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FueledFest412: What to expect *if* the event happens in July 2021

Last night, we had our first “loose” meeting to begin the planning process for FueledFest412, our *hopefully* in-person beer festival that we’re planning to put on in Pittsburgh on July 17, 2021.

For yinz who aren’t in-the-know here, we originally planned to put on FueledFest412 on March 14, 2020, however, due to COVID-19 rearing it’s ugly head in to our lives, we were forced to postpone the event… twice.

As of right now, we have the event scheduled for July 17th, 2021, and with vaccines arriving, as well as a few other in-person festivals announcing their dates for Summer 2021, we feel comfortable moving forward with the planning process.

So, we wanted to take a minute today to give you all an idea of what to expect at the event, should we be able to put it on. Keep in mind that obviously this event isn’t going to look exactly like previous beer festivals you’ve been to.

We do think that with some planning, we can create a safe environment for everyone to enjoy themselves. So, while you’re reading this, understand that we are planning this event with SAFETY AS OUR TOP PRIORITY. If we can’t do this event safely, we wont do it.

Now, here’s some things to expect at the event….

A Focus On Community

Ok, so, most beer festivals rely on ticket sales to the general public to fill their events. Fueled By Hops is fortunate because we’ve built a massive community online and we want to cater this event to that community.

This means that we likely wont be selling too many tickets to the general public. Nothing against the general public, it’s just that we would rather see more members of our community hanging out and meeting each other.

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The goal here is to create our “gathering of the juggalos” so-to-speak.

If your goal is hang out at the next hype beer festival, FueledFest412 likely wont be the event for you.

However, if you want to hang out with folks from our community who you’ve been interacting with for months or even years, FueledFest412 will certainly be the festival for you.

Expect less people and more venues, and… masks.

We’re hosting the event at Spirit in Lawrenceville, the same venue we were planning to host the original event.

Spirit Hall & Lodge in Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh). Photo courtesy of Spirit.

Spirit is a wonderful venue that just oozes Fueled By Hops culture. Everything from the paneling on the walls, the history as a VFW lodge, the dive bar in the basement, and the tiny parking lot next door just says “We want to drink beer here.”

While Spirit is great.. it’s also small. To keep things safe, and be able to serve the number of people we anticpate at the event, we are planning to expand the event square footage by either adding in more venues OR hosting some of the event outside.

The math kid of looks like this: instead of 400 people at one, small venue, we’d rather have 200 people at that venue and then have 40-50 at like 4 or 5 other venues.

To achieve this, we’d work with some of our brewery friends to see if they’d be willing to host part of the event. From there, we’d hire a line of buses to move people safely between venues.

Also, you should probably expect to be wearing masks, because, well, that’s kind of the norm for now. We’ll let you know if this changes.

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This creates a “socially-distant” vibe by spreading everyone out and also increase foot traffic to these breweries. IMO, it’s a win-win.

This Won’t Be a ‘Hype’ Brewery Fest

Gosh, I love love love Juicy Brews. Seriously, it’s one of my favorite beer festivals out there. Kenny and the Hop Culture team put on an amazing event each time they do it, and I can’t say enough great stuff about it.

While Juicy Brews is great, it’s not what we’re looking to replicate with this event.

Joe and Nick at Juicy Brews Valentines Day 2020. Photo Credit: Ryan Galiotto

Going back to the above, we want FueledFest412 to be a celebration of our community, not a hype brewery festival. I can’t stress this enough.

Plenty of people outside of the community are going to look at our event flyer and say “the breweries aren’t cool enough.” We get that because if you’re not a part of our community, you wont understand what you’re actually buying when you grab a ticket to the event.

This isn’t about bringing the next big hype brewery to the area. It’s about hanging out and celebrating a love of craft beer with these individuals you’ve been interacting with online.

When you buy a ticket to this event, you’ll be buying a day of hanging out with fellow and drinking beer from breweries who are also a part of our community.

FueledFest412 will be a celebration of Fueled By Hops, period.

All original FueledFest412 tickets will be honored

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As I promised, any one who purchased a ticket to the original FueledFest412 event will be admitted to the new event. So, if you have your original FF412 ticket, hang on to it and show it at the door when you arrive.

If you lost the ticket, no sweat, we’ll have a list of FF412 ticketholders on hand.

It’ll be my birthday party.

Yep, you read that correctly… when we rebooked the event with Spirit, one of the only Saturdays they had available was my actual birthday, July 17th, 2021.

When you come to FueledFest412, not only will you be celebrating Fueled By Hops, but you’ll be helping me ring in my 37th year on the planet.

And I literally can’t wait.

So, there you have it. Hopefully this is a list of what to expect when, and if, this event goes on.

Again, if we can’t do the event safely, it just won’t happen. Safety is our absolute top priority here.

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But, if we can put it on, expect an awesome time with the entire FueledFam!

Cheers, yinz!

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