Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Last Weekend of March Goes Out Like a ????

Well, here we are at the last weekend in March 2015. It seems like I just published that post about March events.  Even though it's technically Spring, we look ahead to some warmer weather, and, yes, even more events.  But, first, let's send March out like a party animal.  Here are some events happening around Northeast Florida this coming weekend.

Alright, get ready to run, jog, walk, stumble, stagger, crawl ... and chug!  It's the 2015 Jacksonville Tap 'N Run 4k, starting at 2pm, at 1521 Margaret St.  If you missed the early registration, tickets are still available.  But, seriously, you can't just do this in "regular" running gear.  Get a crazy costume together -- you still have time. Three beer stations along the way, and some kind of ridiculous after-party.  You're gonna need those beer breaks during the run -- hydration is a good thing.  Don't even think about doing this unless you want to have some fun.  Crazy outfits, beer stations, crazy participants... This is where I'll be spending Saturday afternoon.  It's gonna be one wild ride (or run, or walk, etc.). Follow Tap N Run on Facebook and Twitter, too, for the latest. Use hashtags #tapJAX or #letsTAP. And, yeah, I did some shopping and am now the proud owner of a new wig (it's yellow, bright yellow) and tutu (it's black) just for this.  I think there could be some very entertaining photos on the way! See you Saturday.

Slide Into Spring  is a weekend music and craft beer fest Friday night through Sunday evening at Main Beach Park in Fernandina Beach. This fest benefits Nassau Humane Society and 8 Flags Playscapes.  Lots of music from a wide variety of genres.  Lots of craft beer samples from local Jax breweries, Florida breweries, and regional and national breweries -- a pretty impressive list! And, check out some of the new beers from local homebrewers, too, with a Homebrew Competition on Saturday. Have you ever watched those dancers at a silent disco?  Well, here's your chance to get in on that, too. Get tickets for the fest on the website. There will be a few after-parties for those of you who just can't get enough.  There's a Facebook Event page that has the music line-up, too. What's better than good music, good beer and a couple of really good causes?  

Second Annual LOCALS ONLY Beer Fest happens Saturday from 12-5pm, at 3 Independent Dr. in downtown Jax.  The JAX Chamber and ImpactJax are bringing you an afternoon of local craft beer, music and games, right in the heart of downtown. Get some tasty fare from local food trucks on site (you'll have to purchase that on your own, but I love the food trucks around here). Beer will be sold by ticket, with a 20 oz pour for 1 ticket. Drink tickets are $5 each (so, in other words, the beer only costs ya $5 each). Check out the Facebook Page, too.

So, there, you have it...More things to do, and more beer events to send March out and welcome Spring in. 

And, hey, I scour and search various sources to find out about fun and beer-centric events, and if you have one, let me KNOW about it! Drop me a line through my website, brewnymph.com, or send me an email at brewnymph@comcast.net. And, there's always the old-fashioned talk-to-me-in-person route, too (don't be scared). You can usually find me out and about somewhere. You might have to sit through a beer with me, but like I said last time, for the most part, I'm harmless. (I even have a pretty cool business card that I'll give ya). 


Monday, March 16, 2015

Slainte!: St. Patrick's Day and Life Thereafter in St. Augustine

Hey, St. Augustine, so you survived Celtic Fest this past weekend.  I had a fun time out there yesterday selling beverage tokens and listening to Irish music. 

You get one day to recover (except for you really hard-core Irish party animals who probably haven't stopped yet).  There's a lot of Irish going on in St. Augustine, so get your green derby, shamrocks, and whatever else green you can put on your body, and check out some of these Irish shindigs. Whether you're talkin' Guinness, Murphy's, Smithwick's (do you know how to pronouce that, by the way), or Harp (and I hear there's something called Jameson), there's somethin' for ya in town on this March 17, whether you're hoisting a green beer or not.  Of course, I'd recommend at least an Irish Stout! Here are a few places that will be partying like leprechauns with a pot of gold:

Barley Republic Irish Pub, 48 Spanish Street
St. Patrick's Day Celebration, 11am-2am
Yeah, this one will be goin' on all day, with music, Irish food, Irish beers, Irish whiskeys, and even something called a "fastest Guinness pint contest." Music by Wobbly Toms, Irish By Marriage, Dublin Trainwreck, Mike Sullivan, Jacksonville Pipes and Drums, and Albannach.  The Barley's fish and chips are one of my favorites. Enjoy inside or out front on the deck.

Ann O'Malley's Irish Deli & Pub, 23 Orange Street
All-day Party, featuring corned beef & cabbage, music
I just happened to stop over here yesterday after working the booth at Celtic Fest.  I was the only one at that corner of the bar who didn't have an Irish accent (yeah, they were real). And, of course, keeping with the spirit of things, I had a Murphy's  stout and a Harp lager, along with the pub's signature Beef-N-Weck (only on Sundays).  For St. Pat's, the Pub will be serving up corned beef and cabbage all day.  Music by Ric Welch at 4pm, and Strum Stick at 8pm. The crowd will likely be overflowing onto Orange Street, but that's part of the fun. 

Meehan's Irish Pub & Seafood House, 20 Avenida Menendez
St. Patrick's Day Party, 5pm-1am
The Party with a view of the bayfront! Grab a pint and have some traditional Irish fare.  The Pub will feature bagpipers and Irish dancers all day. Music by Bill Mullen, Mike Sullivan, Michael Funge, and Brian McCann.

The World Famous Oasis, 4000 A1A South at Ocean Trace Rd.
"The Biggest St. Patty's Day Party South of Savannah and North of Key West"
Starts at 4:02pm
With an upstairs, downstairs and a parking lot to put this party in, Oasis will be getting its Irish on in a big way. Corned beef and cabbage served all day. Bagpipes from 3-5pm. Music outside by Highway 1, from 4-8pm. Music upstairs by Chris C-4 Man (3-7pm) and Neil Dickson (7-close). And, oh, yeah, that dashing Leprechaun will be roaming the grounds. 

J.P. Henley's Pub, 10 Marine St.
All-Day Irish Food and more
If you've ever been to J.P. Henley's for other drinking-holidays (remember Oktoberfest?), you know that you can get a rockin' tap list and tasty holiday-themed food. The pub will be serving up some Irish food all day. And, I'm pretty sure that there will be some Irish beoir bhairille (been waiting to use that). 
Erin go bragh!

Life After the Green

So, after you put away your green gear for next year, there's more to do around here... Read on....

Wednesday, March 18:

St. Augustine Home Brewers Club Monthly Meeting
7:30pm at BT's Grill and Beer Garden, 223 W. King St.

Are you a homebrewer?  Or do you aspire to be?  Or, do you just like talking about beer with other like-minded people who like talking about beer?  I think you get the picture, these guys (and gals) really like talking about beer.  Oh, yeah, there is some consumption that goes on, too. This is a fun bunch that just likes beer.  Everyone is welcome to attend. The club meets every third Wednesday at BT's Grill and Beer Garden (which, by the way, offers a good beer selection and has some awesome food). Just a warning, though, if you're new to the group, you will have to tell the rest of us something about yourself, and you will get the obligatory group welcome. If you want more info, check out their Facebook page, at facebook.com/StAugustineHomeBrewersClub.  See ya there!

Well, yeah, I had to throw that in...
It's been a while since I've seen that
St. Paddy's Day Hangover Cure, 
Featuring Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout Nitro
6-8pm at Mellow Mushroom St. Augustine, 401 Anastasia Blvd.

If you haven't had Left Hand Brewing's Milk Stout Nitro, you're missing out on one of the most popular stouts in the country. And, no, that's probably not an exaggeration. The nitro version is a creamy, smooth goodness of dark beer that your taste buds will love.  There's also a non-nitro version, and you can buy both at retail. The nitro on draft is one that you'll really be glad you tried. I didn't have any further info on this one, but maybe stop by there and check it out. (You could even go before the Homebrewers Club meeting --- now there's a thought!)

Thursday, March 19: 

Founders Brewing Tap Night at J.P. Henley's Pub
Starting at 6pm, J.P. Henley's Pub, 10 Marine St.

I don't really need an excuse to hang at J.P. Henley's, but I do love those beers from Founders (they brought you the Dirty Bastard, Breakfast Stout and Dark Penance, y'know).  This tap night will include various Founders beers, including the Porter and Nitro Pale Ale.  There was no ending time for this one, so I'm not sure what that means...hmmm. 

I guess you'll have to find something to do on your own for Friday. I leave you to your own devices......

Saturday, March 21:

Beer Brewing Class and Group Brew Day  
Brought to You By St. Augustine Brewing Solutions
at BT's Grill and Beer Garden
11am-5pm at BT's Grill and Beer Garden, 223 W. King St.

Aw, c'mon, you know you want to learn how to brew! Hasn't all this beer talk made you want to brew some brew? Give it a try, or just come by and get some info. Already got your own equipment?  Then bring it over for a Group Brew! For more info, visit: St. Augustine Brewing Solutions

OK, that's it......  Til next time... Cheers!

And, hey: I review a bunch of sources to get these listings for my social media accounts. If you have an event that you would like for me to include in my postings and on a future event calendar, you can do that in several ways:  If you see me out there at a pub, bar or restaurant, just let me know! I might have some bite, but I'm harmless for the most part. You might have to talk some beer with me. Or, if that's too scary for you, go one of the more traditional (and maybe the safer) ways: drop me an email at brewnymph@comcast.net, or go to my website, www.brewnymph.com, and send me a message there.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Florida Brewers Guild Craft Beer Festival Tapped It as Tampa Bay Beer Week 2015 Opened

Last week at this time, I was heading across the state from St. Augustine on the ocean to Tampa on the bay, where the breweries seem to be opening faster than a hard pour.  The duffel bags were loaded with too many clothes for a 2-day trip, and the cooler was enjoying its quiet time off while dutifully awaiting its return cargo. It had been a couple of years since I visited Tampa (see the two "WaZoo" posts from August 2013), and it was time to go back. 

Although there are many reasons to make the drive at any time, what better reason than this: a Florida beerfest ... comprised of Florida brewers .... that set the stage for Tampa Bay Beer Week 2015 (it still has a couple of days left)  

I reached the end of the line...Destination Tampa
By now, you know that I'm talking about the Florida Brewers Guild Craft Beer Festival. So, how did this year's TBBW get started?

Picture it: 60 Florida craft breweries assembled at a riverfront park with flagship beers, along with some new and special beers; rows of beer tents, with plenty of space to wander around; food trucks; music; and over 1500 craft beer enthusiasts and hop-heads.  Add in a rain-free day. (and, I also noted the large number of "relief stations" on the grounds, if you know what I mean). I opted to splurge and get the VIP ticket, for an extra early hour.
VIPs await....
The line was orderly, and entry was smooth. Check IDs, wristband in place, enter!  And, who was at the entry point handing out the brewery/beer list? None other than Mike Halker, President of the FBG and President/Head Brewer at Due South Brewing (I'm no stranger to the tasty brews from there).  I grabbed a bunch of swag stuff, and then started off the sampling with blonde ales and pilsners (palate progression, you know).  I won't list all the beers I "researched" (my Untappd checkins speak for themselves, and, yes, Untappd kept up), but below are some photos. Many of the beers were ones you'd expect to find, but there were quite a few new and unusual brews, and the creativity of the brewers never ends. It's always fun to see brewers from across the state that I already know, and, of course, meet new ones!

And, it's always guaranteed that you'll run in to interesting "beer people" at these things.  

Gerard Walen (Beer in Florida) was signing copies
of his book "Florida Breweries"

A little money changed hands..
Gerard Walen was hanging out at the Tampa Bay Brewing Company booth signing his book "Florida Breweries."  Looking spiffy, there, I might add. If you haven't met him, he's definitely one of those aforementioned "interesting" beer people. And, how about those TBBCo guys?  Did you try that new/special beer they had on tap?  A little peach wood smoked pumpkin porter kinda thing (yeah, there was an alternate name).  And, the beer was quite good (I could see some beer geeks dissecting it, actually). 

TBBCo's Peach Wood Smoked Pumpkin Porter
(aka....... well, shut my mouth)

And, I promised these guys a photo ahead of time.
Always a party with the crew from Engine 15 Brewing!
(Raising the Nut Sack, as it were)

A girl after my own shirt...
Met Nada, aka @CigarGirlFL
If you like cigars, check out her blog at nadasworld.net
As you can see, the day was all about good beer and good beer people!

Cheers to the FBG for putting on a great beer fest.  I'm looking forward to going back for FBG Fest 2016.  As much I love being "on the other side" and pouring and repping at a fest, I had a great time wandering all over, talking about beer, and taking photos. 

So, that's how TBBW got started this year -- "officially," I suppose.  Yes, I know that there were some "unofficial" events leading up to it, too, including the grand opening of the new tasting room at Coppertail Brewing.  While I didn't make it there on Friday night, I did visit later.   But, that's another story.... 

I also happened to make stops at Dunedin Brewery and 7venth Sun Brewery. Yep, you guessed it, that's another story....

And, then it was time to head back...

Til next time, everyone!   See you out there soon at a beer fest, pub, event, brewery, beach, golf course, or wherever we may meet over a beer!