Craft beer adventures and experiences… one pint at a time

It’s been exactly one month since the Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference (#BBC16) was here in Tampa, and, as a result, our entire bay area has benefitted from the hundreds of blog posts, publicity, beer pics, brewery visits, friendships made, beers consumed and follow-on business that any social media focused conference can amass.

It’s a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of such an illustrious group of passionate, optimistic and fun-loving people. For me, it’s also what I’d call “a happiness achievement” to consider so many beer bloggers and writers throughout the world my friends.  Thank you to Zephyr Adventures and everyone involved throughout the past 7 years who have made this such an inclusive and growing community!

I’m a visual, right brained thinker so I tend to remember things through pictures (looking at my camera roll is better than a calendar!) As such, I’ve combined my pics into a google pictures “movie” as a recap of the entire Thurs-Sunday July 7-10, 2016 weekend.  Enjoy!  (And thank you to Kelli Matheny @ladycrafter for the idea to use google pics movie app!)

PRE-Conference (Thurs July 7) Excursion – Jacksonville FL breweries:

Visits included Bold City Brewing, Engine 15 brewing, #Kickbacks Gastropub, Aardwolf Brewing, Wicked Barley Brewing…  Thank you to #onlyinJAX and #JAXALETRAIL for arrangements!

Day 1 Conference (Fri  July 8) – Tampa FL,

Conference sessions, Green Flash reception, Beer Paired Dinner Marriott Waterside, Trade Show, Night of Many Bottles

Day 2 Conference (Sat  July 9) – Tampa FL:

Conference sessions, WOB Westchase (Miller Coors) luncheon, Live Beer Blogging (J.J.Taylor), Progressive Dinner (Coppertail, Cigar City, Ulele Springs)

Day 3 — 1/2 day Conference and Post-conference excursion (Sun Fri  July 8) – Tampa FL:

Conference sessions, Post Conference excursion to St Pete Clearwater breweries: 3 Daughters, Green Bench, Cycle, Rapp Brewing

 

Thank you !!!

to so many organizers, breweries, wait staff, Zephyr Adventures, the Marriott Waterside, Jacksonville Ale Trail, Visit St Pete Clearwater, Tampa Bay Beer Crafted, trade show participants, speakers, moderators, distributors, and fellow attendees. It was so great to have the conference here in the Tampa/St Petersburg area and showcase the talent, innovation and truly hospitable FL venues in paradise!

Slainte!

One of the most popular sessions at the annual Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference   is called Live Beer Blogging, (this year #BBC16 was the 7th conference,) during which attendees sample tastes of a dozen brews in rapid succession over the course of an hour.  Described affectionately as ‘speed dating with breweries’ (without the obnoxious nature of regular speed dating,) we sample a variety of beers introduced and poured by local brewers/brewery reps in 5 minute increments.

Live Beer Blogging creates memories that stick.  I remember my first meeting with Night Shift at BBC13 in Boston – it was a love at first taste experience!  Now, when someone brings a Night Shift brew to a bottle share, I’m taken back to that night in Boston 3 years ago.

This year’s conference just finished two days ago here in my home city of Tampa, FL, with JJ Taylor Distributing hosting the Live Beer Blogging.  10 regional and national brews waltzed across our table hoping to find favor with bloggers and writers alike.  (This year it was interesting that my table was entirely women, save for one brave male…)

Want to experience Live Beer Blogging vicariously (albeit second-hand?)  Using newly released Facebook Live (with apologies to professional videographers) – I present to you, the #BBC16 Live Beer Blogging experience:

  • First up:  Local Brewery St Pete Brewing with Casey Cothran introducing The McCracken (a Scottish Ale named in honor of head brewer Jon McCracken)
  • Next up is Safety Harbor’s Crooked Thumb Brewery (on the NW side of Tampa Bay) with owner Travis Kruger pouring their Florida Gose. (Apologies for my random cameos. I’ve since learned that the zoom button is different from the “swap camera” button!)
  • Local favorite, Cigar City Brewing brought limited edition bottles of Decoherence, which was released solely as part of the (private club) Catador series.
  • This was followed by California (and North Carolina) brewery, Sierra Nevada, featuring their new  Otra Voz, a Gose Style Ale brewed with Grapefruit and Cactus.
  • Sarasota brewery J Dubs made a splash entry by having brewery owner Jeremy (the J in J Dubs) in a bovine costume pouring his Bell Cow Milk Chocolate Porter.
  • New Belgium Brewing of Colorado (and North Carolina) poured samples of their Citradelic IPA.
  • Cape Canaveral located Florida Beer Company featured representative Seth Kapp pouring their Florida Lager (sidenote: notice how crowded the table is started to get?)
  • Up next was California based Lagunitas Brewing Company whose principals brought with them their signature brew, Lagunitas IPA.
  • Miami based Saltwater Brewing (who gained recent global attention with their biodegradable six-pack can holders) was up next with their Screaming Reels IPA.

Rounding out the 10 featured breweries was Georgia based Terrapin Brewing whose representative poured their refreshing Watermelon Ale.   On request of the representative, I have not included the video in this post.  Nonetheless, the beer was refreshing and tasty on the hot summer day!

That’s it for 2016 – and with the 2017 conference in Milwaukee, WI, I’m looking forward to another great adventure in Live Beer Blogging.  Whew… 10 brewing samples in less than an hour!  A feverish pace, lots of tasting (and discarding!) but thankfully, I’m blessed to be one of the someone’s who simply… has to do it.

Slainte!

Carol

 

Ever since I attended my 1st (and the first) Beer Bloggers Conference in 2010 in Boulder, CO, I’ve wondered if the event would ever grace the tropical shores of Tampa Bay, and this year (the 7th annual event) – the Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference does just that July 8-10, 2016 at the Marriott Waterside Hotel in Tampa.

Our Tampa Bay region joins many in the nation where craft beer (and cider and distilling) has exploded exponentially since 2010. The result is a $20+ billion dollar national industry that refuses to slow down.

growth of breweries 2015

In Mar 2011, the website BeerandWhiskeyBros.com wrote: beer and whiskey bros mar 2011

2016: Are craft beverages a “bubble”?

With over 15 states in the U.S. boasting over 100 functioning craft breweries (including Florida!), an exponential growth rate of breweries opening (see the curve above) and an emerging millennial (Generation Y) population of over 66 million residents whose preference is craft beer, it’s safe to say that it’s a bubble that’s here to stay.

U.S. Innovation Leads the World in Craft Brewing

For over 20 year I’ve spoken on software engineering, leadership and project management topics worldwide — and watched the U.S. move from a position of dominance to one of survivability as the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies beat us with their low labor costs in software development.  The innovation and imagination in IT (Information Technology) that once led us to a number one position, fell away when cost-cutting and outsourcing became the norm.

It’s that same sense of innovation, adventure and imagination that propelled U.S. craft brewing to the top of the world game.  Using techniques and styles reminiscent of old European recipes (German and Belgian styles in particular,) the leading U.S., craft brewers add imagination and stretch the boundaries of what once was a mass-produced, close-to-purified-water industry.  We’re at the point today where the craft brewing world looks to the U.S. for new ingredients, styles and collaborations.  In the U.S., Craft Breweries are defined by the Brewers Association as being small, independent and traditional.

Craft Beer Gives Bloggers and Writers Tons of Content

The gathering of Beer Bloggers and Writers boasts a range of writers and writing styles:  from professional reporters for big name newspapers and journals, to mom-and-pop blogs for independent beer stores, to blogs for distributors/wholesalers, to people like me with a passion for people and the industry.

As the numbers of us continue to expand, so too are the angles that craft beer provides to write about:  Reviewing beers, reviewing styles, covering festival events and bottle releases, stories about breweries and brewers,  pairing of food and beer, innovations in brewing, legislation in brewing, the 3 tier system, differences across the nation with beer culture, recipes, trends, techniques, homebrew, challenges in brewing, beer culture, products from related industries (glassware to growlers to homebrew systems to dispensers…) – the list goes on and on.

The craft beer industry is still expanding as new jobs are created, new breweries are opened, and new opportunities abound to educate consumers, entertain (through events and beerfests), and satisfy (through the variety of products and even beer-tourism) the burgeoning population of craft beer lovers.

And You’re Invited to Tag Along…

While many of the sessions and excursions at the Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference are limited to officially registered beer bloggers and writers, you’ll likely see a few events where the general craft beer loving public can take part.  One such pre-conference gathering is on Wed July 6, 2016 at 6;30 pm at the Brew Bus Brewing Terminal on Florida Avenue in Tampa where our own Florida Women in Brewing, together with Beer Bloggers, (and you!) are invited to stop by and mix and mingle over a pint.  Brew Bus Brewing is one of our newest local craft breweries and the terminal for one of our most popular and successful beer tourism companies, and has even won a medal at GABF for one of their brews!

Craft beer in Florida (and throughout the U.S.) presents a genderless, ageless, and culturally independent reason to get together, enjoy a few laughs and savor the goodness that barley, hops, yeast and water can bring to an ordinary workday or weekend.  And, in a matter of days, the Beer Blogging and Writing community will find out just how good that can be here in Tampa.  Welcome!

Slainte!

Carol

 

It’s an epic time to be a Floridian with a burgeoning craft beer scene and lots of events going on every weekend.  In fact, it’s been stated that on some weekends, there’s simply TOO MUCH going on, making it hard to choose where to go.

Today is no exception – there are three notable events happening and I’d love to be able to attend all three. Two are charity events and one is an out-of-state brewery event:

1. Barns and Beer Craft Beer Festival – Old McMickey’s Farm, Odessa (just north of Tampa)

**** TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR ****barns and beer updated may 14

This is the second craft beer event for the farm (a 501c3 charity) to raise money for their charitable programs including military weddings, children’s camps, and a host of other worthwhile endeavors for the community.

In addition to unlimited tastings, entertainment will be provided by the Black Honkeys (a celebrated local band!) and there will be mechanical bull rides, egg races and more.  Professional brews from around Florida are the focus of the tastings.

I still need a few more VolunBEERs (you get in free in exchange for working 1/2 the festival to pour beer, work the gate, etc.) – here’s the link if you’d like to sign up:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c084da5af2caafa7-barns

Tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/barns-beer-may-2016-tickets-22499606930

2. St Pete Beach Beer Festival

St pete beachThis is the second charity beer fest this weekend – this one focuses on homebrewers and their wares plus local breweries in the bay area.  A growing community festival worth checking out if you’re close to the beach.

Tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/st-pete-beach-beer-festival-tickets-24607898888

3. Blue Point Toasted Tour

blue point

Blue Point Brewing is bringing their Toasted Tour (based on their flagship brew: Toasted Lager) and will feature entertainment and beer in downtown Tampa at Waterworks Park.

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1154253177946609/ 

General admission – No charge to get in, Blue Point beer available for $5.  – VIP Tickets available (includes beer.) but I couldn’t find a link to the ticketing site.

Enjoy your weekend responsibly!  I hope to see you out and about enjoying the best brews Tampa (and beyond) has to offer.

SLAINTE!

April 7, 1933 was proclaimed by President Roosevelt as the first National Beer Day formally ending prohibition and signaling the beginning of brewing freedom in America.  Today, in Tampa Bay (my home) we lay claim to over 50 local and award-winning craft breweries from mom-and-pop start-ups brewing on a 3 barrel system to monolithic giants brewing millions of barrels a year.

Here’s a short video from WFLA Channel 8’s Daytime segment about National Beer Day:

Channel 8 National Beer day Apr 7 2016According to the Craft Brewers Association, a craft brewery must be small (less than 6 million barrels produced in a year), independent (less than 25% of its ownership lies outside the craft brewing industry) and traditional (in other words the brews rely on barley, hops, yeast and water and exclude malt beverages.)  It’s a great time to be an American – free to consume the beverage of choice, and for me, that means craft beer!

For men and women everywhere, today is a day of celebration… moderately and responsibly – enjoy!

Channel 8 WFLA segment – National Beer Day 2016

Cheers,
Carol

O.M.G. – there’s so much MORE to do during the upcoming Mar 5-13, 2016 #TBBW (Tampa Bay Beer Week)… so this is a post script post with two more additions…

The weekend choices of the larger beer festivals (Ultimate Brewer Fri Mar 4, FBG Fest Mar 5, Brewers Ball Mar 6, – see my post from Mar 1, 2016,) still stand but… having seen pics of other events, I simply MUST add two more events to my wish list of to-do’s:

20160302_191351_HDR (1)Sat Mar 5 – 2pm (and available until stock runs out!) – Launch of the Florida Women in Brewing’s inaugural Barley Berry Jam beer (Blackberry Barleywine) – at various locations throughout the #TTBW area.  Here’s the description of the event:

“Join us at 10+ locations throughout Tampa Bay on Saturday, Mar 5, 2016 at 2pm (and throughout #TBBW until supplies run out!) for the simultaneous launch of the 1st ever Florida Women In Brewing (#FLWIB) beer: “Barley Berry Jam” (Blackberry Barleywine.) Proceeds will benefit local women’s charities. (Specs on the beer follow at the end of this post.)  #FLWIB

Here’s the list of locations where you can purchase Berry Barley Jam on tap in bomber (22 oz) bottles:

Hillsborough County:
Jug & Bottle – 6203 N Florida Ave, Tampa FL 33604
Independent – 5016 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33603
Brew Bus Brewing – (not yet open)
Cigar City Cider and Mead – 1812 N 15th St, Tampa, FL 33605
Cigar City Brew Pub – 15491 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33624
Cigar City Brewing – 3924 W Spruce St, Tampa, FL 33607
Brass Tap Ybor City – 1600 E 7th Ave E-113, Tampa, FL 33605

Pinellas County:
Pair O’ Dice Brewing – 4400 118th Ave N #208, Clearwater, FL 33762
Brewers Tasting Room – 11270 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33716
Lagerhaus Brewery and Grill – East Lake Woodlands, 3438 E Lake Rd S, Palm Harbor, FL 34685
Dunedin House of Beer – 927 Broadway, Dunedin, FL 34698

Manatee County:
Darwin Brewing Company – 803 17th Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205

In addition, the beer will be available at the Dunedin House of Beer’s 6th Annual Craft Beer Fest – Edgewater Park, Sat Mar 5, 2016 – Edgewater Park – Dunedin FL and for tasting at Hunahpu’s Day, Sat Mar 12, 2016 – Cotanchobee Park, Tampa

Barley Berry Jam specifications:

Beer Name: Barley Berry Jam
Style: American barleywine-style ale
Date Launched: February 2016
Availability: One-off, Tasting Room and Tampa Bay distribution, draught and 22 oz. bottles
ABV: 10.3%
IBU: TBA
Hops/Usage: ADHA 527, an experimental dwarf hop that lends notes of stonefruit
Specialty Ingredients: Kerr blackberry concentrate
Name Origin: The beer is meant to have a blackberry jam-like flavor to compliment the dark fruit character imparted by the malted barley
Awards, notes, etc.: Barley Berry Jam was brewed to support awareness of the Florida Women in Brewing organization, an organization designed to “excite, educate and empower women currently working in or seeking an opportunity for a career in the brewing industry”. CCB has made a donation based on the sales of this beer that will go to fund a scholarship for Florida women in brewing to further their education in their field. The label was designed by Cigar City Catering’s Kim Johnston and Cigar City Cider and Mead’s Jen Sladky.

pair o diceThurs Mar 10 – Out of the Pot’s “Cooking with Beer” dinner at Pair O’ Dice! Tickets are still available and the menu (left) looks amazing!!!  Tickets:  Only $35!

 

 

 

 

Have a safe and awesome weekend!

From humble beginnings and the first #TBBW in 2012, to becoming a 501c6 not-for-profit organization, Tampa Bay Beer Week has emerged as one of the premiere beer weeks in North America involving the Florida Brewers Guild, Best Florida Beer, and scores of breweries, brewpubs, bars and restaurants throughout our multi-county region.

For five years running, #TBBW has featured local breweries (now numbering close to 50 in the region) and some of the finest brews and friendliest people around.  There’s just one small problem… how can anyone who works full-time really get out and enjoy the festivities?

tbbw2016

Some people I know have taken the week off from work, but unless you’re a tourist here on vacation or independently wealthy, this is simply not an option for many of us.  I’ve seen the entire event lineup at www.tampabaybeerweek.com and while there are adventurous types who will turn #TBBW into a marathon tasting event, I’m going to be taking in the weekend events and a select few in between.

I hope you’ll find some great things to do and taste some great local brews here in Tampa Bay.  Thank you for being a part of the vibrant craft beer industry here in Southwest Florida, and for reading this post!  Wishing you a week of enjoyment, new friends, fun times and responsible drinking.  PLEASE arrange to get home safely (Lyft and Uber or a designated driver) – so you can enjoy many more #TBBW to come!

Slainte!
Carol

————— Short list of don’t miss events #TBBW 2016 (Full details at tampabaybeerweek.com/events)———–

fb_img_1456761244639.jpgTHURS Mar 3, 2016 – 6:30-9:30 St Pete Beach, FL – All Tapped Out – A Tasting Extravaganza… (click for tickets) — unlimited tapas and draft beer pairings at Tapz and Tapaz, 348 Corey Avenue St Pete Beach. Tickets $25 adv/$30 door

 

 

Ultimate BrewerFRI Mar 4, 2016 – The Ultimate Brewer – 8-11:30pm at Rapp Brewing Company, 10930 Endeavor Way, Ste C, Seminole, Florida 33777. 14 local breweries debut their special recipe in a blind tasting competition along the lines of the Iron Chef.  Each brewery was given a list of secret ingredients ranging from Oranges and Old Bay Seasoning to Oysters and Hot Sauce to Horseradish to…  Tickets  only $20 advance.

fbg listSAT Mar 5, 2016 – Florida Brewers Guild Craft Beer Craft Beer Festival 2-5 pm (VIP 1-5 pm) -Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park, 601 Old Water St, Tampa.  Featuring brews from around the state (and beyond) in an open air setting in downtown Tampa.  Benefits the non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing the craft brewing industry in Florida.

Tickets $45 GA / $65 VIP.

 

 

 

best-florida-beer-ogSUN Mar 6, 2016 – Best Florida Beer presents Brewers Ball – 12noon-5pm – Water Works Park Tampa, 1710 N Highland Ave, Tampa, Florida 33602. The Brewers Ball festival celebrates the best beers in Florida. The top three beers in each class of beer, mead and cider will be served up for your enjoyment. The Brewers Ball has been held for over 10 years celebrating the breweries, the brewers and the beer they make right here in Florida. Tickets $65. (includes food)

SUN Mar 6, 2016 – 5 pm  – 7th ANNUAL BREWERS’ BALL AFTER PARTY!! (even if you don’t go to the Brewers Ball) –  at Independent Bar & Cafe, 5016 N Florida Ave, Tampa – Special brews on tap for the event, and will also be serving burgers and brats outside to satisfy the hungry folks coming from the beer festival. LIVE MUSIC 6-9 PM BY LAURIS VIDAL! NO COVER!

WED Mar 9, 2016 – Rare and Big Beer Night -7 pm at Rapp Brewing Company,  10930 ENDEAVOUR WAY STE C, Seminole FL. No ticket fee. Come join us as we bring out all of our rare and big beers for your enjoyment! Some have never been available!

THURS Mar 10, 2016 (2nd Annual Mini Festival) Jester King, Jolly Pumpkin one off’s and Cantillon on draft & in bottle. Plus a Blend your own Gueuze class!  7:30 pm, Tickets $35 in advance.  Mr Dunderbak’s Biergarten and Brewery, 14929 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa. Jester king, Jolly Pumpkin & Cantillon will be on draft and in the bottle. Including a wide range of sour, funky beers from Shelton.Blaugies, De Ranke, De La Senne, Drie Fonteinen, Green Bench, Saint Somewhere and more….. European Cheeses and Artisanal bread will be provided to cleanse the palette. Starts at 7:30. Tickets (very limited) call JB @ 813-977-4104

THURS Mar 10, 2016 – Special Hoperations Fundraiser – 7-9pm Hidden Springs Ale Works, 1631 N Franklin St, Tampa. Tickets $15 non-members, (Members: Free)  This is a fun social event to help raise funds for local Tampa homebrew club Special Hoperations. We’ll have taps in the brewery flowing with medal winning homebrew from the #1 homebrew club in Florida along with a 50/50 raffle and some Special Hops shirts floating around.

THURS Mar 10, 2016 – The Wild Beer JAM at the Witch with Green Bench Brewing & more…., 3-11 pm (entertainment after dark) –  The Ale and the Witch, 111 2nd ave NE Downtown St Pete, No cover, beers a-la-carte pricing.Hosting 7 breweries (Green Bench, Almanac, Prairie Artisan Ales, Jolly Pumpkin, Central State, St Somewhere, Jester King) 14 taps, bottles and cans

FRI Mar 11, 2016 – 3rd Annual Brew and BBQ – 5pm, Pair O’ Dice Brewing, 4400 118th Avenue North, Ste 208, Clearwater.  $10-$15.  Back by popular demand, our own Ken Rosenthal will team up with Out Of The Pot to cook up his famous Texas-style brisket. We’ll be pairing Pair O’ Dice brews with lots of competition quality, 18 hour slow smoked brisket served Texas style. That means white bread, pickles, and onions with sauce on the side because this brisket is so good it just doesn’t deserve to be covered up. Sides will include baked beans and creamed corn. BBQ plates will be available for purchase first come first serve while supplies last so you better get here before the meat runs out. #GetAPair  – I’ve missed this one two years in a row because the brisket sells out quickly!  Don’t miss it!

FRI Mar 11, 2016 – 3rd Annual Foeder for Thought Festival, 5pm-midnight, Green Bench Brewing Company
1133 Baum Ave, St Petersburg.  Tickets $60. Foeder for Thought celebrates oak fermentation. This is one of the most unique and intimate festivals during Tampa Bay Beer Week offering beer to sample from across the country.

SAT Mar 12, 2016 – Hunahpu’s Day – sold out months ago.  This specialty festival’s limited tickets and pricing ($200. minimum for festival entrance and 4 bottles of Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout) is a #TBBW staple and sought after festival.  Unless you are an oil baron or financier, you’ll have to find other events to keep you busy today. Worth a mention just because… you can’t get in.

SAT Mar 12, 2016 – Pucker up with Almanac Brewing Company and Cascade Brewing – 6pm, Independent Bar & Cafe, 5016 N Florida Ave, Tampa.  No cover, drink prices vary.    If you love sour beers, you can’t beat this one… We have some amazing sour beers coming from ALMANAC BEER CO. AND CASCADE BREWING BARRELHOUSE!!    DRAFT LIST! (Flights will be available)
Valley of the Heart’s Delight (Sour Blonde with foraged Apricots, Dates, and Mulberries)
Peach de Brettaville (100% Brett Saison with local Peaches)
Farmer’s Reserve Blackberry (Sour Blonde with Blackberries)
Hoppy Sour Mosaic – Sour Blonde dry hopped with Mosaic
Almanac IPA – West Coast IPA with Citra, Simcoe, and Cascade
Cascade Figaro
Cascade Bourbonic Plague
Cascade Vlad the Imp Aler

SUN Mar 13, 2016 – Hunahpu’s Hangover Day at 7th Sun (two locations: 7th Sun Brewing, Dunedin, and new Tampa (parking lot) location 6809 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa) 11am – 5pm.  Buy four beer tickets to get in ($20 total), purchase additional beer tickets at $5 each (beers will range in size from 8 oz to 12 oz). This year for Hangover day, we are christening our new location with a lot party in honor of you. Since we are still in the process of building-out for the new facility, the parking lot will host the event. And because Dunedin is where it’s started and what you made possible, we’re also going to continue the tradition of Dunedin Hangover Day too. (Dunedin location only – extended hours 11am-10pm)

Be safe…

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