FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Though it originated as a religious holiday celebrating Saint Patrick – the patron saint of Ireland – and the arrival of Christianity to the Emerald Isle, at some point St. Patty’s day became synonymous with an-other product of Ireland … beer.
Franklin will celebrate this cultural phenomenon on March 17 as the Main Street Brew Fest returns to its historic downtown area. In its ninth year, the popular event will feature more than 50 craft beers at 29 tasting sites from 6 to 9 p.m., along with Celtic performers and plenty of Irish cheer.
The Brew Fest is an opportunity for beer lovers to taste some of the latest local, national and international additions to an exploding microbrewery market while exploring the historic retail district. The event has sold out well in advance the past two years, and tickets are selling fast.
Several new brands will be featured in this year’s festival, including Craggie Brewing Company of Asheville, N.C., Estrella Damm of Barcelona, Spain, and Lost Coast of Eureka, Calif. Many of last year’s favorites, such as California’s Ace Cider, Nashville-based Yazoo and Left Hand from Colorado, are returning.
In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, a host of Irish entertainers will be performing, including the Nashville Pipes and Drums group in full Celtic regalia strolling the streets with bag-pipes, the pub-song band The Irish Gypsies at Five Points and Mitch O’Reily wandering through different tasting sites on Irish flute. As a complement to the district’s restaurants, several food vendors will be set up.
Tickets are $40 in advance, and are available online. Main Street will be closed to vehicle traffic at 4 p.m., and the public is welcome – but only ticket-holders will be able to participate in the beer tasting. Many of the shops will extend their hours to remain open during the night event. Ticket-holders will check in at the intersection of 4th Avenue and Main Street to get a tasting site map, a description of the beers, and a commemorative tasting glass.
For more information, visit www.downtownfranklintn.com.