This past weekend San Antonians experienced a music and beer festival like no other, as Dallas based Untapped brought their beer and music pairing festival to the Alamo City, which was held at the old Lonestar Brewery. What began in Dallas has spread over the last three years to Houston, Austin and now San Antonio and features big name acts (both local and national) on big stages along with a primary focus on local breweries, as well as those statewide. Of course the rest of the country was represented by many breweries, however this was is a Texas festival and Texas breweries represented well.
The concept seems a no brainier. In fact, beer festivals often have live music playing through the day, but not like this. With Untapped, musical acts are specifically chosen to pair with the breweries.
San Antonio has been a location in planning the last two years, as apart of a slow roll out to all major Texas cities. Kristen Ferrero, account manager for Untapped PR firm Giant Noise, said the Untapped team, which includes founders Corey Pond of The Common Table, Matthew Harber, Lance Yocom and Annette Marin of Spune Productions, were “excited to bring the perfect pairing of good beer and music to San Antonio”.
In fact, that is the group’s goal. “Untapped Festival energetically encapsulates the eclectic culture of craft beer while highlighting both emerging bands and established music acts. Over 275 unique craft beers from more than 70 breweries will be featured at Untapped Festival San Antonio. The selection of brews will reflect the high quality and special selections Untapped Festival partygoers have come to expect,” quotes the festival’s website and deliver they did.
With bands such as Metric, Saint Motel, Nina Diaz of Girl in a Coma fame and King Pelican on the Earth Day stage and Tokyo Police Club, GZA of Wu-Tang Clan and Ellis Redon on the Freetail Stage sponsored by local brewery Freetail Brewing Co) and the wandering mariachis ‘Mariachi Nuevo Estilo’, attendees were greeted to fantastic music of many genres while enjoying quality handcrafted brews. It was a great opportunity to introduce good beer to music fans, while introducing a variety a great music to craft beer fans.
Many members of the bands were wandering around the festival grounds, sampling many of the craft beers the festival offered before and after their sets. Girl in a Coma members Jenn Alva and Phanie Diaz were seen sampling many local Texas wares and later on stage Nina Diáz (Girl in a Coma’s lead singer and Phanie’s sister) remarked during her set that she was proud to be back in her home town with other great bands and great beer.
For many of the breweries, this wasn’t their first Untapped Festival. Texas breweries such Saint Arnold and Independence brewing had participated in the Dallas, Houston and Austin festivals as well as out of state supporters such as Arizona’s San Tan Brewing and Delaware’s Dogfish Head. “This is by far my favorite beer festival” said Stephanie Meyer, Texas Sales Rep for San Tan. “I’m based out of Houston, but travel around the U.S. and Untapped is by far the best”.
A clear favorite for beer was hard to discern among the attendees, as each booth had its fair share of thirsty San Antonians looked sample quality brew. As for the music, Tokyo Police Club, GZA, Nina Diàz and Metric seemed to garner the largest crowds of craft beer listeners.
VIP ticket holders were allowed entrance at 2:30pm, and hour before General Admission, allowing those lucky few to have no wait in line and opportunities to talk with the Brewers and musicians on a more intimate scale. Throughout the official festival hours, VIPs also had access to their own area as well which was packed with rare and limited release beers.
Didn’t make it out Saturday? Not to worry, Untapped plans to hit San Antonio again next year, as well as nearby Austin, giving those who missed out another chance.