The 4th Annual Watermelon Festival to be held on May 21st will be a huge event for Alamo. Watermelon contests, musical acts, vendors, kiddie rides at the event will ensure that you will have a great time. But there’s another area of the festival that festivalgoers are anxiously awaiting – the beer garden!
Drink + Food + Music = One Great Time!
For those of you unaware, a beer garden is not a location where beer sprouts out. If only it were that easy. It is an area where various types of beers are served, usually in a patio outside a bar. Around this time of year, the heat that each day gradually builds up to reminds us Valley-folk of one thing: summer is coming. If you ask anyone from the RGV, they’ll caution one thing – summers down here take no prisoners.
When the weekend rolls around, most South Texans create their own beer gardens by simply grabbing a couple of chairs, a table and setting up on the driveway or patio. Add a grill, throw in some sausages with fajitas and you’ll be in beer garden heaven. At this year’s watermelon festival, we’ll have a beer garden where you can mingle with like-minded individuals while hearing the latest hits from David Lee Garza and Curtis Grimes, among others.
What is a Beer Garden?
Taken from the German word “biergarten”, the term refers to a space where food and beer are served. The idea really came from Bavarian breweries that planted gardens above cellars to keep the lagers cool to ferment. Most breweries also planted trees to shade the cellars to keep the ground above them cool.
Since it didn’t take a scientist to figure out the perfect combo that beer and food would make, breweries started turning these places into outdoor areas with ample seating to serve this favorite combination. The term “garden” is used frequently since the drinking at a beer garden is outdoors.
Socialize and Have Fun
As with any beer-drinking get-together, the idea behind beer gardens was the benefit of being with friends and socializing. Germans call this “Gemütlichkeit”, which means cheerfulness, social belonging and spending quality time. There will be plenty of that at the watermelon festival! Below are some fun facts and tips about beer gardening:
- It’s best to pair beer-tasting with eating if you ask us. Breaded, fried boneless meat is the most common beer dish. Just remember to sample small meat with each beer.
- A beer that reads “Weisse” or “Weizen” usually means wheat beer. Most wheat beers are usually sweet and malty, and are served with a slice of lemon. Very popular with the ladies.
- Try cultivating a taste. Don’t just grab any beer that’s thrown at you. Pick quality over quantity and pair your beers. Also, take the time to learn which foods go well with certain craft beers.
- Don’t chug your beer, sip it. You’ll lose the particular flavor and scent of it. Drink it as if it were wine.
- Drink only when you really want one. Don’t let anyone force you to do it. Ask for a non-alcoholic beverage if your friends don’t want to be left out when they drink.
A Unique Experience for Entrepreneurs
Giving small businesses the opportunity to be part of an atmosphere where they can create memorable and unique experiences is something we pride ourselves in. The watermelon festival gives entrepreneurs a chance to interact with potential customers in a very social way.
Everything you do as a vendor contributes to the feeling and association consumers feel toward your product or service. Take note of the tips below to help create an unforgettable and distinctive consumer interaction:
- Be genuine and remember who your target market is. Yes, you want to sell to everyone, but if your product is food with a whopping 500-calorie count, health-conscious individuals will raise an eyebrow. Even worse, they might tell their friends to avoid you. Be upfront and honest.
- Create ways to scale your presence, whether it’s your personality or the unique ways you sell a product. Festivalgoers will most likely take a picture and share it on their social media account. The best thing that can happen is a picture of your product going viral.
- Focus on pre-marketing. Even if you’re building a small social media campaign, start spreading the word by taking on some CSR (corporate social responsibility). But make sure it’s an honest way of giving back, don’t do it just for the PR.
- Have samples of the services or products you’re selling. Bring ample supplies of sampling plates or cups for festivalgoers. Most will be eating out at the event and having tiny samples of food won’t scare their belly. It will instead tickle their taste buds.
Drink Responsibly and Have Fun!
The Watermelon Festival is just one of the events that, throughout the year, helps small businesses connect with the community and other entrepreneurs. It’s an event filled with fun, laughs and many networking opportunities. It’s no surprise that Alamo is quickly becoming the place that businesses and manufacturers are calling home.
Our robust economy and affordable living costs provide an environment that empowers and cultivates business owners. If you’re thinking about moving to South Texas, call us at 956.787.6622. The Alamo Economic Development Corporation can provide you with incentives to expand your business. Ask us about our Revolving Loan Program or the Alamo TIRZ incentive.