Good morning, and happy Monday!
Hopefully you all had a wonderful weekend. My weekend was busy and full of beer!
As most of you know if you follow me on Instagram, I have been anxiously awaiting the latest beer festival at Wekiva Island–Otter Fest. It was this past Saturday, and it was so much fun! Wekiva Island, a local hangout spot on the Wekiva River just north of Orlando, is a beautiful oasis that is both family and dog friendly. They carry some great craft beers, too. They hosted this event Saturday with twelve different breweries (and also had some wines for tasting).
You can check out my previous post for the list of breweries that attended.
I made sure to get VIP tickets, because they allowed early entry into the event–always a major advantage! In just one hour before general admission was let in, I tried about 4-5 different beers. Without lines, it was hard to keep up! I felt like I couldn’t finish my beer in time before moving from table-to-table with my friends (who had tried 6 or more). Not a bad problem to have, though.
Upon entering, you receive your first pour of the exclusive Tooting Otter Pale Ale created by Wekiva Island & Southern Tier Brewing Co. It’s a light beer with the flavorful, hoppy pale ale taste that you can day drink in the hot sun without it dragging you down. In Florida, these beers are very important to us and hold a special place in all of our hearts.
As most of you know, Florida can be pretty hot and sunny, even in the “winter” down here. Luckily, the bar is covered and for large events like this, they have tents to shade you from any sun or provide protection from the rain.
They have a small indoor area as well, where you can play games and take a peek at the craft beers, both from the past and present. Their selection includes beers from Southern Tier & many local breweries in Florida, and it does change with the seasons!
Some of my favorite breweries attended the event, such as Tomoka Brewing Company. They are the creators of one of my favorite brews (Oceanside, a grapefruit IPA). For Otter Fest, they brought with them a muscadine grape Berliner Weisse and a black coffee IPA, both with very different flavor profiles on the beer spectrum. The Grape Berliner Weisse was light and almost tasted like a white wine. The Black Drink Black Coffee IPA was very bitter and just as the name says, tasted like black coffee.
As I stated earlier, Wekiva Island is dog friendly. Look at this adorable pup I found! He was a total sweetheart.
One of the next places I visited (FINALLY), was Wolf Branch Brewing Co., located in Lake County. They have only been open for a short while, but with them they brought a delicious, light Farmhouse Ale (pictured below). It had a slightly funky smell on the nose, but tasted like grapefruit with notes of malty goodness peeking through. It did not have the harsh or biting taste that some saisons and farmhouse ales tend to have.
Sadly, I did try the Southern Tier Choklat stout, but I completely forget to snag a picture of it! That’s what happens when the beer tastes so good. Their stout was smooth and smelled and tasted of dark chocolate. It was very rich. I also tried mixing it with the black coffee beer from Tomoka, and the flavors blended SO well together. Who doesn’t love chocolate and coffee together?
Overall, Otter Fest was a complete and total success. If you were unable to go, keep an eye out for any of their other upcoming festivals, I highly recommend you check them out!
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Thank you! 🙂