Celebrating a decade of bringing craft beer to the north Gwinnett area for an annual one-day festival, the award-winning Suwanee Beer Fest has a new date and a new theme for 2021.
Bouncing back after being canceled by the city of Suwanee in 2020 due to COVID-19, the event has replaced its traditional March festival date and St. Patrick’s green with an America-themed summer celebration of all things red, white and blue on Saturday, June 26.
More than 350 craft beers will be available to sample during the 1 to 5 p.m., 21-and-older event at Suwanee Town Center Park, and the festival will include more than just craft beer — live music, food trucks, vendors and festival games are on tap. Bon Jovi tribute band Slippery When Wet will perform from 3 to 5 p.m. on the festival’s main stage, with ’90s rock tribute band Sucker Punch, which hails from Georgia, performing from 1 to 3 p.m. Guests can enjoy cornhole, giant Jenga, giant beer pong, axe throwing and more.
Five Georgia breweries will make their Suwanee Beer Fest debuts, including two from Gwinnett — Indio Brewing Co. in Sugar Hill and Ironshield Brewing of Lawrenceville. Rounding out the new breweries from Georgia are Georgia Beer Company from Valdosta, Tantrum Brewing Company in Cleveland, Firewater Brewing Company based in Kennesaw.
Suwanee Beer Fest will once again ask guests to select a winner for the Georgia Brew Battle, a competition in which local breweries put forth their most popular brews and compete for the title of Georgia’s best beer. Guests will receive a token to cast their votes for their favorite beers in the Georgia Beer Garden, and the winning brewery will take home the Golden Cup Trophy.
Husband and wife Jonathan Martinez and Betsy Cuenca are the duo behind Indio Brewing Co.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing a lot of our regulars and also getting to meet other breweries and other people that are craft beer fanatics,” Cuenca said of their first time attending Suwanee Beer Fest. “I think we’ve got some pretty good beer and we’d like to put our name out there.”
Indio Brewing Co. will enter two brews into the competition for Georgia’s best beer — a New England IPA named Sweet City and a sour beer called Sour Patch.
“We thought it would be cool to enter a contest where we’d be showcased with all the Gwinnett County and nearby breweries,” Cuenca said.
In addition to spotlighting craft beers, the Suwanee Beer Fest gives back to the local community. A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit Cooper’s Crew, a Suwanee-based nonprofit that raises funds and awareness to cure childhood cancer and provide scholarships to students who have overcome unique hardships or adversities. Cooper’s Crew was founded in remembrance of Cooper O’Brien who lost his battle with a rare form of cancer at age 14.
If you go
- What: Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest
- When: 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 26
- Where: Suwanee Town Center Park, 330 Town Center Ave.
- Cost: Last-chance admission through June 25 is $55 and admission the day of the event is $60
- For more information: Visit suwaneebeerfest.com