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Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's BeerFest Time in Florida! Chapter 1

Wait a minute, the Holidays just ended.  But, some might say that we are heading into the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Although it might sometimes seem like it's a year-round phenomenon in Florida, there was a hiatus during the month of December, as there were plenty of individual tappings, tastings, takeovers, and such going on.  So, as the calendar has now flipped to 2015, yep, you guessed it: It's Beerfest Time!  

In addition to the larger regional or city fests, there are a a few new brewery-specific special releases that have morphed into their own fests.  So, if bacon is your thing, or if you want to get "trenched," pay attention.  Whether you live close to one of these fests, or if you like an excuse for a "beertrip" (ahem), there's something coming up in January and February in Florida that you're sure to like.  As you can expect, most (not all) of these early fests happen in South Florida. That means beer, beach, and some golf too! And, you can pretty much bet on finding some really good food around. (You really have to make the most of these things, you know.)  So, get ready to take a drive and check out these January events.  Who knows, you just might see me on I-95.



Saturday, January 10
Rowell's Marina, Key Largo

Hey, it's Key Largo. Awesome sunsets. Great restaurants on the water. Fishing, scuba diving.  A beerfest on the marina in a paradise-like setting. You need a vacation, right?  See the Facebook page, too.










Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Release Festival
Saturday, January 10
Oakland Park FL

I haven't had this one yet, but that's a mouthful that sounds like it tastes awesome.  Check out the Facebook event page.  Release of 22 oz bottles, and full, all-out festival, including a big ol' funky tap list and food trucks featuring breakfast food pairings.  Wake up and smell the porter.

Proof Brewing Co.
Saturday, January 10
Tallahassee FL

I love the guys over at Proof Brewing, and they brew up some really awesome beer. This event features some family fun, a chili cook-off and an exciting special tap list. Take a look at their Facebook Event page too for more info.







Ok, so can we move on from January 10 now?


January 17-24
All around South Florida

South Florida Beer Week brings us events all over SoFla during the week at a number of venues, including tappings, takeovers, dinners, and more.  Info coming, so stay tuned.

Includes two big events on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 23 and 24: Field of Beers (sold out already, folks), and Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival (see below). 




Saturday, January 24
Roger Dean Stadium, Abacoa, Jupiter FL

OK, here we go.  One of my favorite fests. I've been there the past two years, and my tickets are already printed and ready to roll.  Lots of Florida beer here.  This is one rockin' party, and it usually spills over to a couple of neighboring bars in the Abacoa town center.  There's nearby parking, too. And, here's your chance to play some of that golf on a really fun track, the Abacoa Golf Club course.  But, wait, not done yet: Just down the street are some really good restaurants (I had an awesome mahi sandwich last year, and I'll be heading back to Burger Bar again this time around, too; maybe you saw my posts from last time).  I won't be pouring for a brewery this fest, so I'll really get to soak it all in.  More info on Facebook events page, too. 


Saturday, January 24
Broward College, Coconut Creek FL

A fundraiser for Junior Achievement of South Florida, this event looks like a classy and tasteful/tasty night of culinary deliciousness, paired with wines, spirits and craft beers.  Check out their Facebook event page also. They're calling it a "fork and cork affair," and there's also a "Dessert Bash." 

Due South Brewing Trench Day
Saturday, January 31
Boynton Beach FL

So, this year, the Due South crew is throwing a party of festival proportions as it releases its once-a-year Mariana Trench Imperial Stout.  Well, why not, it's soooo good. If you didn't get your fill of South Florida Beer Week and Jupiter, head Due South and get trenched (I took some liberties with that, but they're a pretty cool bunch over there, and I only mean that in a complimentary way). But, you'll need tickets to enter, so you better be by your computer or other electronic device, tomorrow, January 2, at noon EST with your fingers ready. Tix being limited to 300.  And, this isn't "just" a bottle release, it's a "beerfest" complete with tasting glass for samplings from a bunch of Florida breweries.  Food trucks will be on site. If you haven't had Mariana Trench, believe me, you want it. Only 1000 bottles will be released. Take a look at the Due South webpage or Facebook event page for more info.

I think I'll just put my car on autopilot, and it can head south on I-95 on its own!


January 30-February 7
Kickoff Event: Friday, January 30
The Abbey, DeLand FL

Formerly known as DeLand Craft Beer Week, this fest was renamed to include the growing brewery presence in and around Volusia County.  And, there are some good ones here (yes, I have personal experience). The week-long party gets started with a Kick-Off event at The Abbey on January 30, featuring special drafts and cellar releases, in addition to raffles and prizes. Some of the "premier" events during the week include: An Evening with Dr. Pat McGovern, a bio-molecular Archaelogist known for his work on the Dogfish Head Anciet Ale Series; Brews and Bowties, a rare and vintage pairing event; and a Belgian-themed homebrew competition called the Mad Monk Mash-Up. The week concludes with the DeLand Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, February 7. Keep current on the events by taking a look at the webiste and the Facebook Event Page. 


Saturday, January 31
Marlins Park, Miami FL

The Third Annual Fest.  What's not to like? Beer from Miami breweries, Florida breweries, and other favorites, food, music.  And, it's in Miami. This one's a 5pm start.  Check out the cool video on the webpage. And, more info on Facebook.


Hey, that's a wrap, and that's just January.  All this beertalk has me heading to the fridge for a Florida beer!

Happy New Year, everyone, and I'll see you at a Beerfest (or two or three, or...) in 2015!