Our Story

Barrel & Flow is America’s favorite brew festival two years in a row, as voted by the readers of USA Today, and we strive to be the most welcoming festival as well. We are more than just beer and want to continue to utilize the brewing industry to connect opportunity, accessibility, and artistry in ways that celebrate and empower the Black community.


Barrel & Flow's lineup reflects our commitment to creating an inclusive festival environment and showcasing Black breweries, artists, and small businesses. We welcome you to enjoy this celebration of brewing + art with an exceptional collection of breweries from across the country pouring festival-exclusive collaborations, a varying and talented cast of musicians spanning genre and style, and a unique selection of food vendors, indie artisans, visual and performing artists, and local non-profits.

Why Barrel & Flow? 

To honor what we see as interconnected and important sectors of Black arts. To celebrate Black arts and artists. And to express and share how collective art is greater together than the sum of their individual parts. Through the barrel flows this collective creativity of music, visual art, and culinary art. Our collaborations and aims of economic empowerment for the Black community continue, just as significant and necessary as ever, with global aspirations and national amplifications.

After three years with a new name, a new logo, and a new outlook, we feel as if the rest of the country is ready for who Barrel & Flow is and what we celebrate. Our motto, one of them, is straight to the point of our mission: Keep Black Arts on Tap! Our second motto, and one that has angered some folks, is not far behind in its importance: We pay Black people. The combination of these two mottos bookmarks our overall mission: to support, promote, and amplify Black artists of all genres and Black small business owners.

We invite you to become part of this story of celebration, collaboration, and community.

Join us on August 10, 2024 3pm-9pm (12pm - 9pm VIP) at The Stacks at 3 Crossings, 2875 Railroad St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222Tickets are on sale now! 

Over 99% of post-event survey respondents ranked the quality of Barrel & Flow as high or excellent. With our unique combination of craft brew, music, live artists, and a highly curated vendor marketplace, Barrel & Flow continues to highlight and amplify Black breweries, artists, musicians, and small business owners. ‍

Media coverage of Fresh Fest has included Forbes, Thrillist, Imbibe, NPR, Atlanta Black Journal, Pittsburgh Post-GazetteThe New York Times, Wine Enthusiast,Vice, The Atlantic, and October. 

In addition to national and international media coverage, Barrel & Flow has been voted the best beer festival in the United States by USA Today and is featured in the Smithsonian Institution.

Barrel & Flow stands committed to our promise to pay Black people and pay rate transparency. We are also determined to create a festival environment that is fun and safe for everyone. All attendees and participants must adhere to our policies keeping in mind there is zero-tolerance for any kind of harassment or prejudice. 

Pay rates for 2023 Barrel & Flow:

  • Bands $1000
  • Solo/duos: $500
  • DJs: $500
  • Live painters: $100/hr
  • Speakers: $500
  • Brewers:  $300
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