For those who follow this site, you know I like me some craft beer. Now, downtown West Palm is getting in on the action with the inaugural Palm Beach Craft Beer Festival tapping kegs Saturday at the Meyer Amphitheatre. But wait, there’s more … the sudsy festival is partnering with two nonprofits near and dear to my heart, Surfrider Foundation (protecting the break—worldwide) and Loggerhead Marinelife Center (Turtle Power!). Warm Hearts Pet Rescue, an organization that is just down right heartwarming as, will host the event, making this a party with a purpose—saving our shores and pets one hoppy brew at time!
With a tinge of localism mixed into the mash, PB Craft Beer Festival is pulling from our meager (but growing) pool of craft brewers, including the newest production brewers, Due South Brewing, and Boca’s brew-bellied faves, the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery. Regional favorites include Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing and Melbourne’s Florida Beer Co. (the peeps behind Swamp Ape, Key West ales and Florida Lager, just to name a few) as well as some of the nation’s best craft brewers, like Victory Brewing Co., Brooklyn Brewery, Harpoon Brewery and Dog Fish Head. In all, more than 20 breweries pouring more than 100 craft beers will be on tap on the amphitheater grounds.
Along with the craft beers, some of the area’s hottest acts will be taking the stage, including reggae masters The Resolvers, the Miami soulful throwback Ketchy Shuby (you don’t want to miss this act), some real old school blues with Big Poppa E, and Lake Worth indie-tastic four-piece Guy Harvey (not to be confused with that fishy T-shirt painter). The live acts are worth admission alone, so be sure to take notice over the frothy mugs, because organizers took their time fielding this lineup.
Also on the docket is a home brew contest with a $500 first prize for best beer and a $250 prize for best label art. And what’s sure to be an endless source of entertainment is the inflatable surf simulator. Essentially a mechanical bull in surfboard form, this thing will have just about every salty kook three beers down taking a crack at it. So get a good seat nearby, because impaired motor skills are must for this ride.
- Gates open at 4 p.m., and the festival runs until 9 p.m. Tickets cost $30 for general admission (this includes a commemorative tasting mug) or $70 for a VIP ticket, which includes a private opening at 3 p.m., access to an air-conditioned bar with a premium selection of beers, a commemorative T-shirt, a mug and a 12 oz. Pilsner to boot. Get your tickets here.
In related news, Clematis by Night is hosting a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Bar Crawl (Turtle Power, again!) on Thursday starting at 7 p.m. at Centennial Square. Running until 11 p.m., the green-shelled, colorfully masked ruckus will make 30-minute pit stops down Clematis, ending at Respectable Street for an after-party. Stops include Grease Burger Bar, Roxy’s, The Wine Dive, Sugar Palm ($3 sake bombs), Longboards and O’Shea’s Irish Pub. Willing participants get not only a pretty rad story to tell but also $10 off admission to Saturday’s craft beer festival. So channel your inner 12-year-old, grab some brews and hit the street dressed as “heroes in the half shell—Turtle Power!”