Thursday, September 4, 2014

Beer up for fall

The most hop-pening festivals to score craft brews at this season.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM

click to enlarge BREWED AWAKENING: Don't miss these fall brew fests. - TAMPA BAY BEER WEEK VIA FACEBOOK
  • Tampa Bay Beer Week via Facebook
  • BREWED AWAKENING: Don't miss these fall brew fests.

Cerveza, bier, turn-up juice — whatever you call your craft beer, fall's bringing a lineup of festivals overflowing with the stuff. While some of the fests feature locally loved breweries and beer-makers, others allow drinkers to experience suds crafted outside the region.

HALFWAY THERE: A RARE BEER FESTIVAL

Happening: Saturday

Celebrate the countdown to Tampa Bay Beer Week in March through this mid-year festival that will showcase one-offs and rarities to beer enthusiasts. Hosted at St. Petersburg's Coliseum, Halfway There functions as a fundraiser for Tampa Bay Beer Week, offering suds from six distributors, eight home-brew clubs in the area and more than 55 breweries. Tickets are limited, but VIP ($75) and general admission ($50) ticket purchases include a commemorative tasting glass and unlimited brew samples. VIP guests will receive a 2015 Tampa Bay Beer Week T-shirt and early entry into the event at 5 p.m. The Wholetones will supply live tunes throughout the event, while Renny’s Oki Doki, The Cheesesteak Truck and Holy Hog will serve up food truck grub. 6-9 p.m. 535 Fourth Ave. N., St. Petersburg, 727-892-5202.

LOCAL FRESH BREW FEST

Happening: Saturday, Sept. 13

The Ale and the Witch will host this local-brews-only beer festival at Local 662. Guests will taste more than 70 beers from 7venth Sun Brewing, Saint Somewhere Brewing Co., Cigar City Brewing, Cycle Brewing, the Tampa Bay Brew Bus and 14 other breweries around the region. Three collaborative cask tappings will happen at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., too. Fortunato's Italian Market will provide eats to accompany the sipping, and The Applebutter Express will hit the stage at 5 to perform. The Witch is selling 180 tickets to the beer fest. Each $45 ticket, which may be purchased through Ticketmaster or Daddy Kool Records, comes with a souvenir Tampa Bay Beer Week tasting glass. 4-8 p.m. 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-258-4829.

3RD ANNUAL ESF SEPTEMBEERFEST

Happening: Saturday, Sept. 27

Six local home-brew clubs, including Brandon Bootleggers, Special Hoperations and Suncoast Barley Mashers Guild, will offer 24 beers for tasting in Southern Brewing & Winemaking's biergarten. After guests sample the brews, they'll be able to vote for their favorites. Complimentary food and drinks, raffles for prizes and kid-friendly games will also be featured. All the proceeds from the beer fest, now in its third year, will benefit the Epilepsy Services Foundation. For adults, tickets cost $25 in advance, and $30 at the door. Children ages 15 and under get in for $5. 5-8 p.m. 4500 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, 813-238-7800.

14TH ANNUAL OKTOBEERFEST

Happening: Thursday, Oct. 2, to Sunday, Oct. 5

The yearly Oktobeerfest organized by Dunedin Brewery revolves around seasonal suds, live music and tasty German fare. With free admission and more details to come, the four-day event kicks off with the release of the brewery's 1-liter steins at 7 p.m. Thursday. There will be 1,000 steins for sale. Kool Keith, Jimkata, Ghost Owl, Currentz, Galbraith Group and more will play sets throughout the weekend alongside events like a Porsche show. Start times vary each day. 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin, 727-736-0606.

9TH ANNUAL FALL CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL

Happening: Saturday, Nov. 1

Ranging from American to European and locally brewed to home crafted, more than 200 brews will be offered at Cajun Café on the Bayou's fall beer festival. Guests will enjoy a Cajun plate from the restaurant as well as other food offerings. Advanced tickets are on sale online at Etix.com for $55. There are 600 tickets available, and after Oct. 24, beer geeks will have to pay $70 at the door. Designated drivers may attend for $15. The beer fest is a fundraiser for the Dunedin Doggie Rescue. 2-6 p.m. 8101 Park Blvd. N., Pinellas Park, 727-546-6732.

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