Attracting more than 25 million visitors annually, St. Louis has the attractions, events, and accommodations to make your next Missouri getaway one for the ages. First-time visitors to the city should definitely plan on visiting the Gateway Arch. This marvel of modern engineering and architecture stands more than 630 feet tall and features breathtaking vistas of the city landscape from its observation deck. The Lou also offers a variety of neighborhoods and districts, each with a distinct vibe and set of things to do. Lovers of art and culture shouldn't miss the chance to visit the Grand Center Arts District. Here travelers can attend Broadway shows at the Fabulous Fox Theater, see art from around the world at the Contemporary Art Museum, and listen to popular regional jazz musicians at the Ferring Jazz Bistro.
The St. Louis Microfest has been one of the top spring beer events in Missouri since it began more than two decades ago, and it will take place May 4-5 at the Upper Muny Parking Lot. This year’s event will feature more than 125 craft breweries offering more than 600 beers to sample. From major breweries like Samuel Adams and Leinenkugels to favorite craft breweries like Left Hand Brewing Company and Ballast Point, the event has something for every beer lover. Aside from all the delicious beer samples, patrons can also purchase meals from favorite local food vendors with cuisine ranging from tacos to BBQ. Live music from Kevin Babb, Sharon Hazel Township, KG Lillian, and more will fill the air throughout the event. The Chef & Brewery Demo Stage will feature a variety of brewers and chefs teaching attendees about their products, processes, and pairings. Anyone looking to burn off a few extra calories should enter in the Micro Run, a two-mile walk/run through Forest Park. Proceeds from the event will go to Lift for Life Gym which provides St. Louis’ inner-city youth with positive alternatives to drugs, violence, and gangs. ResortsandLodges.com interviewed Event Representative, Lauren Sauer to learn more about this massive showcase of brewing.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
LS: St. Louis Microfest is a craft beer tasting festival in beautiful Forest Park. The event hosts three four-hour tasting sessions over the course of two days.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
LS: This is the 23rd year.
RAL: How many annual attendees do you draw?
LS: We draw about 5,000-7,000 people overall.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
LS: The event attracts a wide range of ages both men and women. Our event is geared towards individuals 21 and up since it’s a craft beer tasting festival.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
LS: This event is unique because it’s one of the largest craft beer tasting festivals in the St. Louis area. We offer over 600 beers to taste from over 125 craft breweries. The event also hosts a Demonstration Tent where we pair chefs and breweries together to talk about a food and beer pairing they’ve created. We also host a Brewer’s Olympics on Saturday afternoon where the breweries compete against each other in an obstacle course competition. All the proceeds from this event benefit a local nonprofit, Lift For Life Gym.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?
LS: You can expect to see a variety of local and national craft breweries handing out samples of their latest and greatest brews. There will also be a variety of food vendors on hand throughout the weekend, as well as some great live music performances. We have a VIP tent available for an additional price. This tent offers each attendee a meal, commemorative glass, along with specialty and rare releases of beer you won’t find in the general area. You’ll also see a Demonstration Tent that will feature a variety of local chef and brewery pairings.
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
LS: There are four food vendors available throughout the weekend. The Dam, Mission Taco, Strange Dounts, and Bogart’s BBQ.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
LS: The Cheshire Inn is a unique, boutique hotel a couple of miles from our event. The Moonrise Hotel is another one that’s not too far from our event in Forest Park.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
LS: This event allows the beer community a platform to celebrate and showcase their industry. It also allows the community to come together to support a good cause. We rely on over 400 volunteers each year to help us pull off the event. Without them, we couldn’t do it.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
LS: The event is the most significant fundraiser of the year for a local nonprofit, Lift For Life Gym. Many people don’t know that Lift For Life Gym not only benefits from the event, but we also put the entire festival together. So anyone supporting the event by attending is directly helping their community by giving back to a local nonprofit.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
LS: People should come to this event because they’re guaranteed to have a great time while giving back to the community. There is something for everyone whether it’s all the craft beer tastings, the live music, local food vendors on hand, the live demonstrations by brewers and chefs, brewer’s Olympics and much more.
For more information about the St. Louis Microfest, please visit the event website.
For more information about the Life for Life Gym, please visit their website.