Tampa Bay Beer Week in Full Swing…
It’s only Tuesday…
I kicked off Tampa Bay Beer Week at the Florida Brewer’s Guild Festival in Ybor City. It was absolutely packed, and apparently there was a snafu with the local farmers market about space so some adjusting had to be done. The Mayor was late, but the tapping of the First Firkin was a big success, and the beer wasn’t bad! I don’t think any of us expected it to be very good, but the general consensus was that it was a perfectly drinkable brew. The significance and symbolism of it was what was important.
Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the Best Florida Beer Championship’s Brewer’s Ball. This is always a favorite. Every beer is a gold medal winner in the state, the brewers are on hand, live music, great people… it just doesn’t get much better than that. This year the event moved to a new venue: The Cuban Club in Ybor City. It was cold out (by Florida standards), but when the sun appeared from behind the clouds it was very nice. I sampled some amazing beers, some from places I have never heard of! It is very exciting to see new breweries making an impact right off the bat, as well as long-time favorites.
Last night I stayed a little closer to home and visited the Ale & the Witch for their “7 Brews Paired with 7 Songs featuring 7venth Sun”. I helped Justin and Devon of 7venth Sun pour the tasters while Between Bluffs played some great music. They were given the list of beers, and picked a song to go with each one. Before each song, Devon told the crowd about the beer, and then midway through the song the band would take a “dramatic pause” and we all toasted each other. While I do not have the musical set list, the beers we had were:
- Graffiti Orange
- Intergalactic Pale Ale
- Belge d’Or
- Kiwi Cherry Coconut Berliner
- Double Dry Hopped FYA
- Mangrove Double IPA
It was a really great event, as usual. Brett (the owner of the Ale & the Witch) has done a phenomenal job building a following there, and Justin and Devon continue to impress with their delicious beers.
The week continues on! There are many more great events to come, and many more great beers to drink.
Also, if you are interested, I am a guest on the local TV show “Studio 10” every morning this week with Holley Sinn and Jerome Ritchie. We are talking about Beer Week and beer in general each morning around 10 am. The segments can be downloaded and watched later in the day if you miss the live broadcast.