HOLIDAYS ARE COMING UP! NEED A TEAMBUILDING OR CORPORATE BEER EVENT? LET'S WORK ON IT! GET IN TOUCH FOR YOUR EVENT TODAY!

DRAMATIC PRICE REDUCTIONS! GET YOUR RED, WHITE & BLUE PEACE, LOVE, PINTS (R) FLAG BEER SHIRT BEFORE LABOR DAY! RED, WHITE & BLUE IS ALWAYS IN STYLE! GET INTO SOME! SEE BEERSHIRT PAGE OR VISIT WWW.PEACELOVEPINTS.COM >>>>
DOG ROSE BREWING, ST. AUGUSTINE, OPENING SOON; SEE HOMEPAGE STORY!>>>>

SIGN UP FOR THE BREWNYMPH NEWSLETTER ... and FOLLOW BY EMAIL FOR NEW STORIES!!!!>>>>
GET SCROLLIN'>>>LOOKING FOR A BEERFEST OR FLORIDA BEER EVENT? LOOK AT THE ALL-NEW BEERSPHERE PAGE!>>>>
LOOKING FOR A TAPPING AROUND THE JAX AREA? FORGET FACEBOOK SHARES: CHECK THE "TAP THIS" PAGE>>>>
ORDER PEACE, LOVE, PINTS (R) BEERWEAR NOW: HUGE DISCOUNTS: CURRENT INVENTORY MUST GO!!!>>
CONTACT ME FOR BEER PRESENTATIONS, WORKSHOPS, TOURS, EVENTS! I'D LOVE TO WORK WITH YOU, YOUR BUSINESS OR YOUR GROUP!>>>>>

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Florida Brewers Guild FBG Fest Recap (Retap)

Swamp Head Brewery's Udderly Calm Milk Stout
in the new Fest glass.... sweet!
This past Saturday, March 5, over 1500 beer enthusiasts filled the grounds of downtown Tampa's Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park for the annual Florida Brewers Guild Beer Fest. The weather was perfect for roaming around the riverside park, talking to brewers, beer industry folks and beer-lovers, and, of course, for drinking Florida craft beer! The Fest also kicked off the fifth annual Tampa Bay Beer Week, running this year from March 5-13 all around the Tampa area. 





I attended the FBG Fest for the first time last year (check it out here). According to Melissa White, FBG Executive Director, attendance was up this year from last. This year's fest featured 58 Florida breweries, which served up over 250 different beers, ciders and meads. The design of the Fest cup was new this year, sporting a very chic English nonick pint glass style in a souvenir cup. Food trucks were on site to take care of your munchies. Also new for this year was the DJ at the fest entrance. Removing the stage at one end of the fest usually reserved for a live band, White said, allowed additional space to accommodate the brewery booths. In addition, FBG allowed associate members to purchase booth space and promote/sell their goods/services, and six associate members enjoyed the exposure of this event to do just that: Amazon Hose & Rubber, Bon Beer Voyage, Harbor America, Hopcloth, Tampa Bay Beer Week, and Trinity Graphics. Further, White advised that two event sponsors were added to the mix this year: Commercial Products Corp. and Hacker, Johnson, Smith PA. 

The VIP/hour-early admission went smoothly, and guests filed onto the grounds in search of beer! If you saw the published beer list ahead of time, you may have tried to map out your plan of attack beforehand. I had at least one such beer on the list that I knew was likely to "kick" quickly, so my first stop was to Due South Brewing:


The Silky Johnson eluded me at Jupiter, as it kicked
less than 15 minutes after tapping there. Got my hands on it this time:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout (5.6 ABV): peanuts on the aroma;
mmmm....quite good!
After that little bit of chocolate peanut butter ecstasy, I moved along the booths and around the back of the Fest. I don't know if I spent more time drinking beer or talking (it was probably close), because I didn't cover much physical ground in two hours. 


Very cool chatting with Tina from
Marker 48 Brewing. I even stopped to be
Kissed by a Mermaid: Bourbon Barrel Milk Stout
Hello Dolly Ghost Totem from Proof Brewing:
6% ABV Robust Porter with chocolate,
butterscotch and coconut. Creative blend here that worked.
Just enough coconut; chocolate notes, hint of creamy candy.
First beer from Lakeland Brewing:
7.5 ABV IPA: floral, fruity, citrusy: very balanced.
Not overly hoppy, and a pleasure to drink.
Spent some time talking with Asst. Brewer Rob.
Had some fun with Ken and Julia from Pair O' Dice Brewing
(see my blog post from last year).
This, a Rye'd the Line Rye IPA:
Love the rye!
You gotta hand it to these breweries for some of these beer names, too. And, I have to give a shout-out to my guys from Brew Bus Brewing in this regard: the "Ring the F#%'n Bell" Blueberry Habanero Wheat Ale (5% ABV) was aptly named, as it was hot...I mean, really hot, baby. Yeah, I had to try it, and it was even a mouthful asking for that one!
Got my bell rung by that beer!
Good time hangin' with the Brew Bus Tampa crew:
Jax meets Tampa

Forgot to get my Brew Bus koozie in this photo;
Gong Show Vietnamese Coffee Porter (6.5%):
bitter coffee with a smoothness leaving you wanting more
I still had a lot of ground to cover, and although I saw a number of familiar favorite beers, I figured I'd try to focus on more new ones. Hey, with  around 250 beers, I don't think it was possible to try them all! Aren't beerfests great?


Hey, it's Riley from Intuition Ale Works!

I hadn't had a beer from Bugnutty Brewing in a while (see my "Space Coast" blog posts from 2014), and what do you know, there was the booth!  Dark Matter IPA?  Yeah, that had my name on it:


Dark Matter IPA (7.0 ABV): This recipe replaced the
former Black Falcon IPA, one of my favorites.
Uh, yeah, this works! Roasty, chocolate, with caramel
and tropical notes. Ridiculously good.
Had more than one.
And, somewhere along the way I came across the Saltwater Brewing booth.  These guys do some good things in Delray Beach (see blog post from December 2015), and I've been there a couple of times. I've been known to stock up on cans of Screamin Reels IPA on return trips, and if you haven't heard, Saltwater's Sea Cow Milk Stout is now available in cans, too. I asked Dustin to pour a Hazelnut Coffee Mayday Imperial Porter (10% ABV). And, this is where I went into a frenzy; really, an OMG beer-expletive kind of frenzy (that happens):


Mayday: Hazelnut Coffee Mayday Imperial Porter.
Nutty aroma sent your senses into oblivion.
Flavors of hazelnut, coffee, vanilla.
Roasty, amazing. Yeah, I kinda liked it (Ya think?).
I'll be looking for this one again!
Not surprisingly, I ran into friends from the Space Coast -- Hello, again, Brevard Ale Works! And, whaddaya know, ran into some other friends, and got the news of another new brewery on the horizon along the Space Coast beaches: be on the lookout for Dirty Oar Beer Company, coming to Cocoa Village soon:


A fun crew: Can't wait for Dirty Oar Beer Company in Cocoa Village!



There were more beers and more conversations, but you get the idea. Yeah, there are even more breweries on "the list" to visit. Really enjoyed talking with Tim from Ulele Brewpub in Tampa. Also stopped by to see the guys from Waterfront Brewery in Key West, so next time I'm on a scuba vacation there, I'll check them out, too. 

FBG Fest is a substantial fundraiser for the Florida Brewers Guild, the voice of Florida brewers. The fest will be back at Cotanchobee next year, so watch for the date. And, the FBG will celebrate its 20th anniversary on September 20, 2016. 

Well, I don't know where the time went last Saturday, and FBG Fest really is a Fest not to be missed!  If you don't want to park at the fest grounds, put your car in the Ybor parking garage and take the trolley right to the Fest! Afterwards, you can stop at Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Centro Ybor, and......... 

That's it for now... Cheers.....

Til next time,





Linda