Showing posts with label Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Don't Sweat It! Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest is Here

South Florida has a reputation as a hot spot -- in more ways than one. It's July -- not only
is that summer sun hot, there can be enough humidity to make for a challenging hair day, and some of those storms seem to come out of nowhere. With Summer in full gear, escapes to the beaches and breezes cool it off during the day, while the nightlife sizzles. Sounds like a perfect time for a beerfest! And, it is. The Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest is back for its fifth year on July 22 indoors at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center. No matter what Mother Nature doles out, there's no need to sweat it, because this is one hot fest that stays cool and dry. Check out the preview story from last year, which was my fourth year attending this fest.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Making HEADlines: 


West Palm Beach, FL: The popular annual "Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest" in West Palm Beach in July is known for offering beerfest attendees a chance to sample over 150 different beers with a cool catch -- the fest takes place indoors, with A/C.  No matter what elements Mother Nature decides to send South Florida's way, the beer flows in climate-controlled conditions.  This past July marked the fourth annual Fest (see story here). Because the fest has proven to be hit with the South Florida beer enthusiast crowd, fest organizers will offer a Winter Holiday edition of the beerfest on Saturday, December 3.

The first Palm Beach Winter Beer Fest will also take place in the Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach from 1-5pm (general admission). A VIP ticket option allows one-hour early access at noon. The fest once again will benefit Little Smiles, a non-profit children's charity devoted to helping children affected by serious illnesses by offering fun activities and emotional support. 

As Jennifer Cartwright, of the fest organizing committee, says, "We want to get Palm Beach
County in a festive mood…with craft beer!" The Winter Beer Fest is also a Holiday Party. In addition to craft beer sampling by local, regional, and national breweries, this Fest includes bourbon and whiskey tastings. A Holiday Mixology Bar will serve up a variety of festive drinks, while also offering tips on making holiday concoctions for home holiday parties.   Jennifer expresses the mood of the event as a "giant get-together to celebrate the holidays." 

Tickets can be purchased here. General admission tickets are $45 in advance, $55 at the door. Both admission options include commemorative tasting glass, unlimited craft beer sampling, and unlimited bourbon and whiskey tasting. VIP tickets are $75 in advance, $100 at the door, and in addition to the early entry at noon, features a food ticket, special timed releases, special limited release bottle of FOX Sports beer by local brewery Barrel of Monks Brewing. A Designated Driver admission is also available for $10, including unlimited water and soda. A variety of food trucks will be on site, and a music stage will feature live music throughout the afternoon. 

Combining a beerfest with spirts packaged in a festive, holiday vibe? That gives a new meaning to "getting in the holiday spirit!" 


Certified Cicerone®

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Neither Rain .. Nor Wind .. Nor Heat .. It's Time for Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest!

It's the third full week of July ... in South Florida: ahhh, Summer! If you're like a number of people, you might find it just a bit warm around the Sunshine State these days. So, if you're not thinking about the beach, you're likely thinking about air conditioning, and of course, BEER! And, that humidity and those pesky summer monsoons?  Forget about 'em ..... It's time for Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest!  (I hear the cheers). Get ready to party South Florida style.

Now in its fourth year, the annual Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest has grown steadily each year, in terms of brewery representation and attendance. And, yes, I really can attest to that, because I've been there each of the past three years (proof is in last year's recap story). Why should you go? Sure, for starters, this fest is in South Florida (which sounds pretty sexy in its own right). It's a trendy place to visit, and it has an exploding craft beer scene. The fest itself will feature over 40 breweries and more than 150 craft beers to taste. Ten food trucks will be on site to cure your hunger symptoms. You'll be entertained by live bands and the participants in the silent disco (especially after a few beers set in). If you like whiskey, you'll even be able to take part in the whiskey tasting. But, maybe, just maybe, the biggest draw is that this beerfest is indoors, as in under a roof -- with air conditioning -- at the Expo Center of the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach. You'll hardly notice whether it's raining or sweltering outside, because you'll be keeping your cool inside with a cold one in your hand. 

It's always crazy at the Due South Brewing booth

For those reasons, this is one popular fest, and last year's attendance of over 4,000 may have stretched the limits of the venue. Blame it on insatiable thirst of Floridians and all the breweries!  But, not to worry, because the organizers of the Fest have responded by offering TWO sessions of the Fest this year. So, for the first time, you'll have your choice of either an afternoon (12-4pm) or an evening (5-9pm) session. Other than various timed tappings throughout the fest hours, the breweries and the beer will be the same at each session. Better get your tickets, though, because even at 2500 available tickets per timeslot this year, it's likely that the fest will again sell out of tickets!  Tickets are available at two levels: General Admission (unlimited beer tastings, silent disco, bourbon tastings, corn hole games) or VIP. Only 250 VIP tickets will be available per session, and VIP perks include private lounge access with private craft beer offerings, food buffet, commemorative beer mug, VIP shirt, and cigar. 

You'll find your South Florida favorites here!
According to Jennifer Cartwright of the Fest organizers, based on feedback from attendees of last year's Fest, it was decided to split the event into two sessions, making it a more comfortable experience for everyone: "We listened to the attendees and they wanted less lines and less crowds ... and, we wanted to make the attendees happy." And, if you can't attend the afternoon festivities, make it a date night! Sounds good to me! I'm looking forward to checking out the first night session! 

For the third year, Saltwater Brewery will sponsor the main stage. Depending on which session you attend, live music will be provided by one of two bands: Chemradery, featuring pop/rock/soul during the afternoon, or The People Upstairs, with the sounds of funk/rock/reggae/alternative "sexy-time" party music in the evening. Hey, let's all get ready to get this party going! 

Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest 2015:
A few of the 4000 people who attended

And, if you're from the South Florida area, you may have heard of the "KVJ Beers" brewed by Tequesta Brewing Company for the local morning KVJ Show (Kevin, Virginia, Jason and Denny). The four seasonal beers will be poured at the Burger & Beer Joint fest booth (by the way, Burger & Beer Joint is also hosting an after-party following the evening session of the fest, so the party will keep going). Virginia's "Vicious V" is a watermelon saison, which might (or might not, based on the name) cool things down in the South Florida heat.

No vicious beers from Tequesta Brewing last year!
Last but not least, proceeds from the Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest will benefit Little Smiles, an organization dedicated to helping kids in need in hospitals, hospices, shelters and similar facilities. I always like the charity aspect of beerfests, and we beerfest attendees do our part to help out these organizations!

I'm always up for a trip to South Florida (as you know from prior posts on this blog), and I've had this fest marked on my calendar since I attended Fest No. 3 last July. The fest always features the usual South Florida brewery suspects, along with great representation from additional Florida, regional and national breweries and cideries. Look for my "live" social media feed, too, as it promises to be another rockin' beerfest, and you never know who I might run into!

It actually did rain last year, but I didn't notice!
As I'm getting ready to head south on I-95 to West Palm Beach, I'll leave this post the same way I ended last year's fest summary: I'm looking forward to coming back for No. 5 next year!

Hey, I always run into interesting beer people at beerfests, and Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest won't be any different!  Stop and say Hi!

Cheers, and see ya in Palm Beach!


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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Back Again at Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest!

Three-for-three: One of my favorite places in Florida to visit, and one of my favorite beerfests!  The 3rd Annual Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest happened this past weekend (July 25) at the South Florida Fairgrounds and Expo Center in West Palm Beach. And, yes, this was my third year attending! There's a lot to like about this fest, but the big draw is that it's held indoors inside the Expo Center (what heat, what rain?).  The scene was similar to last year's fest: here's my 2014 blog post.

Looking for Lunch in the Right Place:

But, before I get to the fest, I'm going to start this post where I left off last year: with what I somewhat ceremoniously called the "foodgasm."  Last year's after-fest dinner visit became this year's pre-fest lunch visit, and I was looking forward to it while heading South on I-95 from North Florida. Hello again, Burger Bar - Palm Beach Gardens.  

Burger Bar is located at 4650 Donald Ross Rd., in Palm Beach Gardens, just a couple miles east of I-95 and almost across the street from the Abacoa community (Sidebar: I love Abacoa; good golf there, along with a really cool town center; home to another one of my favorite fests, the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival in January, by the way). 

If you check out Burger Bar's menu, you'll see what you'd expect to see: appetizers, wings, salads, sliders, and an impressive selection of burgers.  Scroll your eyes toward the bottom of the menu, and you'll find it:  the Crunchy Mahi Burger. I love a good mahi sandwich, and this one is one of the best. Oh, I don't know, maybe it's the seasoned corn flake panko coating, or the huge portion of mahi, or just that it tastes so good! Well, you be the judge:

Get your hands on one....

Like I said when I posted this on Instagram:
Open up and say MAAHHHI!
I haven't had any of the burgers at Burger Bar, but I suspect they're pretty amazing, too, from the menu descriptions.  I don't know if I can ever be torn away from that mahi, though. Maybe that's what a to-go box is for. Next time.

Burger Bar has outdoor and indoor seating, and two bars. An eclectic setting inside.  I sat outside in the courtyard; there was a nice breeze, and the cloud cover kept the temp comfortable. 

There's a full liquor bar, and a good selection of beers available that will suit all tastes (although I might suggest adding some of the awesome local South Florida beers to the menu). And, if you're looking for something really adventurous, try one of their "adult" shakes (liquors and ice cream --ooooh). My focus on this visit was on the food, because, hey, I'm on my way to a beerfest!

Next time I'm around Palm Beach Gardens/Abacoa, I'll be back here!

Meet N Greet at Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest:

Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest is four hours (1-5pm) of beer sampling, music, and mingling with other fellow beer lovers, all in the comfort of the indoor Expo Center. If you went the VIP route, add on some special beers from Saltwater Brewery, Barrel of Monks, and new local brewery Twisted Trunk Brewing, along with a food buffet and additional swag.

It's set up "expo-style," with beer booths along the perimeter and up and down aisles of the expo hall.  In case you got hungry, local food trucks were set up outside, easily accessible from an expo entrance/exit. Throw in a main stage with live music all afternoon and a silent disco, and there's no shortage of entertainment. Once again, the main stage was sponsored by SaltWater Brewery, from just down the road in Delray Beach (another one of my favorite breweries to visit!).

The fest was configured just a bit differently from last year, starting with a different entry point, and although there were some lines (oh, c'mon, there's always a line to get in these fests), entrance was pretty smooth.  Grab your Fest cup, and let's go!

Local: Tequesta Brewing
Who likes beer?
The first thing I noticed that differed from last year was that the Florida breweries were positioned all around the venue, not all in the same aisle.  That was a huge bottleneck last year, and the new arrangement took a little of the pressure off. But, there were still the huge crowds around local SoFla favorites that you'd expect:  Saltwater Brewery, Due South BrewingFunky Buddha BreweryTequesta Brewing/Twisted Trunk Brewing.

You can check out the brewery list from the Fest website, but the Fest included South Florida, Florida, regional, national and international breweries and beers. Of course, the "usual suspects" were here.  In addition to the Palm Beach area breweries mentioned above, Miami was well-represented, too: Concrete Beach BreweryWynwood BrewingJ. Wakefield Brewing. Local newcomer Devour BrewingFlorida Beer Company, and Cigar City Brewing were here, too. Too many to list!

Biscayne Bay Brewing:
Check out that tap handle!
The Due South tent was packed all day....
Good to see Joe from Holy Waters Brewing again!
Tequesta Brewing with beer ingredients.
That's a TBC "Latest Batch" Schwarzbier: so good!
In between checking out the beers, I ran into some "beer people" I already knew, and met some new beer friends from the social media world, too. 

I had a fun time hanging out with Palm Beach Girls Pint Out!
Great to see Palm Beach GPO, Florida Craft Beer, and Florida Beer Blog! And, I spent some time talking beer and brewery stuff with the guys from brewery-in-planning Brevard Ale Works from Melbourne. 

I won't go through the whole beer list (and, no I didn't blow up Untappd), but there were some creative beers that stood out. Tequesta's Last Batch Schwarzbier, an almond coconut dark lager, with chocolate, coconut, and nuttiness (in the flavor) was quite tasty. Holy Waters' Chocolate Malt IPA combined true IPA bitterness with chocolate, and the result was pretty heavenly. Twisted Trunk's Lucky Langer Lager had a nice bite at the end, and was a good, solid lager. And, J. Wakefield's 24th Street Brown Ale was exceptionally good. 

All in all, another great year at Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest!  But, it had to end sometime.

It even rained, but not on the beer!

Now, I mentioned Twisted Trunk Brewing -- that's the new place in Palm Beach Gardens that just opened in February, a "sister" to Tequesta Brewing, with common ownership, but with its own personality.  And, that's the subject of the next story.......

But before I leave, what does one do the day after a beerfest?  Well, go beer shopping at the local Total Wine in Palm Beach Gardens.... where I was lucky enough to find this:

Due South Brewing's Midnight Marauder Black IPA,
limited release. WooHoo!  Awesome, by the way!
That's a wrap on another Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest, and, I'm looking forward to coming back for No. 4 next year!

Til next time, Cheers!  See you out there at a beerfest, beer event, bar, restaurant, beach, around Florida Somewhere! And, hey, don't be shy: I would love to talk to you!  So, if you see me out there, say Hi. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

It Was A Party in Palm Beach: Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest

Little Intimate Indoor Party With A Few Thousand Beer-Lovin' Friends

You knew right away when you turned into the South Florida Fairgrounds and Expo Center off of Southern Blvd. that there were just a few people here for the Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest.  Once you found a parking space and made your way in the line to the front door, the sounds of the band came through loud and clear.  This was a party, to be sure.  It was Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest 2014!  

You know that I love a beerfest! I have been behind the scenes, behind the jockey box, and under the banner at a number of fests over the past two years pouring for my beloved former brewery and taking and posting pictures of all the beer-lovin' fans. So, this fest had a little different feel to it for me, as I was on the other side this time.

But hey, it's a Beerfest in one of my favorite places to visit: West Palm Beach! 

This one had been marked on my calendar since last year when I attended. So, I strapped on the 4-oz. souvenir cup to my neck lanyard, and ventured into the crowd.

The Florida Breweries Aisle.  Think they like beer from Florida?
And, that's no understatement!  Fest started at 1pm. I had seen posts and pictures of the initial lines. I got there a bit after 1, and made it through the gates shortly after 1:30. The first thing, it's loud!  The second thing, where the heck did all these people come from?  The fest is set up like a typical expo: aisles, with booths on either side. Thing was, you got real friendly with everyone, because, well, everyone was where you were! There weren't really any lines, but more of a mass of bodies trying to get to the beer. Attitudes were really good, and it made for some laughs.  Just a few thousand beer fans all grouped in one spot. Holy hops!  I don't know what the attendance was, but it seemed like every hophead was here.

Tried a bunch of Saltwater brews.
Yeah, those were good.
So, let's talk Florida. I started off with a Rickenbacher Pils from Wynwood Brewing (Miami).  They had a corner booth, and I was able to sneak in there.  Good tasty brew. Most of the Florida breweries were set together in one aisle, with a focus, of course, on South Florida.  You would expect to see 'em: Saltwater Brewery, Funky Buddha, Due South, Tequesta Brewing, Native Brewing, Wynwood Brewing, Florida Beer Co., Holy Mackerel, Cigar City, Brew Bus, and some new ones, too: Holy Waters Brewing, Lagerhead Brewing, Orchid Island Brewing, and others (see the website for a complete list.  I've met these guys at prior fests, and congrats to them for their efforts and producing some really good beer.  My check-ins on Untappd got a little out of control. There were a lot of different beers to choose. Some of the breweries had their "usuals," but others came in with some really creative styles.  And, if you didn't know what you wanted or just wanted to give something new a try, all the styles were in attendance.

I won't list all the beers that I sampled, but I did try a few Pilsners, porters, and pale ales.  I may have had an IPA or two.  The peanut butter apple ale from Due South was a very sensory experience, from the nose to the taste buds.

The Brew Bus was here, too.
I'd like to hop on sometime.
Lost my koozie.
In addition to the Florida brew, there was plenty of beer from regional, national and international breweries. Lots of cider, too. Many favorites. And, if you got hungry, they had you covered (so to speak). An outside area featured food trucks, where you could get anything from BBQ, to fries, to vegan, to bagels.

Several radio stations were also on the premises, and you could even get your computerized photo taken with Tiger Woods, Tom Brady or Johnny Manziel at the ESPN booth. (disclaimer: they were cardboard). Three bands played over the course of the afternoon, and as expected, later in the day, there was more dancing. 

And, as happens with every beerfest, at some point, the beer starts to run out.  That's how it goes.

The sign at the Due South table. 

Put this one on your calendars for next year, everyone.  Check out the website at General admission advance sales $35, VIP $75.  The VIP price got ya a bigger logo mug, some exclusive beers, and access to private catered food. Maybe next year, they can do something to make that Florida brewery aisle wider, or only do one row of booths.  But, maybe it wouldn't matter--they're all so popular.  All in all, a fun time in a fun place.  I'll be back next year. 

So, what's a girl to do after a beerfest?  Well, I stayed overnight in one of my favorite areas, Abacoa in Jupiter, about 15 miles north of the fest off of I-95 (no golf clubs this time around). Hit one of my favorite watering holes there, and then... the foodgasm...  But, that's another story...... coming next. 

Til next time, sweethearts!  See you out there in the breweries and beer bars. Peace, love, pints.... Cheers and Happy Hopping!