Our opinion: Hot Glass/Craft Beer fest demonstrates ‘how to know how’

Published 11:15 am Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What grew from a collaborative concept of a local city official and a local glass blower, and was actually executed in about three months, turned out to be a very successful and enjoyable event last weekend: the inaugural Americus Hot Glass/Craft Beer Festival.
Patrick Kay, Americus Main Street director, and Phil Vinson, co-founder and co-owner of Mobile Glassblowing Studios in Americus, realized that with a healthy, thriving community of glass blowers in the area and multiple craft beer brewers, distilleries, and wineries in the region, the two were a natural pairing for an event. Ten breweries, Richland Rum, and 13th Colony, and Wolf Creek Plantation brought it on.
Held downtown, the event drew about 1,200 folks: glass blowers, volunteers, vendors, organizers, sponsors, and then those how wanted to come and sample craft beers, listen to good bluegrass, and watch glass artisans do their thing. The day was perfect weather-wise, not too warm with occasional cool breezes, and a clear sky. The event was unlike anything ever before undertaken in Americus. People were heard commenting over and over, “I can’t believe we’re in Americus; it feels like Savannah or Athens.” Visitors came from all over Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama. Some of the artists and visitors flew down from update New York for the event.
The layout of the festival was conducive to a casual gathering, with the brewery tents near the entrance, food vendors and others located along the path leading to the glass blowing area, to the stage for the bands, restroom facilities, and a VIP tent and seating area.
Everyone was well behaved. No one appeared to over-imbibe and there were smiles everywhere as people ran into friends from far and near for a very pleasurable afternoon in Americus.
We commend Patrick Kay and the City of Americus, Mobile Glassblowing Studios, and the other sponsors: Café Campesino, Center Stage Market, Arnold & Hooks LLC, The Huss Foundation, Georgia Southwestern State University, Creative Marketing, PharmaCentra and ConCentra, U.S. Screen Printing and Signs, and of course, the Americus Times-Recorder, for an excellent event. We hope next’s festival will be even bigger and better!