Great Raft Anniversary, BREW Festival Add Up to a Huge Beer Weekend in Shreveport

Photo Note: Beer is poured at Great Raft Brewing in Shreveport. Photo by Jim Noetzel.

Shreveport’s Great Raft Brewing recently announced that they’ll be celebrating their first anniversary with a huge party on Friday, Oct. 17, complete with nine or more beers being poured in the tasting room (see the list of beers here), food and live music. If this date sounds familiar – especially if you’re a beer lover – that could be because it falls on the eve of Shreveport’s BREW, an afternoon-long “premier beer tasting” that will be held, 2-6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 18 in downtown Shreveport’s Festival Plaza. If you’re a beer lover in the region, there’s never been a better weekend to plan a beer-centric trip to Shreveport-Bossier. 

If you’re not a local (about 50% of the folks who read this blog aren’t, so local folks, please bear with me), and you’re going to make the trip, here are a few quick tips for happier beer traveling:

1) Buy tickets in advance. BREW is known to sell out days or even weeks in advance. Only 1,600 tickets are sold, and they go quickly. Tickets are $60 and may be purchased here. While this is the first time that the Great Raft Brewing anniversary party has been held, those tickets are pretty cheap (they start at $15, for sale here) and locals really, really love this place. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see this event sell out.

A photo of Jeff Pieper
Jeff Pieper, 2012 World Cup of Beer Homebrewing Champion, pours beer with the Shreveport Urban Diastatic Spargers (SUDS), a homebrewing club, at BREW in 2012.

2) Check out the homebrews at BREW. My first trip to BREW, it took me a while to get acclimated and realize that, among the huge array of libations being poured (see this year’s list here), there were dozens of homebrewers showcasing their creations – beers that I’d probably never have another chance to drink. Look out for groups like the Malt Munching Mash Monsters, the East Texas Brewers Guild and Tyler Area Pints and Suds (TAPS) alongside the other fantastic offerings.

3) Eat. If this is your first time visiting Great Raft Brewing, be sure to check out whatever mobile food vendors are on site during the anniversary party. If the vendor happens to be called Ki Mexico, eat whatever they’re selling – just trust me, it’ll be fantastic. If The Missing Link shows up, with their gourmet hot dogs and rosemary truffle oil fries, you’re also in for a treat. Admission to BREW also includes food from some of Shreveport-Bossier’s best restaurants.

4) Please don’t drink and drive. Here’s a partial list of taxi and shuttle services available locally. Please celebrate responsibly.

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