New Times Beerfest: A Local’s Perspective
Story and photos by Leah Arluk, correspondent
Broward-Palm Beach New Times, an alternative newspaper in South Florida, puts on a beer festival every year. Since this was the 15th year of the event, New Times decided to change up the Fort Lauderdale event a little bit. These changes were very welcome to those in the local craft beer community, such as me.
For many of the years that this event has gone on most of the beers were, for lack of a better term, crap. Most of us in the craft beer community look to local breweries for better quality products, unique flavor combinations and small-batch goodness .
This year’s New Times Beerfest really started to get it right by featuring some fantastic local breweries such as Cigar City, Holy Mackerel, and Misfits Home Brewers. Some of the other notable craft breweries were Oskar Blues and Avery.
There was also a live broadcast of “By The Glass Show” from 7-9 where they interviewed one of the members of Misfits Home-Brewers about their unique array of beers. In my opinion, the Misfits had some of the most phenomenal beers of the whole event. My personal favorites were their Bust A Nut (peanut) Porter, Wheat-R-Melon (watermelon) Ale and Choco-Coco brown ale. Misfits also took top honors for their Buddha Sweat American Stout.
The beer fest’s other improvements – a new venue, entertainment, and such – seemed to work also. The parking for the new venue was much easier this year, and much cheaper. I heard fewer complaints from people this year.
The booths had much better line flow compared to other years too. This year the beer was very plentiful as opposed to other years, when the beer ran out before the event was over.
This year the beer fest was held earlier in the year, so the weather was great but the entertainment factor was there too. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band performed as the headliners, and several big screens showing the Final Four games to appease the hoops fans in attendance.
Also present were the Miami Heat Dancers and Burnie the Heat Mascot.
All in all, this was by far the best incarnation of the New Times Beerfest that I’ve attended. Great value for the cost of the tickets, and I can only hope in the coming years they will feature some more local beers from Due South, Tequesta and Funky Buddha Brewery.
Good job, New Times, good job!