Tuesday, January 29, 2013

That's a Wrap - SFBW Postmortem

A very happy crowd poses at Field of Beers last Friday night.
A week-plus of pig roasts, beer fests, tap takeovers, dinners, a pub crawl, and a bus tour has come to close. And though everyone behind South Florida Beer Week is a bit worn out and ready for a liver detox, we've had so much fun organizing its second annual incarnation that we can't wait to do it again next year.

Along the way, we met a lot of great people -- passionate beer fans who bleed for Cigar City and Holy Mackerel, and jump at the chance to try Engine 15's Weiss Guy or Green Room's Pablo Pale. We've seen fanatics young and old, from Miami to Loxahatchee; folks who obsess over stouts, IPAs, or everything they can get their hands on.

Most of all, we've met so many people who are excited, enraptured, and engrossed by Florida's ever-growing beer scene. If the giant leap of support and love we've witnessed between the first SFBW and the second is any indication, when SFBW returns in 2014 it will be truly stratospheric.So a big thank you to all of you out there who came out to the events and supported local beer!

Some noteworthy things to mention from this year's SFBW:

- The first ever Brewery Bus Tour held in South Florida shuttled 50 beer fans around to four Palm Beach breweries. We'll definitely be doing this again, so stay tuned to facebook.com/freshbeer for more.

- Two pig roasts on opening weekend attracted almost 200 lovers of porcine goodness - bacon (or maybe chicharron) is definitely king when it comes to your hearts!

- SFBW-goers drank nearly 1000 gallons of beer from small, Florida breweries not usually distributed South of Orlando, including Swamp Head, Green Room, Mile Marker, 3 Palms, and Engine 15.

- Pub crawlers sure are philanthropic! With your help, we raised nearly $1700 for Covenant House Florida during the Hollywood Craft Beer Pub Crawl -- all of which came straight from the pockets of generous beer drinkers.

- This year's Jupiter Craft Brewer's Fest, capping off SFBW, was perhaps the best incarnation yet. Nearly 60 breweries brought out beer for the ravenous fans, and most all of it was consumed. Florida breweries were among the most sought after at the fest as well, with Funky Buddha, Due South, and 7eventh Sun popping kegs of specialty batches in mere minutes.

Below we've compiled a little taste of what SFBW held. Please feel free to add comments below and tell us what you thought of SFBW. Also, feel free to post links to pictures or photo albums - we'll update his post for everyone to share and see and celebrate together.

Until 2014, godspeed - and thanks for drinking with us!

The first course of our El Jefe Luchador vs. Cigar City dinner was a himachi yellowtail ceviche taquito with avocado, paired with Florida Cracker. Insane. (Photo by J.R. Risick)
The team at El Jefe plates the third course for the evening.

Big Sound Scotch Ale paired with chocolate flan and toasted cinnamon whipped cream. (Photo by J.R. Risick)
Cigar City on display at Tap 42.
Enjoying a local beer at Tap 42.
The boys at Laser Wolf had a crazy selection of Florida Beers for SFBW. 
Tipsy Boar was the starting point for the Hollywood Craft Beer Pub Crawl. Over 168 crawlers invaded Hollywood.
The team from Covenant House mans the HCBPC registration booth.
It got very packed in Tipsy Boar, where Cigar City beers poured all night, including Humidor Double Black and Raspberry Wit. 
Live music from Amy Arlo at the Native Florida Tap Room had pub crawlers tapping their toes.
Whiskey Tango rocked Holy Mackerel Beers during the pub crawl. 
A cask of Nato IPA from Victory was a special addition to the Field of Beers Friday night at Roger Dean Stadium. Perched on an ice sculpture bearing its name, it was delicious.
Eric from Swamp Head rocks the lumberjack look and quaffs a White IPA. 
Jason from Left Hand poses - the brewery paired its Polestar Pils with Lobster Pot Pie.
Beer fans at Field of Beers were elated with the selection and pairings.
Phil from Cigar City, AKA "the handsomest man in craft beer," pours a rare keg of Invasion Pale Ale, brewed for the first time recently. 


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