Second annual Dragonsaddle Day? You better believe it. This year, Ohio-based Hoof Hearted’s yearly party will not only feature incredible beer, but also heady jams courtesy of Dinosaur Jr.

Over the past year, we’ve seen an increase in breweries expanding beyond just little shindigs in the taproom; they’re now throwing full-on bashes with guest lists rivaling the best festivals in the country (*cough* The Birthday Party *cough*).

For the second annual Dragonsaddle Day, Hoof Hearted is balling out at their Marengo brewery for a day full of beer and music. Attendees can choose between concert-only passes, music and Hoofy beer allocation tickets (which of course includes the eponymous Dragonsaddle Triple IPA), as well as an all-access pass that includes pours from guest breweries like Other Half, Great Notion, and more.

I chatted with Brayden Volk, #4 homie and Operations Manager at Hoof Hearted Brewing & Coffee, about how Dragonsaddle Day Vol. 2: Electric Boogaloo is arguably the only party you need to attend this year.

Photography by @dudleyclips

John Paradiso: You recently celebrated a can release with a 90s style skate jam. How’d that go? Do you think you’ll do that again?

Brayden Volk: The skate jam was hot-2-trot! We had a killer turnout that included a blend of Columbus skate legends, both new and old. It was especially cool because the whole idea was based around doing something for our longtime homie John Sims, who was big into the Columbus skate scene in the early 90’s alongside Thom [Lessner, Hoof Hearted’s artist]. John’s a great dude who continues to pledge his time to help us out at the drop of a hat and he deserves a lot more than what we’re able to offer. Based on what we saw, we’re definitely considering turning it into some kind of annual event.

JP: This is the second annual Dragonsaddle Day. Where did the idea for the party come from?

BV: The idea was a team effort. We wanted to throw a slick festival that was representative of who we are as people and as a company, and if you’ve ever been out to see us then you’d know that we have the jams blastin’ at 11 all the time. A musical element was what started the wick burning, but it really got out of control when we decided to throw caution to the wind and hunt down Guided By Voices, a long-time favorite among those in our brewery, and have them headline last year.

JP: What’s new this year?

BV: DSD18 marks the premiere of the “King Ding-A-Ling” package. That ticket tier grants you access to pours from some smokin’ breweries, most of which aren’t distributed in the state of Ohio. That aside, we’re dropping a few new beers that we’ve yet to produce. “Maxi Jojo Corvette Candi” is a mixed-culture saison fermented in wine barrels that we cooked up some time ago and decided to rack into bottles. The other is a bourbon barrel aged version of an Imperial Stout titled “Girth Brooks,” a 15% double-mashed behemoth that we condition on vanilla, toasted coconut, and coffee that we roast ourselves at Hoof Hearted Coffee. That stuff will make you go blind.

Photography by @bobthealmost

JP: It feels like more breweries are starting to put together their own fests/parties. Do you see this trend continuing? Any pros/cons?

BV: Yeah — we agree. I couldn’t imagine it slowing down, especially considering the velocity with which new breweries seem to be opening. Some of the “pros” bring added value to their faithful guests and clientele by way of thoughtful curation, whether it be with music, guest breweries from out of state, seminars, “themes”, etc. I guess you’d run into the cons if everyone were throwing a cookie-cutter festival, but from what we see and try to involve ourselves in, it’s usually not the case. Outside of our own walls, everywhere that we’ve been fortunate enough to pour at over the last few years has had some pretty creative elements in one form or another.

JP: Festivals sometimes slap together beer and music in a way that usually means only one of the two elements is quality. For you guys, it seems like there was a conscious effort to combine Hoofy’s liquid plus some great guest pours with Dinosaur Jr.’s sick tunes. Was nailing both elements of the fest, music and beer, important to you?

BV: It’s super important to us. We wouldn’t be out here chasing down some of our literal heroes in Dinosaur Jr to try and coerce them into playing in the middle of a cornfield if not. On top of that, we have a sick lineup of brewers whom we respect and admire, and the fact that we all get to share the stage that day and that it’s a home game for us… it’s a pretty cool feeling and we hope that it translates to those who are showing up for the party.

JP: Is your artist Thom Lessner gonna hook it up with some fresh merch? Any early ideas on what will be hitting the merch stand?

BV: T-bone always be hooking it up with that fresh hot merch! Dude keeps us looking good considering we’re all a bunch of dorks. There should be some limited glassware, t-shirt prints, and a boatload more for sale that day.

Photography by @dudleyclips

JP: It’s far away, but are there any things you’d like to add to next year’s Dragonsaddle Day?

BV: Nude air guitar contest plus men’s hair-growth seminar? Not sure yet. If we make it out alive, maybe we’ll try and get David Lee Roth as the 2019 headliner.

Buy Tickets: $30 and up

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