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Thursday, February 16, 2017

On a Wing and A Beer: Florida Craft Brew & Wing Fest Set to Host Thousands in Vero Beach Saturday, February 18

Hungry?  .... Wings. 
Thirsty?  .... Beer.

Back for its 6th year, the Florida Craft Brew and Wing Fest is again set to take over Royal Palm Pointe Park in Vero Beach on Saturday, February 18. Presented by Sunrise Rotary Club Vero Beach, the fest will feature 17 local wing vendors, over 200 craft beers, and two stages of live music all afternoon. Wanna bring the kids? No problem: it's also a family-friendly event, featuring a new root beer tasting contest for the kids this year. In addition to the many different types of wings, you'll also find pizza, burgers and snacks. Sodas are also available. 

One of the notable things about this annual fest is the attendance. Each year, the numbers of hungry and thirsty attendees has grown, from 3000 to 5000, then to 8000, and an estimated 12,000 last year, says Debbie Avery, Fest spokesperson. The venue at Royal Palm Pointe Park includes two music stages, one at each end. In between, rows of vendors offering tasty wings and tasty beers line the park. Lots of messy fingers will be sampling those wings, as the title of Best Wings is up for grabs. 


The 2016 Fest: Want wings? Want beer?
This writer has attended the Fest for several years, including as a vendor and last year as a judge in the homebrew competition. See 2016 recap story. This time around, the homebrew competition judging took place ahead of the fest at last week's VIP Pre-Fest Party at Walking Tree Brewery, according to Rotary and Fest Committee member Justin Lefebure. 

There really is something for everyone at this event! Musicians will perform on both the West and East Stages all afternoon. Opening the fest from 11:30am til 1:30pm are The Jacks Band (West Stage) and Southern Exposure (East Stage). After a short break, the music returns at 2pm, when Dave Scott & The Reckless Shots take the West Stage, and Jeff Vitolo & the Quarter Mile Rebels appear on the East Stage, til 4pm. 

The 21+ crowd will enjoy unlimited beer samplings from local Florida breweries in addition to regional and national breweries, as various beer distributors (J.J. Taylor, Southern Eagle, Cavalier, MicroMan) will supply brews to go with those wings. Expect homebrewers and breweries-in-planning to also offer tastings of their beers. Brevard Ale Works is expected to pour several of its beers: Northeast IPA, Baltic Porter, Doppelbock, Sweet Stout and Coffee IPA, according to info on its social media pages. 


2016 Fest... With the crew from
Brevard Ale Works, opening soon. 
It's all fun, food and beer at the Florida Craft Brew & Wing Fest, but it's also all for a good cause. Sunrise Rotary, a club comprised of over 65 active and retired professionals, distributes funds raised from the Fest to a number of different charitable community projects. So far, in its current fiscal year, Sunrise Rotary has already assisted 53 such projects, says Debbie Avery. 

The fest runs from 11:30am to 4pm on Saturday, February 18. Admission to the event is free. Single beers will be available for purchase. Unlimited beer sampling is by beer wristband only: get tickets here. Beer sampling wristbands will also be available at the entry gate for $35.  Royal Palm Pointe Park is located off of Indian River Blvd., near the Merril P. Barber bridge. 

Come hungry and thirsty!

You just gotta love Florida Beerfest Season! So many breweries, so many new beers, and new friends! As always, see you around a beer in Florida Somewhere!

Til next time,
Cheers,




Linda









Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®


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