my rice bowl! Is eel really that exotic – I mean if you watch Bizarre Foods/Andrew Zimmern? No, not really, but it scares most American diners just from the name and the thought of eating it! Having had eel many times in Sushi restaurants, I was more curious by the tent’s name – it seems that at least one Korean company is attempting to make a successful business in the U.S. of supplying this animal protein..will it succeed? Hard to tell, but just like rabbit, there are probably enough chefs and diners to make it an interesting focus on a few menus. Ohh, and of course it’s Gluten-Free!
Heritage BBQ DC – Fried Pork Rind Phone – it was a prank call!
Cochon 555 brought us Heritage BBQ which was a rockin’ experience around 5 great chefs (but I counted many more), 5 pigs and 5..well I think it’s wines, but as far as I could tell it was bourbon and mezcal..This is an Over the Top Event – it’s the Rock n Roll of Piggie Festivals, the Lamborghini of Porcine Madness, the Exclamation Point for the End of Western Civilization as we know it drowning in good things like Fidencio Mezcal, Handmade cocktails, Creekstone Farms Heritage Pigs, Pigs Heads, Bulleit, Breckenridge Booze, Buffalo Trace, Rappahannock Oysters and pretty much everything but actual Chef Porn (I always miss the After-Party to avoid the potential for Sodom and Gomorrah experiences!)..You Gotta Go Next Year!!
TasteUSA Upcoming Events for End of 2015
-Oct. 24th, 2015 – DC Scotch Walk – 8 Bars, 8 Scotches and only $35..Sweet Deal!
-November 7th, 2015 – DC Beerathon – 26 Beers at 26 Bars – yes, 12 oz. beers, and No, nobody expects you to finish all of them! Fun Tour, I’ve Done it, and you have all day to drink and mingle..
-Nov. 14th, 2015 – Brew & Bourbon Classic, Laurel Park – Special Priced Tickets – Only $20 inclusive of all the beer and bourbon you care to drink.
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
Tagged: beer festivals, Charlie Adler, Cochon 555, DC Beer Festivals, DC Beer Scene, dc wine classes, Heritage BBQ, idrinkonthejob, national cherry blossom festival grand sake tasting, oyster festivals, sake festival, sushi and sake, Taste of DC, wine festivals, Wine Tasting
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