When we moved to Naples, Florida we stopped by Momentum Brewhouse for a pint. They are close to home, and we wanted to see what it was all about. While at the bar, Sheryl grabbed a coaster promoting the 2017 Bonita Brew Fest. The beer festival is in February, and we immediately started making plans. Heck, the guy beside me bought tickets just listening to our conversation about the beer fest. The next day I reached out via Facebook to see if they were looking for volunteers.
Within 48 hours I was on the phone with Curt Foreman talking about craft beer, beer festivals, press releases, social media marketing and so much more. Sheryl and I are both helping promote the event, and I figured an easy way promote the festival, and what BrewFest Partners is all about, was to interview Cure Foreman. Curt founded BrewFest Partners and runs beer festivals all over the country, including the Bonita Brew Fest. Meeting Curt led me to his brother Wayne, and, as they say, the rest is history. In this interview we learn more about the history of BrewFest Partners, more about the Bonita Brew Fest, some of his favorite beer festivals worldwide and so much more. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Curt Foreman.
Tell me more about BrewFest Partners.
BrewFest Partners creates and produces and consults craft beer festivals through out the United States. We specialize in creating the brand experience and working with a local non-profit partner to execute the festival business plan. In 2016 we raised nearly $300,000 for our non-profit partners.
BrewFest Partners runs the Bonita Brew Fest. I am new to Naples, and live in Bonita Springs. Tell me more about that beer festival.
Bonita Brew Fest is in it’s third year and have more than doubled in size since it’s inception in 2015. The event features breweries form SW Florida as well as other Florida and regional craft breweries. New this year will be a craft cider tent with several hard ciders available to sample.
If you run beer festivals, you must be a beer drinker. What are some of your favorite beers?
I like most styles. Of course I like IPAs and 2xIPAs. I have gravitated toward barrel aged stouts and porters over the past few years.
What is the best beer festival you’ve attended?
Probaby the Festival of Barrel Aged Beer (FOBAB) in Chicago, Illinois.
Salt Warriors are involved with the Bonita Brew Fest. Tell me more about them and their involvement in the beer festival.
Salt Warriors are a dedicated group of young professionals that love craft beer. They organize events that financial benefits support local based charities
The Bonita Brew Fest offers unlimited samples. I’ve never heard of such a thing. Do things get out of control or are event attendees typically responsible enough to not get out of hand?
We offer 3 ounce pours which helps limited consumption. Craft beer enthusiasts attend because they want to experience the excitement of finding new beers and sharing the experience with like minded people. Due to the higher ticket price, we find that our attendees look at the event as an investment in their craft beer exploration.
When you are starting to plan a beer festival, are there breweries you refuse to work with, or do they all play nice?
Yes, they all place nice for the most part.
Beer festivals are typically rain or shine. Do you ever experience bad weather when hosting a festival?
Sure, we have had high winds and heavy rain. True raft beer enthusiasts come prepared for the elements.
Picking a favorite beer festival is probably like picking yoru favorite child! But, out of all the beer festivals you’ve put together, which is your favorite?
See above. The selection at FOBAB is insane.
You don’t live in Florida… Will we see you at the Bonita Beer Fest?
I am on site for all of our events.
I am obsessed with Untappd. Do you use the app?
Yes, Untappd is a wonderful app.
At the end of the day, what makes a good beer festival great?
Happy patrons! Happy Brewers!
What’s next for BrewFest Partners?
More festivals and more niche events… Barrel aged and firkins (cast conditioned ales).
In all of the interviews I do, I always give the artist the last word. You are producing beer festivals, and IMO, that makes you an artist. So… Go.
I think its my broad based business experience. I have worked in many environments both large and small. I am an entrepreneur at heart but the foundation of my success is the ability to visualize opportunities and pull together all the parts to make that work. Our events are a true collaborative effort between the host partners, brewers, beer wholesalers and local craft beer enthusiasts.