1) The beer: Seems like an obvious one, right? But the sheer number of options is staggering, with hundreds of brew varieties up for the taking. Big names like Brooklyn and Magic Hat will be there along with smaller craft breweries, many of which hail from the great state of New Jersey, such as Hidden Sands, Hackensack Brewing Company, Bucket Brigade Brewery and many more. With everything from hearty stouts to fruit based beers and hoppy IPAs, you are sure to find something that appeals to your taste buds.
2) The music: Each of the three sessions boasts a different headliner on the main stage. Those attending Friday will get to see the intense live show of The Used, while session two will feature D.C.’s awe-inspiring roots reggae band, SOJA. Lastly session three attendees will be treated to the pop punk of The Wonder Years (no, Fred Savage is not the singer). In addition to the headliners there will also be a variety of local and acoustic acts, you don’t want to miss.
3) The munchies: The list of food vendors at A.C. Beer & Music Fest is impressive and sticks mostly to well known Atlantic County based restaurants, like Tony Boloney’s, Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House and newcomers like Bourre.
4) The shopping: While here you can pick up just about anything. A jar of spreadable bacon? No problem — just head to The Bacon Jams, as that’s their specialty. Looking for beer-related souvenir? Bamboozled creates glass art from old repurposed beer bottles. They’ve got everything from bowls to baby bottles. Be sure to check them (and the rest of the great vendors) out while you are here.
5) The race: Traditional 5K races are a dime a dozen. For some real fun you gotta check out the Hops Trot 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, a race beginning and ending at the A.C. Convention Center that requires all patrons to run a course through the streets and Boardwalk of Atlantic City while making strategic stops at various watering holes at which time each participant must drink a beer and continue racing. Participants are encouraged to pair up with friends, have fun and dress in costume, all in the spirit of the festival. To register go to ACBeerFest.com/hopstrot.
6) More: A silent disco; wing-eating contest, retro gaming, hatchet tossing, yoga classes, giant cornhole games, coin-free pinball, cooking and mixology seminars and the brand new on-site game show known as “So, you think you know beer?” — a blind tasting competition with a grand prize of $500.
A.C. Beer & Music Fest sessions are from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday, March 29; noon to 4 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at the Atlantic City Convention Center, 1 Convention Blvd. Tickets are $60 in advance, $65 at the door (if available). Go to ACBeerFest.com.