It’s a little shocking to discover that Grapevine’s longest-running annual festival isn’t the wine-centric GrapeFest, which turns 33 this fall — it’s the springtime Main Street Fest, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this weekend.
And like its popular, grape-stomping sister shindig, the past several years have seen Main Street Fest focus on one elixir: craft beer. Since 2014, Main Street Fest has been dubbed a “Craft Brew Experience,” thanks primarily to the introduction of the Craft Brew Garden. Operating as a fest-inside-a-fest, the Craft Brew Garden looks and functions much like a typical craft beer festival might, offering attendees a chance to pay one price to sample from over 75 beers from around 35 local, regional and national breweries.
Before 2014, various years featured pizza- and outdoors-themed Main Street Fests, but craft beer just seems to make more sense for Grapevine.
“Main Street Fest coincides with American Craft Beer week,” says Emily Adams, the communications coordinator for the City of Grapevine. “And because we had one very popular wine festival, adding a craft brew festival allowed Grapevine to hit the opposite side of the spectrum and attract a new demographic.”
This year's retro-styled "Back to the Future" theme will incorporate itself into other festival attractions. As a nod to Main Street Fest’s inaugural edition in 1985, much of the live music and family-friendly entertainment options are designed “to celebrate 1985 and all the pop culture-related things associated with the year and decade,” Adams says.
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The ‘80s throwback novelty includes a Saturday night concert from “Look of Love” singer Martin Fry, of British band ABC, an ‘80s video arcade and screenings of the inspirational source material, Back to the Future, as well as its two sequels. Your favorite fair-style food, games and carnival rides will be available as well.
And yes, of course, because it’s Grapevine, there will be plenty of wine available at both the Grapevine Wine Pavilion as well as a separate wine and beer pavilion.
But back to the beer: Local craft beer from plenty of brewers will be available throughout the festival grounds, not just inside the Craft Brew Garden, which does require extra admission on top of standard festival admission. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect is the daily schedule of limited-release beers. Grapevine’s Hop and Sting Brewing, Dallas’ Community Brewing, Houston’s Karbach and Fort Worth’s Wild Acre Brewing will each tap something special and unique over the course of the weekend for those holding a Craft Brew Garden tasting card.
Grapevine Main Street Fest, Friday-Sunday, May 17-19 at 636 S. Main St., Grapevine. Tickets $15-$20, plus $15-$18 for Craft Brew Experience tasting cards.