A German-style beer garden festival's coming to Charleston this weekend

Image by Flickr user Werner Kunz The festival's biergarten-style inspiration.

If you hadn't noticed, Charleston has gotten into beer in a big way over the past several years — as such it's no surprise that another big beer event is coming.

The recently founded Gusto Group is putting on the "Charleston Beer Garden" event on Saturday, June 23 — yes, it's aptly German themed. 

Here's how they describe the event: "Brittlebank Park will be transformed into the largest pop-up beer garden Charleston has experienced. Featuring a great line-up of craft brews, tasty treats from Charleston’s food trucks, live music, beer school, and more."

As for the beer there will be many local and regional breweries: Magic Hat, Leinenkugel's, Blue Moon, Sweet Water, Holy City Brewing, Thomas Creek, Founder, Shipyard, RJ Rockers, and even Crisping Cider — don't scoff, if you're at a beer garden in Germany as hot as South Carolina in June, you'd be ordering the cider.

Tickets run $25 in advance ($35 at the door) and will get you a pint glass to take home (no liter mugs for you, Mr. Responsible driver), a pint glass koozie (smart), and free 2 ounce samples.

I chatted up one of the event producers for some more insight, check out the Q & A below for a bit more insight into this beer fest.

Oh, and the free CARTA trolley runs right past the event (details below), I'd encourage you to use it.

Charleston has a number of breweries and beer events these days and I always say the more chances to drink beer, the better. What made you all decide to produce this event?
Well we love beer too! My business partner and I have attended festivals and events all over the country and we really latched onto these awesome pop-up beer gardens that are surfacing in big cities like LA, NYC, and Chicago. Brittlebank Park is the perfect location to build a beer garden to kick-back, relax, and enjoy a tasty brew with your friends.

Relatedly, number one reason folks should get excited about this?
This event is unlike anything Charleston has experienced. It's the best of both worlds...a little bit of sampling and a lot of time to kick back with your friends over a pint or growler in the gardens.

How's the beer serving going to work — can we expect any German-style liter mugs of tasty craft beer? Or perhaps bench dancing?
We like to say the event is modernly inspired by the traditional German biergarten, so we've taken the liberty of converting liter mugs to the good ol' 16oz pint! But all guests will receive a commemorative festival pint glass, a pint glass koozie (to keep your beer cold, of course!), and a Sampling Passport, which allows for a sample from each of the 10 participating craft breweries. Then you can purchase full size pints or really savor the moment with a 64oz growler to share with your friends.

As for the bench dancing...we welcome any and all dancing! And we not-so-secretly hope people show up wearing lederhosen and Heidi costumes.

I'm someone who really enjoys my beer but doesn't like to worry about driving back — are you partnering with anyone to cart me back home. If memory serves, the free CARTA trolley goes past Brittlebank.
We take the no drinking & driving rules very seriously, so we have a number of things in play to make sure everyone gets home safe. The CARTA Dash Trolley is an excellent choice. It's free & stops right at Brittlebank Park every 30 minutes. The CARTA 201 bus also picks up at Fishburne & Hagood every hour for a bargain price of $1.75. Additionally all the local taxi companies will be notified of the festival, with several taxis standing by throughout the day. But if you have a really awesome friend who wants to be the hero for the day, they can get a $15 designated driver ticket for the festival.

This is the first I've heard of Gusto Group — I take it it's fairly new? What else fun might we expect from you?
Yes, Gusto Group is new! We opened in November 2011 and our mission is to bring fun food & beverage-centric events and festivals to Charleston. Our next big festival, Lowcountry Hoedown, will be held in November 2012. Stay tuned for details on that one! 

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