Over the years, I’ve been to a lot of beer festivals. Many of them boast, “200+ beers from 85 breweries!” Those are the ones I now avoid.
To me, a beer festival is about two things:
- Sampling rare and one-off beers, and/or
- Reconnecting with and meeting new people in the beer world
That’s not very easy to do at the big drunkfest. I’ve kept track a few times, and the most beers I’ve been able to sample at a festival is in the upper 20s. I’d rather have 30 new beers at my fingertips than 200 that I’ve already tasted.
The upcoming Creative Loafing Spring Hops festival on April 19 in Ybor Square is right up my alley. It features 11 local breweries, each pouring two beers. 22 beers is definitely enough in a five-hour period, and it promises to provide a more intimate atmosphere than I’d get at the bigger fests.
There’s also an added bonus, pinup girls. You heard me.
As of this writing, there are 11 breweries signed up to pour:
- Big Storm Brewery
- Cigar City Brewing
- Cigar City Cider & Mead
- Coppertail Brewing Co.
- Dunedin Brewing
- Rock Brothers Brewing
- Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.
- Southern Brewing and Winemaking
- Tampa Bay Brew Bus
- Tampa Bay Brewing Co.
- Three Palms Brewing
The festival runs from 1 to 5 pm. Tickets are $25 each and include 12 tickets (each ticket is a 3 oz. pour). There is food for purchase and you can buy more sample tickets.
There are also VIP level tickets available for $50, which gets you in an hour early and includes 20 tickets. VIPs also have access to a Creative Loafing lounge with food and entertainment.
For current info, visit the event Facebook page. And if you go, hit up the Twitters at #CLSpringHops and say hi if you see me.