Beer Over Dirt, a Chattanooga tradition for over 12 years, is going public for the first time at the demand of long-standing patrons. A festival featuring locally crafted beers, live music and food vendors, Beer Over Dirt was started by Mark Marcum of Chattanooga Brewing Company as a way to highlight local craft beers in similar mode to the annual Wine Over Water event.
Normally a private function among beer aficionados, this year the event will be open to the public Saturday from 3-8 p.m. at Renaissance Park in North Chattanooga.
Tickets are $25 before May 9, $30 after, and include free beer. Tickets may be purchased at www.beeroverdirt.com.
Local breweries featuring their beers include Chattanooga Brewing Company, Terminal Brewhouse, Big River Brewing Company, Moccasin Bend Brewing Company and Bounty Beverage. Food may be purchased from on-site vendors Lupi’s Pizza, Taco Sherpa, Southern Burger Company, Old Mill Kettle corn and Pure Sodaworks. Live music from Mark “Porkchop” Holder, Bluetastic Fangrass, and headliner Strung Like a Horse will offer patrons bluegrass/Southern/folk-style tunes.
Beer Over Dirt is not just about local beer, cuisine, and music, though; it is also about dirt, as in the lands surrounding the city of Chattanooga. All proceeds for the event will go to North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy, a non-profit organization working to protect the watershed in Hamilton and Sequatchie counties. Most of the local breweries use city water in their brewing process and therefore have a vested interest in protecting the area’s water sources. Chattanooga Brewing Company, a long-time advocate of NCCC, says, “The main ingredient in our beer is water. Local water. We support the NCCC's efforts to protect and maintain the watershed that makes for such good beer further downstream.”
NCCC informally began in 1989 with a collection of friends and citizens raising concerns about the deteriorating condition of the North Chickamauga Creek. Today, NCCC is committed to involving the Chattanooga and surrounding communities in preservation, conservation and responsible use of the watershed and gorge, and to increase global awareness of the importance of these actions.