HOToberFest returns with aged beer straight from the barrel

350 lucky participants can sample exotic bottles and exclusive small-batch brews
Photograph by Chris Rank

HOToberFest is back after a two-year hiatus, and this time organizers Alan Raines and Tryon Rosser have their sights set on discerning beer sippers. Scaled down since 2013, when the event drew a crowd of 3,000, this year’s Barrel Aged Ball will admit just 350 participants into the Freight Depot on August 16. Attendees can sample exotic bottled beers and exclusive small-batch pours brewed in wood-aging barrels, which Raines and Rosser procured from spirit distillers and handed over to well-known local breweries like Terrapin and Red Brick, as well as new guys like the Southern Brewing Company in Athens and Southern Sky in Atlanta. No one knows exactly how the beer will turn out until the barrels are tapped at the ball. “As far as we know, we are the only event in the country serving beers directly out of the barrels,” says Raines. Hopheads are clearly excited: the event is nearly sold out, but a few tickets still remain.

This article originally appeared in our August 2015 issue.