Along with my fellow beer blogger Danno we attended the Brewtopia Festival on Saturday November 22nd at the Morikami Park in Delray Beach, FL. This was my first time to the park ever let alone for a beer festival. The park is well back off of the main road going through a thick forest like area on a very narrow road. One might think they are on their way to Crystal Lake for a meeting with Jason. But then you come up the area where the festival is taking place. Parking was in a big field for $3, which was cheaper than what I saw advertised.
I have to say that the organization was done very well to get in. You first were ID’d then proceeded to a trailer where you paid your admission and were given your wristband. Then you were ID’d again prior to receiving your sampling glass.
Right in front of the big white tent where all the beer was were food vendors and a row of outhouses. I had an early feeling that the outhouses may become an issue later on in the evening. More on that to come. As you walked into the tent they had it very easily set up with imports on the right and American craft brews on the left. Down the middle were a few tables of bigger distributors. We started on the right but mostly stayed on the left hand side for most of the night trying the different brews from all of the heavy hitters of craft brewing like Dogfish Head, Stone and Brooklyn. While sampling we walked around collecting the free swag of stickers and coasters from where ever we could and just watched as more and more people came in.
The cool Florida night made it very enjoyable as opposed to a blistering hot summer afternoon like at the Treasure Coast Beer Festival. The tent also helped with the noise as it did not reverberate off the concrete enclosure at the TCBF either. Also the over abundance of attractive women both working the booths and in attendance for the beer helped make it a very enjoyable festival.
As I mentioned the out houses earlier, when it came time to have to visit there was quite a line. I understand that it is out in a field and actual plumbing really wasn’t available. Also the fact that some of the houses locking mechanisms were broken to where they said Occupied when no one was actually in it helped slow things up a bit too. Luckily a few helpful people in line kept an eye on all stalls and started directing traffic if you will and it did help speed things up a bit.
We visited our friends at the BX Beer Depot table and sampled their home brew milk stout and hefeweizen, both of which were very good, before deciding to leave for food. While the thought of a sausage and peppers sandwich does sound appetizing we opted to go elsewhere for our food.
All in all we had a very good time and enjoyed most of the brews that we sampled. Stone was probably my favorite brewery there and I can’t wait to pick up a couple bottles of Arrogant Bastard Ale to review on here. I have to believe that this fest did extremely well. I by no means am a math wiz but have to say by the time we left there were well over 500 people there not including staff. I would be very surprised if it was a success and didn’t have one again next year.