Why there will be no Backyard Bash at Summit this year

Doomtree at Backyard Bash 2012

Doomtree at Backyard Bash 2012

Beer-drinking backyard bashers, prepare to be bummed: There will be no Backyard Bash at Summit Brewery this year.

Summit in St. Paul has decided to take a year off from the popular Backyard Bash celebration. Citing a busy year of expansion and remodeling, the brewery felt it best to allocate its resources toward the business needs instead of throwing a 28th anniversary party. Business over partying? What fresh hell is this?

See also: Summit at 26 years: 'We're very true to ourselves'

"It was a hard decision to not have the party this year, but we definitely plan to bring it back," says marketing coordinator Carey Matthews.

The Summit Backyard Bash has been an annual event since 2012, with musical highlights from the Doomtree collective, Pert Near Sandstone, and Secret Stash Soul Revue, the latter playing last year in full suits despite temperatures in the 90s.

In the past year Summit has increased capacity by adding a neighboring property, expanding cellars, and installing a canning line, and is currently building a beer pipeline between the two sites. That pipeline happens to cut through the area that has housed the gathering the past three years.


"Our staff has met the challenges of all these big projects, but we have been very, very busy. Planning and executing an event for 4,000 people takes a lot of resources," Matthews says. "We just felt we didn't have the manpower to do the party justice this year."

Summit ensures that the party will return soon. "Believe me, we'll be ready to party in 2015," founder Mark Stutrud promised in a recent newsletter. In the meantime, they are hosting live music events on Fridays and Saturdays in the taproom, typically in conjunction with charitable giving campaigns. The Backyard Bash has been a regular fundraiser for the Minnesota Music Coalition, raising over $40,000 in past years.

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