GONZALES — The Gonzales Inquirer and the Gonzales Main Street board are teaming up to produce the first ever Come & Taste It Craft Beer, Wine and Art Festival. Coming in April, the Come & Taste It Craft Beer, Wine and Art Festival will feature craft beer vendors and breweries from all over Texas and the United States, Texas wineries, starving artists, food vendors and even a classic car show. The Craft Beer portion of the event presented by Shiner Beer will host a special VIP night on Friday night April 27, but the main event will be on Confederate Square on Saturday, April 28.
The festival will feature a beer tent and stage set up for craft beer enthusiasts on the east side of the square, while booths will be available for starving artists of all types and genres, local food vendors and Texas wineries on the outside and walkways of Confederate Square. A classic car show will be running at the same time on St. Paul.
“We’re excited to be partnering with the Gonzales Inquirer, Main Street, the Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, and the Gonzales Economic Development Office to bring this event to Gonzales,” City Tourism director Clint Hille said.
“It’s thrilling to be able to promote the arts, the Gonzales area and all the wonderful wine and beer that is Texas,” said Genora Young, Gonzales Economic Development Executive Director. “This will be a fun event, and hopefully will fill our hotels that weekend and bring new business to our downtown retail establishments.”
“We needed an event to be held in the spring to promote our area, and I’m glad the Inquirer stepped up and thought of this event to benefit our entire community,” said Barbara Friedrich, the Director of the Gonzales Main Street program.
Gonzales Inquirer Publisher Terry Fitzwater echoed the enthusiasm.
“April is a great time to promote the best of what Texas has to offer in our wonderful town,” Fitzwater said. “We are going to promote this event statewide in over 400 newspapers, regional radio and through our sister publications in Fenice Community Media (Cedar Park and Round Rock in suburban Austin, Madisonville, Sealy and Fort Stockton). I have also negotiated some reciprocal trade agreements with other regional newspapers so there will be lots of publicity out there for our town and this event. We have reached a tentative agreement with some regional radio stations, and the full force of social and digital media in our area is going to start promoting The Come & Taste It craft beer, wine and art festival.
“But the best part of this event is that we can hopefully bring to fruition Project 2030 (see related story),” Fitzwater added. “If we can raise enough money to endow scholarships to graduates of Gonzales County high schools at Victoria College, we will have made a great impact on the future of our community and make Gonzales one of the most desirable places in the state to grow up in.”
Shiner Beer out of Shiner, Texas is the presenting sponsor of the Craft Beer Festival. Other craft beers that have already committed to the event include Goliad, Revolver, and Bell’s Beer to name just a few. Hartman Distributing out of Victoria is also helping to sponsor the festival and is donating some billboard space to draw attention to the event.
The festival begins on Friday, April 27 with a VIP reception in the Craft Beer Festival tent. The reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will be open to anyone who purchases a VIP pass. Attendees will be given special merchandise from Shiner Beer and the Craft Beer Festival, with beer, wine and food available for free. Special guests will be invited, and attendees will get to meet celebrity photographer Harrison Funk, who was Michael Jackson’s personal photographer.
The festival swings into high gear on Saturday, April 28 with a full-fledged Craft Beer tasting event, Starving Artist show, Texas Winery event and local food booths. Booths for the wineries, Starving Artists and Food vendors will open at 9 a.m. and will be on Confederate Square until 8 p.m.
At the Craft Beer tent, VIP ticket holders will be allowed into the tent for an exclusive showing from 11 a.m. to noon, and then the Craft Beer Festival will run from noon until 8 p.m. From 2 to 3:30 p.m. Derek Vera will perform on the Stewart Trucking Stage, and from 4 to 6 p.m. recording artist Andrea Marie and the Magnolias out of Austin will perform. Area restaurants like the Running M, Come and Take It and the Long Branch Saloon will all have special bands or karaoke on Saturday evening at the conclusion of the festival.
Throughout the day, there will also be a classic car show.
Persons interested in renting vendor space for food, wine, or art, should contact Main Street Executive Director Barbara Friedrich at 672-2815. Vendors interested in Craft Beer booths or sponsorship should contact Gonzales Inquirer Publisher Terry Fitzwater at 672-2861.
If you're interested in buying VIP tickets, contact Terry Fitzwater at 517-930-1368.