Beer festival season peaks in the southeast in September and October but there’s a few outliers. Chattanooga’s Southern Brewers Festival is one of those. It’s held in August when it is roughly 150 degrees in Chattanooga.
It’s a token-based beer festival, which means you have to buy a token for each beer. A token costs $3 so a beer isn’t really a trial size which discourages too much experimentation (only one of our beers ended up in the Tennessee River). Most of the festival is up along the edge of the city, but the river is more scenic so that’s what we have in the picture. A nice thing about this festival is that it runs for 11 hours! So, we arrived in Chattanooga, checked into a downtown hotel and came to the festival for several hours. In the afternoon we went back and took a nap and then came back for another round.
As beer festivals go, the entertainment was pretty good. In the afternoon things were pretty laid back. There was a qualifying round for the Krystals World hamburger eating championships. If you’ve ever seen any competitive eating on TV with that annoying announcer in the carnie hat, let me just say he’s 10 times more annoying in person. Incidentally, one has to eat 51 Krystals in 10 minutes in order to win a giant trophy. On the plus side, they handed out the uneaten Krystals afterwards and we can report that after several beers, Krystals actually taste pretty darn good.