Whether you consider yourself a beer lover or a beer snob, there’s one place you should be June 1 – Rocket City Brewfest.

The craft beer sampling celebration returns for the 11th year June 1 from 3 to 7 p.m. This year the party moves to the Redstone Arsenal Activity Field, where the parking will be ample (and free), and the venue will allow plenty of space for patrons to move around. Guests who typically don’t have access to Redstone should enter through Gate 10 on Patton Road; picture ID is required.

With some 60 to 70 breweries on hand that translates to at least 200 beers to try – don’t attempt to sample them all, but rest assured there will be something for every palate from India pale ales to lagers, porters and stouts. And while craft beer is becoming more commonplace, Brewfest is still the best place to sample something you might not usually get to sip.

“When we first started Free the Hops, a beer festival was really the only opportunity a person could have to try 40, 50, 60 beers, and now we have like six bars around town that have 40 taps,” said Jim Trolinger with Free the Hops, the grassroots nonprofit that puts on the event each year. “Brewfest is still the best chance to try the most beers in one place. I mentioned all those bars, but they still don’t have 200 beers. We’ll have a lot of the brewers there if you want to get to talk to some of them about what they’re doing; it’s a good opportunity.”

In addition to some surprises, local home brewers will also be on tap serving up their own craft creations.

“I think that’s something that will be a nice attraction,” Trolinger said. “We have some really good home brewers – most of our breweries came from the home brewing community.”

Gates open at 2 p.m.; beer lovers will be shown to a holding area until the taps are ready at 3 p.m. Food and merchandise will be available for purchase. Taxis, Uber and Lyft will be available to make sure people get home safely. The event will be held rain or shine.

This year’s venue change was the perfect switch for Free the Hops, as they host a similar – albeit much smaller scale – craft biergarten each September on Redstone.

“We already have this established partnership with Free the Hops due to the annual Oktoberfest, so in that sense it’s the perfect fit,” said Stephanie Stone with Redstone Arsenal’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. “The Redstone Arsenal Activity Field is a great greenspace that’s underutilized. It’s open and large enough to provide them everything they need. Should they choose to grow the event in the future there’s adequate space for that. Since we’re centrally located in Huntsville, it’s ideal for people in the area. We have plenty of parking, and we provide a safe and comfortable environment.”

For ticket information visit rocketcitybrewfest.com.

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