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Lighten Up with Nights of Pints at St. Augustine Breweries

UPDATE: 11/17/2018: Nights of Pints got underway on Friday, 11/16, with kickoff events at each of the four breweries, and Keepers of the Coast on site at each, as the event charity partner. The new event shirts are now on sale, and the beers released! Get that shirt and go!


New Shirts on display. Take a look at the sizes, then buy one!
This from Bog Brewing. Photo: Linda Johnson, 11/16/2018
Shirts, punch cards, and one of the collab beers: Double Fudge Stout,
Bog Brewing with Ancient City Brewing. Beer available ONLY at Bog Brewing.
(photo: Linda Johnson, 11/16/2018)
HAPPY NIGHTS OF PINTS!
(Here with the Double Fudge Stout at Bog Brewing)
(photo: Linda Johnson, 11/16/2018)

November 11, 2018: HoHoHo, the Holidays are here! It's time to "lighten up already," as St. Augustine's four breweries bring back the popular Nights of Pints visit-your-local-brewery travel program for the second year. Designed to coincide with the city's famed annual Nights of Lights twinkling holiday display featuring millions of lights shimmering around the downtown, Nights of Pints is a fun respite from the walking and hiking -- after all, hydration is a necessity! Participation is easy: just purchase your official Nights of Pints event shirt (cost: $30) at any of the four local breweries, and get your passport punchcard good for a beer at each brewery. Then, walk around more, sip a beer, and head over to the next one! 

The 2018 Nights of Pints passport punchcard. With all of the walking, you'll be ready for a beer!
It all starts Friday night, November 16, one day ahead of the city's "Light-Up Nite." Start your holiday season with Nights of Pints launch parties at each brewery at 7pm on Friday night. This year, the breweries collaborated with each other to brew special event beers. One collaboration brew will be available at each: 

Bog Brewing: Double Fudge Russian Imperial Stout, brewed with Ancient City Brewing;
Old Coast Ales: Belgian Dubbel, brewed with Dog Rose Brewing;
Ancient City Downtown Taproom: Belgian Dubbel Christmas Abbey Ale brewed with Old Coast Ales; and
Dog Rose Brewing: update: Fezziwig Brown Ale with Orange Zest brewed with Bog Brewing


More fun than an elf in a toy shop! Each brewery will also have its own house beers on tap. And, yes, if you want each of the four collaboration beers, you must go to each brewery! Who will be the first to get the punchcard completed?

This year, the Nights of Pints also has a charitable component, as it benefits Keepers of the Coast, a local organization dedicated to preserving the coastal areas. Organizers agreed on the "importance of protecting the natural beauty we get to live in here in Florida," said Steve Mendoza, owner and head brewer at Bog Brewing, which drove the decision to partner with the group. Keepers of the Coast will be onsite at each brewery's individual launch party on Friday night, November 16. 

Last year was the first Nights of Pints, a concept that proved highly successful.  "We thought it was a neat idea, but we were a little surprised by the overall response, not only from our locals but, visiting craft beer drinkers," explained Steve. "Almost as soon as it was over, we had people asking whether we were going to do it again."

The inaugural Nights of Pints event shirt from 2017 -
new design for 2018.
(photo: Linda Johnson)

This year, "there has already been a lot of excitement" about Nights of Pints, added Matt Hooker, co-owner of Old Coast Ales, as the breweries have seen people wearing last year's shirts in anticipation of Nights of Pints Year Two. That excitement doesn't stop with the beer geeks, either. Old Coast Ales brewed its first commercial Belgian Dubbel for the event. To say that OCA is "looking forward" to tapping the new brew for the public is an understatement, as Matt tried to contain his enthusiasm. 

When asked what the breweries learned from last year, Bog Brewing's Mendoza pointed out "the most interesting thing we all noticed was how appreciative [everyone] was that each brewery could work together to make a fun event." He added, "there is so much communication, planning and hard work that goes into making this event work; it was great to see customers enjoy it."  

The event shirt sports a new design this time around. That, too, was a collaborative effort, as the breweries discussed making the shirt with "images that are iconic to St. Augustine," explained Steve. Bog Brewing co-owner John France designed the shirt graphics, with assistance from Chris Clark at Skinny Lizard T-Shirt Printers. The brewers intend to change the t-shirt design each year, said Steve. Hint: that sounds like Nights of Pints Year Three is already in the back of the brewers' minds for 2019.

Nights of Lights 2017 (photo: Linda Johnson)

Although the Nights of Pints begins on Friday night, November 16, with launch parties at each brewery at 7pm, the official Nights of Lights --now in its 25th year -- gets underway with Light-Up Nite on Saturday, November 17, with a performance by Showtime USA at the front of the Lightner Museum at 4pm. 

Lightner Museum, 2017, at Nights of Lights.
(photo: Linda Johnson)
Beginning at 5:30pm on Saturday, November 17, the All Star Orchestra brings its swing and big band sounds to the gazebo at the Plaza de la Constitucion. The countdown begins and the lights switch on at 6:30pm. Generally, the spectacle of lights runs through January 31, but this year, the lights will stay on through Sunday, February 3, 2019. 

So, get that Santa hat, get your Nights of Pints shirt, get ready for some merry-making, and get set to ooh-and-ahh your way around downtown St. Augustine. Lighten up! It's Nights of Pints and Nights of Lights! 

Falalalalalalala! 


Bog Brewing Company, 218 West King Street, is located just to the west of downtown St. Augustine across US 1. The neighborhood-style tap room offers inside seating and an outdoor picnic area. 




Old Coast Ales is located over the Bridge of Lions, at 300 Anastasia Blvd. The tap room features an outdoor patio overlooking "The Boulevard," with a bar and activities inside. 





Ancient City Brewing has two locations, a downtown tap room at 18 Cathedral Place, across from the Plaza, and a production brewhouse and tap room on Agricultural Center Drive, west of I-95.










Dog Rose Brewing, 77 Bridge St., is located in the Lincolnville neighborhood, just off the downtown and behind the Lightner Museum. It recently celebrated its First Anniversary in October. The large, open venue features natural wood decor, along with a touch of industrial, and offers dartboards and shuffleboard tables.  The Nights of Pints launch party at Dog Rose Brewing on November 16 includes music by Paco Lipps, and Funkadelic Food Truck on site.





Cheers to the holidays ... and to Nights of Pints and Nights of Lights! If you see someone in a Santa hat roaming around the sparkling lights and traveling on the local holiday trolleys singing, taking photos, and exuberantly wishing passers-by a Merry Christmas while decked out in holiday wear, don't hesitate to at least wave back, what could happen?

See you around Nights of Pints!

Cheers,
Til next time,












Linda
Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®

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