Wakestock Marks Year of Love, Peace With Beer

Leap into February’s Miami Craft Beer Events

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Oh, sorry, just talking Shakespeare to my beer again.

It’s February already, a time to awaken our passions and re-prioritize the loves in our lives: IPAs, double IPAs, stouts, berlinner weisses, etc.

Luckily, Miami craft beer fans have many reasons to fall in love with all of the tasty brew events happening this month. Let’s leap into it:

Feb 4., 6 p.m. – Wynwood Beer Garden’s Super Nintendo Tournament @ Cafeina

Go back to a simpler time where parents were concerned with the amount of violence in video games by reliving the mother-of-all games with gratuitous violence, Mortal Kombat. The Cerveceria 23 event at Cafeina in Wynwood guarantees select $5 (European) craft beers and $2 BBQ bites. Just don’t be a sore loser and throw a beer at the T.V., the ultimate party FATALITY!

Feb 6, 4 p.m. – Beer Class with Sam Adams’ Jim Koch Live Stream @ Total Wine

For only $10, you can join in on a beer class that will not only shed a little light on one the most famous and lucrative craft breweries, Boston Beer Company, but also give you a chance to taste some of the newest Sam Adams incarnations including: Nitro IPA, Nitro Coffee Stout, and a Nitro White Ale. Tickets are sold out except for the Miami Beach Total Wine location, so act fast!

Feb 12, 9 p.m. – Sud Swap’s Valentine Edition @ MIA Brewing

True lovers of craft beer and cassettes will come together to share and trade their finds at the monthly Sud Swap, presented by Miami Beer Tour and this time hosted at M.I.A. Brewing.

If you’re new to the scene and not sure what this is about, now’s the perfect time to come be a (bar)fly on the wall as there’s no cover this time around. Local beer lovers will come together to share or trade their aged brews; hard-to-find beers, or beers they’ve purchased out of state.

The music-loving brewheads will also have OMEGA 101 FM playing only the finest vinyl or cassette tapes acquirable, with the band Life Turns to follow.

Feb 13, 12 p.m. – Wakestock @ gastroPod Miami and J.W.B. Taproom

Fresh off an impressive, three-category win at the RateBeer awards, J. Wakefield Brewing has much to celebrate at their 1 year Anniversary event, Wakestock.

The “Best New Brewery in Florida” will be hosting a bevy of Florida breweries including selections from Barrel of Monks and 7th Sun Brewing, but what has Miami craft beer fans pulling a spit take is the inclusion of several breweries like Lost Abbey and 3 Floyds which are nearly impossible to find casually on draft.

Given that pours are $5 per 6 ounces, your valentine budget may want you to skip Jared’s this year, or at least tell your sweetie every kiss begins with J…(W.B.) Given that it’s literally the best brewery in Florida (according to RateBeer Awards given) she might be down with that.

February 14th – Sourtimes Day @ World of Beer Midtown

While many valentines lovers will be sharing their chocolate stouts and floral IPAs, World of Beer Midtown truly knows the flavor profile of Valentines Day: sour.

The WOB team promises a day of 5 selections of the sour or chocolate variety, which could include anything from berliner weisses, lambics, saisons…. all of the beers that give you a face only tasting something sour, or watching a couple make out, can accomplish.

Feb 18, 6 – 10 p.m., Buck’s Beer Garden, feat. Sixpoint Brewery @ Raleigh Hotel

The water temperatures these months don’t always call you to the beach, but $5 Sixpoint brews might.

Admission is free but you can make it your own beer fest with a $30 all-you-can-drink pass.

Feb 20, 2 p.m. – M.I.A. Brewing 1 Year Anniversary

It seems like only yesterday, we all watched Most Wanted Brewing grow from a pink posse of beer lovers serving samples at every beer fest into a fully-realized brewery complete with quite-arguably, the nicest tap room in Miami. Not too much info has been given about the event, but it’s sure to be celebration with live music, special tappings and lots of local love.

Feb 27, 7 to 11 p.m. – Crafted: A Craft Beer and Food Pairing Event

An event for where the foodie and the beer(ie) meet, Crafted aims to pair 30 of the country’s best breweries with local chefs, creating a culinary pairing delight. In addition to the bites provided by the chefs, the event will include a cheese and chocolate station, for those who know how to prioritize.

As an upscale, unlimited tasting event, tickets at $90 are no joke, but in a season where South Beach Wine and Food Fest tickets are $100 minimum, Crafted is a deal. Plus, when it’s the team behind Grovetoberfest, Sprung! and everything else you’ve had a good time at this year, you know you’re in good hands.

Feb 27, 3:30 p.m. – Local Craft Beer Seminar as part of South Beach Wine and Food Festival

It seems almost ludicrous that this is the only beer event at SOBEWFF this year, but it still serves an important evangelizing purpose to all the wine enthusiasts with enough loot to spend $55 on a one-hour tasting event.

Artists need investors. The very fact that this is an event shows the foothold that Miami craft beer is making. So grab your rich aunt and join the Miami Herald’s Evan Benn and, you guessed it, Jonathan Wakefield as they explain to her why El Jefe is nothing to be scared about.

This list will be updated as more love-worthy events roll in. Enjoy the month (I added a bonus drinking day, Feb. 29, just for you)!

Last Sips and Dips from Miami Beer Festival 2016

 

Miami Beer Festival 2016 at (or mostly around the outside of) Marlins Park!

We were lucky enough to barely catch the last hour (thanks, uber) of the first of many Miami craft beer festivals of 2016. It’a a magical time where the beers are mostly gone, but the dancing confidence is at an all-time high. Where those two points meet, we were there with our camera. Enjoy!

Remember guys, dance like no one’s snapping you.

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South Florida Craft Beer Week: The Drinking Game

[enjoy this repost from an original article on examiner.com]

If St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Halloween, New Year’s Eve, Weddings, Quinceañeras, Mom’s Birthday and Taco Tuedays are any indication of normal human behavior, it’s concluded: humans love reasons to drink.

But while those holidays are all empty in meaning and value, why not drink to something really important, South Florida’s inevitable global craft beer dominance.

That’s right, it’s South Florida Craft Beer Week (January 23 – January 30) once again, and there’s no better time than to explore Miami’s ever-expanding craft beer options.

It’s easy to just make a list of where you’re going to get buzzed over the next few days, but let’s have fun with it. You’re invited to join me on a game through the city where the stakes are high, the brews are cold and the prizes are to…be…determined!

(This game will focus on the more southern, Miami-based options, for a broader, quad-county list, go to southfloridabeerweek.blogspot.com)

LEVEL ONE: Enter the World(s) of Beers

As you navigate through the suburban landscape of traffic trolls and south/west-bound succubi, sometimes the most relieving thing you can hear is, “I just need a card to open up a tab for ya….” Thanks W.O.B., I already feel like I WON.

Collect 10 points per local beer guzzled. Collect 20 points if they were all “samples.” Collect 30 points if you can get through two hours of bar trivia. 40 points if you played honestly.

We’ve got three world of beers in the area (Kendall, Dadeland, Midtown), and they all have local delights on the menu this week:

– Due South Brewing’s Cafe Ole Espresso Porter (or see if you can survive the Category 3 or 5 IPA).
– Biscayne Bay Brewing’s Double 9 (a delightful double IPA) and Buenas Noches Whiskey Barrel Imperial Stout (sounds intriguing).
– M.I.A. Brewing’s Czar Face Imperial Stout (rum barrel aged for a sweeter finish) and Surfcumber ale which employs cucumber and lime for a crisp finish).
– Concrete Beach has a new helles lager.
– Funky Buddha’s sweet draft options including Dread Pirate Roberts (imperial stout with raspberry and vanilla), Neopolitan (porter with strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla) and the Nib Smuggler (solid treat for the chocoholics).
– J.Wakefield has a coconut treated UJP (porter) and a guava pale ale on deck.
– Wynwood Brewing line of beer beauties includes La Negra (imperial stout) a Fox (red ale) and a Raspberry Vanilla Cheesecake.
– Miami Brewing Company’s Little Havana Cafe con Leche sweet stout.

LEVEL TWO: The Big Three

The days of one “big three” are certainly over (Leb-who?) but Miami’s craft beer big three, Wynwood Brewing, M.I.A. Brewing and J.Wakefield Brewing, show no signs of slowing down.

10 points for each local brew guzzled. 10 more if it’s not a “flagship” beer. 20 points if you can get a bartender to answer the question “so, the beer scene is growing here, huh?” without a sigh. Square your points for an “inception” – That’s where you have one of the big three’s beers in eachother’s locations.

Highlights will include:

M.I.A.’s Monday video game night will feature Cigar City (check out the Jose Marti and Cold Brew IPA for your coffee fix); on Wednesday will host the launch of Civil Society Brewing; Thursday’s Funky Buddha night featuring Rice Crispy Treat and Fire in the Hole; and Friday guest taps include Barley Mow, Proof, Angry Chair and Engine 15.

Wynwood Brewing’s Monday In the Biz night continues paired with an old school game night, with House of Mac ready to serve out front; and every last Wednesday of the month supports local comics with the Last Call comedy show.

LEVEL THREE: The Never-Ending Sampler

5 pts. per sample consumed and remembered.
10 pts. if you don’t make an ass of yourself.
20 pts. if you do.
30 pts. if it’s on social media.

Every brewery starts somewhere, and that somewhere is slinging samples from underneath a sweaty 10×10 ft. tent to increasingly interested (drunk) patrons. Find the current and future craft beer stars at the Miami Beer Festival – a one-stop shop in case you can’t take part the other 6 days of South Florida Craft Beer week.

Hundreds of Miami craft beer lovers will descend upon Marlins Park in order to take part in a three-hour sample fest on Saturday, January 30 at 6 p.m.

All of your nationally-recognized favorites will be there, including Sierra Nevada, Sixpoint, and Lagunitas to name a few. But what’s most unique about Miami Beer Festival is its ability to showcase the most new and up-and-coming Florida breweries in one place. If you go to the fest, give yourself 10 points every time you visit:

3 Sons Brewing (Davie, FL)
Big Storm Brewing (Odessa FL)
Accomplice Brewing (West Palm Beach, FL)
Hialeah Brewing (Hialeah, FL)
Biscayne Bay Brewing (Miami, FL)
Gravity Brewlab (Miami, FL)
Descarga Brewing (Hallandale Beach, FL)
LauderAle Brewing (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
M.A.S.H, Miami Area Society of Homebrewers
JDub’s Brewing (Sarasota, FL)
Tomoka Brewing (Daytona, FL)
Islamorada Brewing (Islamorada, FL)
Waterfront Brewery (Key West, FL)
26 Degree Brewing (Pompano Beach, FL)
Copperpoint Brewing (Boyton Beach, FL)
King Fox Brewery (Miami, FL)
Coppertail Brewing (Tampa, FL)
Orange Blossom Brewing (Orlando, FL)
Miami Beer and Wine Makers Warehouse (Miami, FL)
Funky Buddha Brewing (Oakland Park, FL)
Miami Brewing (Miami, FL)
M.I.A. Brewing (Miami, FL)

If you’ve never been to one of these kinds of fests, remember the samples are limitless, your tolerance is not. No one wants to watch you trace the 50 yard line in vomit. (JK, 1000 points if you pull that one off).

BONUS ROUND: Miami’s #1 Beer Spots

20 points every time you visit one of Miami’s purveyors of great craft beer including:

Boxelder (Wynwood)
Kush (Wynwood)
The Lokal (Coconut Grove)
The Mighty (Coral Gables)
Sunset Corners (South Miami)
& many more, including beer dinners, beer swaps and your backyard!

Tag your game entries on Instagram with #SFCBW and let the game begin.

Key West Brew Fest – Signature Tasting Event

Key West Brewfest, a days-long event occurring annually on Labor Day weekend, is a great way to get a feel for craft beer beyond Miami’s borders. All kinds of brews were there, including highlights from Barley Mow from Largo, FL, Seventh Sun Brewing from Dunedin, FL and Saint Somewhere from Tarpon Springs, FL.

Of course, the 305 and (305 adjacent) was on hand, and solid brews were poured as always from JWB (J. Wakefield), 4th Age, Funky Buddha and Wynwood.

It’s hard (if not impossible) to resist an ocean-front, barefoot stroll along Key West’s southernmost point, South Beach, so we didn’t. Here are some photos from the grand tasting event which occurred Aug 30. Enjoy!

Summer’s last sips: 5 Miami craft beer events before the summer ends

[Enjoy this repost from my Examiner.com local craft beer series]

It’s August and good guava it’s a hot one out there. And while the craft beer stores and taps usher in their Oktoberfest favorites, you may be still trying to grab hold of something a little more refreshing as you walk through our city-sized sauna. Luckily, there are still some events you can keep cool while still looking sickeningly hot (but not the sweat-stained-imminent-heat-stroke variety).

Wywood Brewing Company’s Anniversary Block Party

Saturday, August 16 – Noon to midnight – NW 24th ST between 5th and 6th Ave / Wynwood Brewing Tap Room, $5 beer tickets

It seems like only yesterday, the Wynwood Brewing Company crew was merely sampling beers at Sprung! 2013, talking up fans with big plans about trailblazing a new generation of breweries right here in Miami. Flash forward a year and change later, and the crew is now celebrating its first anniversary and bottle release. What better way to do so than with a block party featuring oh, 27 of your finest local brews? Be sure to also catch timed cask tappings, live art, music, plus guest taps from Funky Buddha, Due South, Proof Brewing, Cigar City, MIA and Saltwater Brewery. Food truck goodness will be provided by Jersey Dawg, Poblano’s Mexican Fusion and 2 Jive Turkeys and Liquid Ice Cream. This one’s sure to be a bona fide beer bonanza! Party starts 12 p.m. and lasts all day until 10 p.m., then moves inside until midnight.

Grovetoberfest 2014 Tasting #1

Monday, August 25 – 6 to 8 p.m. – Brewski’s, Free

Long live the free tasting and Miami’s largest beer fest to date, Grovetoberfest. Now in it’s 3rd installment, the crew behind the fest is no doubt well underway planning for the October 18 event; specially priced ticket codes have already been released (GA30 and VIP50) and the first free tasting location is set. Intimidated by 300 beers that might be at the event? Come Monday and have your brain tastefully hopped with education.

“Pedal to the Barrel III” Bicycle Pub Crawl

Saturday, August 16 – departs 4 p.m. – Across Filling Station & Garage, Free to ride

Beers and bikes are arguably the best combo because you need the carbs to fuel your ride and two seconds into that blazing inferno (a.k.a. outdoors in August) leaves you thinking “man, I need a cold one, like, now.” Cool off while you burn at CycleHolics’ “Pedal to the Barrel III” pub crawl, a bicycle pub crawl that stops at several local hangouts while providing the safety of riding in the group, the chance to meet new people, plus get some food and drink specials from places like Batch, Mr. Moe’s, The Bar, Al Carbon and the Filling Station just from riding with the crew. It’s one cycle you won’t wanna break.

Miami Craft Beer Tours with Miami Brew Bus

August 16, 17, 23, 30 – 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Departs from Kush Wynwood, $60 per person

Before you (or your kids) inevitably hop back on the school bus, why not get on board with a bus that takes you somewhere you’d want to go? Miami Brew Bus schedules weekend tours of local breweries including Funky Buddha, Wynwood, MIA and even Miami Rum Club, which include a behind-the-scenes tour, sampling, and ample schmoozing time with brewers and fellow brewheads joining you on your Willy Wonka style tour. Not to worry, the only oompa loompas here will merely usher you back to the bus, where they’ll rush you to the next locale to guzzle down wheats … doopity doo.

Key West BrewFest

August 29 – September 2 – Various locations, Key West, FL

Shoes are optional at Key West Brewfest, a days-long escape for lovers of craft beer and endless summers. The southernmost city will host a variety of events over Labor Day weekend from beer dinners to beer foot races and paddle boat adventures, all of which culminates with the Signature Tasting Festival ($35 GA in advance, $75 VIP) on the sands of South Beach. Take our advice or better yet, our pictures from from last year’s event and make this one your southernmost hangover of the year.

Sprung! Beer Fest 2014 [PHOTOS]

Enjoy these pictures from Sprung! on March 8. We’ll update this post in upcoming days with the full rundown.

March Madness!

Hello there my springtime sippers!

It’s a crazy month, not just for Florida (and Heat) basketball fans but also for craft beer fans looking for a slam dunkel! Here’s what’s been happening:

On March 8, WE GOT SPRUNG! So much so, that we somehow contracted that deadly stomach thing that’s going around and it knocked us out of a week of wonderful beer coverage, luckily we’ve made up for it with the best pictures around. CLICK HERE TO GET SPRUNG[ED].

Speaking of Sprung!, our contest winner, Alex, had a GREAT time. We can’t wait to send another one of our loyal fans to another great Miami craft beer event. Subscribe and stay wise to our next contest!

St. Patrick’s Day happened. So that’s still a thing. Hopefully most of you celebrated with a non-green beer (you can get better green in Miami elsewhere). We were still sick, so it sucked to not take pictures of everyone hurling food coloring everywhere. Next year, I guess.

What we DID manage to do was to start our #QuizUpMondays (Areyouaskingfora) Challenge! That’s where we sit around and connect with our readers through the newest, most addicting app around (RIP Flappy) by owning them at beer label quizzes. Request a personalized taunt from yours truly at any time.

We’re also launching #brewsomniac ! A late-night Twitter chat for people who love craft beer and night times. We’ll start doing this every Tuesday, and live tweet a movie, album or one of your requests. Oh, 3-second Thursdays will be when we update thee mini-reviews.

Most beer heads have been reporting the on-going contentious legislative news coming out of the Florida house, which basically surrounds an antiquated law that requires Florida growlers to be sold at full size gallon or 32 oz. versus a proven-popular 64oz. One concludes that this has happened because Florida Anheuser-Busch distributors have donated  a quarter million dollars over time to those legislators who would/could prevent this. Once people became wise to this, another bill was introduced that supports 64 oz., but screws over local brewers in other ways (like “preventing from selling their products in bottles, cans and kegs at the brewery” and pouring collaboration brews). It’s sneaky and jerky and all kinds of things you don’t want associated with a local industry that deserves to thrive.

So now, local brewers all over the state are encouraging you to do your part and tell the house subcommittee to vote “no” on bill 1329. Please do so as well.

JWB (J.Wakefield Brewing) have officially broken ground in Wynwood while M.I.A. are making big strides in Doral. 4th Age is also making waves and heading on the path to production. No final dates yet, but all I know is it’s gonna be a well-crafted summer. Check their FBs for all the photos.

Goose Island Brewing from Chicago is making the rounds with events in Miami this week. We’ll be sure to hit up Wednesday’s event at The Lokal in Coconut Grove from 7 to 9 p.m. They’ll be offering bottled brews not often seen locally, including Bourbon County Stout and Rasselbock and Sofie and Matilda on draft. If you see us, it’s our birthday, toast us! (we’ll be the ones speaking like Gollum)

Lastly (but never least-ly), the Craft Brewjas are teaming up with Miami Beer Tour and Funky Buddha to bring you their Sud Swap event on Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. at Gramps in Wynwood; an event to trade rare beers, bottle share, and sample some favorites from Gravity Brewlab, Hopulant Brewing, 2 Live Brews and Miami Beer Tour. The group hopes to make this a monthly thing, so get out there and explore the craft beer labyrinths only keepin-it-real, newt-eating, warty brewjas can show you.

Happy Smarch! Enjoy the weather.

Lagunitas Sucks

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute), Lagunitas Brewing Company, Imperial IPA, 7.9% ABV, 63 IBU

This light gold double imperial pale ale is a complex array of piney and herbal hops. Reminds me of when as a kid you’d flip the channels really fast and make an absurdly awesome sentence. This brew weaves what feels like the kitchen sink of hops (and what the beer forums report as Chinook, Simcoe, Apollo, Summit, Nugget and HBC342) and funnels it in a way that’s neither overly bitter or sweet. A grain medley of barley, rye, wheat and oats adds to the palate’s challenge to identify everything that’s happening in this Salsa Rueda of flavor partner changes before your sip is over.

The journey is the destination with this wish-this-came-out-of-my-faucet repeat-worthy brew.

 BA: 97\88 / Draft: NA /RB: 100

Jurata

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Jurata, Coronado Brewing Co., & Cigar City Brewing, Baltic Porter, 8% ABV, 30 IBU

This root beer hued porter is a light bodied, drinkable excursion into roasty, smoky malt tastes paired with a smooth, light-medium body.

 A slew of malt varieties (Vienna, Dark Munich, Caramunich, C 150, Carafa, Chocolate) are used to create Coronado’s first attempt at the style. Nugget hops give a slight earthy lean, and in all, this collaboration with our home-state favorites, Cigar City, is pretty drinkable (not as easy to achieve as the word suggests) and solid. 

BA: 86\NA / Draft: NA /RB: 76