I know you know this.  I hope you know this, but Fifty West is putting on their annual celebration of Music, Food and Beer again for 2017 and Fifty Fest is again probably going to be better than ever.

Let’s start with the simple details – the festival takes place all over what I call ‘Fifty West-ville”, the two sides of 50 that the brewery now takes up via the brewpub and the production facility.  If you scroll down later in the post there is a really nice diagram that shows you some of the easy places that you can park, because this get’s a little nuts.  I can’t encourage UBER or LYFT enough to get you and your friends to and from the event if possible.  It takes place on Saturday, September 23rd, from noon until Midnight, and as you’ll see in minute when we talk about the music lineup – there are plenty of reasons that you’re going to want to hang out for a while – even before we mention the beer.

Also – you need a ticket.  You’d an pre-purchase tickets on CincyTicket.com for $7, or you can get one at the door for $10.  The other fun option is snagging one of their Golden Tickets.

The Golden Tickets

You have probably already seen, if not picked up your six pack of Tangelo Fruit Stand IPA in your local beer store already.  Don’t just toss those empties into your recycling bin, though.  They’re more than meets the eye.  If you remember in the last couple years, the brewery has done the same sort of deal – you can peel the label off of their cans, and bring it to the festival where you can redeem it for entry into Fifty Fest.  The Fifty Fest series has grown quite a bit…

  • 2015 – Penny’s Pilsner
  • 2015 – Rainbow Road
  • 2016 – Doom Pedal
  • 2016 – Coast To Coast
  • 2017 – Ocean City Gose (This one was recalled… but you might have snagged it before it was…) – Read My Tasting Notes
  • 2017 – Tangelo Fruit Stand – Read My Tasting Notes

What you do need to pay attention to, this year, is which label you’re bringing with you.  Only one of the labels on each six pack is actually a golden ticket, unlike years past where all six were redeemable.  I don’t want any of you showing up thinking you’ve got your golden ticket all ready to go, only to find out your holding a normal label.

Also… if no one has given you the hint on how to prep your ticket properly – just stick it onto a piece of paper to carry it… that way it’s not sticking to everything and everyone while you transport it to the entry gates.

The Greater Good

After the hell that has recently been unleashed across the south from the hurricanes, Fifty West has taken the opportunity of Fifty Fest to do some good.  They’re going to be raffling off a custom Fender Stratocaster to help benefit those that were effected, via two local non-profits (Matthew 25 Ministries and Play it Forward).  Bobby Slattery has this to say about the effort:

Some things are just more important.  You know, we were sitting there asking ourselves how we could help, and we realized we had this great event that always draws a lot of attention, and we just thought to ourselves, ‘How can we use this event for the greater good?”

Not like it’s a surprise that a brewery like Fifty West would do something like this… but it certainly makes spending a day in the sunshine drinking beer mean a little bit more.  The brewery has opened their doors as a collection house where anyone can drop off toiletries and other dry goods leading up to the event.  The supplies will then be donated to the hurricane victims vis the ministries’ distribution channels.

In addition, there’s that Stratocaster – you’ll be able to buy raffle tickets online via cincyticket.com as well as the day of the event too.  All the ticket proceeds will go to provide essential materials to those affected by the storms.

As if all this wasn’t enough – they’ve also teamed up with Play it Forward, a nonprofit who’s mission is to provide financial aid to local musicians in times of need.  Tonight (Thursday 9/14), they’re doing an event in the taproom before the Bengals game to help drive raffle ticket sales.  There will be live music (of course) before the game and anyone who purchases food or beer on the 14th will get a free ticket upon payment of their check.

Fifty Fest Music and Food Lineup

The festival is a massive event each year – it celebrates not just the beer of Cincinnati, but also highlights some of the best local music and some delicious food as well.  This years music lineup is going to be stellar:

  • 12pm -Tood Hepburn & Less More Band – Garden Party Open
  • 1pm – Hank and Will of the Rubber Knife Gang – Cottage Stage
  • 2pm – Hot Magnolias – Main Stage
  • 3pm – The Lovers – Cottage Stage
  • 4pm – Honey & Houston – Main Stage
  • 5pm – Ernie Johnson from Detroit – Hoppy Hollow
  • 6pm – Perfect Children – Main Stage
  • 7pm – Heavy Hinges – Cottage Stage
  • 8pm – The Brian Olive Band – Main Stage
  • 9pm – Ernie Johnson From Detroit – Hoppy Hollow
  • 10pm – Bucket & Friends – Main Stage

Food trucks are a massive part of the festival, and pop up restaurants are scattered around too serving up some great food to keep you going all day.

  • The Beerded PIg
  • Quite Frankly
  • Pizzelii’s Pizzeria
  • Fifty West’s Kitchen
  • More Coming Soon!!

The Beer

Here’s what puts this event on my radar… the beer.  The festival features more than 80 different beers on tap, as well as a rare beer tent that will pour specially beers every hour, on the hour.  These go fast, so you’ve got to watch the clock, and if there’s something you want, line up early!

They usually get a great showcase of local breweries that show up for this event – so if local beer is your thing, you want to pay special attention to them!


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