By Liesel Schmidt
Whether you realize it or not, that beer in your hand is more than just a refreshing liquid you look forward to sipping—or chugging, should you be so uncouth—at the end of the day. It’s not simply a mixture of ingredients dispensed into a bottle, but a true work of art, the culmination of time and patience, trial and error, science and instinct, passion and perseverance. And in the world of craft beer, all of those things are every bit as important as the ingredients themselves.
Showcasing those craft beers whose popularity stands strong in the battle against the big boys, the Baytowne Beer Festival is now in its eleventh year of bringing together hops heads in search of their perfect brew, featuring over 200 domestic and international beers from more than 40 craft brewers. But more than just a sampling, the two-day event on October 12 and 13 offers ale aficionados and lager lovers a deeper look at the various processes involved in crafting the perfect beer, as brewery representatives will be onsite to talk about the various types of lagers and ales—from light, pale ales to rich, dark stouts. “This festival has quickly become a one-of-a-kind event in the region, and it makes for a very memorable experience for tourists and locals alike,” says Village of Baytowne Wharf Events Manager Leighann Elliott. “We get to work with great distributors and brewers who show that there’s much more to beer than people might realize, bringing beers of varying strengths and styles that people can try out and perhaps find new favorites, and showcasing them all is truly fun.”
Adding to the fun, the Beer Festival will also feature live music from various local artists to keep you entertained while you sample. Take a tour of the grounds and bring your sense of adventure as you sample the new and unexpected, sip on some unlikely flavors, and learn the complexities of that perfectly poured brew that now bubbles on your tongue.
“I think the world of beer has taken such a turn toward craft beers because beer lovers appreciate the full-bodied taste and unique flavor profiles that are not in typical, mass produced beers,” says Elliott. “It’s amazing to realize how big a part of that trend Florida has become, as well—more than 110 craft breweries are in operation throughout the state, and the Emerald Coast is actually home to more than a dozen of them,” she notes. “We especially love hosting our local breweries at the Beer Festival. Not only do we love getting to support the locals, but we also get to provide our festival goers with a real taste of home—fresh, great tasting beer that’s made right here—made by people who are passionate about what they do and where they live.”
Giving those local crafters some props for their hops, the Beer From Around Here event-within-the-event provides the unique opportunity to sample some of the most popular beers from the local breweries and savor delicious appetizers from Village merchants. It’s the perfect way to relax and enjoy the evening as you listen to the music of The Forrest Williams Band with beer-in-hand, making connections and getting to know the brewers and their histories. More than just a sampling of the latest thing on tap, the Baytowne Beer Festival is an annual opportunity to give passionate brewers the chance to show off their masterpieces, to connect with the people who appreciate their craft. And to that, we raise a glass and offer them a hearty, “Cheers!”
To learn more about the event schedule and ticket information for the 11thAnnual Baytowne Beer Festival, visit www.baytownebeerfest.com or call (850) 267-8180.