Beerfests can be a lot of fun for many reasons. Number one of course is the ability to try a bunch of beers for one price. But sometimes good times can come at fests for other reasons. And the New Times Beerfest definitely brought some of those. Some of us in South Florida are a little spoiled by how awesome the Jupiter festivals each year are that some others just don’t stack up. I will definitely admit that I can be that way at times but then actually being at the event changes things then.
Thanks to the awesome folks at Fresh Beer, the number one craft beer distributor in South Florida, I was asked if I would like to volunteer and pour beer. Of course I said yes as I had a great time with them helping at the Best Damn Brew Review in February. I helped pour Avery beers most of the night in the VIP section featuring India Pale Ale, White Rascal and the Reverend. Fresh also brought a respectable line up from Flying Dog, Shipyard/Sea Dog, Magic Hat, Summit and some great Florida brewed beers in Monk in a Trunk, Holy Mackerel and Native. I helped set things up and had some time to walk around before the VIP section opened up.
The star of the festival beer wise was definitely the Funky Buddha Lounge and Brewery out of Boca Raton. They had their Kolsch, Porter and IPA on tap there and all three were very good. The Kolsch is going to be a favorite when the hot, humid summer hits us all. The IPA uses 6 different hops in it and continuously hopped for the entire 60 minute boil. You would think this is a big bitter bomb right? Well now I get to tell you that you are wrong with that assumption. There is a really nice balance of hops and malts in this sucker and it is so easy to drink. It was definitely my favorite of the bunch.
If you paid the $70 to get into the VIP section you were treated to a number of beers, food and liquor that you could not get in the general admission area of the festival. You also got air conditioning and nice bathrooms as the VIP section was held inside the Museum of Discovery and Science. The set up was kind of odd just seeing all these booths set up around museum exhibits but it worked. And outside on the balcony of the museum was the best food vendor there, Charm City Burgers. They served up some sliders of their increasingly popular burgers along with some wings. The burgers were outstanding to say the least. I definitely have to make the trip down to Deerfield Beach to visit the location. And I demand you to go as well if you live in Palm Beach or Broward counties.
Now besides the offerings from Fresh Beer, Funky Buddha and BX Beer Depot the selection was pretty macro. Brooklyn and He’Brew were there but didn’t have any of their top stuff. It was just the basics for them. So how does one keep entertained after you have had the good beers and good food and not want to leave? You people watch my friends. And pouring beer at the festival you get to see them all. Watching a person go from sober to drunk is quite a site. Their eyelids become heavy, their steps are not as coordinated and their speech becomes slurred to non-existent. And if I had a nickel for every time someone asked for the “lightest thing you got” or “whatever has the most alcohol in it” then I would have…..well a lot of nickels. And because of the later statement we had to hold back and stagger opening bottles of the Reverend because a lot people didn’t enjoy it but just wanted the big ABV beer. The part if found funniest of them all were the people that came back to the table multiple times and had no idea each time what we had. It was as if it was their first time at the table.
So all in all I think it was a good night. I got to have some good beers, eat some good food and watch people get drunk and make fools of themselves. I think this is comparable to any night out for dinner, a movie and drinks. I have to once again thank all the great people at Fresh Beer for asking me to help out. They are such awesome people and they truly love craft beer. They are helping make South Florida a better place for good beer everyday. It was also great to hang out with good friends Phil and Kelly from Dos Beerigos and Brian and Vanessa. A brief cameo of Dori, writer of Fat Kids Club, was also great but far too short. So always make the best of every situation you are in and have a good time. Even if it is at the expensive of watching others be drunken messes.