Happy Birthday Florida – 500 years old today!
Not so long ago, wine was the favorite food pairing drink along with festivals promoting the newest wines and the best to be found locally. Now, craft beers and high-brow brews are coming into their own.
If you love your beer, take a trip to Key Largo this weekend for the 2nd Annual Brew on the Bay to be held April 4th-7th and sample some of the over 80 craft beers from around the world being offered. This four-day event raises money for local scholarships and is a fantastic weekend of tasting your favorite beverages and dining on delicious Florida Keys delicacies.
Thursday features the Homebrew Showcase at Doc’s Diner (MM99.7), a quaint locals’ place, where for $15 you can sample and vote on the best brew in the competition. This runs from 6-8PM with tastings and appetizers included in the fee.
Saturday brings the main event, held at Rowell’s Marina (MM104.5), with beautiful views of Florida Bay and unlimited tastings of over 80 regional and international specialty beers. Live music by Coral Rock Jam Band and other musicians will be featured as well as plenty of food for purchase. If you have purchased the VIP passes you will also get to meet the brewers in a special Friday evening “Meet & Greet” tasting event held at Bayside Inn (MM99.5) as well as receive specialty beer tastings during the Saturday main event. Admission is $35 in advance/ $45 at the door or $75 for the 2 day VIP pass. The main event runs from 1PM-5PM or, if you are a VIP, from noon to 5PM.
Lastly, there is a special 2-hour Hangover Brunch Cruise featured on Sunday with Island Time, a 78′ paddlewheel riverboat, located at MM104 right next to the Caribbean Club. Enjoy this leisurely cruise on the Key Largo waters while sampling specialty beer and food pairings. Tickets are $30 with check-in at 10AM and sailing at 11AM.
Some of the many brewers, including many favorite local producers, that will be on hand are Florida Beer Company (try their new beer – Devil’s Triangle), Mile Marker Brewing, Samuel Adams, Holy Mackerel (winner of the Samuel Adams Homebrew Contest in 1996), Cigar City Brewing, Orange Blossom Pilsner, Shipyard Brewing Co., Brooklyn Brewery, Sea Dog (1st Place winner at California’s Brewers Festival in 2007 for their Blueberry Wheat Ale), Sierra Nevada, Yuengling, Goose Island Beer Company, Green Flash Brewing Co.(2012 Bronze World Beer Cup winner ), Shock Top, Key West Sunset Ale, Newcastle, Heineken, Strongbow and many, many more.
So come on down, make some new friends, and share a pint!
See keylargorotary.org/brewonthebay for more information.