Have you ever been to a beer festival in Florida? What about what that allows you to pour your own brew, straight from the keg?
I have! AND IT WAS AWESOME!
The Brewer’s Ball (in Tampa, FL) is an annual event that showcases the best 100 beers in the state of Florida. Brewers from the Southern-most point, all the way up to the tip of the Panhandle travel and bring their award-winning beers for the tasting, in hopes to win the most coveted title: Best Beer in Florida!
There was an overwhelming variety of beers to try. The festival is four hours long. It really puts the fire in your ass to scoot around to try as many of the best beers in the state that are not easily within reach!
Upon entering, I was greeted by beer enthusiasts from all over in a green grassy park right on the water. It was a beautiful day, breezy and bright (they do call Florida “the Sunshine State” for a reason). I immediately spotted three large tents with a hundred kegs cradled in ice, ready for pouring. Is this what Heaven looks like?! It is definitely what my dreams are made of. There was also a vendor handing out tacos and nachos (included with your ticket). Seriously. Whoever came up with this event must have been reading my mind. TACOS AND BEER?! I could die happy.
I tried about ten different beers from breweries that I do not live close to. Not to brag, but I got the very last pour of Riot Juice by Hidden Springs Ale Works (located in Tampa), which tapped out within 25 minutes from the start of the festival. It is the most delicious sour I think I have ever had. I know I probably say that a lot about many sours I try, but this one was really the best. It is a 5.5% ABV Berliner Weisse brewed with blackberries, lime, vanilla, and lactose. The sour and tartness of the blackberries and lime takes over your tastebuds and finishes with the smooth, sweet taste of vanilla and lactose. IT WAS SO INCREDIBLE. I am telling you, it is probably my desert island beer. I can see why it sells out and people go crazy for it. I wish they would distribute this. I really wish everyone who loves sours had the opportunity to try it, it is a crowd pleaser. My favorite beer I tried that day, hands down.
It was difficult to choose a favorite. I tried several beers from some damn skilled and talented brewers. I would be here writing a novel and making your head spin if I wrote about each and every beer. I also can’t always remember everything I liked or disliked about a beer I tried.
I need to work on doing more videos or consider going live when I am out at these events. You know how it goes, though. You end up trying a beer, then trying another. Then get caught up talking about beer, which leads to trying yet another beer. Then you don’t like that beer as much, so you go to try another beer that is more your style. Then… Well, you get the point. I am forgetful as it is.
If you would like to see a complete list of breweries that attended and their awards, please click here. I took some pictures of some of the winners for this event, if you are in any of the pictures please comment below or e-mail me and I will send you the rest!
It was great to see some of my local favorites making the cut (and even winning some awards to boot)!
All the brewers worked incredibly hard to be there. Anyone there definitely deserved the opportunity! I really cannot wait to go next year. 🙂