As beer culture expands and grows in Florida, so do the number and size of the festivals. From coast to coast and around the Keys and to the Panhandle, people are celebrating beer like never before. 2011 brings a new festival to Central Florida: The Winter Haven Brew Fest. Billed as a “new area festival that promotes craft beer and local businesses”, the festival is also being called an “introductory” festival. This is not a festival catered towards beek geeks and rare beer hunters (although I am sure they will not be in short supply), but towards the entry level beer lover. The people who like good beer or are looking to expand their horizons beyond the usual BMC line.
Some of the breweries represented from Florida are:
- Cigar City Brewing
- Saint Somewhere Brewing Company
- Florida Beer Company
- Holy Mackerel
- Shipyard Emporium
Other breweries will be represented, too, including:
Both VIP ($50) and General Admission ($30) tickets are available, with the VIP granted some special beer and food pairings along with some additional swag. There are also Designated Driver tickets available for $15. Tickets are available online at the event website.
The fact that there is a beer event in Winter Haven at all is a testament to the rapidly expanding beer awareness in Florida. Far from being a cultural mecca, Winter Haven is only home to a little more than thirty thousand residents, and until recently was best known for being home to the iconic Cypress Gardens, a Florida tourist attraction featuring waterskiing. Closed in 2009, the site is to be the home of the new Legoland, opening later this year. Event organizers Tom Barris and Andrew Rhinehart have gathered several local sponsors to put the event together, and it looks to be a great event.
Winter Haven Brew Fest
April 9th, 2011 – 4pm – 8pm
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