A scene from 2014’s Craft Beer and Burger Bash. This year, the party is moving indoors, with a special five-course pairings dinner with New Belgium Brewery at Ironwood Steak & Seafood on the Friday evening before the newly minted Craft Beer Bash.
For craft beer aficionados, Palm Beach County is quickly becoming a sun-drenched drinkers’ paradise. Yet with breweries popping up across the map, and calendars filled with beer-forward festivals, it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate oneself from the crowd, unless, of course, we’re talking PGA National Resort and Spa’s Craft Beer Bash. Scheduled for Saturday, August 8 from 4-8 p.m., the luxury resort in Palm Beach Gardens will welcome nearly 2,000 beer-fiends to sip on more than 120 craft brews and ciders.
Now in its fourth year, the beer festival originally paired burgers for a best of both the culinary and quaffable realms. But the grilling nature of the burger forced the party outdoors, in the dead of summer—it was hot. This year, PGA National is dropping the burgers, moving the party indoors (climate controlled!), and refocusing on the reason people are there in the first place: the beer.
“We wanted to offer our fans of the Craft Beer Festival and Burger Bash the chance to relax in a cool, resort environment while tasting an unbelievable selection of craft brews and ciders, many originating from local microbreweries, and listening to talented Floridian musicians,” said Joel Paige, PGA National’s Managing Director and VP. In non-marketing speak, this means more beer for you. The Craft Beer Bash will include a number of brewers and cider makers (Avery, Ballast Point, Ace Cider, Brewery Ommegang and Oskar Blues come to mind), while putting onus on Florida-made, including a number of local favorites (think Due South, Copperpoint Brewing Co., and Golf Beer). For the discriminating palates, guests can vote for the “People’s Choice Awards” for Best Craft Brewery, Best Hard Cider Mill, Best Craft Beer Single Offering and Best Cider Single Offering.
The event is also an opportunity for all those home brewers to showcase their creations—and perhaps land an offer to open their own brewery. A home-brewers competition, judged by a panel of experts including Patrick Fossett of the Palm Beach Draughtsman, Mike Ewart of Floribrew.com and Blue Arauz, Yelp Community Manager, is open to all beer categories in the 2015 BJCP style, with the winner taking home the crown of “King of All Home Brewers,” as well as a night stay at the resort, a round of golf, and dinner for two to Ironwood Steak and Seafood ($700 value).
- For tunes, local bans Morning Fatty and Franscene will take the stage. Bites will be available at the Vendor Village for purchase. The Craft Beer Bash runs from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, August 8. Admission costs $35 for general admission, $50 for VIP access. For more information, and to purchase tickets, click here.
And while the burger portion may have fallen by the wayside, foodies can still get their fill at the New Belgium Brewery VIP Pairing Dinner at Ironwood the evening before. On Friday, August 7 from 7-10 p.m., Executive Chef Sean McKee will host a special five-course beer dinner, pairing five of New Belgium’s most revered brews. Admission for the VIP Pairing Dinner costs $79 per person; to reserve your seat at the table, click here.
The menu includes:
- Chopped Kale and English Cucumber Medallion Salad | Paired with Snapshot Wheat Beer
- Longtable Ale & Pumpkin Bisque | Paired with Longtable Farmhouse Ale
- Grilled Shrimp Flatbread | Paired with Slow Ride Session IPA
- Beef Short Ribs | Paired with Fat Tire Amber Ale
- Molten Lava Cake | Paired with 1554 Black Lager