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Showing posts with label Tampa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tampa. Show all posts

Just Chillin' at Bolts Brew Fest, Tampa

Ice carving at Bolts Brew Fest 2018
August 22, 2018: Some things just go together. Beer and Sports. Thunder and Lightning. Tampa and Beer. Tampa and the Bolts. Even with Heat and Humidity, Tampa and Hockey go together. So much so, that from the minute one steps into Tampa, there's an unmistakable feeling of a magnetic display of affection between the Tampa Bay Lightning, its fans, and the city. Seems like just about everyone in this "city by the bay" is a Bolts fan. On August 17, 2018, the Lightning and its home ice, Amalie Arena, hosted the second annual Bolts Brew Fest, which featured over 50 breweries and an array of activities for fans of beer and Bolts alike. Talk about "chilling out!"

First, let's get a little personal: my first trip to Amalie Arena was in 2015, when I attended two Stanley Cup Finals games between the Chicago Black Hawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Hey, I'm a Midwest transplant from the Chicago area and grew up a Hawks fan. During that season, though, something happened: I found myself rooting for the Lightning to get there! Could that really happen: a magical Stanley Cup Final in Florida? Yeah, it did. The Tampa fans were awesome, and the venue and team provided an amazing fan experience. 


Photo-op!
Outside, around the Arena and in Thunder Alley, there are larger-than-life images of Lightning players and statues that allow for plenty of photo ops for locals and visitors. It's all fun and hockey. There's simply no way one can't get caught up in all of the excitement surrounding this team. 

Fast forward to Bolts Brew Fest 2018. 



making HEADlines: HalfwayThere to TBBW, August 25

making HEADlines:

TAMPA BEERFEST, AUGUST 25, CELEBRATES "HALFWAY THERE" TO TAMPA BAY BEER WEEK

[Ed. Note, 8/22: Fest is SOLD OUT!]


 August 15, 2018, Tampa, FL:  Mention the "first week in March" to a Florida craft beer geek, and eyes might light up in anticipation of one of the biggest beer weeks anywhere: Tampa Bay Beer Week. With major beerfests being weekend bookends for a week full of daily tastings, get-togethers and dinners, the over 70-brewery Tampa area can celebrate beer on a grand scale (see the 2018 preview  and subsequent fest recaps on this site from March 2018). 

So, why not hold a beerfest at the "Halfway There" point to the 2019 TBBW? Why not, indeed! TBBW organizers are bringing back the annual event on Saturday, August 25, from 2-6pm at the recently renovated Armature Works Neighborhood Market on the banks of the Hillsborough River.  The fundraiser for TBBW gives attendees a chance to sample beers from over 58 local, national and international breweries, play arcade games by Lowry Parcade, and sip cold brew coffee samples from Commune + Co. Food is available in the Heights Public Market. 

Curious as to which breweries will be there? Take a look at the participating brewery list and plan accordingly! 

"Halfway There" tickets, $35 in advance/$50 at the door, include sampling and a commemorative fest tasting glass. Limited parking is available for $5, and the parking ticket may be used as a voucher for food purchase at the Heights Market. Out-of-towners can receive 15% off room rates at partner hotel Tampa Marriott Waterside, a short walk from Armature Works. 


The Halfway There fest is the major fundraiser for Tampa Bay Beer Week, which was established in 2012 and has hosted over 750 small- and large-scale events. Tampa Bay Beer Week, Inc. is a 501(c)(6) organization dedicated to advancing the Tampa area beer culture through education, events and marketing.  TBBW begins the first Saturday in March and runs over the course of eight days. And, 2019 will be here before you know it.

Cheers!

Linda Johnson,
Certified Cicerone®
www.brewnymph.com





Go Take A Hike: Tampa Bay Ale Trail Second Season Starts July 14

July 11, 2018:  Maybe you live in the Tampa area and are already familiar with the ever-ascending number of craft breweries calling the metro area home. Maybe you live in another part of Florida, or even outside of the Sunshine State, and make a visit across I-4 or I-75 now and then to catch some sun or suds.  

So, go ahead and take a hike if you're in, around or heading to Tampa, because this is one trail that will keep you moving along! Season Two of the Tampa Bay Ale Trail ("TBAT") begins Saturday, July 14, and it's even bigger this year! Launched in 2017, the incentive passport program "encourages locals and visitors alike to visit our region's craft breweries and enjoy their great beer," said TBAT founder Mike Dyer in a statement. This year, almost 70 breweries from Sarasota to Brooksville on the north-south to Lakeland on the east are participating in the TBAT, making it one of the largest ale trails in the country. In its inaugural year, over 2000 program "hikers" (as they are affectionately called) set out on the trail, with over 100 having visited all 47 Season One locations. An impressive 500 hikers visited at least seven breweries. One exuberant enthusiast visited all 47 breweries within one month, added Dyer. "That's dedication to local craft beer."


Hunahpu's Day 2018 Scores with Change of Venue and Layout

March 14, 2018: 
With Raymond James Stadium looming in the background, Cigar City Brewing hosted its 9th annual Hunahpu's Day® beerfest celebrating the release of its Hunahpu's® Imperial Stout in Tampa on Saturday, March 10, 2018. 

The change in venue this year at Parking Lots 5 and 7 on the stadium grounds also set itself up for an entirely new layout, providing six oversized beer tents, a food truck area with around 15 food trucks, large tented shaded areas with picnic tables, water bottle stations, a brewers' area, and a Jameson whiskey-tasting tent. The day might have been a bit cooler and cloudier than expected, but it didn't seem to make a difference to the few thousand beer geeks there to sample beers from around 175 breweries.  

Once again this year, admission to the sold-out fest was by pre-purchased wristband, which included allotments of Hunahpu's Imperial Stout in quantities of either 4, 8 or 12 bottles, available for pickup at Cigar City Brewing's brewery and tap room a short distance away on Spruce Street. 

Even before the fest started on Saturday, locals and visitors alike were in town for Tampa Bay Beer Week (see recaps on this site from FBG Fest and Best Florida Beer held the weekend before). A stop at Cigar City Brewing on Friday night revealed the new logo on the signage: 


All Florida Beer and Sunshine at Florida Brewers Guild FBG Fest, Tampa

March 8, 2018:  
The Sunshine State was just that on Saturday, March 3, as the Florida Brewers Guild hosted its annual celebration of Florida breweries and beer at its Craft Beer Festival ("FBG Fest") at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park along the river in downtown Tampa. It was all sun and smiles on the first official day of Tampa Bay Beer Week

The Park is no stranger to beer fests, and the FBG Fest has been held here year after year. It was a beautiful day along the river to drink Florida beer and meet Florida brewers!

All proceeds from the fest go back to the FBG, a nonprofit trade association dedicated to preserving the rights and interests of the state's craft brewers. The funds are used for lobbying efforts, educational outreach and programs, member events, and additional public events. With over 70 Florida breweries behind the tables pouring between 3-5 beers (or more) each, attendees had the opportunity to taste a number of beers from all across the state - and, yes, that can translate into a beertrip down the road! 


Best Florida Beer Medalists Announced at 2018 Brewer's Ball in Tampa!

March 5, 2018: The top beers in Florida, as determined by Best Florida Beer, were announced at the annual Brewer's Ball beerfest on Sunday, March 4, at Water Works Park in Tampa. 

Judges in the AHA and BJCP-sanctioned professional competition tasted and judged over 815 entries in 38 medal categories over the weekend of February 10-11. Although the finalists were notified, specific placements of Gold, Silver or Bronze medals were not known until names were read during the official ceremony. The Brewer's Ball featured only the medal-winning beers, with signs identifying the brewery, beer and category above each keg. Upon entering the fest, attendees received a booklet, which also listed each brewery and beer. Category announcements of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were announced first, with Best of Show awards capping off a spectacular day in the park. The official list of winners, along with photos taken by this site during the fest and during the medals ceremony appear below! Congratulations to all!

Tampa Bay Beer Week is Marchin' In, March 3-11

March 2, 2018: Four words pretty much sum up this next week: Tampa Bay Beer Week. 

In what just might be a MOAB of its own, Tampa Bay Beer Week brings its mother of all beerweeks to the Tampa area March 3-11. Established in 2012, the ginormous week of events dedicated to growing the local craft beer community includes nine official days of virtually nonstop beer-centric events, including three epic beerfests! Looking for a beertrip? You found it.


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:

making HEADlines: Cigar City Brewing Updates

making HEADlines:

CIGAR CITY BREWING INTRODUCES NEW LOGO AND 2018 DISTRIBUTION CALENDAR

November 17, 2017, Tampa FL: 

Tampa brewery Cigar City Brewing announced its new logo today, along with its 2018 Distribution Calendar.

In a statement released today,  the brewery reported that its refreshed logo is the effort of "months of collaboration" with North Carolina agency The Brandit. The new identity program rolls out today, and is now displayed on CCB's website and social media platforms. 


The new logo will make its way through the marketplace in the coming weeks, and is identified on the brewery's latest bottle release, Café con Leche Sweet Stout. The new identity and branding is "one of the multiple exciting developments slated for Cigar City Brewing in the coming months," according to the statement. 

making HEADlines:

CIGAR CITY BREWING RELEASES MARSHAL ZHUKOV'S IMPERIAL STOUT AUGUST 1; ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE FOR "ORDER OF THE RED BANNER BEER DINNERS"


Making HEADlines:

March 22, 2017: CIGAR CITY BREWING ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION TO NORTH CAROLINA


Hunahpu's Day® 2017: Was It Good For You, Too?

Yes! The answer is yes. 

On Saturday, March 11, thousands of beer fanatics descended upon Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park in downtown Tampa for the 8th Annual Hunahpu's Day® presented by Cigar City Brewing. Estimated attendance was around 4000. Add 140 of the most respected and sought-after breweries from across the U.S. and around the world. Combine that with a bright blue sky along the Tampa Riverwalk. It all added up to an amazing afternoon in celebration of beer. 

If you're asking who or what Hunahpu is and what Hunahpu's Day is all about, first take a look at the preview story on this site from last week for the background info and a "before" look at how this "Huna Day Virgin" prepared for what is likely the most well-known beerfest in all of Florida (with a reputation beyond state lines as well).  


Hunahpu's Day® Is Saturday, March 11; Note the Spelling and Have a Checklist!

Legend has it, in Mayan mythology, that Hun Hunahpu and his brother Vucub were tricked and slain by the evil Dark Lords of the underworld. Hun Hunahpu's body miraculously returned to life in the form of a cacao tree, with his head transforming into a cacao pod. When Hun (for some reason) spit on the hand of a maiden named Xiquic, she became pregnant with twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque Hun Hunahpu. Good triumphs over evil, when the twins avenge the death of Hun and Vucub by defeating the Dark Lords and then rise into celestial afterlife where they become the sun and moon.

So, why not make a beer about that?


Florida Brewers Guild FBG Fest Was a Walk in the Park

On March 4, the Florida Brewers Guild ("FBG") hosted its annual signature event, simply known as "FBG Fest," at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park along the Garrison Channel and Tampa Riverwalk in downtown Tampa. Upon arrival at the venue, brewery tents could be seen lining each side of the waterside park (see last week's preview story). Tickets to the all-Florida beerfest went on sale around the first of the new year, as either VIP (one-hour early access) or General Admission. The VIP tickets sold out the week of the fest. 

When you see two of the FBG Board members scanning tickets at the Fest entry, you know that this is truly a "brewers" fest. Vice President Byron Burroughs (Proof Brewing) and Board Member Jay Dingman (Barley Mow Brewing) were kept pretty busy manning the scanners as the VIP gates opened at 1pm. 


Tap Into Florida Craft Beer: Florida Brewers Guild FBG Fest, Saturday, March 4

The most extensive beer week in the Sunshine State returns this coming weekend. Whether you live in the Tampa Bay area or not, chances are pretty good -- in fact, I'd bet a Pair O'Dice Hop Bet Red -- that you've heard of Tampa Bay Beer Week, which "officially" starts Saturday, March 4 (after several pre-TBBW events). It seems only fitting that the Florida Brewers Guild will once again kick off the mega-beer week with its annual FBG Fest Saturday, from 1-5pm, at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park along the Tampa Riverwalk. 

Making HEADlines:

CIGAR CITY BREWING RELEASES 2017 DISTRIBUTION CALENDAR:


Of Bus Rides 'n Beer: From Bold City to Cigar City, Beer Bloggers Conference 2016 Covered It

Around this time last year, I was following the tweets from Asheville, NC as those attending the 2015 Beer Bloggers Conference energetically took to social media to report their real-time accounts of the activities. I noticed a blend of snippets about beer education and beer drinking -- not too surprising, I concluded. I thought that maybe I should attend one of these conferences in the future, and awaited the announcement of the 2016 Conference location. And, with a rising level of fanfare, there it was: TAMPA! WooHoo! That's only a 3.5 hour drive from my home base in North Florida, so I was immediately psyched. 


Back Again ... Another Weekend in Tampa for Concerts and Beer!

When you visit Tampa two weekends in a row, life can't be all that bad! If you follow this blog, you know that I attended the opening fest of the six-city Beer Camp tour last week (check out the story on the home page). It just so happened that a while ago, the rock band Journey scheduled a concert in Tampa, along with The Doobie Bros and Dave Mason, for this past weekend at the Amphitheatre, and that meant back-to-back trips to the "city by the bay" on Florida's Gulf Coast. (Some of you might even get that reference to Journey's song Lights. And, yes, I know it was actually written about California).


Beer Camp Across America: Happy Campers in Tampa!

I never looked forward to camp this much when I was in grade school. When Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced the 2016 Beer Camp Across America lineup and fest schedule earlier in the year, I let out a big "WooHoo!" because the first stop identified on the six-city nationwide tour was none other than Tampa on June 4. As more information continued to stream over the Beer Camp website, and the brewery list grew (and grew), this camper eagerly anticipated the collaborative festival in celebration of the spirit of craft beer. 






Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Kicks Off in Tampa!

Four months ago, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced the details of its 2016 Beer Camp Across America set of six collaboration beers with 30 other craft breweries from across the U.S. The 12-bottle box hit the shelves in May, leading up to this year's Beer Camp Across America Beer Festivals, a celebration of craft beer taking place in six craft beer-loving cities. The festival series kicks off on June 4, with the first fest in Tampa at the Curtis-Hixon Waterfront Park from 5-10pm. As of this writing, it looks like attendees at the Tampa fest will be able to sample brews from around 100 different breweries. Tickets are available under VIP (hour early entry) and General Admission options.  It's an understatement to say that I'm looking forward to Beer Camp Tampa!