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Friday, February 24, 2017

Riverside Craft Beer Fest: Beer Over the River and Under the Bridge, Saturday, February 25

Just a friendly reminder to everyone in the North Florida area: the Fourth Annual Riverside Craft Beer Festival presented by Rotary Club of Riverside returns to the Riverside Arts Market in Jacksonville under the Fuller-Warren Bridge on Saturday, February 25. See my earlier preview story for the lowdown on the Who, What, Where, When, How and Why, which is stuff you probably already know by now. (But, I don't think we really need to ask "why" -- it's a beerfest, for one thing, and it's for a good cause, after all!) General fest hours are 4-7pm, with a one-hour early VIP entry beginning at 3pm. Tickets (unlimited beer sampling) are still available online, and a limited number of additional VIP tickets have recently been released. Otherwise, tickets may be purchased at the gate on Saturday.




Beer sampling along the River in Jax...
volunteer shirt and beer from last year
Look for a "more intimate" fest this year, according to Fest Director Matt McLauchlin. Because of the size of the Riverside Arts Market venue, the fest organizers focused on "aesthetics and logistics" by bringing the components of the fest closer together this year, while still allowing for a relaxed ambience with plenty of space to move around. The fest will feature a more formal entrance. Generally, breweries will be grouped by distributor and will serve beer under tents and via small distributor trucks and several brewery vans. Over 100 craft beers will be available from over 70 local, Florida, regional, national and international breweries. A brewery list can be found on the fest website. To help fest attendees sort through the many beers, a list of breweries and beers is expected to be available for patrons as they enter the site.



Local beer from Intuition Ale Works 

Rather than a separate VIP area, the fest allows holders of VIP tickets access to beer sampling throughout the grounds an hour earlier than the general admission ticket. Many of the beers available at the early 3pm time will be "specialty" beers poured while supplies last. In other words, once those run out, they're gone!

Music will be provided by Grandpa's Cough Medicine, from 3-7pm. Food will be available for purchase on site from at least 10 local food trucks. The organizers also increased the number of tables and seating options this year, says Matt McLauchlin. Commemorative shirts will be printed on site and available for purchase from local screenprinter Shipyard Dog (St. Augustine). 

Cheers!
Proceeds from the event benefit Community Peds Care and the Riverside Rotary Foundation, which disburses funds to charitable causes. Last year, the fest raised roughly $95,000, and Rotary hopes to pass that figure this time around. This fest has become an "established event" throughout the beer industry and among the beer crowd, adds Matt, and it's been "gaining interest over the years." Fest organizers encourage everyone to try new beers and "enjoy Jacksonville."


And, it should be a great day for doing just that! See you Saturday!

Riverside Arts Market, the site of the Riverside Craft Beer Fest, is located at 715 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville, directly under the Fuller-Warren Bridge. 

Just like last year, after Saturday, I will have attended two beerfests presented by two different Florida Rotary chapters over back-to-back weekends! Rotary chapters are really into charity events (and, I think they like a beer or two also!). 

I'll be pouring some beer at Riverside Craft Beer Fest during the second shift and wandering around before then, so find me and say Hi! See ya there!

Cheers!

Til next time,




Linda










Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®


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