Craft beer adventures and experiences… one pint at a time

Posts tagged ‘American Craft Beer Week’

Celebrating FL Brews in London during American Craft Beer Week May 12-18, 2014

When I spoke to Brett Andress of The Ale and The Witch, a fantastic craft brew pub in St Petersburg, FL last week about American Craft Beer Week, he remarked that “It’s craft beer week EVERY week here at The Witch,” which, of course, is true.

For the rest of us, the craft brewformation (see my earlier post “From God’s Waiting Room to God’s Tasting Room, the Brewformation of St Petersburg) is just coming of age and having an entire National Week devoted to Craft Beer couldn’t come soon enough.

For me, I’m celebrating American Craft Beer Week over here in the UK (where I’m working this week) – but I’m spreading the news of Florida craft breweries in every pub I visit.  It’s certainly easier given a few props (and having the delicious desert-like Siren Brewing UK and Cigar City Brewing FL’s collaboration brew – Caribbean Chocolate Cake Stout – on tap in several places!)

 

For those of you in the U.S. (and in the Florida legislature and senate!), here’s a “legislative style” document I can support:

American Craft Beer Week

For our legislators throughout the U.S. (such as FL senators who support Big Beer, and Minnesota lawmakers who just made growlers illegal!) and for all of my readers, the video link below shows just how prominent American Craft Brewers are! (Sidenote:  Only one of the 100 Florida breweries, M.I.A. Brewing, was included!)

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You may want to turn down the sound (I hate the kazoo-like musical theme), grab a fresh Florida pint, and enjoy the show!

ACBWAmerican Craft Beer week May 12-18, 2014

Have a great and safe week!

-Carol

Everything you wanted to know about FLORIDA BREWERIES… from the Expert Gerard Walen

April was already a busy and notable month for Craft Brewing in the Tampa Bay area – and we’re only 1/2 way through!

We’ve toasted two new brewery openings in Pinellas County just last week (Sea Dog Brewing in Clearwater and St Pete Brewing Company in St Petersburg) – along with celebrating National Beer Day on April 7.

And, after much fanfare and anticipation, the new book FLORIDA BREWERIES, by my friend and author Gerard Walen, was published.

FloridaBreweries_TS Gerard is now on a book signing tour all over Tampa Bay (see details below) and beyond, and I caught up with him last week to ask him a few questions about his book-writing “research” behind FLORIDA BREWERIES:

1. Where are you from and how did you come to call Florida your home?

Tampa, and I believe that answers the second part.

2. You’ve just written THE book about Florida breweries – what inspired you to write it?

On my Road Trips for Beer site, I reviewed a few of the other state brewery guidebooks published by Stackpole Books. Through the writing and research for my Beer in Florida site, I realized that the state’s brewery scene had grown large enough that it deserved a similar guide. I pitched it to an editor, and it was accepted. When I pitched it in spring 2012, there were about 50 breweries in the state.

The book has chapters on 66 (one has closed) and a list of more than 40 that opened past deadline or that are on
their way to opening.

3. What was the best and the worst thing you discovered in your travels about Florida breweries?

Most breweries across the state were not producing enough beer to meet demand in their local areas, not to mention the state. Forget the country. That is also the worst thing, but fortunately new expansions have been completed, and that is starting to change: We’re seeing more regions of the state getting beer shipped in from others.

4. What surprised you (or continues to surprise you) about the industry or people involved?

I think it’s the collaboration aspect among craft brewers, which I knew about already but found it to be universal and mostly consistent. I worked as an assistant business editor at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for a few years, so I had really delved into the mechanics of how businesses operate. I know of no other type of industry where its members are so open and supportive of each other.

5. What should people know about the book and why should they buy it?

I’ve had some folks mention that “Florida Breweries” is “outdated” already because of the breweries that have opened since deadline, but I did try to keep it as current as possible. I was able to make minor updates and add to that list in the back up to a month or so before it went to the printers. But it’s more
than just a list of breweries. Each of the chapters includes what I thought was the most interesting story I heard while visiting and talking with the brewers or owners (yes, I physically visited each of the 66 breweries). Plus there are chapters on such things as Beer in Theme Parks, Other Beer Companies, Beer Fests and Beer Webs, and introductions to each of the four regions – North Florida, Central Florida, Tampa Bay area, and South Florida – with information about the history, things to do, places to eat, and so on. Not to mention a glossary!

6. Anything you’d like to add?

Folks so far who have read it have been very positive. I’ve been told by a few people that they learned new things about the Florida beer community, and most of them are really invested in the industry in one form or another. I feel fortunate to be able to share a little of the knowledge I gained during my
research phase, and I hope it helps spread the word about our state’s great beer across the country and around the world.

A couple of other things:

Gerard walen

Author of FLORIDA BREWERIES Gerard Walen

  • The book is available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and StackpoleBooks.com, and I think the major bookstores in Florida (that’s just Barnes and Noble, now, right?). There are at least a few breweries who have purchased it for their tasting rooms – Cigar City in Tampa and Copp in Crystal River, for sure. But no matter where you purchase it, I’ll be happy to autograph it for you at any book signing, where I’ll also have copies for sale.
  • The best way to keep up with the signings is on my Amazon Author Page. I’ll also announce them on the Beer in Florida Facebook page, and will also do unscheduled “popup signings” at various craft beer places, which I’ll announce on the Facebook page and Twitter.
  • Drink Local! Drink Florida!

THANK YOU GERARD!  Wishing you continued success and many more research days ahead!

– Carol

 

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#BBC13 (Beer Bloggers Conference 2013) – Boston, MA – Recap

Boston

The very mention of the city conjures up thoughts of the Boston Bruins (sorry guys, you were sooo close to win the Stanley Cup in 2013!), Red Sox (actually I have to cheer for Tampa Bay Rays!), lobsters, seafood, long summer nights, accents (“I’ll go paak the caa”), festivals, food, and… a burgeoning Craft Beer industry!

Having said this, it is no big surprise that the 4th annual Beer Bloggers Conference (twitter hashtag #BBC13) found its way to Boston this past weekend (July 26-28, 2013) beating out cities such as Asheville, NC (up and coming in the NE!) and other contenders.

And what a weekend it was!

Here’s a slideshow to give you a visual idea…

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Third time’s a Charm!

This was my 3rd (of 4) BBC’s hosted by Zephyr Adventures previous conferences were held in Boulder CO (2010), Portland, OR (2011), Indianapolis (2012) – and it was clear that the growing pains of previous years are gone.  This year’s event was seemingly flawless with great weather in Boston (high 70s) topping it off and over 150 attendees representing bloggers (hobbyists to professionals), brewers (from around the US and including Florida Beer Company,) brewing associations (Cicerone certification, National Brewers Association and others), distributors and retailers.

One of the most glorious things about the Beer Bloggers Conference (there are many!) is that the 150+ attendees check their egos (and their full time professions) at the door as we all come together to collectively share a common passion – CRAFT BEER!

The proof was in the pudding, so to speak, as such industry luminaries as  Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams brewerycurrently the largest US-owned, nationally distributed brewery in the US, and Julia Herz of the Brewers Association and CraftBeer.com – co-mingled and talked “shop” with all of us.  The event started Friday afternoon at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel (some attended the “pre” conference excursion in Maine on Thursday night) – with a trade show, followed by a trip to Sam Adams R&D brewery/center in Boston and a night out hosted by Heavy Seas brewing at Stoddard’s bar.  Throughout the weekend, various breweries and distributors hosted / entertained / spoke / poured for us until we had to say our fond goodbyes just after noon on Sunday.

Takeaways / highlights from BBC 13:

In no particular order:

  • Being able to talk “craft beer” with people who are not intimidated to drink non-mass produced malt beverages. We talked flavors, styles, brewing techniques, food pairings, favorites, best local bars, geography, trends, social media – and nothing to do with the stresses of everyday life (minimal talk about problems with kids, jobs, finances…) —  just pure passionate discussions about craft beer!
  • Positive talk all day, all night – about a hobby I love!
  • Upbeat people who came to Boston to share experiences and offer best practices about blogging, writing, monetizing, short cuts, in other words – helping each other to become successful in beer blogging and in life;
  • Sampling new brews, meeting new people, exchanging experiences, discovering new ways to share our passion about craft beer;
  • Learning what works and doesn’t work about blogging technologies, tools, widgets, platforms, all the IT stuff that goes along with writing and publishing;
  • Visiting the breweries, Boston pubs, distributors, and seeing a bit of Boston by bus;
  • Lots of fun photo opportunities (see slideshow above);
  • Meeting other Florida people who are also passionate about the industry;
  • Finding out that my personality + what I already know about craft beer + a personal way of writing = priceless results;
  • Getting inspired to write more, blog more, get out more!

Thank you to all of our sponsors and our great organizers at Zephyr Adventures for their generous support of the conference.  You rock!

– See more at: http://beerbloggersconference.org/#sthash.kF0079O4.dpuf

I can’t wait for BBC14 (site and dates being finalized) – it’s going to be another awesome time with great people!

Happy imbibing!

Carol

It’s American Craft Beer Week May 14-20, 2012 (inclusive!)

Don’t miss out on the happenings all over the country for the American Craft Beer Week!

Visit craftbeer.com for more details and be safe!

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