The Metro's Best Beer Festival Returns!
In what many, including the scribe of this column, would proclaim is the “Event of the Year” in Roswell and environs, the Roswell Beer Festival will occur Saturday, March 4, 2023. Tickets are on sale. If that isn’t appealing enough, to top it off, all proceeds benefit STAR House Foundation, one of the splendid Roswell-based charities.
The affair takes place rain or shine until 6 PM. VIP ticket patrons can enter at 1 o’clock, with general admission an hour later. VIP also includes access to the exclusive tent highlighting unique beers and complimentary food provided by elite restaurants. VIP ticket holders will also receive $10 in food/swag tokens as well as access to the luxury restroom trailer. In 2022, Big Oak Tavern contributed superior grub inside the tent, met with glowing reviews.
The extravaganza takes place at Roswell Square, 610 Atlanta Street in Roswell, GA 30075, highlighting about 350 craft beers from across the USA with an added focus on Georgia brews, especially local breweries such as From The Earth, Variant, Gate City, Pontoon, and a 5/4 Meadery. Your loyal Visit Roswell correspondent has patronized each brewery and meadery at least twice. Or more. Maybe a lot more. I can’t pretend the journeys have been just for research. All five have distinguishing atmospheres, enhanced with open-air options for when the weather obliges.
Tara Anderson has been frequent attendee. In fact, though she moved to Alabama, she devotedly returns for the Roswell Beer Festival, proclaiming a frequently heard pronouncement, “It is seriously my favorite day of the year.” She loves how well the spoils are laid out. “The beers are categorized by styles. This is genius.” Tara is not the first to express she prefers that over other festivals that arrange by brewery, adding “It’s so easy to find what you like whether it’s IPAs, stouts, sours…” In what may be the most common praise I’ve heard from veterans of other festivals, she touts possibly what most sets Roswell Beer Festival above others, “Tickets are limited so there is little to no waiting in line.” Doubtlessly referring to the author of this piece, she concludes, “and the people are best.”
There are also musical acts, last year headlined by veteran local band Reckless.
Tim Stevens is owner of From the Earth restaurant and brewery and the soon-to-be-opening Bask Steakhouse. Well respected for paying it forward in the community, Tim states, “The Roswell Beer Festival is a great community event that supports a fantastic charity in our own backyard. From the Earth has enjoyed being a part of the event for the past several years, alongside our friends at Variant and Gate City.” As a beer enthusiast, he is also impressed by the production itself. “I really like the setup of this festival as you can taste both local and national beer styles side-by-side and see what your favorite one is. The STAR House has grown this event so much. It is an honor to be involved again this year.”
The STAR House has been leveling the playing field for at-risk kids for three decades by mentoring children with academics. Having been a volunteer there for several years, I have countless first-hand testimonials of how much the STAR House helps vulnerable children who need the guidance. Arguably one watershed moment embodies what the organization’s raison d'etre is.
When this anecdote occurred, academic time was from 2:30-4 o’clock. The children would excitedly go out for recess on the playground once the clock struck 4 o’clock. On a weather-perfect fall afternoon, the young lady I was coaching elected to stay inside, admirably persisting with her assignments. In fact, I think we were the only two left in the cafeteria at Mimosa Elementary School, which was essentially the STAR House classroom at the time at said school.
It was a hectic time at work for me and I planned to depart at my customary time. I delicately hinted that it was a glorious fall day outside, “Don’t you want to play with the kids?” I inquired. She responded, “But if I finish my homework at home, nobody will be able to help me.” Talk about an eye-opener. Suddenly I realized there was no urgency to head back to my home office after all.
It’s a seminal moment that will reverberate with me eternally. We all have our favorite quote or quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King. Because of what I’ve witnessed at the STAR House, a citation from his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech resonates with me. "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" After witnessing from the front lines the blessings imparted by the STAR House, I can’t help but contemplate, if nobody stops to help these kids, such as the young lady referenced above, what will happen to them?
That is why I volunteered in the first place and that is why I vigorously endorse the STAR House as a charity you should assist.
Emilie Long has been a teacher at Esther Jackson Elementary for 15 years. She and her husband Scott are ardent supporters, attendees at many of the STAR House benefits, in no small measure because of what Emilie has witnessed as a teacher. “I can tell you firsthand the impact STAR House has had on my students. Children who have very little academic support at home come to our school and they are struggling to learn,” she declared. “They get enrolled in the STAR House program, where they get to spend time after school with volunteers who can offer them homework support, who read to them and who play games with them, and it is amazing to see how much they grow not only as scholars, but as caring and well-rounded individuals. We truly couldn’t do it without STAR House.”
Carmen Evers agrees. “Star House is an amazing opportunity for our students. They get extra help after school by adults from the community. They are always eager to help them out when many of our students have parents that are too busy or don’t understand their child’s language or homework,” says the long-time teacher at Mimosa Elementary, referencing that many parents do not speak English. Perhaps most importantly she concludes, “I have seen a difference in my students who get the opportunity to go to Star House. I wish all my students could get in.”
Though the Roswell Beer Festival is the biggest fundraiser for the STAR House, it is far from the only way you bestow help. One can donate money, time, or resources. The STAR House kids need and appreciate your assistance. All money goes to a first-rate 501c3 organization, with a long track record of success in getting kids on the right path and stressing the importance of getting a quality education.
Support a commendable cause while enjoying oneself immensely at the foremost party of the year? What a combination. What’s the catch? Only that tickets sell out, especially VIP, so don’t hesitate and lock in now.