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Reminder: Riverside Craft Beer Fest Brings Florida Beerfest Season to Jax: Two New Breweries Offer Sneak Peeks

2017 Riverside Craft Beer Fest
(photo by Linda Johnson)
February 22, 2018:  Last year Main & Six Brewing and Hyperion Brewing were the new kids on the river, being the up-and-coming Jax breweries at the time. Both opened during 2017, and this time around, they'll be pouring beer as operating breweries. On Saturday, Legacy Ale Works and Fishweir Brewing, with plans to open in 2018, take their places as breweries-in-the-works offering sneak peeks of their beers. 

It's the first major beerfest of the year in Jax. 
(Repost from January 10, 2018):

The 5th Annual Riverside Craft Beer Festival, presented by Rotary Club of Riverside (Jacksonville), is set for its return under the Fuller-Warren Bridge at Riverside Arts Market on February 24. 

With over 70 breweries participating, and more than 150 different craft beers flowing, attendees will find just about any type of beer. Just add in music and food trucks, along with a great charitable cause, and it's all fun on the river!



According to Chris Croft, 2018 Fest Chairman, planning for this year's event began within two weeks of last year's festival. 100% of the proceeds from the fest benefit Community Peds Care® and the Riverside Rotary Foundation. Although the Foundation distributes funds to many different charities and projects, explained Croft in an interview, the Rotary Club has always focused on helping children, making Community Peds Care an ideal partnership. Last year, over $100,000 was raised by the Fest toward the Rotary's charitable efforts, with over $300,000 to date. Community Peds Care has used the funds for multiple purposes, including hiring new caregivers. Riverside Rotary disburses monies raised from the fest to a number of causes and organizations, including purchasing dictionaries for local schools, funding of Riverside Rotary's Scholarship at UNF for First Generation College Students, playground equipment at local parks, dinners for local military families through the USO, funding for a clean water project in Haiti, and continued donations to Rotary International's End Polio Now Initiative, among others. Festival attendees can be guaranteed that their festival admission fees support worthwhile charitable projects. Nothing better than drinking beer for great causes!


Flowing on the River! At 2017 fest
(photo by Linda Johnson)
And, what about that beer? Look for between 70-80 breweries pouring at least 2-3 different beers, with some sending special kegs for the VIP early entry, said Croft. In a new arrangement this year, participating breweries will be setup around the venue by six geographic regions: Florida, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, West Coast, and International, rather than by distributor. In addition, several breweries-in-planning and breweries who currently only serve their beers in-house will also be represented. One of these is Legacy Ale Works, a new brewery headed to the Mandarin area of Jacksonville, which announced on its website that it will be serving a German Schwarzbier and a Belgian Tripel at the fest. 

Also, Fishweir Brewing, a new brewery-in-planning on Edgewood Ave. in the Murray Hill area of Jax with an anticipated opening of Fall 2018, will pour several of its beers: Glendale Pale Ale, Bait & Switch Coffee Blonde Ale, and Pucker Factor Kettle Sour. The new brewery looks to focus on sour beers. 

The Riverside Arts Market is a spacious venue under the bridge that offers plenty of space to walk around with beer in hand. No need to worry about munchies, either, as 11 food trucks will be on site. Beers won't be the only thing tapping, as your feet will be tapping along to the sounds of popular band Grandpa's Cough Medicine on the main stage on the riverfront from 3-7pm. 


Early at the 2017 Fest
(photo by Linda Johnson)

Attendees will notice a change at the fest entry gate this year, with the addition of cloth wristbands, added Croft, which should make entering the event faster. The souvenir beerfest sample cups have not changed. While general admission starts at 4pm, VIP ticketholders are allowed early entry at 3pm. General admission Early Bird tickets are $40 through February 23, with on-site tickets available for $50. Cost of the VIP ticket is $60, sold exclusively online, as the VIP option sells out each year, said Croft. Advance ticket purchase is encouraged. 

Croft, who has been a Fest Co-chair each year, took on the duties of Chairman for 2018, and finds the continued success of Riverside Craft Beer Fest "humbling." Organizers believe that "the participation of all of Jacksonville's distributors helps make this event so special." Attendance has grown each year, drawing beer enthusiasts from all over Florida and across the country, including a group from Colorado who has travelled to the fest the past three years!

Beer and fun will be flowing at the first major beer event of the year in Jacksonville on February 24. The event will be held rain or shine, hot or cold, under the cover of the Fuller-Warren Bridge. 

The 2018 Riverside Craft Beer Festival promises to be another great day by the river, with awesome views of the city, and great beer for a great cause. Get your tickets!

As we get into Florida beerfest season, be sure to check the beerfest and special events listings right here on brewnymph.com! There's no better way to try new beers and revisit favorites all in one place!

Cheers,
Til next time,




Linda





Linda Johnson,
Certified Cicerone®


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published: 1/10/2018