Browsing articles tagged with " beer festivals"
Apr 1, 2014
Freddie Kitson

New Archive Traces Oregon’s Brewing History from Farm to Keg

10119882414 aa11684748 m New Archive Traces Oregon’s Brewing History from Farm to KegWith more than 200 breweries operating in the state, beer is big business in Oregon. But the Beaver State’s relationship with beer starts before the brewing process and reaches into the very soil. In addition to its profusion of breweries, Oregon is the breadbasket of the world’s beer industry, supplying hops—the flavorful flower that gives beer its bitter bite—to brewers around the world. Now, Oregon State University (OSU) is making a place for the state’s storied history in the brewing world at the newly minted Oregon Hops Brewing Archive (OHBA).

“For an archivist, this is a fabulous opportunity to work with industry, as well as the social and cultural community, to document a statewide identity,” said Tiah Edmunson-Morton, the OSU archivist who has made it her mission to get the OHBA off the ground.

The university has a history as a home to decades of USDA-sponsoredresearch on hops—a notoriously temperamental crop that is susceptible to agricultural hazards like pests and bad weather, turning the school the—and the state—into a laboratory for new commercial strains of hops(including the Cascade hop, which remains one of the most commonly used craft beer ingredients to this day). The university also hosts a PhD program in Brewing Science, which combines traditional brewing with elements of chemistry and microbiology.

“The first hops were planted on OSU’s campus in the 1890s,” Edmunson-Morton said. “There’s lots of amazing history that was already part of our collection in the form of departmental research.”

The project is only nine-months-old. But it’s already attracting attention from contributors like Peter Kopp, an agricultural historian at the University of New Mexico (UNM) who is working on a scholarly history of America’s hops industry. Because the heart of that industry is the Pacific Northwest, which produces almost a third of the world’s hops, he spent years culling details on the history of hops farming from the archives of small town historical societies, and is excited to have a dedicated collection serving scholars in his field.

“The challenge for rural historians is that rural people didn’t tend to leave behind many records, so there’s this rich history going back to the 1850s, but you have to piece the info together,” said Kopp who has lent his assistance as a researcher to the OHBA and spoke at their recent launch party event on how the archive will be used by scholars, to Library Journal. “What we’re trying to do in the archive is put together the pieces of that story.”

For Edmunson-Morton’s part, her biggest job right now is getting the word out about the archive and getting brewers, hop farmers, and other stakeholders to buy in. An outreach archivist by training and temperament, she told Library Journal that that part of the gig suits her just fine. She’s travelled to breweries, farms, and beer festivals across the state, working her way into the community one handshake at a time. “We’re educating people on the importance of saving history,” Edmunson-Morton said. “Not just about having items they can donate, but thinking more holistically about the things they’re leaving behind.” She says she’s frequently asked whether she’s drinking on the job all the time in the course of that outreach; the answer is no.

While the archive is still in its infancy, Edmunson-Morton has already collected a wide variety of items detailing the history of hop farming and brewing in Oregon, from scientific data from the OSU/USDA hops collaborations to artwork celebrating local craft breweries like McMenamins, which owns and operates dozens of pubs, hotels, and concert venues throughout the Pacific Northwest.  She’s also working on longer term projects, like developing an easy workflow for people to be able to contribute their own photographs and other pieces of Oregon beer history to the archive online. While the OHBA is meant to be a resource for scholars interested in the technological and scientific developments that turned Oregon into a hops powerhouse, Edmunson-Morton is just as interested in recording the personal stories associated with the industry, which employs more than 29,000 Oregonians, according to the Oregon Brewing Guild. She’d especially love to see the OHBA become a repository for the stories of communities whose contributions to the industry may be under represented, such as women and immigrant laborers.

Recommended Reading

Apr 1, 2014
Freddie Kitson

What to Expect from 2014′s Big Texas Beer Festival, Including Rare Local Beers

BigTexasBeerFest2013MikeBrooks.jpgMike BrooksScenes from Big Texas Beer Fest 2013 to be recreated this weekend. It’s springtime, and there’s so much to look forward to. Pictures in the bluebonnets, more wind and transitioning from sweat pants to yoga pants. Spring is also the time to try new beers. Because, new beers.

This weekend is the third annual Big Texas Beer Fest at the Fair Park Automobile Building, with around 400 beers from over 100 breweries. The final master beer list was just released yesterday.

The Big Texas Beer Festival won the Observers‘ Best of award last year for beer festivals because of its affordability, location and wide selection of beers, including many special releases. As in previous years, organizers aim to pull in local beer under a big enormous umbrella that encompasses beers from around the world.

This Saturday the showroom floor will be broken out by geography, with Texas as bookends. As you work your way along the main highway at the Fair Park Auto Building, you’ll start with Texas, then hit breweries from around America, then the International contingent and finally Texas again.

As is usually the case, special releases and sneak peeks from local breweries are worth the wait in sometimes long lines. Lakewood Brewing Company will have a wine barrel-aged reserve of Brabo’s Cut, along with Rock Ryder with fresh lemon and ginger. Rahr Sons will have Snowmageddon with cocoa nibs. Peticolas will have their award-winning Golden Opportunity and Velvet Hammer that have been cask dry hopped with Cascade.

The new Rabbit Hole Brewing will have Rapture Randalled with rum-soaked coffee beans. Armadillo Ale Works will have their new-ish Brunch Money, if you haven’t tried it yet. Franconia will have a limited amount of their McKinney Champagne and brand new Tripple Dunkel (it’s not even out yet).

The food and music pavilion with have 10 food trucks and live music from The Beef, Grand Ramble and Bravo Max. At 5 p.m. there will be a toast to Belgian Beer Day, which will be simulcast live in the Grote Market in Antwerp, Belgium.

Tickets are $35 for general admission, which gets you a sampling card for 12 two-ounce samples (VIP tickets are already sold out). Additional cards are available for just $2 (12 more two-ounce samples). The festivities start at 2 p.m. and last until 6:30 p.m.

And we can’t forget about the public transport available to and fro. A DART rail station is conveniently located just outside the building and only cost $4.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Fair Park

1300 Robert B. Cullum, Dallas, TX

Category: General

Recommended Reading

Mar 31, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Newburyport Brewing Company Among Country’s Fastest Growing Breweries

Eclipses 5000 Barrels in First Year

NEWBURYPORT, MA — (Marketwired) — 03/31/14 — The Newburyport Brewing Company®, Massachusetts’ own all-can and keg craft brewery, today announced that it has produced more than 5000 barrels of craft beer in its first year in business making it one of the fastest growing breweries in the country. The brewery has initally focused its sales of their flagship brews, Newburyport Pale Ale, Plum Island Belgian White, and Green Head IPA, solely in Massachusetts and credits a strong statewide following for its success. The brewery’s strong distribution and marketing partnership with the Massachusetts Beverage Alliance has helped fuel this rapid growth as well as participating in and sponsoring beer festivals, tastings, and charity events.

“We thank our local craft beer-loving consumers and bar owners, restaurants, retail owners, and musicians in Boston and throughout the region for making us one of the handful of breweries since Prohibition to achieve the 5000 barrel mark in our first year of production,” said Chris Webb, co-founder and CEO. “We will continue to produce fresh, high quality craft beers that our loyal customers expect.”

Visitors to the brewery’s tasting room can sample beers, take a tour, enjoy a pint and purchase cans and growlers to go. The brewery hosts live music and comedy nights featuring local talent in the tasting room on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturday evenings.

2013 was a big year for Newburyport Brewing Company. Highlights include:

  • Shipped first batch of beer on April 1, 2013
  • Opened 1,000 square foot tasting room on June 29, 2013
  • Chosen by Boston Globe as one of 10 Most Notable New(ish) Breweries in New England on August 2, 2013
  • Announced “1635 Series” limited release beers on August 19, 2013
  • Secured more than 200 draft accounts and 500 retail accounts in Massachusetts
  • Employed 7 full time and 4 part time employees

About the Newburyport Brewing Company
The Newburyport Brewing Company is dedicated to producing the freshest, high quality, all natural craft beers. Founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs and musicians Chris Webb and Bill Fisher, the Company is Massachusetts’ own exclusive keg and can craft brewery. Newburyport Brewing Company uses premium quality natural ingredients in its Newburyport Pale Ale™, Plum Island Belgian White™, Green Head IPA®, Joppa Stout™, and 1635 Series™ beers. Visit us on the Web at http://www.nbptbrewing.com, on Facebook at /NewburyportBrewingCo or follow us @NBPTbrewing.

Add to Digg Bookmark with del.icio.us Add to Newsvine

Lisa Allocca
Red Javelin Communications
1-978-470-2227
Email Contact

Recommended Reading

Mar 31, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Why are Big Beer and Craft Cuddling Up in SA? – just

Craft brewers and big beer firms may be on opposite sides of the trenches in the US, but the situation appears to be a little different in South Africa.

In the US, small producers have drawn a line between themselves and the likes of MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev, as competition heats-up over the still-mushrooming craft sector. Only this month, in an exclusive interview with just-drinks, Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman was bemoaning the lack of transparency from large producers over the labelling of their beers.

But, according to SABMiller, things are much cosier in South Africa: This, despite the country also seeing a craft beer revolution. During a seminar in Central London today (31 March), Norman Adami, chairman of SABMiller Beverages South Africa, shed light on the situation. “It’s a little-known fact that we provide a lot of assistance to many craft brewers in South Africa, either by way of technology or the science around brewing and raw materials, where they may not have access to them,” he said.

SABMiller also sponsors craft beer festivals in the country. The company has its own beers on show at such events, along with smaller brewers.

“It stimulates the (South African) beer category overall”, said Adami, in explaining the reason for the company’s approach.

It may not be all happy families but, on the surface, things appear more placid than in the keenly-fought US market. 

In the US, craft brewers have been known to collaborate. But, mixing with the big boys, I suspect, is frowned upon. Ed McBrien of MillerCoors, SABMiller’s JV with Molson Coors, has told just-drinks that he finds the sniping from craft brewers unhelpful for the sector. Although, the situation isn’t that bad. Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing Co are allowed into the Great American Beer Festival, organised by craft brewer trade group the Brewers Association.

The clue to the cosiness in South Africa could be down to the size of the market. In the US, craft brewers now lay claim to 8% of the beer sector by volume and are aiming for 20% by 2020.

Meanwhile in South Africa, despite the rapid rise of the segment, craft is still “less than quarter of a percentage point” of the overall beer landscape. Mainstream lagers still dominate.

“That doesn’t mean that an acorn won’t grow into an oak tree (with craft beer),” noted Adami. “But, we’re watching that.”

Recommended Reading

Mar 31, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Things To Do In London This Weekend: 5-6 April 2014

Frock Me at Chelsea Town Hall, details below.

Frock Me at Chelsea Town Hall, details below.

All weekend

OLYMPIC PARK: Home to sporting history in 2012, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park finally reopens fully this weekend for visitors to explore the famous sporting venues, public artworks, play areas, nature trails and 560 acres of beautiful parkland. Free, just turn up (although be warned it is likely to be busy)

YOUNG THEATRE: With 100 books under her belt, author Jacqueline Wilson is a giant in the children’s fiction world (she’s great, although we may especially love her for telling a young Londonista that she liked her coat back in the 90s). Her tale Hetty Feather is now being brought to the stage at Rose Theatre Kingston before touring nationally. £5-£23.50, prebook, until 19 April

CAFFEINE: Yes, get your caffeine kicks at the London Coffee Festival 2014. Brick Lane’s Old Truman Brewery hosts the event with over 250 coffee and food stalls to choose from. Tickets from £11.50 a session, prebook, until 13 April

BEER: If you prefer a pint to a Puerto Rican single-origin flat white (we think that probably exists…) then our round up of beer festivals this month should tickle your fancy. There are three this weekend to choose from.

ANGELA LANSBURY: ‘Nuff said. Not only is she performing in Blithe Spirit in the West End at the moment, she also has a Poplar-based film festival in her honour this weekend. Two words: Bedknobs. Broomsticks. £7+bf per screening (although Bed and Broomsticks is free), prebook

LONDON WALKS: If you want to keep on your toes this weekend, Footprints of London is offering 12 different guided walks — with themes ranging from London alleyways to Civil War connections around Cheapside. See website for full details

KEATS: Keats House is home to a couple of lovely events this weekend — first up is Keats in London walk, following the local haunts of the ‘Cockney poet’ (£8/£6, prebook, 11am-1.15pm), then it’s time for an afternoon poetry reading focusing on how the poet linked love and death (free with admission to the house, just turn up, 3-4pm)

OPERATIC CABARET: Carmen gets a rather chatty makeover at St James Studio this weekend, as host Tony LaScala meets Bizet’s temptress and questions her, talk show style, on her explosive love life. Part of the Opera Naked series. £22.50/£18.50, prebook, 8pm (Sat) and 3pm (Sun)

MARKETS: We’ve created a round up of shopping and market events for shop, browse and bargain-a-holics to enjoy this month

ART: We’ve created an April round up of London art openings too

THEATRE: And yet another for theatre openings in April. God we’re good to you

Saturday 5 April

OUTLET FEST: A range of music, live art and dance from local groups, plus a treasure hunt for little ones, takes place at London Designer Outlet‘s Spring Festival at Wembley Park. Free, just turn up, 10am-6.15pm

FIRST SATURDAYS: A free all-day-long event where you can enjoy food, drink, live music, vinyl delights, an archive film screening and creative textile technique lessons. This is First Saturdays on Vyner Street, taking place at LimeWharf in Hackney. Free, just turn up, 11am-11pm

GOLDEN HINDE II: Celebrate the 41st birthday of Sir Francis Drake’s reconstructed ship with stalls, games, music and performances on board the vessel, located on Cathedral Street by London Bridge. Free, just turn up, 11am-4pm

CHARITY BEER: Local craft beer brewer Hop Stuff, based on Woolwich Arsenal, opens to the public for its first charity fundraiser. 50p from every pint sold will go towards Help the Hospices. Free entry, just turn up, 11am-3pm

DRAGON BOATING: Try out this team sport and jump into a dragon boat for a paddle with Typhoon Dragon Boat Club, who host a free introductory event today at London Regatta Centre by Royal Albert DLR. Free, just turn up, 11am-2pm

OPTIMISM: Inner Space hosts a free talk in Shoreditch Town Hall on how to be a successful optimist. Feeling positive about it working? Then you probably don’t need to go. Free, prebook, 11.30am

FREE FITNESS: To celebrate the launch of Victor’s Lab, a new fitness studio in Peckham’s Bussey Building, free taster sessions, arts and refreshments are on offer all day. Free, just turn up, from midday

ART TALK: Listen to Prof Ben Highmore discussing Haim Steinbach‘s practice in the context of the rituals of everyday life, at the Serpentine Gallery. The talk is connected to the current exhibition of Haim Steinbach. Free, just turn up, 3pm

PILLOW FIGHT: Like making a mess and attacking random strangers with pillows? Sound Asleep are attempting to break the world record for the world’s largest pillow fight. If you’re interested in being part of the feathery proceedings then grab a (soft) pillow, head to Trafalgar Square, and don’t forget to bring a spare plastic bag to help with clearing up afterwards. Free, just turn up, 3pm

MUSIC TRIBUTE: The Hanwell Hootie one-day festival presents 30 bands playing across six venues in Hanwell, in tribute to the man behind Marshall Amps. Free, just turn up, 4pm-11pm

CHILDREN’S THEATRE: Starting in the front gardens of St John at Hackney Church today is a promenade performance by Hackney Children’s Theatre of The 127.5 Year Old Girl, a story about a young witch who can’t get her spells right. Suitable for audiences aged 6+. £4+bf, prebook, 4.30pm and 6.30pm

LA BOHEME: The Metropolitan Opera’s production of La Boheme gets broadcast live via satellite straight from New York into Barbican‘s cinema today. £35/£28, prebook, 5.55pm

DINNER DANCE: Food, drink and music combine as Dinner Dance celebrates the Disappearing Dining Club album launch in a yet-to-be-announced east London location. £56 (includes full dinner) /£21 (canapés and cocktails), prebook, 7pm-2am

SAKURA: Pop-up bar Candlelight Club celebrates the Japanese festival of cherry blossom (sakura) with a specially crafted dinner menu, live music and Japanese whisky. £20, prebook, 7pm-midnight

ORCHESTRA: Join Southgate Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Adrian Brown, in a memorial concert dedicated to Dr. Hans Engel — the Orchestra’s long-standing Chair and cellist. £12/£10, prebook, 7.30pm

CHOIR: Dulwich Choral Society presents a Best of British concert at St Barnabas Church in Dulwich Village, performing works by Elgar, Stanford Walton and Parry. £16/£8, prebook, 7.30pm

DRIVE-IN: You’ll need to be quick to nab tickets to tonight’s Drive In Film Club screening of Grease, at Alexandra Palace. Screenings continue until 11 April so if you can’t make tonight there are more opportunities to see films such as True Romance and Gravity. £22 per car (regardless of occupancy), prebook, 7.45pm

SENEGAL: To celebrate Senegal Independence Day, Rich Mix in Bethnal Green hosts an evening of West African music and dance. £10/£8, prebook, 8pm

Sunday 6 April

VINTAGE FAIR: Curated by award-winning vintage maestro Judy’s Vintage Fairs, this fair at York Hall in Bethnal Green offers fashion, furniture, crafts and antiques. £3/£2, just turn up, 10.30am-4.30pm

FROCK ME: Vintage dealers from around the UK and France come to Chelsea Town Hall to offer clothing, textiles and haberdashery. Plus a pop-up 1940s-style cafe. £4/£3, just turn up, 11am-5.30pm

KITES: Dick Van Dyke’s wishes for us all to go fly a kite are being met today on Streatham Common, at the 16th Streatham Common Kite Day. There’ll be aerial displays, kite suppliers, plus food and local community stalls. Free, just turn up, 11am-5pm 

PUPPET: Fashion and Textile Museum on Bermondsey Street offers a paper puppet workshop today, where visitors can take inspiration from the displays to colour their own creations. Free with exhibition ticket (£8.80/£6.60), just turn up, 11.30am and 1.30pm

SERPENTINE HOME: Join a Serpentine Galleries family day and help transform the gallery house into a home, with materials available to design and create objects and ‘furnishings’. Free, just turn up, midday-5pm

GOATS: Yes. Goats. Goats racing, in fact, at the Oxford-Cambridge Goat Race at Spitalfields Farm. If you’re a caprine lover then get yourself down there, no ifs, no butts. Sorry (not sorry). £10 (proceeds go to charity), just turn up, 1-5pm

SUSHI STRINGS: An interesting combination of events at London Jewish Cultural Centre: a (kosher) family sushi-making masterclass (£25/£20, prebook, 2pm) followed by a string quartet performance by Brodsky Quartet (£20, prebook, 3.30pm)

DANCE: Dance UK and the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora presents a twist on the traditional afternoon tea dance at the Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden. This fundraising event offers a Spanish-themed high tea, plus live dancing and an auction with dance-related prizes. £75, prebook, 2.30-5.30pm

TAOIST WALK: Join a philosophical walk around Regent’s Park and learn about the spirit of Taoism (religious tradition of Chinese origin) and stories from the Lieh-Tzu (one of its fundamental books), with Jean-Marc Pierson. Free, just turn up (meet by Regent’s Park Garden Cafe), 2.30-4.30pm

SCRIPTS: Budding writers are welcomed to Rich Mix’s ScriptReadEast, a live script-reading event to support writers by showcasing their work with professional actors and a live audience. £5/£3.50, prebook, 3-6pm

FILM: Second Chance Cinema offers an opulent film screening experience at Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel, with gourmet food, cocktails and, oddly, chocolate cigarettes. Tonight’s film is Nebraska, starring Bruce Dern. £12-£29, prebook, 6pm

BUMPS IN THE NIGHT: Comedy, film and music on the theme of the supernatural, phobias and nightmares comes to the Lexington on Pentonville Road courtesy of Ghouls’ Night Out.  Fancy dress encouraged. £9/£7, prebook, 7pm

CHOIR 2: London’s largest amateur choir, Barts Choir (started by a group of nurses at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1965) performs Bach’s dramatic St John Passion at Cadogan Hall, with all proceeds going towards The Eve Appeal. £25/£19.50, prebook, 7.30pm

COMEDY: Damian Clarke and Henry Paker headline tonight’s Twice As Nice Comedy club at The Grove in Hammersmith. £5+bf, prebook, 8pm

Other good stuff

Catch up on all latest features, see what we like in theatre and arts and browse more things to do in London.

What have we missed? Let us know what’s going on this weekend, leave a comment or email tips@londonist.com.

For daily ideas of things to do in London subscribe to our emails.

Recommended Reading

Mar 31, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Why are Big Beer and Craft Cosying Up in SA? – just

Craft brewers and big beer firms may be on opposite sides of the trenches in the US, but the situation appears to be a little different in South Africa.

In the US, small producers have drawn a line between themselves and the likes of MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev, as competition heats-up over the still-mushrooming craft sector. Only this month, in an exclusive interview with just-drinks, Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman was bemoaning the lack of transparency from large producers over the labelling of their beers.

But, according to SABMiller, things are much cosier in South Africa: This, despite the country also seeing a craft beer revolution. During a seminar in Central London today (31 March), Norman Adami, chairman of SABMiller Beverages South Africa, shed light on the situation. “It’s a little-known fact that we provide a lot of assistance to many craft brewers in South Africa, either by way of technology or the science around brewing and raw materials, where they may not have access to them,” he said.

SABMiller also sponsors craft beer festivals in the country. The company has its own beers on show at such events, along with smaller brewers.

“It stimulates the (South African) beer category overall”, said Adami, in explaining the reason for the company’s approach.

It may not be all happy families but, on the surface, things appear more placid than in the keenly-fought US market. 

In the US, craft brewers have been known to collaborate. But, mixing with the big boys, I suspect, is frowned upon. Ed McBrien of MillerCoors, SABMiller’s JV with Molson Coors, has told just-drinks that he finds the sniping from craft brewers unhelpful for the sector. Although, the situation isn’t that bad. Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing Co are allowed into the Great American Beer Festival, organised by craft brewer trade group the Brewers Association.

The clue to the cosiness in South Africa could be down to the size of the market. In the US, craft brewers now lay claim to 8% of the beer sector by volume and are aiming for 20% by 2020.

Meanwhile in South Africa, despite the rapid rise of the segment, craft is still “less than quarter of a percentage point” of the overall beer landscape. Mainstream lagers still dominate.

“That doesn’t mean that an acorn won’t grow into an oak tree (with craft beer),” noted Adami. “But, we’re watching that.”

Recommended Reading

Mar 31, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Spring Beer Fling draws thousands to Curtis Hixon park

TAMPA — There wasn’t a sandbar in sight, but with the amount of beer flowing at the first Spring Beer Fling in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park on Sunday few party-goers at the throwback beach bash likely cared.


“Spring Beer Fling is kind of like the opposite of an Octoberfest, where we celebrate the spring beer releases instead of the fall, all with a surf-rock vibe for a really chill day,” said organizer Monica Varner, an event planner with Big City Events. “For our first fling I couldn’t be happier with the turnout.”


More than 2,500 pitched beach umbrellas and staked out spots for their beach mats on the Curtis Hixon lawn to sample seasonal beers and snack on items from a hand full of local food trucks. Hula-hoop contests and VIP retro-themed lounges kept the crowds dancing in the breeze, college students jumping off the park’s angled walls and several fully-dressed men posing in the water fountains that jet up from the sidewalk. The main attraction, however, were the six surf-rock bands: Surfer Blood, Beach Day, Pretty Girls, The Intoxicators, Florida Kilos/The Heavy Metals and the Johnny Zoom HiFi Show.


“The music is what really separates this from other beer festivals,” Varner said. “It’s just as much about the bands as it is about the beer.”


The music reminded Austin, Texas transplant Thoa Ho of the festivals she frequents around the University of Texas, she said, and provided the perfect soundtrack to her impressive run on a mechanical surfboard that caused many a daring dude to wipeout almost instantly.


“In Austin there are always so many events going on, so it’s exciting to see Tampa start to get really full calendars with events like this,” said Ho, a Tampa-based acupuncturist who is finishing her doctoral degree at the University of Texas. “It’s nice to go to a funky festival like this at home, and to practice the surfing skills I got at Florida International University.”


With an alcohol-fueled romp that didn’t end until the 10 p.m. “Lighted Beach Ball Drop Spectacular,” with thousands of LED-lighted beach balls raining over the Tampa skyline, organizers were also sure to keep Tampa Police nearby and bicycles and cabs readily available, Varner said.


“I’m pretty sure all of the rooms we booked across the street at the Howard Johnson are all sold out,” she said.


adawson@tampatrib.com


(727) 215-9851


Twitter: @adawsonTBO

Recommended Reading

Mar 31, 2014
Freddie Kitson

London Beer Festival Roundup: April 2014

Craft 100

British Summer Time is officially upon us, and the lighter and (hopefully) milder evenings encourage the sampling of nice beer in alfresco settings. It’s handy then that there are plenty of beer festivals in London in April that make good use of beer gardens or other outdoor spaces. Celebrate spring by visiting some of them (but take an umbrella just in case). As always, let us know in the comments if we’ve missed anything.

3-6 April: Craft 100 Beer Festival

The Clapham branch of Craft Beer Co states that its Craft 100 event, which kicks off this Thursday, will be “London’s biggest ever pub beer festival”. It’s an interesting claim, the veracity of which may depend on how exactly you decide to measure the size of such an thing. However, their intention to have 100 (cask and keg) beers available simultaneously might indeed be an unmatched feat for London pubs, and is made even more appealing by the promise of about one third of the beers being exclusive to (or launched at) this festival. There’s no entry fee, but you’ll have to buy a glass for £3 if you want to get involved. See the Craft 100 website for more details, including a full beer list.

3-6 April: Waltham Forest Sports Social Club 12th Real Ale Festival

If Craft 100 is not your scene (or your side of London), the Waltham Forest Sports Social Club’s 12th Real Ale Festival offers a smaller-scale option over the same dates. Focussing on beers from the West Country, the festival promises 20 real ales, ciders and perries, and live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. Admission is free for club or CAMRA members, or £2 for non-members (£4 after 7pm on Saturday).

4-6 April: Fullerians RFC Annual Beer Festival

Even more choice for drinking beer this weekend: if you’re in the Watford area between 6pm on Friday and 6pm on Sunday you might want to check out the Fullerians RFC Annual Beer Festival. The published beer list features 20 real ales and 10 ciders, and includes an interesting balance of familiar pub stalwarts (mostly from Wells and Young’s) and some less common ales from smaller regional brewers. Classic beer-soaking food will be available, including piggy excellence from GBBF favourites the Crusty Pie Company. Music will be provided by several live bands, and Sunday will feature various inflatable family-friendly attractions.

11-12 April: Hook Beer Festival

A scout hut on the southern side of Surbiton is host to the annual Hook Beer Festival, a CAMRA-supported event promising a few dozen real ales and a good handful of ciders. A £5 ticket, available online (or at a couple of local pubs), gets you entry to one of three sessions, a pint glass and a programme. More details are available on the festival’s website.

18-21 April: The Fox 2014 Easter Beer Festival

Details are sparse on this one, but the Fox in Hanwell will host their annual Easter Beer Festival over the Easter bank holiday weekend, offering “good food, live music and plenty of beer”. The pub is a CAMRA favourite, so expect a good range of real ales.

18-21 April: The Sultan Easter Beer Festival

London’s only pub owned by the Hop Back brewery also hosts a beer festival over the Easter bank holiday weekend. Hidden away on a South Wimbledon backstreet, the Sultan is worth seeking out, and their Easter Beer Festival promises 20 different beers, an outside barbecue and live music.

Also…

They’re not really beer festivals in the traditional sense (despite their marketing), but pub chains JD Wetherspoon and Nicholsons are both promoting their own beer events, whereby some of their pubs stock ranges of beer that fit a certain ‘theme’. The theme for JD Wetherspoons (until 13 April) is ‘international real ale’ (PDF); for Nicholsons it is, predictably, ‘spring beer’ (until 19 April). Consult their websites to find a participating pub.

If you’re a lover of beer or pubs, why not buy the Londonist book of London pub crawls for less than the price of a pint.

Recommended Reading

Mar 30, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Battle of the Brews finds success with two-stage format

Beer festivals can feel like open-air carnivals — held at outdoor fairgrounds, they feature thousands of attendees, live bands, food booths and long tasting lines.

Santa Rosa’s Battle of the Brews, which drew a record 2,275 people to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Saturday, has been trying to grow in recent years by standing against tradition, giving attendees a chance to pay more to hobnob with the beermakers and owners from dozens of world-class breweries.

Now in its 18th year, the event has become a favorite of beer drinkers who take their hobby as seriously as wine tasters.

“It’s easy to get lost in some of the bigger events,” said Ryan Fabian, 35, of Santa Rosa who came with his wife, Laura. “The VIP experience is important if you’re into beer, which most of the people here are.”

The event, which is sponsored by the Active 20-30 Club No. 50, and raises money for charities that help underprivileged youth in the Santa Rosa area, is split up into two parts, with the smaller, high-ticket VIP Craft Cup, held from 1 to 4 p.m, drawing twice as many attendees as last year.

“We want to move in this direction, to the smaller, more intimate setting,” said Brian Sosnowchik, co-chairman of the event. “I am thrilled beyond words with the turnout that we got this year.”

More than 600 people paid $95 for a ticket to taste beers and talk with brewers as certified experts judged entries from about 50 craft breweries and cider makers. There was also the ‘Wich Hunt sandwich contest with restaurants from all over Sonoma competing.

Heretic Brewing Co. of Fairfield won Best in Show for its Shallow Grave porter, while Fall River Brewing Co. won a vote of the VIP attendees. Greg Rasmussen won a competition for the best home-brewed beer.

The Main Event, which cost $40 a ticket, ran from 4 to 8 p.m. and featured beer and cider tasting, samples from local restaurants and the cover band Cover Me Badd.

The VIP event drew praise from the craft-brew fans who attended.

“I’ve been coming here every year since about 2009,” said Danielle Noble, 37, of Santa Rosa. “I think they are totally going in the right direction.”

Noble said she was especially excited about the double IPA unveiled this year at the event by Santa Rosa’s Fogbelt Brewery.

“When I heard about that, I knew I had to be here,” she said.

University of Washington grad student Rachel Anderson, 26, who grew up in Windsor, said she made a special trip from Seattle to be at the event.

“It’s great exposure for local breweries,” she said. “They’ve gotten really well organized. It’s not too crowded or too crazy like other events.”

It’s exactly what co-sponsor Peter Bjorklund wanted to hear.

“Beer drinkers are into beer just like wine drinkers are into wine,” he said. “The elite event gives them the opportunity to talk to other beer lovers and to taste and compare notes.”

Alicia and Ben Wolf made their first trip to the event, bringing a friend, John Strostaroba, with them this year — and Alicia’s father, Jim Krause.

“I brought my 72-year-old father here,” said Alicia Wolf, 37 of Santa Rosa. “My mom is home baby-sitting my 3-year-old so we can come here and drink beer.”

You can reach Staff Writer Elizabeth M. Cosin at 521-5276 or elizabeth.cosin@pressdemocrat.com.

Recommended Reading

Mar 30, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Battle of the Brews finds success with two-stage format

Beer festivals can feel like open-air carnivals — held at outdoor fairgrounds, they feature thousands of attendees, live bands, food booths and long tasting lines.

Santa Rosa’s Battle of the Brews, which drew a record 2,275 people to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Saturday, has been trying to grow in recent years by standing against tradition, giving attendees a chance to pay more to hobnob with the beermakers and owners from dozens of world-class breweries.

Now in its 18th year, the event has become a favorite of beer drinkers who take their hobby as seriously as wine tasters.

“It’s easy to get lost in some of the bigger events,” said Ryan Fabian, 35, of Santa Rosa who came with his wife, Laura. “The VIP experience is important if you’re into beer, which most of the people here are.”

The event, which is sponsored by the Active 20-30 Club No. 50, and raises money for charities that help underprivileged youth in the Santa Rosa area, is split up into two parts, with the smaller, high-ticket VIP Craft Cup, held from 1 to 4 p.m, drawing twice as many attendees as last year.

“We want to move in this direction, to the smaller, more intimate setting,” said Brian Sosnowchik, co-chairman of the event. “I am thrilled beyond words with the turnout that we got this year.”

More than 600 people paid $95 for a ticket to taste beers and talk with brewers as certified experts judged entries from about 50 craft breweries and cider makers. There was also the ‘Wich Hunt sandwich contest with restaurants from all over Sonoma competing.

Heretic Brewing Co. of Fairfield won Best in Show for its Shallow Grave porter, while Fall River Brewing Co. won a vote of the VIP attendees. Greg Rasmussen won a competition for the best home-brewed beer.

The Main Event, which cost $40 a ticket, ran from 4 to 8 p.m. and featured beer and cider tasting, samples from local restaurants and the cover band Cover Me Badd.

The VIP event drew praise from the craft-brew fans who attended.

“I’ve been coming here every year since about 2009,” said Danielle Noble, 37, of Santa Rosa. “I think they are totally going in the right direction.”

Noble said she was especially excited about the double IPA unveiled this year at the event by Santa Rosa’s Fogbelt Brewery.

“When I heard about that, I knew I had to be here,” she said.

University of Washington grad student Rachel Anderson, 26, who grew up in Windsor, said she made a special trip from Seattle to be at the event.

“It’s great exposure for local breweries,” she said. “They’ve gotten really well organized. It’s not too crowded or too crazy like other events.”

It’s exactly what co-sponsor Peter Bjorklund wanted to hear.

“Beer drinkers are into beer just like wine drinkers are into wine,” he said. “The elite event gives them the opportunity to talk to other beer lovers and to taste and compare notes.”

Alicia and Ben Wolf made their first trip to the event, bringing a friend, John Strostaroba, with them this year — and Alicia’s father, Jim Krause.

“I brought my 72-year-old father here,” said Alicia Wolf, 37 of Santa Rosa. “My mom is home baby-sitting my 3-year-old so we can come here and drink beer.”

You can reach Staff Writer Elizabeth M. Cosin at 521-5276 or elizabeth.cosin@pressdemocrat.com.

Recommended Reading

About - Contact - Privacy - Terms of Service