Craft beer festivals can be both good and bad things for me. They are fantastic because I get to try a lot of new beers, discover new breweries and interact with the rest of the craft beer world. However, they take place in a limited time window which makes me drink something like the equivalent of a 6 or even 9 pack of considerably high ABV beer in a marathon session of 3 oz samples. Believe it or not, I’m not usually up for getting quite that intoxicated. I would rather these events lasted longer so I could space out the drinking a little more and focus on interacting with the brewers. In addition, I tend to have a hard time finding bottles at these events. There is sometimes a spot where one can buy limited release special bottles. But, even if the event has a setup like this, the bottles end up costing an arm and a leg. What venders usually have are 6 packs for sale. Unfortunately, 6 packs are the bane of bottle collectors. I always want 6 different bottles rather than, what to me is, 5 repeats of the one bottle I wanted in the first place.
So, when Mrs. UsedHair and I found out about the DeLand Craft Beer Festival, we deliberated a bit on whether or not to go. Beer won out in the end and we made the trip up there to check things out. It was a fantastic event with outcroppings of tents squirreled away in back alleys and buildings along with an entire city block of yet more tents.
We got to sample a ton of interesting beer, meet some guys that have beer related podcasts such as At The Bar Podcast and The Beer Chasers Podcast. We found some stores with awesome decor and stuff for sale.
They just announced that they will be opening their own brewery so I will be able to visit them soon. We met Black Cauldron Brewing who will soon be opening a joint tap room with Broken Strings Brewery (there is certainly a story there if I can get one of the owners to sit down and tell it). We sampled beer from Mermaid Juice who will soon be progressing from serving only others craft beers to also serving their own craft beers. Then there was Sanford Brewing who will be opening up pretty close to where I live in April. They had quite the showstopper of a celery beer with a splash of Bloody Mary mix. I can’t wait to get more of that in April. Finally, there was Musquito County Brewing that was founded in 2013 and is now on the cusp of opening up their tap room.
Of course, there were other breweries there as well. But, the clear story is that there is about to be a huge craft beer boom in Central Florida and I will be right there to see it all happen. It’s like waiting for the next Star Wars movie all over again. I just can’t wait.