Organizers: Top of the Hops beer festival was one of the biggest


Posted: Jan 19, 2013 10:34 PM CSTUpdated: Jan 20, 2013 9:41 PM CST

After months of planning, the Top of the Hops Beer Festival ended better than expected. Organizers estimate they were able to sell about 3,400 tickets for 2013.

"We sold out. It's a great day. A great day for craft beer lovers. It's a great day for the event. It's a great day for Biloxi," Project Manager, Trevor Stranes said.

The proof of that greatness is in the numbers. Red Mountain Entertainment, the company that produced the festival, said this was one of the biggest beer festivals they've ever done.

"We expected it to be big. As far as selling out, you never want to say too much, but of course its what you always hope for. With the July 1 beer law passing new higher gravity beers, there's actually been a buzz since July," Stranes said.

There has also been a buzz around one of the highlights of this years festival. The Gulf Coast's own, Crooked Letter Brewing, located in Ocean Springs.

Many of the taste testers at the sold out showing were singing the costal companies praises. A reaction that Crooked Letter workers like John Myers appreciate.

It's the craziest thing ever. We had a feeling we'd be a little busy, but this has been like whoa! You work everyday as hard as you can and you put everything into it. To have someone come up to you and say, 'Your product is good. I really like this.' It means everything," Myers said.

For the people who may have tasted one too many, the mega event offered free breathalyzer checks. If they couldn't quite make the mark, no worries there. Event planners also partnered with Yellow Cab Taxi to provide free rides home.

"As a business owner it's our civic duty as corporate citizens to provide this service to our citizens that live here on the Gulf Coast. They're very important to us. So this is a way we can give back," Vice President of The Southern Taxi Group, Paige Coker said.

So with a successful year behind them, next for the event's planners is to do it all over again.

"For a long time Mississippi craft beer lovers haven't had the greatest variety to choose from. Now they're slowly expanding. Next year hopefully its even bigger," Stranes said.

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