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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Neither Rain .. Nor Wind .. Nor Heat .. It's Time for Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest!

It's the third full week of July ... in South Florida: ahhh, Summer! If you're like a number of people, you might find it just a bit warm around the Sunshine State these days. So, if you're not thinking about the beach, you're likely thinking about air conditioning, and of course, BEER! And, that humidity and those pesky summer monsoons?  Forget about 'em ..... It's time for Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest!  (I hear the cheers). Get ready to party South Florida style.



Now in its fourth year, the annual Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest has grown steadily each year, in terms of brewery representation and attendance. And, yes, I really can attest to that, because I've been there each of the past three years (proof is in last year's recap story). Why should you go? Sure, for starters, this fest is in South Florida (which sounds pretty sexy in its own right). It's a trendy place to visit, and it has an exploding craft beer scene. The fest itself will feature over 40 breweries and more than 150 craft beers to taste. Ten food trucks will be on site to cure your hunger symptoms. You'll be entertained by live bands and the participants in the silent disco (especially after a few beers set in). If you like whiskey, you'll even be able to take part in the whiskey tasting. But, maybe, just maybe, the biggest draw is that this beerfest is indoors, as in under a roof -- with air conditioning -- at the Expo Center of the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach. You'll hardly notice whether it's raining or sweltering outside, because you'll be keeping your cool inside with a cold one in your hand. 



It's always crazy at the Due South Brewing booth

For those reasons, this is one popular fest, and last year's attendance of over 4,000 may have stretched the limits of the venue. Blame it on insatiable thirst of Floridians and all the breweries!  But, not to worry, because the organizers of the Fest have responded by offering TWO sessions of the Fest this year. So, for the first time, you'll have your choice of either an afternoon (12-4pm) or an evening (5-9pm) session. Other than various timed tappings throughout the fest hours, the breweries and the beer will be the same at each session. Better get your tickets, though, because even at 2500 available tickets per timeslot this year, it's likely that the fest will again sell out of tickets!  Tickets are available at two levels: General Admission (unlimited beer tastings, silent disco, bourbon tastings, corn hole games) or VIP. Only 250 VIP tickets will be available per session, and VIP perks include private lounge access with private craft beer offerings, food buffet, commemorative beer mug, VIP shirt, and cigar. 


You'll find your South Florida favorites here!
According to Jennifer Cartwright of the Fest organizers, based on feedback from attendees of last year's Fest, it was decided to split the event into two sessions, making it a more comfortable experience for everyone: "We listened to the attendees and they wanted less lines and less crowds ... and, we wanted to make the attendees happy." And, if you can't attend the afternoon festivities, make it a date night! Sounds good to me! I'm looking forward to checking out the first night session! 

For the third year, Saltwater Brewery will sponsor the main stage. Depending on which session you attend, live music will be provided by one of two bands: Chemradery, featuring pop/rock/soul during the afternoon, or The People Upstairs, with the sounds of funk/rock/reggae/alternative "sexy-time" party music in the evening. Hey, let's all get ready to get this party going! 


Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest 2015:
A few of the 4000 people who attended

And, if you're from the South Florida area, you may have heard of the "KVJ Beers" brewed by Tequesta Brewing Company for the local morning KVJ Show (Kevin, Virginia, Jason and Denny). The four seasonal beers will be poured at the Burger & Beer Joint fest booth (by the way, Burger & Beer Joint is also hosting an after-party following the evening session of the fest, so the party will keep going). Virginia's "Vicious V" is a watermelon saison, which might (or might not, based on the name) cool things down in the South Florida heat.


No vicious beers from Tequesta Brewing last year!
Last but not least, proceeds from the Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest will benefit Little Smiles, an organization dedicated to helping kids in need in hospitals, hospices, shelters and similar facilities. I always like the charity aspect of beerfests, and we beerfest attendees do our part to help out these organizations!

I'm always up for a trip to South Florida (as you know from prior posts on this blog), and I've had this fest marked on my calendar since I attended Fest No. 3 last July. The fest always features the usual South Florida brewery suspects, along with great representation from additional Florida, regional and national breweries and cideries. Look for my "live" social media feed, too, as it promises to be another rockin' beerfest, and you never know who I might run into!


It actually did rain last year, but I didn't notice!
As I'm getting ready to head south on I-95 to West Palm Beach, I'll leave this post the same way I ended last year's fest summary: I'm looking forward to coming back for No. 5 next year!

Hey, I always run into interesting beer people at beerfests, and Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest won't be any different!  Stop and say Hi!

Cheers, and see ya in Palm Beach!





Linda 









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