Beer Rating App Untappd Announces Its First Festival
If you’re a regular Untappd user, you know that the popular beer rating app works with lots of events. It’s hard to forget: Notifications regularly pop up on the app reminding you. Untappd was even an official sponsor of America’s largest beer event, the Great American Beer Festival. But after eight years, Untappd has finally decided to host a beer festival worthy of its own name: The first Untappd Beer Festival is coming to Charlotte this May.
For an inaugural event, this fest has certainly locked down an impressive location: Bank of America Stadium — home of the Carolina Panthers. And the festival is said to be taking place on the actual field. “That’s right, on the field!” co-founder and CTO Greg Avola emphasizes in a video announcement. (So, uh, wear your cleats?)
The Untappd Beer Festival will take place on Saturday, May 4 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. — though the first hour is reserved exclusively for “early access” and “VIP” tickets. Speaking of which, general admission tickets are pretty much in line with what you’d expect: $50 for a four-hour session that also includes “live entertainment” and a souvenir sampling glass. To get that extra hour, “early access” tickets cost $65. (Designated driver tickets are also available at the door for $10.)
VIP tickets, meanwhile, are a more serious investment: $200. For that extra $135, guests are promised a “special private event” in the visitor locker room, including “exclusive tasting of VIP-only pours with four breweries, a meet & greet with Untappd co-founder/CTO Greg Avola, food pairings with beer samples, a commemorative Untappd Beer Festival lanyard/VIP badge, and an Untappd Beer Festival Swag Pack.” So if you didn’t get enough of Greg Avola in the video above, here’s your chance!
Untappd doesn’t explicitly state how many breweries it expects to be in attendance, but only 37 are listed as of this writing — 24 of which are based in the Carolinas. However, the festival website urges you to “check back often as new breweries are added every day!” Frankly, though it’s hard to say whether Untappd has the cachet to interest America’s most buzzworthy breweries, Untappd is such a potent force in the industry —purporting to be 7 million users strong — you have to assume lots of brewers would want to get involved.
Tickets go on sale on March 1. If you don’t live near Charlotte, North Carolina, it’s probably worth noting that, officially, the event is called Untappd Beer Festival (Level 1) — a reference to the app’s multiple levels users can achieve for drinking beers, but also implying that more fests are likely to come.