Field Trip: 8th Annual Brews With Attitude Beer Fest

2xFBPour
The Funky Buddha crew serving the thirsty masses at Brews With Attitude.

Not too long ago, the folks at Pepin Distributing Company graciously offered us the opportunity to attend their 8th Annual Brews with Attitude Beer Fest.  Here’s a recap and photographic account of our experience at the event.

As soon as you make it through the entrance gate at Brews With Attitude, you walk into an expansive circle drive that is absolutely packed with a substantial selection of food trucks, a random spread of merchandise vendors, and a plethora of beer stations that are pouring from brewery branded trucks, under tents and in elaborate trailers.  As you work through the crowd, the event has the feel of a pretty standard beer festival . . . well, that is until you make it to the massive, fire-adorned fountain and step foot into Tpepin’s Hospitality Centre.

With outer corridors that display countless pieces of antique breweriana and house lavish billiards and trophy rooms, the core of this gorgeous space is comprised of a grand ballroom that is lined on one side by a stunning bar.  Once the grandiose nature of the space has been fully realized and appreciated, it becomes quite clear that this event is just as much a trade show as it is a beer festival.  The tables occupying the ballroom are all fully stocked with literature on their respective breweries, point of sale items and swag, newsletter sign-up sheets, detailed descriptions of each beer being poured, and various other informative items.  If all that were somehow not impressive enough, almost every brewery – whether from down the street or across the world – had at least one representative in attendance to answer questions and mingle with the crowd.  It is an incredibly professional display that was set up so that each brewery could easily engage its audience and establish long-lasting relationships with its customers.

With that said, we do not want you to think this was just a stodgy affair only meant for the exchange of business cards because that is not at all the case.  The attendees and brewery representatives seamlessly shifted from establishing contacts to doling out high-fives and “WOO” moments.  The overall focus was the beer, but the experience was more choose your own adventure.  If you were there to learn more about your favorite breweries and beers, there were dozens of people there ready to share that information with you over a brew.  If you were just after a night out with friends, you could engage full-on beer fest mode and sample a vast array of tasty beers from open to close.  You had the option to fully immerse yourself in one extreme or the other . . . or a healthy mix of the two.  Because of this level of versatility, Brews With Attitude firmly establishes itself as a unique event and one hell of a good time.

Want further proof? Well, just go ahead and check out the photos below and hopefully they will inspire you to join us at next year’s installment of Brews With Attitude.  Prost!

 

**Click on any image above to enlarge and launch a slide show**

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Tampa’s Brews With Attitude Beer Fest Returns for 8th Year

BWATruckOn Tuesday, April 3 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Pepin Distributing Company will welcome Tampa’s beer community to TPepin’s Hospitality Centre for the 8th Annual Brews With Attitude Beer Fest.

Promising to be “bigger and better than ever”, Brews With Attitude is returning for its eighth year of celebrating Pepin Distributing Company’s fine portfolio of craft, import and specialty beer offerings.  Since this event boasts a spread of over 200 beers and ciders, a convoy of food trucks and various other activities to enjoy, there is a good amount of information for us to go over.  What do you say we break it all down?

The Basics

What – Brews With Attitude Beer Fest 2018
When – Tuesday, April 3 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where – TPepin’s Hospitality Centre | 4121 N. 50th Street | Tampa, Florida

What to Expect

  • Guests will be able to sample over 200 Craft Brands from over 50 breweries. This will include one-off releases from select participating breweries. Beer/Brewery List Coming Soon!
  • Tampa’s finest food trucks will be on-site to satisfy any food cravings you may encounter during the festival
  • Live musical entertainment will be supplied by the Dave Valliere Group
  • A variety of hand-rolled cigars will be available for purchase as well

Ticket Info

Tickets for Brews With Attitude are available now for $40 each and you can purchase yours by clicking here.  Ticket cost includes a commemorative tasting glass, the ability to sample over 200 beers, and access to live entertainment.  Food, non-alcoholic beverages and cigars will be available for an additional cost.  If the event does not sell out in advance, tickets will be available for purchase – with either cash or credit – at the door on the day of the event.

Alright, that should just about cover all the information currently available for the upcoming Brews With Attitude Beer Fest.  With that said, the folks at Pepin Distributing Company have promised to send us an update in the coming days, and we will pass that information along just as soon as we have it. Stay tuned.

If you are free on April 3 and looking to sample some tasty beverages, just go ahead and block out that date on your calendar now, get your friends together, lock down some tickets and meet us at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre so that we can all raise a glass together at Brews With Attitude 2018.  Prost!

Magic City Brewfest Regroups, Relocates to Avondale Park

MCBFfeatureAfter unexpected issues with a previous venue, Free The Hops has found a new home for the 11th Annual Magic City Brewfest at Avondale Park (4101 5th Avenue South,
Birmingham, Alabama) on Saturday, July 29 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

In a turn of events that absolutely no one saw coming, the Alabama beer scene was rocked a little over a month ago when Free the Hops had to announce the postponement of the Magic City Brewfest.  After a mad scramble and some diligent hard-work, organizers were able to lock down Avondale Park as the new venue for the iconic, original Free the Hops festival.  Sure, the date had to be changed and the event had to be trimmed down to one session as a result, but the 11th Annual Magic City Brewfest still promises to be one of the best yet by boasting over “175 types of beer from over 70 breweries.”  Since this event is absolutely packed with amazing beer, delicious food, incredible live entertainment and insightful beer classrooms, we have quite a bit of information to go over.  Let’s break it all down.

The Basics

What – 11th Annual Magic City Brewfest
When – One Session: Saturday, July 29 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where – Avondale Park (4101 5th Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama)

The Organization

“Free The Hops is a grassroots non-profit consumer advocacy organization whose successful lobbying efforts to reform hostile laws have helped make Alabama one of the most vibrant and welcoming beer markets in the USA. As a craft beer consumer advocacy organization, our mission is to work within our communities to educate the public, support the industry at large, and remain vigilant watch dogs on legislative processes. Started in 2004 by Alabamians with no ties to any alcoholic beverage business, Free The Hops was incorporated later that year and registered as an official 501(c)(6) non-profit in 2007. None of our members make any money off the grassroots effort.”

A New Focus

“This year, Free the Hops has overhauled their mission to focus more on education. We will be sharing a wealth of fun and useful knowledge, from an introduction to homebrewing and common off flavors in beer, to tips on pairing beer with food and maximizing your time at the festival. We will have an overview of the Cicerone curriculum, and details on various beer styles and serving methods.”

The Beer

In addition to showcasing over 175 beers from over 70 breweries, the 2017 Magic City Brewfest will also feature the following specialty releases:

  • Sponsored by The J. Clyde, the Alabama Cask Garden returns to feature one-off casks created by Alabama breweries exclusively for the Magic City Brewfest
  • The J. Clyde Fire Truck will be on-site to serve up some exclusive beers
  • This year’s Magic City Brewfest will also feature the Sister Cities Birmingham/Plzen Brewery Collaboration, a collaborative effort that had four Birmingham breweries (Cahaba Brewing Co., Avondale Brewing Co., Red Hills Brewing Company, and 5 Points Brewing) team up with breweries from Plzen, Czech Republic to create some exclusive beers for the festival.  Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite collaboration brew from this series

The full brewery and beer list for the 2017 Magic City Brewfest is in the process of being compiled.  Once it is completed, you can view it by following this link.

The Food

The following local restaurants will be on-site to serve up some tasty eats during the event:

Food is not included in the ticket cost.  Once inside the festival, attendees will be able to purchase tokens to exchange for food.

The Music

To keep the energy up throughout the event, the Magic City Brewfest will feature the musical stylings of The Yellow Dandies and Tropical Breeze Steel Band.

Ticket Information

Tickets for the 11th Annual Magic City Brewfest are on sale now for the price of $40 each, and you can purchase yours by clicking here.  That price grants you entrance into the festival, a commemorative tasting glass, the ability to sample over 175 beers, and access to live entertainment and educational classrooms.

We said it before and we will say it again: Now that all the details are covered, this is the part where we give the Magic City Brewfest – and this goes for its sister Rocket City Brewfest in Huntsville – our full, honest endorsement as one of the finest and best organized beer festivals in the country.  The circumstances behind the postponement were unfortunate, but the Birmingham beer community has bounced back from much more difficulty in the past.  Why? Because rally behind each other, and because we love our breweries, our city and our state.  So, let’s rally once again and sell out this Magic City Brewfest as a sign of appreciation to all the amazing people at Free the Hops that organized this event and inspired so much change over the years.  What say you?  Let’s do this.  Prost!

Morimoto Asia to Host Inaugural Craft Beers and Bites Festival

unnamed (33)On Saturday, July 29 at 1 p.m., Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs (1600 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Florida) will showcase Florida craft breweries alongside gourmet food pairings at the restaurant’s first Craft Beers and Bites Festival.

Chef Masaharu Morimoto has long been an avid supporter of pairing fine food with great craft beer, and this practice will now have an opportunity to be on full display at the Morimoto Asia Craft Beers and Bites Festival.  Taking place on the restaurant’s second level, this event will feature the craft beers of eight Florida breweries alongside a menu of individual food pairings prepared by Morimoto Asia Executive Chef, Yuhi Fujinaga.  The full menu and list of paired breweries are as follows:

Tickets for the Morimoto Asia Craft Beers and Bites Festival are available now, and you can purchase yours online for the price of $40 each (plus tax & gratuity) by clicking here.  Ticket cost gains you entrance into the event and unlimited access to the beers and bites.  100% of all profits raised from the Beers and Bites Festival will go to benefit Children’s Home Society of Florida to aid in their mission to build bridges to success for children.

Tickets are extremely limited for the Morimoto Asia Craft Beers and Bites Festival, so be sure to secure yours as soon as possible because this event is sure to sell out.  Prost!

EVENT POSTPONED: Magic City Brewfest Returns for 11th Year in Birmingham

(**UPDATE 05.30.17**)  On Saturday, May 27, Free the Hops issued the following statement regarding the postponement of the 11th Annual Magic City Brewfest:

MCBFPostponed

We will update you with information as this situation develops.  (**UPDATE 05.30.17**)

On Friday, June 9 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, June 10 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Birmingham Chapter of Free the Hops will host its 11th Annual Magic City Brewfest at Sloss Furnaces (20 32nd Street North, Birmingham, Alabama).

To the delight of Alabama’s craft beer community, Brewfest Season is officially back in the Yellowhammer State and the time for Magic City Brewfest draws near. This is the original Free the Hops festival that helped create much-needed change in the state’s antiquated beer laws, and 2017’s Magic City Brewfest promises to be one of the best yet by boasting over “175 types of beer from over 70 breweries.”  Since this event is absolutely packed with amazing beer, delicious food, incredible live entertainment and insightful beer classrooms, we have quite a bit of information to go over.  Let’s break it all down.

The Basics

What – 11th Annual Magic City Brewfest
When – Two Sessions: Friday, June 9 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, June 10 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where – Sloss Furnaces (20 32nd Street North, Birmingham, Alabama)

The Organization

“Free The Hops is a grassroots non-profit consumer advocacy organization whose successful lobbying efforts to reform hostile laws have helped make Alabama one of the most vibrant and welcoming beer markets in the USA. As a craft beer consumer advocacy organization, our mission is to work within our communities to educate the public, support the industry at large, and remain vigilant watch dogs on legislative processes. Started in 2004 by Alabamians with no ties to any alcoholic beverage business, Free The Hops was incorporated later that year and registered as an official 501(c)(6) non-profit in 2007. None of our members make any money off the grassroots effort.”

A New Focus

“This year, Free the Hops has overhauled their mission to focus more on education. We will be sharing a wealth of fun and useful knowledge, from an introduction to homebrewing and common off flavors in beer, to tips on pairing beer with food and maximizing your time at the festival. We will have an overview of the Cicerone curriculum, and details on various beer styles and serving methods.”

The Beer

In addition to showcasing over 175 beers from over 70 breweries, the 2017 Magic City Brewfest will also feature the following specialty releases:

  • Sponsored by The J. Clyde, the Alabama Cask Garden returns to feature one-off casks created by Alabama breweries exclusively for the Magic City Brewfest
  • The J. Clyde Fire Truck will be on-site to serve up some exclusive beers
  • This year’s Magic City Brewfest will also feature the Sister Cities Birmingham/Plzen Brewery Collaboration, a collaborative effort that had four Birmingham breweries (Cahaba Brewing Co., Avondale Brewing Co., Red Hills Brewing Company, and 5 Points Brewing) team up with breweries from Plzen, Czech Republic to create some exclusive beers for the festival.  Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite collaboration brew from this series

The full brewery and beer list for the 2017 Magic City Brewfest is in the process of being compiled.  Once it is completed, you can view it by following this link.

The Food

The following local restaurants will be on-site to serve up some tasty eats during the event:

Food is not included in the ticket cost.  Once inside the festival, attendees will be able to purchase tokens to exchange for food.

The Music

To keep the energy up throughout the event, the Magic City Brewfest will also feature the following local musical acts:

Friday, June 9

Saturday, June 10

Ticket Information

Tickets for the 11th Annual Magic City Brewfest are on sale now, and you can purchase yours by using the following links:

If the event does not sell out in advance, tickets will be available at the door day of the event for $45 each.  Designated driver tickets will also be available for $10 each.

Ticket price grants you entrance into the festival on your chosen date, a commemorative tasting glass, the ability to sample over 175 beers, and access to live entertainment and educational classrooms.

Now that all the details are covered, this is the part where we give the Magic City Brewfest – and this goes for its sister Rocket City Brewfest in Huntsville – our full, honest endorsement as one of the finest and best organized beer festivals in the country.  The event is just big enough, the location is picturesque, the beers are top quality, and attention to detail is always the priority.  If you are in Alabama or anywhere near the state on June 9 or 10, do yourself a favor and pencil the 11th Annual Magic City Brewfest into your plans.  Seriously, do it.  Prost!

 

The Tampa Theatre BeerFest Returns in 2017 with Barley’s Angels

BarleysAngels_PosterOn Saturday, June 24 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Tampa Theatre will host BeerFest 2017: Barley’s Angels as its 6th (almost) Annual Beer Festival and Fundraiser.

BeerFest 2017: Barley’s Angels arrives as the sixth installment in the Tampa Theatre’s series of themed, tongue-in-cheek beer festivals that feature local craft brews and samples from some of Tampa’s top independent restaurants in a fun, theatrical environment. Although the theme may sound a bit silly, it is all done for the very worthy cause of benefiting the historic Tampa Theatre’s “artistic, educational and community programs, as well as its ongoing preservation and restoration.”  There are quite a few details to go over when it comes to this festival, so let’s break it all down.

The Basics

  • What – BeerFest 2017 – Barley’s Angels
  • When – 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 24
  • Where – Tampa Theatre: 711 N Franklin Street, Tampa, FL

The Theme

Barley’s Angels – “Evil villainess Hoppy vonKeggers is trying to steal all the beer at BeerFest 2017, hell-bent on rounding up recipes and creating her own ULTIMATE microbrewery. Luckily, the captivating crime-fighting trio of Amber, Blondie, and Honey – known to their foes as “Barley’s Angels” – are working alongside their ever-faithful assistant, Beersley, to stop vonKeggers and keep the community’s craft brews safe and sudsy for Tampa Theatre patrons to sample.”

The Barley’s Angels – Amber, Blondie, Honey – and other entertainers, courtesy of Busch Gardens, will be in attendance during the beer festival.  Guests are invited and encouraged “to get in the spirit by dressing as their favorite Charlie’s Angels character or in a costume inspired by the movie.”

Featured Breweries

Featured Restaurants

**Note** The brewery and restaurant lists above are expected to grow as the date of the festival draws closer.  We will update this post as additions are announced. **Note**

Additional Details

In addition to all the festival happenings going down within the Tampa Theatre, BeerFest 2017: Barley’s Angels “will spill out onto Franklin Street, where there will be live music, MORE BEER, and photos with Amber, Blondie, Honey.”

Guests must be 21 years of age or older to attend this event; valid Government-issued ID is required for entry.

Ticket Information

Tickets for BeerFest 2017: Barley’s Angels are available now, and Advance Sale Tickets can be purchased online (click here) or at the Tampa Theatre Box Office in the following tiers:

  • Grand Sampling Ticket: $40 each
  • Premium Sampling Ticket: $65 each – grants you entry into the festival an hour early at 7 p.m.

Advance Sale discount pricing ends on Friday, June 2.  After that date, ticket prices go up to $45 for Grand Sampling Tickets and $70 for Premium Sampling Tickets.

Tampa Theatre Members save $5 off advance-sale prices.

Alrighty, that should just about cover all the details available at this time.  If you are free on June 24, go ahead and get a group of friends together, lock down some tickets and support a community landmark by getting in on all the good times sure to be had at Tampa Theatre’s BeerFest 2017: Barley’s Angels.  Prost!

Florida SMaSH Beer Festival Returns in May

FLSMaSHposterOn Saturday, May 13 at 2 p.m., the city of Longwood will host the 2nd Annual Florida SMaSH Beer Festival at the Longwood Community Center (200 W. Warren Avenue, Longwood, Florida).

The Florida SMaSH Beer Festival celebrates the “creativity and camaraderie of the brewers in the Sunshine State” by asking all participating breweries to create a SMaSH beer, a brew of any style that is created with a single malt and single hop.  Although all breweries will be required to use only Golden Promise malt and Hallertau Blanc hops in their brew, this limitation actually serves as a creative playground for the brewers as they develop a recipe that will allow them to stand out and make an impression on the drinker.

Not only will this event feature exclusive, one-off SMaSH beers from all participating breweries, but there will also be a SMaSH beer competition – voted on by attendees – to crown a winner of the festival, a selection of other special brews pouring during the event, and the event will also act as a fundraiser to benefit the very worthy cause of The Sharing Center.  Since this event has quite a few moving parts, let’s break it down:

The Basics

  • What – Florida SMaSH Beer Festival
  • When – 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 13
  • Where – Longwood Community Center (200 W. Warren Avenue, Longwood, Florida)

Participating Breweries

The Smash Beer Competition

“With the spirit of SMaSH brewing so heavily steeped in the home brewing tradition, our festival will feature a friendly competition between brewers, judged solely by the attendees. Each attendee will receive three voting tokens to distribute among their favorite entries. Winners will take home a very unique prize.”

Ticket Information

Tickets for The Florida SMaSH Beer Festival are available now, and you can purchase tickets online by clicking here.  Tickets are available in the following tiers:

  • General Admission: $35 – Ticket grants you admittance into the festival, a commemorative tasting glass, and unlimited samples of over 80 local craft beers
  • VIP: $75 – VIP ticket allows you to enter the festival one hour early for a private brewers lunch and brewery bottle tasting, a commemorative tasting glass, and unlimited samples of over 80 local craft beers

The Cause

A portion of ticket sales will go to benefit The Sharing Center, a top-rated 501c3 non-profit organization that focuses on preventing hunger and homelessness for families and individuals in crisis by offering a hand-up to the working-poor in Seminole County and those who are struggling to move out of homelessness.

Alright, that should pretty much cover all the needed information concerning this event.  If your calendar is open on March 13 and you happen to be in the area, we highly recommend that you consider checking out the Florida SMaSH Beer Festival.  SMaSH beers act as a fantastic educational tool that allows the drinker to gain a better understanding of specific brewing ingredients, and a festival of this size will also highlight the scope of the artistic creativity thriving within our local brewing community.  Throw in the fact that you will be supporting a local non-profit while enjoying all of these tasty brews, and you really cannot go wrong here.  Make it happen, folks.  Prost!

FLSMaSH