There were several beer festivals in Florida this past weekend. It’s almost getting to be too much to handle, considering a lot of these beer festivals tend to all be the same beers from the same breweries ad nauseum.
That’s why I was excited to know that one of those festivals was Best of the Belgians, a beer fest put on by Boca Ballet Theatre and Barrel of Monks Brewing, both in Boca Raton.
I have a special affinity for downtown Fort Lauderdale I did not realize exists.
It’s vibrant and urban and very pretty, especially along the river. But it’s nowhere near as frustrating and overcrowded as other major cities in Florida, notably that behemoth an hour to the South. And like other major cities in the state, its craft beer scene is picking up quite a bit. Continue reading
It has been more than a hot minute since this year’s North Miami Brewfest. I published quite the magnum opus about last year’s visit, and that got quite a bit of play so I was able to go to this year’s as well.
Ybor is a special, special place.
It is a mighty, miraculous melange of roosters, homeless people, cigar smokers, 7th Day Adventists (the Scientologists are off in the back), and police, all running on pots of Cafe con Leche. I won’t even get into some of the conversations I’ve been forced to have while at Gaspar’s Grotto.
It’s all in Ybor, a dirty shame. Literally, that’s one of the bars there, The Dirty Shame. I should know, I was there. Unceremoniously dragged there by Zydeco head brewer Paul Rutherford along with Johnny Crosskey & Kevin Hess, the hosts of the awesome Craft Beer Ballers podcast. Yes, we did a big crossover episode, and we’ll be posting it soon.
Beer festivals are a dime a dozen these days. But it’s hard to find one that attracts a lot of people and is well run.
Ft. Myers Brewing in Ft. Myers (of course) managed to pull both off with their recent Winterfest, what the owners told me was their 5th or 6th yearly event.
As you read this, Khoffner Brewery in Fort Lauderdale is closed. Sort of.
Rauf has taken his talents and his team to the soon-to-be-opened Sistrunk Market, a massive Food Hall and shopping complex opening soon in downtown Ft.Lauderdale. This is a good move for him, since it will give him much more space the play with. He definitely has big plans and the talent to back it up, but his original location, by the train tracks on Sunrise, did not afford him the room.
What I love about breweries is their focus on keeping things local. Not only do their profits, for the most part, stay within the community, but they are usually the first to champion other local businesses.
Clearly this extends the food trucks first and foremost, but there’s plenty of other things breweries do to celebrate local businesses, especially the substantially more ubiquitous craft fairs.
I am very happy to see that the airside brewery that Cigar City operated at Tampa International Aitport is back and better than ever.
I do remember many years ago hearing about this tiny little one barrel system tucked away at TIA when I first started writing a blog and being very, very upset that I would never be able to experience it. How overwhelmingly wrong I was, being lucky enough to have eaten many times at the old facility over the years.