I'm really looking forward to Frost Fest
Frost Fest is this Saturday, and it looks like the weather is going to be absolutely perfect this year. Last year we bundled up tight and still froze our asses off. This year the forecast is calling for a high near 65 and sunny skies.
Fayetteville may not be ready for the degree of revelry beer drinkers are set to unleash on the place.
This year my wife and I popped for the “beer enthusiast” ticket, which gets us in the gates an hour early (and a special glass). I figure this will give me the best opportunity to talk to the brewers across the state I rarely get a chance to see in person. It’s hard enough to get around to all the breweries in my home territory of Northwest Arkansas. It’s doubly-hard to make it to brewing outposts like Harrison and Ozark (home to Brick & Forge Brew Works and Six Mile Brewery, respectively). Having everyone in one place at the same time will be helpful in closing some of the gaps I have in my Arkansas beer network. I hope beating the crowd by an hour will give me enough time to chat—and maybe get some content for future beer columns and blog posts.
There are a bunch of out-of-town breweries I’m looking forward to sampling as well. There are too many to name here, but I will recommend Urban Chestnut as one to look for. This St. Louis brewery is one of the best in the country, and its attendance is a testament to the drawing power of Frost Fest.
Frost Fest is one of my favorite events of the year. Ben Mills and the team at Fossil Cove puts on one of the great parties in Fayetteville. I love the fact that breweries are required to send their employees to pour their beers. Many beer festivals are staffed with distributors or volunteers, which doesn’t lead to many enlightening conversations about the beer itself. Brewery staff created the product, marketed the product, and sold the product. They know it better than anyone, and it stands to reason their presence makes for a more informative, higher-quality experience for festival goers.
I also love the atmosphere at Frost Fest. There are a handful of “quintessential” experiences in Fayetteville, and I count this festival as one of them. The crowd is diverse—especially across age and socio-economics—and everyone is in a great mood. Fayetteville’s “live and let live” mentality shines at this event. Friendliness abounds.
Fossil Cove seems to learn something each year it hosts the festival, and the layout and logistics has improved as a result. Yes, the line getting into the festival is long. But once you’re in the the lines at the booths move quickly. The big tent in the center of the action houses live music and heaters—the perfect venue for people to shake a leg or cling close to the ones that brung them. Frost Fest is, in fact, part beer festival and part music fest. It is what you want to make of it.
I’m 41-years old now and my social opportunities seem to come fewer and further between these days. I occasionally make it to George’s Majestic for a show, and I try to visit my local breweries as much as possible. I make an effort to do Roots Festival in the fall. Tailgating around Razorback Stadium allows me to see friends new and old. These are some of my favorite things to do in my home town.
For me, Frost Fest is one of those essential Fayetteville experience. It’s progressive and laid-back at the same time. It’s good times and lasting memories. It is—in my humble opinion—the very essence of this fine Ozark town. All are welcome with only one caveat. Have a good time but don’t step on each other’s toes.
Celebrate one another and raise a pint to the fading westward sky.
See you at Frost Fest, everyone!