Inaugural South Florida Brewers Guild Festival in Boynton Beach Was a Huge Success (Photos)
This weekend was a perfect weekend to walk around an outdoor festival and drink Florida-made beer. And that's just what Clean Plate Charlie did during the first Brewers Guild Festival of South Florida, a sister event to the long-running Florida Brewers Guild Beer Fest held every March in Tampa.
All photos by Nicole Danna Tequesta Brewery founder and brewmaster Matt Webster pours a taste of his Big Hitter oak-aged barley wine accented with maraschino cherries during Saturday's inaugural Brewers Guild Festival in South Florida.
It was perfect because, aside from the weather, it wasn't a hoppy mess; in other words, there was plenty of beer to go around and none of the debauchery that often comes when you mix strong beer with even stronger sun. Instead, the first Brewers Guild Fest was an intimate gathering, more than 15 brewers from across the state each offering unique, well-crafted beers. Best of all, there was plenty of talking, meeting, and greeting among brewers -- techniques discussed, beer styles explored, and favorite ingredients divulged. And that's really what being a part of the guild is all about, after all.
With the first South Florida Brewers Guild Festival under his belt, Due South Brewery owner and Brewers Guild President Mike Halker said he is looking forward to an even bigger, better event next year.
"Things really came together, and we ended up with a great crowd [today]," said Halker, who took over as guild president in March and recommended extending the festival to South Florida at his first meeting. "The Tampa festival has been such a success, and [we] felt it shouldn't be confined to the Tampa area. In addition to this festival in November, we expect to have another festival in Jacksonville sometime this summer, this one in early November, and -- of course -- the original Tampa fest in March."
Clean Plate Charlie got the scoop on everything Florida-beer-related this weekend, from whispers that Tampa's Brew Bus may be gearing up to make a tour line here in Broward and Palm Beach counties to the new Belgium brewery Barrel of Monks set to open in Boca Raton within the next year. We even caught of glimpse of Harpoon Brewery co-owner Dan Kenary, who was roaming the event sampling some new brews.
Harpoon Brewery co-owner Dan Kenary (left) with Due South Brewery owner Mike Halker.