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making HEADlines: Florida Nominations in USA Today "10 Best" Awards Polls

making HEADlines:

FLORIDA GETS NOMINATIONS IN USA TODAY'S "10 BEST" READERS' CHOICE POLLS


February 26, 2018: Last week, USA Today announced that it was turning its attention to craft beer in its latest rounds of Readers' Choice "10 Best" polls. The poll includes 20 nominees from across the nation in each of seven categories: Best New Brewery, Best Brewpub, Best Beer Scene, Best Brewery Tour, Best Beer Festival, Best Beer Bar, and Best Beer Label. Florida received nominations in four of the seven categories.  Voting ends March 19 and the winners will be announced on March 23. Shout-out to the following Florida nominees. Links include a list of nominees and voting information:





Photo by Linda Johnson

Best Beer Scene: Tampa.  The category includes beer powerhouses such as Asheville, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Portland, and Portland (Maine and Oregon).  With upwards of 70 breweries in the local area, it's a destination for beer lovers across the Sunshine State. Tampa hosts the annual Tampa Bay Beer Week, March 3-11, with several anchor fests including Florida Brewers Guild FBG Fest on March 3 (see last year's review on this site), Best Florida Beer Brewers' Ball on March 4, and Hunahpu's Day on March 10 (see below). 
[Ed. Note: See the recaps of the 2018 FBG Fest and Best Florida Beer on this site!]



Photo by Linda Johnson
 Best Brewpub: Tampa Bay Brewing Company, Tampa.  Tampa Bay Brewing Company  was established in 1995 in Ybor, and added a recently second production brewery brewpub in the Westchase area. It earned a Bronze medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Fest for its Reef Donkey American Pale Ale.  The Ybor brewpub is conveniently located in downtown Ybor near a trolley stop (and, it's a regular stop for this writer when in Tampa). The brewery recently expanded its distribution footprint, with launches in the Jacksonville market.



Photo by Linda Johnson
Best Beer Festival: Hunahpu's Day (Cigar City Brewing), Tampa. What probably comes as no surprise to beer enthusiasts in Florida, the annual Hunahpu's Day festival celebrates the release of Cigar City Brewing's Hunahpu's Imperial Stout. More than a bottle release, the festival features top breweries from across the country and from around the world. This year's Hunahpu's Day fest is March 10 on the Raymond James Stadium grounds. See this site's recap of  the 2017 fest.
[Ed. Note 3/15/2018: See the recap of this year's 2018 fest held on March 10!]





Photo by Linda Johnson
 Best New Brewery: Old Coast Ales, St. Augustine. Not the biggest brewery you'll find in terms of size or production capability, but the one-year-old brewery (celebrated its first year anniversary on February 1) provides friendly service and a variety of beer styles in a comfortable tap room, with an outdoor patio. Take a look at several articles on this site from pre-opening construction to opening day, along with a recent video interview (February 1) with co-founder Matt Hooker. Congrats to Matt and co-founder Jon Boisclair. 


Odd Breed Wild Ales, Pompano Beach. With a focus on wild ales and funk, this new Florida brewery has a different angle to explore. 




Get out and vote for Florida! 


Cheers,
Linda Johnson,
Certified Cicerone®