Beer, Events

Fresh Fest Digi Fest: annual beer festival is going online for 2020

Due to COVID-19, the third annual Fresh Fest will be a virtual event

Fresh Fest – the nation’s first beer festival that celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the beer industry – threw its inaugural event during summer 2018. Held last August, the second Fresh Fest Beer Festival was bigger than the first.

The third annual festival will allow even more people to participate in the event. Due to COVID-19, the third annual Fresh Fest will be a virtual event.

What’s Fresh Fest?

By welcoming black-owned breweries from around the country to pour their beers and pairing white-owned breweries with black artists and small businesses to create collaboration beers, Fresh Fest has leaned into spotlighting diversity and inclusion in craft beer – where it previously was an afterthought.

The purpose of Fresh Fest is to celebrate black brewing talent and to emphasize that craft beer, long implicitly seen as white territory, needs to get more diverse.

Posted by NPR on Friday, August 10, 2018

Both the 2018 and 2019 iterations of Fresh Fest were hosted by Nova Place in the Northside. The festival drew national media and included musical performances from groups signed to major record labels, including Nappy Roots (2019).

Fresh Fest 2020 moves online

With a continued commitment to breaking down financial and geographic barriers that prevent craft beer from being accessible to all, the original plan for 2020’s festival was a move to the Allentown neighborhood.

In a recent Facebook post, festival organizers reaffirmed a commitment to their goals of “celebrating Black culture through art, education, collaboration, and representation” and announced that the 2020 iteration of Fresh Fest will now be virtual due to COVID-19.

While details are still being firmed up, the livestream will offer “live art, music, deejays, podcasts, brewing, cooking, speakers from across the world.” The virtual cheers is planned for Saturday, August 8.

Tickets for the virtual festival will be $10 and you can visit for more info.

Why Fresh Fest and Why Pittsburgh?

Last summer, we caught up with Day Bracey and Mike Potter, the co-founders of Fresh Fest, to learn more about the festival.


‘Poured in PA’ debuts on YouTube with a full episode devoted to Fresh Fest

If you’re looking to connect deeper with the local craft beer scene – and particularly Fresh Fest – the team at Poured in PA has been filming a docuseries about Pennsylvania beer.

Their debut episode is focused on Fresh Fest and showcases several Pittsburgh breweries and small businesses. Their Brewery Spotlight segment for the kickoff episode is ShuBrew in Zelienople.