Meet “Mike O’Brew”!

Since Sumter started working seriously toward revitalizing our downtown a dozen or so years ago (and may I say, with spectacular results!), many concerts, festivals and other “happenings” have been featured to help our citizens and visitors enjoy the heart of a city so rich in history and charm. 2010 brought a first-time event—a complete sellout that will go down as a great success story and a FANTASTIC time for all who attended!

The second annual Downtown Sumter Microbrew Festival will be held this Friday, May 6, 2011, on North Main Street (Opera House block). If you haven’t purchased your tickets, it would be a good idea to get to the Swan Lake Visitors Center NOW. As of this morning, we have fewer than 150 tickets left for one of the best times downtown Sumter has to offer!

“Microbrew” generally refers to a handcrafted beer that is produced in limited quantities and a variety of flavors—a far cry from the better-known national brands that may taste pretty good (some of them), but predictably the same regardless of which supermarket or packaged goods store shelf they come from. With these, even the names are evocative of the skills and creativity of the brewers—Fat Tire Amber, Blackberry Witbier, Hopsecutioner, Mogul Madness, Snake Bite, Shock Top and more…thirty more, to be exact! There will be thirty-six brews offered for tasting and purchase, along with a variety of food items. By the way, soft drinks will also be available, so you can enjoy the good time even if you choose not to imbibe.

Live entertainment will be on hand in the form of the mighty Root Doctors, Columbia’s legendary funk band. They’ll be “kickin’ it and spreading the funk” throughout the event, which lasts from 6 to 9 p.m.

If you’ve read this far, you know it’s time for me to shut up and tell you how and where to get your tickets. They are $25 ($30 at the door), and available at the Swan Lake Visitors Center, Hamptons, Seaco Music and the Tavern on Main (the Visitors Center accepts Visa/MC; all other outlets are cash only). Each ticket gets you a souvenir cup for tasting the different brews, and six tickets redeemable at the food vendor booths (each ticket is good for one food item). Bring your tickets to the City Centre (25 N. Main Street) for registration. Proof of age is required.

Questions? Get more info at the Swan Lake Visitors Center, (803) 436-2640 or toll-free at 1-800-688-4748.  The Downtown Sumter Microbrew Festival…it’s a mouthful!!!

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