The Offical 2013 420 Fest Post-Party Post

Phew, everyone hangin’ in there? We’re still in recovery mode from another epic weekend at 420 Fest.

_MG_0774Things might have started out dreary on Friday, but George Clinton and P-Funk had us bumpin’ in no time. If it was a blur for ya after that, we’re bringing you the highlights of what you might have missed, along with some phat photos to jog the ol’ memory.

Of course we had to bring back all the fan favorites like the KidZone, the artist market, tasty eats and the Planet 420 non-profit village. Plus, the Relapse 420 Comedy Tent was back too with more knee-slappin’, side-splittin’ comedians from all over Atlanta.

This year we tried something new with The SweetWater Experience tent, giving ya’ll a chance to sample some seriously unique brews and learn more about how beer is made, what makes it great and even some live Q&A with our Big Kahuna himself, Freddy Bensch. Hopefully you were able to sample a bunch from the lineup, because chances are you won’t see some of ‘em again.

IMG_0362Also new this year was Gas South’s charity cornhole tournament. After you guys raised a mondo $3,000 which Gas South and SweetWater matched, youth mentoring organization YES!Atlanta won the tourney and took home a fat check for $9,000! Always great to give back and help a good cause.

Last but not least, we brought out a brand spankin’ new silent disco, courtesy of Area 51. If you saw a bunch of cool cats getting’ down, but didn’t grab headphones and join in, you missed out on some super talented DJs spinning all weekend long.

Special thanks to all our outta-this-world volunteers who made the whole thing possible and to the great artists who kept the music funky all weekend long.

Oh and one more thing, 420 Fest may be how we choose to celebrate Earth Day and conservation efforts, but keepin’ Mother Earth in tip top shape is a year-round effort. Check in with some of our favorite partner organizations, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and Georgia Conservancy (just to name a couple), to see how you can give back the other 51 weekends out of the year.

Until next year…remember, “we’re here for a good time, she’s here for a long time!”

Freddy Toast


Red Bull Soapbox Champs 2012: Photos & Video

We showed fellow Red Bull Soapbox Racers how it was done last Saturday at the 2012 Red Bull Soapbox Race, taking home the title – First Place Fish, hell yeah!  If you had a chance to cheer us on in person, you were among 49,500 other fans gathered at Piedmont Park to watch our tricked out troutmobile show no mercy to the 35 competing teams.  That baby flew down the course at close to 40 MPH with only one thing in mind, victory…well that and wheelies. Apparently our 45.62 second race time was pretty impressive, especially considering the ole troutmobile was throwing wheelies down to the finish line, reppin’ SweetWater schwag the whole way.

Local artist John Dunn was the mastermind behind the troutmobile’s paint job and design.  Decorated with our motto “Don’t float the mainstream,” the troutmobile also boasted retractable flapping fins, foot horns, custom wheels and a “full moon” rear view.  The vehicle framework was created by driver Bryan Fuller of Fuller Hot Rods in Atlanta.

Our saucy skit was a real crowd pleaser, featuring super-fly fisherwomen in bikinis and thigh-high waders as they reeled in our Big Kahuna Freddy Bensch, Fuller  and our Atlanta Beer Pimp, Eric Wiggins, while they were rockin’ rainbow trout morphsuits…fully equipped junk fins of varying sizes (see the photo album for visuals).

“We’ve always loved to push the limits, so it was blast to be able to get creative with some of the best minds around town and bring this thing to life,” said our Founder and Big Kahuna Freddy Bensch. “Of course, as the local boys, it was a blast to bring home the win in our backyard.”

For those who couldn’t make it out, check out our video (props to Clayton Brannon Creative Inc. for that) and photo album recappin’ the race. We’ve got the infamous troutmobile, costumes and trophy on display in our lobby, so make sure you check ’em out at your next stop at the brewery.

Cheers to the Red Bull gang and our soapbox competitors for putting on a great event! We really had some stiff competition (puns intended).

Click the photo to see our album.
Photo courtesy of Chris Garrison/Red Bull Content Pool.

Photo courtesy of Robert Snow/Red Bull Content Pool.

Reppin’ Team Deuce-Deuce at the Red Bull Soapbox Race

With the Red Bull Soapbox Race only three days away, we are busy puttin’ the finishing touches on the ole troutmobile. We’re ready to show the world the badassery we’ve got up our sleeves and we’ll be bringing the heat to take home the gold this weekend…but we need your help to get there.

Grab your party pants and a camera and come hang with us at the race. The battle royale is kicking off at 10 a.m. with pre-show festivities on 10th Street at Piedmont Park. The race officially starts at noon.  Get there early to get a good spot. You won’t want to miss our saucy skit, and you’ll definitely want to catch a glimpse of the insanity flying down the hill. Let’s just say we’re not opposed to a little crash landing.

Team SweetWater is #22, so make sure you support the ole deuce-deuce in any way ya can! Like what ya see? Show us some love for People’s Choice! Text CAR22 to 72855 to vote for us. Folks can vote up to 15 times per phone. You can also follow our high-speed hilarity on Twitter at @sweetwaterbrew and use hashtag #rbsoapbox.

We’ll leave you with some teasers to get your engines revved up – see pictures below. Still want more? Check out our Red Bull Soapbox Team Page or visit our Team SweetWater Red Bull Race event page on Facebook for video and team photos. See y’all this weekend!

Steady and Heady: SweetWater Does the Red Bull Soapbox Race

That’s right folks, we’ve officially been accepted into the 2012 Red Bull Soapbox race here in Atlanta…and team SweetWater is ready to tear it up. Not only do we have one hell of a creative soapbox design, but our car is being built by the folks over at Fuller Hot Rods so this baby is bound to be dope. Best part? Our very own Founder and Big Kahuna Freddy Bensch is leading our pit crew as the driver…and he’s got a few stunts up his sleeves too.

We’ve also lined up an inspired skit with some spicy costumes you’d be a sucker to miss. If you are around on June 9, come on down and catch the action in person. This year’s race is held at Piedmont Park and features nearly 40 teams of speed demons. In the meantime, show us some love by placing your vote for us as the “crowd favorite” on Red Bull’s Winner Voting Site:

For more action, pics, videos and team photos, visit our Red Bull team page. Want to hang out with your social media thang out? Like team SweetWater on our Red Bull Soapbox Facebook page and make sure you follow/use #rbsoapbox in the Twittersphere.

In the meantime, we’ll get your whistle wet with some images of our soapbox car sketch and our first test drive crash. Cheers!

420 Fest Video & Volunteers:

Hey fest fans, we’re still in need of volunteers for this year’s SweetWater 420 Festival in Candler Park. More details on what you’d be doing, volunteer perks and how to sign up below.

To wet your whistle in the meantime, check out our latest and greatest video featuring the sights, smells and sounds of our 8th annual 420 Festival (thanks to the boys at Lords of Sapelo):

Happy Ending Productions is looking for SweetWater 420 Festival volunteers who enjoy a good party…and especially being part of throwing a great event.

Event Details:

WHAT: Sweetwater 420 Fest

WHERE: Candler Park

WHEN: April 20-22

Volunteer Requirements:

  • This opportunity is for those 21 and up only, sorry, no exceptions.
  • Volunteers are needed for four hours shifts (must commit to at least two shifts).

What will you do?

Volunteers may sign up for a variety of different shifts and roles, including: Assistance with box office activities such as passing out programs, checking IDs, counting attendees, educating patrons on event details, etc. Assistance with site, food, craft vendor, VIP and artist management. Facilitation of event load in and load out activities.

What do you get?

Beyond the experience of being part of one of Atlanta’s best spring festivals, volunteers will receive a free commemorative volunteer T-shirt, an event access wristband (following the shift), commemorative 420 Fest event poster and coffee mug.

How to sign up?

Visit the 420 Fest website at:

Fill out the volunteer form and someone from the Happy Endings Productions team will get in touch to talk to you about shifts and how you can help! Then, we’ll get you signed up for our volunteer orientation the week of the event for further details.

Know a professional group, non-profit, or community organization that wants to get involved? 

We welcome group volunteers!  Please email: to get your group involved today.

Will Work For Food? 420 Fest Work Day Needs Volunteers

Who has two thumbs and is pumped about 420 Fest? This place!

As we quickly approach our 8th annual SweetWater 420 Festival, we are once again gearing up with our partners at Happy Ending Productions, The Home Depot, Candler Park Neighborhood Organization, Park Pride and SCOTTS Lawn Care to continue our beautification efforts for our home away from home, Candler Park. As you know, a portion of our festival proceeds go back into enhancing the park to make sure we leave it in better condition than we last found it.

This year’s Work Day project will be held at Candler Park on Wednesday, April 11 from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

To get the job done we need your help! We’re looking for volunteers to come out and help us refresh the park’s pavilions, plant flowers, lay river rock, mulch and more. We’ll even feed ya’ for your time! Lunch and beverages will be provided, along with gardening tools. Even though it’s work, it’s always a great time…and a good cause!

For more information and to sign up, please contact Crystal Bryan at

Side note: We are still in need of folks to work the front gates for 420 Fest. For more details on the job responsibilities, compensation, shifts and how to sign up, visit:

SweetWater’s 2nd Annual Brew Your Cask Off Festival – This Weekend!


From restaurants to media, first-time brewers to home brewing clubs, SweetWater Brewing Company has gathered an extensive and exciting list of participants for their second annual “Brew Your Cask Off” Cask Ale Festival.  Join us March 5, 2011 from 6-10pm as attendees are invited to try the recently crafted casks from more than 80 guest brewers.

15th Street Pizza & Pub

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

All About Beer Magazine

Allgood Lounge

Atkins Park Tavern

Atlanta Humane Society


Brewmasters of Alpharetta

Brick Store Pub


Covert Hops Society

Cypress Street Pint & Plate


Dark Horse Tavern

Deckard’s American Tavern

Diesel Filling Station

Draft Magazine

Fado Irish Pub

Final Gravity

Five Points Bottle Shop

Fontaine’s Oyster House

Gas South

Georgia Ale & Lager Sirens

Georgia Organics

Gibney’s Pub


Hand in Hand

Hob Nob

Hop City

Hudson Grille



Jones Is Hungry

Mac McGee’s Irish Pub

Mac’s Beer & Wine

Manuel’s Tavern

Marietta Pizza Company

Marlow’s Tavern

McCray’s West Village Tavern

Meehan’s Public House

Mellow Mushroom (2 participating locations)

Neighbor’s Pub

Open Hand



Park Tavern

Parker’s on Ponce

Ri Ra Irish Pub

Rocky Mountain Pizza Company



Six Feet Under

Southern Brewing News


Summits Wayside Tavern

Taco Mac (2 participating locations)


Team United Distributors

The Beer Connoisseur Magazine

The Dunwoody Restaurant Group

The Five Spot

The Fred

The Marlay House

The Midway Pub

The Porter Beer Bar

The Tavern at Phipps

The Vortex Bar and Grill

Thirsty Monk

Tin Lizzy’s Cantina

Total Wine & More

Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits

Trappeze Pub


Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper

Varner’s Tavern

Wild Wing Café

Williamson Bros. BBQ

As far as the competition portion of BYCO goes, all entries will be judged by a handpicked group from the Atlanta scene led by John Pinkerton, Brewmaster at Moon River Brewing Company in Savannah.  The winning casks will be announced at 9pm, the evening of the festival. Entries will also be available for festival goers to sample and vote for the People’s Champ Award. The judges’ top four casks and the People’s Champ will have their casks recreated and served at the SweetWater 420 Fest April 15-17 in Candler Park.

The festival area, now in front of SweetWater Brewery, will be tented making this a rain or shine event.  In addition to all the specially-created cask ales, attendees can also savor SweetWater’s award-winning array of year round brews, get their fill with Williamson Brothers BBQ, Ormsby’s, and other food vendors, enjoy live music, visit with participating non-profits and even take a guided tour of the infamous brewery.

Pets are not allowed at “Brew Your Cask Off,” but feel free to bring anyone else that is 21 and up with a valid form of ID (of course).  2011 sponsors include: O-I, Great Western Malting, Grandstand Sportswear & Glassware, Draft Magazine, and All About Beer Magazine.  Tickets are on sale now and available online at for $35 in advance, or $40 at the door.  This is a rain or shine event and we will have a big fat tent covering all these tasty casks so the only thing that’ll get wet is your whistle!

check out these two video’s from Sapelo Productions who were here filming during the cask creation weekend Feb 12th and 13th

We took a Spin for Kids this past weekend

What a weekend it was!  My first time doing any sort of road bike ride, and leaving the house while it was still dark outside made for some rough motivation.

The day began Saturday just after 6am because i have two little kids that were heading out to Camp Twin lakes with me.  Getting everyone dressed, feed, myself coffee’d up and the fandamily on the road just after 7 to head down to the brewery to meet the rest of Team SweetWater by 8.  We loaded up the kegs into the SweetWater van (needed some motivation to finish the ride!) and a dozen of us in various SweetWater rides were on the road heading about an hour east of Atlanta to Rutledge, GA and Camp Twin Lakes for our ride.  Most of us took part in the 27 mile course which left at 10am, but there were just as many other who did more.  The 100 mile ride went off at 8am, after a wrong turn which actually made it 110 miles, they were off.  The 67 and 47 were next followed by us at 27 and the fun riders who did the 5 mile loop.  all in all over 750 riders turned out and raised over $250,000 for Camp Twin Lakes.

The start was tight, i kept hearing how things would bunch up at the beginning and i was going to bust my ass since i had never ridden with the clip in shoes before

in line to start the ride

(thanks to Nick for the unbelievable loaner bike – much better ride than my 20 year old Trek mountain bike i had been training on) but we were off without issue – one of guys get a flat about 100 yards in, but a bike repair team was on site and got him back on the road within minutes.  I was towards the back with a Ed from Wild Wing and Nicole, our tasting room managerother SweetWater folks at the start so we stepped on it once the coast was clear to catch up with the rest of the SweetWater crew.

The ride was great – some rolling hills, fun declines, a few tough climbs back up those hills, and a beautiful course into the town of Madison where the half way point rest area was.

about half of us out front of the Madison Welcome Center

loaded up on some fluids and some funny looking jelly beans and heading our on the back stretch.  about two hours after we began, we were back at the camp, welcome by a great round of applause from the crowd as we crossed the Shoulberg Finish line.  Quickly got of the bike, ditched the funny shoes (didn’t fall once!) and heading for the SweetWater wagon which was pouring free beer for all the riders.  After the most refreshing Sch’Wheat of my life, the rest of the Team had gathered and the stories began to unfold.

The kids got to participate in camp activities all day and were the happiest people at the camp once the counsels brought them back from the paddle boat to the festival site.

Thanks to all the riders that participated with Team SweetWater and all the folks, friends, and family

in honor of David Shoulberg

that made donations to the camp on behalf of myself(not too late to still make a donation!), members of our team, or the slew of other great teams and riders that participated.  If you aren’t familiar with Camp Twin Lakes, or Spin for Kids click on the links to learn more, and also check out the Crank Tank Rye’d Ale we created to help spread the word – hope to have your support next year and a few more of y’all riding along side of us.  Now I need to make the call to buy a bike of my own, so i don’t have to wait till the day before to get my hands on one. That and some better padding on my butt, that was the most painful part of the ride!

Steve Farace