Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival aka The No Local Beer Festival

Right around the corner starting April 24th is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Here in Louisiana we have festivals for crawfish, oysters, strawberries, etc, etc. I wouldn't even begin to know how many festivals a year take place in our fair state. What I do know is that the Jazz Festival tops them all.

The first jazz festival took place in 1970 and according to the jazz festival website the concept is "a large daytime fair with multiple stages featuring a wide variety of indigenous music styles, food booths of Louisiana cuisine, and arts and crafts booths... So it's a local festival that has local food, local arts and crafts and local musicians. So what is it missing? Local beer.

Well, you had to see that coming. Why the hell else would a local New Orleans beer blogger write about Jazz Fest if it didn't have to do with beer? Hello? Mcfly?

But seriously, this really pisses me off. Miller Light? I know, I know, they are a sponsor but come on Jazz Fest people. You're making a shit ton of money on this festival. The LEAST you can do is take less money from Abita and at least have local, Louisiana beer. Or maybe, this is a genius idea, allow ALL local breweries to set up booths there at the festival. WOW what a concept. You do it for the food vendors you need to do it with the local breweries. Yeah, yeah, I know, the laws don't allow the breweries to distribute themselves but either way you can let the whopping three distributors all take part IF they serve local brew only.

Serving nothing but local beer would be a win for the local economy. How many people attend Jazz Fest per day? We'll say 200,000. We'll cut that in half assuming that maybe half will be drinking beer. So that is 100,000 people BUYING and drinking local beer. That's a lot of money staying right here in the state. Do the right thing Jazz Fest people! SERVE LOCAL BEER ONLY!!! I think I may start a petition to get you guys to serve local beer only. I wonder if it'll work? Hmmm. Perhaps a local beer movement? Maybe wearing shirts to Jazz Fest that state don't buy beer at Jazz Fest until they serve local beer? Hmmmm. I may be onto something.


The Beer Buddha


Mo said...

That always ticked me off! All we could get on the grounds were Miller Lite and Fosters. It helped in the long run because in that heat, water was a better choice than Fosters. I agree with you 100%; if we were going this year, I would gladly wear a "Keep it Local" Craft Beer shirt. Get a plan together for next year; I think it is in the plans!

Scott Harbison said...

I think that's a great idea! I'd love to see Abita and the other local breweries involved at Jazz Fest! Is the Miller sponsorship the ONLY reason behind the locals not being allowed at the fest? Or is it a money thing, where the locals just can't afford to be there?

finney said...

A petition is a great idea! This will be our 3rd year at Jazzfest and I would love to have Abita on the fairgrounds - instead of that stuff I'd never drink on the outside!

The Beer Buddha said...

It's a bit of both Scott. Miller pays a lot of money to be exclusive to Jazz Fest and the little guys including Abita just either can't or won't spend that kind of money. But you and I both know that Jazz Fest makes a ton of money and can easily allow all the local guys in. Miller doesn't want to allow it cause their sales would drop significantly. From what I understand if you look hard enough and know the right people you may be able to find Abita over where Crescent Crown is. Not sure if they'll sell it to you but its there. Thanks for reading!



The Beer Buddha said...


Getting local beer at Jazz Fest is going to one of my "local beer goals". Thanks for reading!



Glass Bottles said...

What a bust. I know how corporate sponsorship works, but come on. How can you celebrate heritage in a good beer drinking place without the beer that makes it tick. Hopefully they will lift the ban at some point.