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Southern Napa hosts its 6th annual “99 Bottles of Beer on the Lawn” Saturday, rain or shine.

If you like craft beers and are looking for a great event this weekend, head over to Southern Napa in Daphne for its 6th annual “99 Bottles of Beer on the Lawn” festival.

If you haven’t been to Southern Napa, it is a fantastic place to find fine wine and craft beers that often are not available anywhere else in our area. Best of all, the converted old farmhouse, situated right between U.S. Route 98 and Main Street, is also a comfortable spot to have a glass of wine or beer with friends.

Owners Jim and Carrie Cox opened Southern Napa in 2012, when local craft beer was really just starting to take off following changes to Alabama brewing laws. The next year they began the “99 Bottles of Beer on the Lawn” festival as a way to introduce craft beer to as many people in the area as possible, and it has become their signature event every May. 

As you can probably figure out, the festival will feature 99 (or more) different craft beers under a big tent on the lawn outside of Southern Napa, along with live music by Brett LaGrave, and snacks by Chef Will Hughes’ food truck.

But what is most important, of course, is the beer! For your $35 ticket, you get a tasting glass and samples of the all the beers on the lawn. If you find something you like (and I’m sure you will), cast your vote in one of the award categories. Bottles and cans of most of the festival beers will be available for purchase inside Southern Napa, and you can even place your order on online and have it waiting for you to pick up when you leave.

“It’s a craft beer festival, but it’s really more like a big lawn party with family and friends,” according to Jim Cox. He says it’s a great event for everyone, even those a bit “intimidated” by craft beer and not really sure what they like, because “if you don’t like a particular beer you try at this event, it’s pretty easy to just dump it on the lawn and move on!” However, “if you are a ‘beer nerd,’ it’s also a chance to meet brewmasters, ask questions about beer and really expand your knowledge.”

One of the key differences from the inaugural festival is that, because of the growth of the craft beer industry in Alabama, this year will feature many more Alabama beers than in 2013 — including numerous selections from Fairhope Brewing Co., Big Beach Brewing Co. and Serda Brewing.

Additionally, a host of other Alabama breweries will be represented, including Birmingham’s Avondale Brewing, Madison’s Rocket Republic Brewing Co. and Huntsville’s Yellowhammer Brewing, which will be doing a can launch at the festival, including its T-Minus Kölsch, where one dollar of each sale goes to help send a kid to space camp.     

In addition to local brews, there will be a variety of beers from across the country and even some international fare. Gulfport’s Chandeleur Island Brewing Co., Ft. Walton’s Props Brewery (owned by three Air Force veterans) and Santa Rosa Beach’s Grayton Beer Co. will be represented, while Hannibal, Missouri’s Mark Twain Brewing Co. (of course) will be making its Alabama debut. Einstök, from Iceland, will be returning, as will Sweden’s Kopparberg Cider, which won the People’s Choice Award at last year’s festival.

The festival runs from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, May 12. Tickets are available online through Southern Napa’s website and, for an extra five bucks, you can also get admission to the Underhill Family Orchestra concert on the lawn at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 11. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Baldwin County Humane Society, to help find homes for shelter dogs, a passion of Jim and Carrie Cox.