The Rocket City Brewfest is one of the primary fundraisers forĀ Free the Hops, an all-volunteer and nonprofit craft beer consumer advocacy group in Alabama.

None of the Free the Hops members who organize and work at the brewfest are financially compensated for their work. We do it because we love craft beer, we love teaching people about the wide world of beer out there, and we want to support Free the Hops.

We do have an event planning firm that we partner with. They help us by getting all required permits and licenses and by providing invaluable experience in logistics, planning, and event budgeting. Much of the work done by our partner is behind-the-scenes, but it has been essential to have professional people with an event of this magnitude.

After paying expenses and our partner, the funds raised from the Rocket City Brewfest go to support Free the Hops.

Tips for a successful brewfest

Prepare for transportation home after the festival

With so many beers to taste, make sure you have a safe option for getting home. Bring a non-drinking friend to do the driving or plan on taking a taxi or ride-share service.

Respect the beer

There’s a reason the Rocket City Brewfest requires all participants to use a small sampling glass provided at entry: so that attendees can enjoy a number of samples of a variety of styles of beer responsibly. Don’t try to sample every beer at the festival, but rather pick some you’re interested in or have never tried before that you’d like to taste. The Rocket City Brewfest encourages responsible drinking and will refuse alcohol to individuals who are obviously intoxicated. For the safety of yourself and others, know your limit and refrain from overindulging.

Respect the 2 ounce rule

Samples at the Rocket City Brewfest are given in two ounce pours and only in the tasting glass provided at entry. Do not ask for more than two ounces per sample and do not ask for a beer sample in any container other than the official Rocket City Brewfest tasting glass.

Bring a chair if you will want to sit

Seating is very limited at the venue. If you know you’ll want to sit down sometime during a four hour festival, bring a folding chair. However, please sit in low-traffic areas like the stage or in the food pavilion

Drink water

Drinking alcohol dehydrates your body, which can make you feel pretty bad. Drink water to help keep you hydrated. The Rocket City Brewfest will have water on hand, but it’s not a bad idea to bring your own re-fillable container.

Be patient

You will likely have to wait in a line for some beers. Be patient and remember to respect those behind you by not lingering at a crowded booth.

Thank a volunteer

These folks work hard to help make the festival a good time for everyone. Show them your appreciation.