Nils Weldy, event organizer

C5: Why are you passionate about the ACEing Autism organization?
NW:  I’ve met a lot of Charlotteans who have a friend of or family affected by Autism and tennis has been an important part of my life since I was six years old. ACEing Autism was founded in Boston, MA in 2008 by my friend Richard Spurling, a USPTA certified tennis professional with an MBA in entrepreneurship, and his wife Dr. Shafali Jeste, a pediatric neurologist practicing at Children’s Hospital. They wanted to address the lack of quality recreational programs available to children on the autism spectrum. A tennis program was created to cater to each child’s needs and the curriculum is designed with a structure that emphasizes the development of their social skills. I launched the Charlotte location in the fall of 2013 with a successful pilot program.

Photo Credit: Shareon Blenman 

C5: How much money did the Queen City Brewers Festival raise last year and where does it go?
NW: Last year just over $50K was raised through ticket proceeds, sponsorship and donations. Our most successful festival yet! Funds go to a variety of needs including a scholarship program to provide six-week seasonal programs at low or no cost to participating families. QCBF also provides funds for the annual Racquet Run in Aprilvolunteer trainings and special events throughout the year including a clinic at the Winston-Salem Open.

C5: How has the community responded?
NW: Charlotte’s breweries bring communities together, so naturally, their owners are very passionate about organizations that serve the community.  QCBF celebrates our city’s vibrant and giving brewery industry while enabling ACEing Autism to serve more families in the Charlotte community. The goal of QCBF 2018 is to help launch a program in north Charlotte  to meet demand from families in Concord, Cornelius, Huntersville and the surrounding area.

Photo credit: Tom Henderson

David Deal, Sabor Latin Grill

C5: If someone has not been the the QCBF, why do they need to go this year?
DD: The event is packed wall to wall with booths serving the best craft beer and food, and somehow, every year the QCBF team manages to do more. It’s really quite impressive.  If you’re a craft beer lover in the Charlotte area, this is the event for you. You’ll see your favorites, the new guys and quite a few special surprises the brewers prepare just for this event.

Photo credit: Tom Henderson

C5: I know Sabor Latin Grill has been involved with this event for a long time. What are you looking forward to in 2018?
DD: This will be our 5th year with the festival and our team absolutely loves participating with Nils, Aceing Autism and the QCBF crew. We’re so fortunate in the Charlotte area to have world class brew masters that put their passion into their craft and share it with our community. Every year we get new people into each location telling us they saw us at the QCBF and how much they loved it – that’s what it’s all about for us, making that connection.

Photo credit: Tom Henderson

C5: What does being at this event mean to the Sabor team?
DD: For the Sabor team, it means a chance to bond over our shared passion for craft beer and great food. For the Sabor business, we’ve been able to meet so many great new customers and get our name out in Charlotte’s booming craft beer community.

T.J. Creighton, High Branch Brewing

C5: So, what’s the vibe like at the Queen City Brewers Festival?
TC: The festival is at The Fillmore. There are tons of breweries and a great day with a fun, laid back atmosphere.

C5: Who should attend this event?
TC: Craft beer lovers and folks new to craft beer. It’s a great opportunity to taste from Charlotte area breweries all at one spot.The brewery business in Charlotte is so collaborative and this is a fun way to work with other breweries and for a great cause! 

Photo credit: Tom Henderson

C5: What do you as a brewer look forward to most at this event?
TC: We look forward to seeing other brewers in the area and meeting new people who are interested in the Charlotte area beer scene. It’s fun to chat with people in the industry, as well as the patrons. A highlight for us is making fun beer for the event and seeing what others are creating. 

Amazing beer and picture-worthy food, all while supporting ACEing Autism and enjoying a wonderful day in Charlotte… what’s not to love? Get your tickets today for this February 3 event.

Want to learn more about Queen City Brewers Festival? Click here for more information.