Craft beer adventures and experiences… one pint at a time

Posts tagged ‘Florida breweries’

Ale and the Witch’s All Local Brewfest a Winner

local 662

“Wow, oh wow!”

That was the anthem resonating about the brews on tap for the inaugural Ale and the Witch’s All Local brewfest Saturday night at Local 662 in downtown St Petersburg.  Specialty collaborations and rare bottles were on hand from many of the 25+ local St Petersburg/Tampa area breweries – some never to be seen again.  Brett Andress, owner of The Ale and The Witch in St Petersburg put together a stellar line-up of brews and entertainment (The Applebutter Express) in an art nouveau space.

As often goes when I’m multi-tasking (coordinating volunteers, taking photos, networking and whatever else,) I don’t remember the specialty one-off brews I sampled.  But, I didn’t taste anything I didn’t like or want more of (which is rare.)

Nonetheless, between the Chocolate Peanut Butter offering from Sea Dog and the Green Bench Oude Bruin and the collaboration between Pair O’ Dice and Green Bench and the Cigar City specialty bottles, I was left with good taste, better times, and happy thoughts.

If you attended, please comment on your favorite brew!

Enjoy the photo montage below and until next time… be safe!

#BBC14 in a NY minute… plus more

Picture if you will: 150 craft beer drinkers with a writing problem getting together for a weekend of lectures on brewing history, branding, photography, blogging, and especially beer. Got it?  That’s the essence of the 5th annual #BBC14 (Beer Bloggers Conference 2014) in San Diego, CA.

#BBC14 in a NY minute…

Who blogs about Beer?

Drawing a picture of the typical beer blogger (there are several thousand) isn’t something I can easily do, but I can say that our #BBC14 microcosm would fit in at a tasting room on a Friday night: beer geeks… young to seasoned, novices and pros, industry reps and enthusiasts. And like a typical Friday night, we arrived to sample great brews and at closing time, we really didn’t want to leave.  Through the course of 48+ hours, California and its craft brews stole a piece of my heart.

What’s #BBC about?

#BBC14 was 1/3 beer pilgrimage, 1/3 tasting adventure, 1/3 techniques/blogging… all of it amazing!

We rubbed shoulders with and heard stories from the greats of the craft brewing and blogging industries, visited tasting rooms, and sampled some of the finest brews available (and not) on the market.

From the first sip of Cigar City’s Invasion IPA at the airport in LA on Thursday to the last drops of WA state shared brew on Sunday morning in San Diego, it was a memorable (and to some, exhausting) weekend.  Along the way, I met friends and we shared pints, laughed (a lot) and bonded through our passion for beer. Some of us even registered and made road trip plans for next year’s #BBC15 in Asheville, NC.

For me,  craft beer is all about building a creative, fun-loving, grassroots community that supports the craft brewing industry and loves beer. Finding others who are equally passionate and who are leaders in the industry is simply, at the risk of sounding trite, pure bliss.

As I scribe this post en route from LAX to Tampa, I am grateful to CA brewers, fellow bloggers,  strangers, organizers, and friends whose generosity and hospitality enriched my life.

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THANK YOU

From my hometown breweries in Tampa Bay, I’d like to give a shout out to a few people who gave me swag or beer to share the Florida beer love in San Diego including:

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To so many who donated time, energy, beer, food, hospitality and friendship to make our CA beer experience so incredible, including (a full list of sponsors are listed at beerbloggersconference.org):

2014-08-23 12.36.23Happy and safe imbibing!  Hope to see you at a beer fest in Florida or around the country, and until then… wishing you health and happiness and…

 

P.s. Here’s a few of my colleagues/friend’s blog reports from #BBC14:

THANKS Fcindy and meOR THE MEMORIES!
Carol Dekkers

THE Beer Project – June 12-14, 2014 – featuring Arts, Authors, and Craft Beer!

St Petersburg was “hopping” this weekend (and many others) — for craft beer and the arts!

the beer projectIf you missed it, you should have joined us for THE BEER PROJECT – a joint venture of the Museum of Fine Arts (St Petersburg) and local craft breweries (9 of them are involved!) and beer related authors…here’s the scoop:

THE BEER PROJECT kicked off Thurs night with a demo/tasting/mix-and-mingle.  Over 100 people came by the museum for a happy hour tasting and crafting demonstration (who knew you could make a bird house for Father’s Day out of a beer can!) featuring Oregon author (Portland’s crafting marvel) Shawn Gascoyne-Bowman.  It was a great time!

 

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Shawn was also on-hand at the Public Tasting on Saturday (noon-3) and demonstrated how to make a fishing lure out of beer can aluminum!

AND, we had a FULL LINEUP of other events (and pictures!)

 

  • Friday, June 13, 2014, 7 – midnight Green Bench Brewing Release Party – FREE!

    Photo by Tony EscobalesWe met up at Green Bench Brewing Co. and tried new brews (small batch, limited release!) inspired by the Museum of Fine Arts’ 2014 special exhibitions and permanent collection.
    Influenced by the Museum’s Asian collection, the brewers at Green Bench Brewing Co. have crafted Double Rice IPA. Brewed with a base of rice and a Japanese hop called Sorachi Ace.
    As the Museum bids farewell to its New Mexico and the Arts of Enchantment exhibition, Green Bench Brewing Co. says goodbye with its Agave Green Chili Blonde Ale which is brewed with Lime Peel called Rubia Caliente.

    No cover charge for the Release Party. Open to the Public.

    Plus! Gerard Walen, author of Florida Breweries, was on hand for a book-signing from 7 – 9p.m.

  • Saturday, June 14, 2014, Noon – 3p.m. Public Tasting, Demonstrations & Awards @ The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg – Tickets were $35 (includes museum entrance)

    Shawn Bowman Fishing LuresThis was a great afternoon of taste home-brewed (unavailable publicly) recipes where participants could vote for their favorite. This unique experience includes home-brewing demonstration by Avid Brewing and a crafting demonstration by Portland’s Shawn Bowman. Just in time for Father’s Day, Shawn showed us how to take dad’s favorite beer can and turn it into usable fishing lures.
    Gerard Walen, author of Florida Breweries, was also present for a book-signing from 2 – 3p.m. at the MFA.

  • TICKET includes tasting, souvenir glass, home-brew demonstration, craft demonstration (make a fishing lure for Father’s Day!) and galleries.

 

  • Saturday, June 14, 2014, 4 – 9p.m. Arts & Crafts Trail / 2nd Saturday Art Walk – FREE!

Download a map of the Arts Districts and participating galleries.
Note: The June Artwalk Trolley will begin at 4p.m. (one hour earlier than usual) with one (1) additional 4p.m. boarding location at the MFA.

A pairing like no other. Art and craft beer converged in a tour through the arts districts. You could stop off at the following locations:     ARTicles Art Gallery & Custom Framing, Craftsmen House Gallery, Duncan McClellan Gallery, Florida Craftsmen, Morean Arts Center, Train Station Center for Clay and Zen Glass Studio.

…and enjoy complimentary tastings from local brewing companies:  3 Daughters Brewing, Barley Mow Brewing, Big Storm Brewing, Cycle Brewing, Green Bench Brewing, Seventh Sun Brewing and St. Pete Brewing.

At each gallery, you could pick up a complimentary scavenger “ticket” to enter a drawing for prizes at 3 Daughters Brewing. Tastings were first-come, first-served while supplies lasted.

Awards for the People’s Choice Home Brew and the winners of the Arts & Crafts Scavenger Trail at 7:30p.m. “Scavenger Tickets” dropped off to 3 Daughters Brewing by 7:15p.m. were eligible for beer related prizes.

What a great weekend for Art, Craft Beer, and Authors!

Watch for more events pairing beer, museums, art and authors.  Drink local, live local, love St Petersburg!

-Carol

The Health Benefits of Beer – Let’s Drink to your Health Florida!

There’s no question that anything used in excess or irresponsibly such as coffee, alcohol, pills, or even grapefruit juice (contraindicated with particular prescriptions) — or even sunshine (!) – can be deadly.  Irresponsible use (abuse) is never a good idea, no matter what.

BUT, there are proven health benefits to some of controlled substances such as those going through various legislatures (such as the medical marijuana) and to freely available products such as BEER.  And it doesn’t have to be a Craft Brew either… (even though I’d profess that a craft beer drinking experience involves more tasting and savoring that ever does with mass-produced volume beers.  But that’s a matter of opinion.)

health benefits

Perhaps some of the states with Aging Populations and Health Problems, such as FLORIDA, might want to consider encouraging moderate beer consumption as a holistic way to health? (Seriously!)

Here’s a sampling of recent media releases (there are MANY more) about the Health Benefits related to Beer.

NOTE: I have not researched the medical validity of said claims or whether the studies are funded by alcohol distributors – maybe one of my readers knows?)

10 surprising health benefits of beerhttp://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/10-surprising-health-benefits-beer

health benefits2http://www.care2.com/causes/6-health-benefits-of-drinking-beer.html

health benefits3http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/03/16/surprising-health-benefits-beer/

health benefits4http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/0315/tap-into-beers-health-benefits.aspx

If we have legalizing medical mary jane on the slate for health benefits, why wouldn’t we be encouraging the responsible (read: MODERATION!) consumption of readily available, and now tastier than ever, CRAFT BEER?

It’s cheaper than many prescription drugs, has less side effects with moderate consumption (I’ve never heard of someone dying by negligently mixing two different craft beers in an evening!) and IS LEGAL.

Perhaps craft beer could be a low-cost, tasty, and healthy way to improve the lives of our overall population and improve longevity.  I’d like to say it would also improve the overall mood of many (seniors and others) on a given Florida day, but I also know  people with horrible “alcohol” personalities who would negate this statement.

For everyone else, perhaps drinking a beer a day could be a diet change – with long term benefits that truly makes sense!

To your safe imbibing!

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