PHOENIX — On Saturday afternoon, the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild is a hosting a virtual beer festival with ticket sales benefiting brewery workers across the state.
“You might see some reports that beer in general is up 20%, but that’s not any of our guys,” the guild’s executive director, Rob Fullmer, told ABC15. “They’re reliant on people coming into their locations so a lot of peoples business is down. They’re doing between, maybe, 5% and 25% of what they used to be [doing] in terms of sales,” he said.
The “Keep Arizona Brewing Virtual Beer Festival” will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on a Facebook group and through live video applications, including Facebook Live and Zoom.
“We’re going to have a main stream, a live feed, that will have different guests,” Fullmer said.
Tickets are $5 each and, despite the unique circumstances, t-shirts and VIP packages are available that allow participants to directly ask questions to local brewers.
“Those people in the front of the house, those servers, we want to get them back and we want to raise money on their behalf.”
But what about the beer?
Fullmer said he and other organizers are encouraging those taking part to pick up cans and bottles from their favorite local breweries prior to the event. The hope is that participants will share photos on social media, drinking their favorite beers from home, throughout the festival.
“For a lot of people it’s always been about the beer but what they don’t realize, until a time like this— it’s really about hospitality,” Fullmer said. “There are so many of us that want to take care of customers and guests. Interact with them. We always hear about beer culture but it is the ‘cultural’ part that is the strongest part of it.”
For more information on the festival or to purchase tickets, visit azvirtualbeerfest.com.