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Big plans for a Big North Texas festival

By: Scooter Hendon  |  03/05/2012

Big plans for a Big North Texas festival

How much would you be willing to do to advocate for something you love?

Would you sacrifice almost every waking moment of your life for the better part of a year with the end result hopefully meaning you break even with your risky monetary investment? The answer for Chad and Nellie Montgomery was an obvious “yes;” and their dedication to craft beer is creating excitement in North Texas.

The Big Texas Beer Fest will come to fruition April 14 and the Montgomerys are looking to make the event a pure celebration of craft beer. For Chad, this passion comes from the desire to provide a grand festival that could eventually provide a local alternative to travelling all the way to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. In fact, after travelling to GABF in 2010, the Montgomerys came to realize that it’s quite costly to travel to the festival along with being a big hassle.

“When I came home (from GABF), I realized that if I wanted to do that again, I had to go spend two grand to go to Denver, book a hotel, book a rental car, book four to eight tickets to GABF sessions, go drink beers at other places around the festival, pay for airfare, and it was going to cost me two grand to go do it. And I was like, ‘We need to bring this here somehow.’ “

Following the GABF model can be quite daunting, and accomplishing the depth of local participation that GABF fosters in the Denver area would be nothing short of epic. Not to sell GABF short, but the events surrounding it are just as much a part of the festival as the actual sessions and to achieve that diverse involvement takes time.

And although the Big Texas Beer Fest won’t necessarily have the city of Dallas running with all beer all the time in early April, they are shooting to make the day of the festival an all-day affair. An after party at Deep Ellum Brewing Company immediately following the festival will be an exclusive portion of the limited number of VIP tickets they’re offering. Early entry to the festival to get a crack at some of the rarer beers being offered will also be included with VIP.

The last big plan for a beer festival in Dallas met an unfortunate demise as the proprietors of the Dallas Beer Festival in November had to cancel the event due to low advanced ticket sales. This is why the Montgomerys highly encourage those looking to attend to to buy tickets in advance. In addition to the entrance being considerably less expensive, it will help ensure that the festival actually happens.

And talking to Chad, just having the festival happen and simply pay for itself is the top priority. You can tell that his true passion of advocating for craft beer is what’s driving his efforts with the festival.

“When I first set out to do this, it wasn’t a mission of ‘let’s go out and make some money from a beer festival. That was probably the last thing on my mind. And I still struggle with that now. The main thing we want to do is break even. If we break even, I’ll be really, really happy.”

To volunteer for the festival and for more information, visit their website at http://www.bigtexasbeerfest.com/


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