When Doug Talley first approached us in March about participating in a beer, art, & music festival hidden in the beautiful back hills of Brown County, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
"GnawBrew started as a just a bunch of friends in my backyard", Talley explained in our first Switchyard Sessions podcast. Talley continues, "We keep the event intimate by only selling 700 tickets. Primitive camping is included in the general admission ticket price, so the party goes on all night." Now, in it's fifth year, GnawBrew 2015 has grown in popularity, selling out at the gate.
Excited for our first local, Southern-Indiana festival, we began brewing in April. We developed four brand new recipes, including our American Lager and Lavender Blonde. We brought a total of six different beers, all perfect for the Indiana summer heat. Making their second festival appearance, our Session IPA & Oatmeal IPA pleased the IPA crowd, whereas our West-Coast Amber & Kölsch appealed to a wider audience of curious event goers.
We debuted (and sold out of) our first "Festival Series" T-Shirt design. At each major festival we attend, we will sell a limited edition commemorative T-Shirt designed by our local resident graphic designer, Elyse Myers.
As we drove into beautiful grounds of eXplore Brown County, tents were scattered throughout the woods, some with prime real estate along the babbling creek that flowed through the property. We immediately regretted not bringing our camping gear (as Talley predicted).
Throughout the day, we met craft beer fans from Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. We never imagined the popularity of this event would reach across state lines. As we poured tastes of beer, talented musicians, like Brown County native Jeff Morgan performed on the main stage.
The day flew by and before we knew it the beautiful starry night sky was being lit up by the bright lights of the stage and the fires of nearby campsites.
If there is a list of craft beer festivals to check out across the nation, GnawBrew needs to be added. It truly is a unique, safe, and diverse festival full of good ole' fashioned Hoosier hospitality.
We can't wait for next year