Craft beer adventures and experiences… one pint at a time

Posts tagged ‘Stout’

Halfway There Delivered and then Some…

The first organized event since Tampa Bay Beer Week (TBBW) formally incorporated as a not-for-profit was held September 7, 2013 at the Cuban Club in Ybor City:  Halfway There – A Rare Beer Festival.  Over 500 attendees tasted and over 40 breweries, homebrew clubs, distributors and others poured tastings of truly rare beer:  beers that were “one-off” kegs (specially brewed for the event), brews unavailable in Florida, and award-winning home-brew club offerings.  Taps turned on for VIPs promptly at 5pm, with wind down/last pour at 9pm.  In between the beer and conversations flowed, and new friendships were formed over what I call “liquid art.”

Here’s a gallery of photos from the event: (Photos credit Tom Scherberger)

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And… if the initial feedback and social media postings are any indication, we (the TBBW board) hit the ball out of the park. With brews and brewer tents spread throughout the indoor cantina area and the outdoor patio, festival goers could easily mingle and mix with the brewers themselves and heartily sampled brews that will never come together in the same place again, including specialty collaboration beers between brewers at the event.  From stouts to porters to Berliner Weiss’s to IPAs to strong ales – the Halfway There (halfway to Tampa Bay Beer week in March 2014!) – catered to every palate and a myriad of beer styles.

With an upswing of 15+ production breweries in the Tampa Bay area alone with several poised to come on stream in the coming weeks, Tampa Bay is quickly becoming a craft beer destination to be reckoned with, and the variety of offerings is impressive.  When you take a look at the awards amassed by the veterans (Tampa Bay Brewing Company, Dunedin Brewing, and others) along with the newcomers (Rapp Brewing, Barley Mow Brewing Co., St. Somewhere and others) – it is not hard to see why Tampa Bay is emerging as a craft brewing leader in Florida.

With this inaugural event, Halfway There proved that the TBBW board can bring great festivals and new events to the Tampa Bay area, and if you listen to festival attendees, they are ready to drink up more of the same.  If you missed this one, stick around and watch for more of TBBW offerings in the months ahead, culminating in the week long Tampa Bay Beer Week March 1-9, 2014.

p.s., After posting this original post,  the Halfway There Rare Beer Festival was voted the Best Inaugural Beer Fest by Tampa Bay’s Creative Loafing press and Tampa Bay Beer Week 2013 was voted the Best Beer Geek Invasion.

p.p.s. Carol Dekkers is a director on the Tampa Bay Beer Week board of Directors and the Chapter Chair of the new Barley’s Angels chapter:  Tampa Bay Growler Girls (see Facebook.)  Imbibe safely!

 

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Beer 4 Women…

Today was Spirit Day:

On Spirit Day wear purple in remembrance. On October 20th, 2010,we will wear purple in honor of the several young adults who committed suicide in recent weeks/months/years due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools.

I am staunchly opposed to bullying of any form and so I wore purple when I went out for lunch today… but the only purple t-shirt I had to wear was one from The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Houston emblazoned with a tactful: Beer4Women.

Talk about stares of disdain and disgust from patrons of a local Panera Bread! I knew from experience at Brewpubs that a lot of people don’t understand that women can appreciate good craft beer, but I wasn’t ready for the looks of disapproval from passersby – it made me wish that I had a beer in my hands at 2 o’clock this afternoon!!!

Then I read a posting referenced on the Beer Bloggers Unite website today on Rabid about Beer’s Blog:  Girlie Beer Anyone? And in reading the responses to the blog posting about women liking fruit infused beer (some by women) – I realized just how judgmental everyone in the world is today!  And that includes opinions about craft beer and women (as expressed by – women!)  While I have no issue with women defending their pride about drinking stout and porters and other hearty brews, what’s the problem if some of us also imbibe on the sweeter side?

What happened in the last several years? – I simply do not recall such polarization and opinionated comments when I started drinking beer.  And, hey, I’m female and I absolutely love a good IPA (such as Harpoon, Drifter and others) at the best of times.  But, if it makes me a wuss or some sort of stereotyped “candy ass” to admit that I also enjoy fruit and flavored beers, so be it.  I’ve been called worse by better!

There is a variety of flavors and styles of craft beers that involve fruit or other flavors ranging from syrups (yuck!) to other infusions.  My personal “fruit beer” tastes run the gamut from Sam Adams‘ Cherry Wheat and Sam Adams’ Blackberry Witbier to Magic Hat #9 (not quite pale ale), Pyramid Brewery‘s Apricot Ale, Dunedin Brewery’s Apricot Peach Ale, and Hurricane Reef’s Raspberry Wheat Ale.

But there are also fruit beers that I do NOT like:  (does this change the judgment?) — I have to cut a Leinenkugel Berry Weiss at least 1/2 and 1/2 with a lager because otherwise it’s just too syrupy sweet.  I also don’t fancy a few of the offbeat varieties such as Kona Brewing’s Wailua Wheat Ale brewed with passion fruit (it just didn’t taste like beer at all and I thought I pulled out a mislabeled Seagrams Wine Cooler by mistake from the cooler!)   And, I can only stomach one 375 ml of Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic on a hot summer day!

What I do like is a 1/2 pint of Lindeman’s Kriek Lambic topped with a 1/2   pint of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.  Or a Southern Tier Pumking or a Hoegarden pint anytime!

Quite frankly, as is said on one beer shirt I saw recently, beauty is in the eye of the “beer holder” – and I believe that in whatever direction your personal taste for beer lies, that’s okay as long as you and your beer are both consenting!  Just as in art or music or even cooking – variety is the spice of life!

Even if it means – dare I say it – Budweiser or – gasp – Miller Lite!

Have a great beer weekend!

-The unOfficial Beer Goddess.

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