Todd Antz has been linked with Clarksville’s Keg Liquors ever since his parents opened it in 1976. Born and raised in Jeffersonville, Antz says he practically grew up in the liquor store, but it wasn’t something he planned on taking over.
After moving away and spending a decade in the corporate world, however, he and his wife relocated back to Southern Indiana and bought the store from his parents in 2005. Since then he’s opened a second location in New Albany and has created one of the most successful and anticipated beer festivals in the area — the Keg Liquors Fest of Ale.
The 10th annual Fest of Ale will once again take over the lawn at St. Anthony’s of Padua, 320 N. Sherwood Ave., in Clarksville, on Saturday, May 30, from 3-7 p.m. Last year they sold all 1,500 tickets available, and this year will likely be the same. And what’s most notable is that the proceeds always go to the WHAS Crusade for Children — last year more than $13,000 was donated to the organization.
Antz says he’s looking forward to the festival’s 10th anniversary.
“We’ve come such a long way from our first event, where we had around 150 people hanging out in the parking lot of my Clarksville store, to now being one of the best beer festivals in the region,” he says. “We’ve grown the event over the years to what it is today — it’s like watching one of your kids grow up.”
Before the first beer is cracked, Antz answered some very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
I’ve always wanted to visit Abbey Road in London and recreate the famous album cover of The Beatles crossing Abbey Road. The surprising part of this would be that there is no beer involved. It’s such an iconic shot of the band, and to be able to recreate part of it would be a ton of fun. After that, I’d probably go drink beer in a London pub, though.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
I had one of those Bud Light posters of Spuds MacKenzie hanging out on a surfboard. At the time, he seemed like a pretty cool dog, and frankly, what teenager would not want to hang around a dog with a seemingly endless supply of beer and attractive women?
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
Hunter S. Thompson. From his outlandish Gonzo style of journalism, the numerous books and being a symbol of American counterculture, he personifies a lot of what Louisville is. We’re a weird city, and his influence has gone a long way toward helping us along the way.
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
I like to be a bit creative with my toppings and try and mix things up as much as possible. My wife and I just had a Roundhouse pizza from New Albanian this week that had pepperoni, bacon, ham, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. It was a fantastic blend. If I’m not feeling adventurous, my staple is mushroom and sausage.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
I think I’d go back to being 25 for a week. It was a time when I had a great steady job with a decent income. I felt like I had life pretty well figured out, and of course did not, but ignorance was definitely bliss. Life, for me, was very carefree and fun. That would be a blast to do for a week, as long as I could do the things I did at 25 and still feel like I was 25. Now when I do those things, I feel like I’m 90.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
I’ve got a pretty unique look, whether that is good or bad. Fortunately for most famous people, they look nothing like me. Years ago when I had more hair on my head, I was compared to an actor by the name of Joey Slotnick. He was on a TV show on NBC called “The Single Guy,” and then went on to be part of “Nip/Tuck” in the mid 2000s. I guess he’s semi-famous, and, too bad for both of us, we are a bit similar.
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
Mark Cuban. He’s the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and also stars in “Shark Tank.” Before that, he took a dot-com startup, made his fortune, sold it, did another startup and sold it. He took a miserable basketball franchise, turned it around and eventually won a championship. I’d love to be able to talk with him just to see what makes him tick and how he’s done the things he’s done in his lifetime.