COMMENTS

Sarasota Beer Festival preview

/

(See a photo gallery of last year's Sarasota Beer Festival.)

The second Sarasota Beer Festival is Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. at Robarts Arena. There are going to be a bunch of beers available, too many to try them all.

More than 1,500 people attended the 2010 Sarasota Beer Festival. (Herald-Tribune archive / 2010 / Thomas Bender)

My advice is to try beers you haven't had before. And sometimes these festivals have beers that aren't normally available in our area.

Using the list at the festival's website as  a guide, here's what I'm looking forward to trying:

• The Florida Avenue beers from Cold Storage Craft Brewery in Tampa. They are a new operation and I haven't had any of their offerings. I always like to support our local brewers.

Widmer Brothers X-114 IPA, a limited release from the Oregon brewery.

• The brews from Capital Brewery in Wisconsin. I think their beers may be available here, but I haven't had them.

Southern Tier 2XIPA. Another beer we can get here, but one I haven't tried yet, which is surprising considering I'm a hophead and love the double IPAs.

• Any hoppy, bitter beers from Victory Brewing. Their HopDevil and Hop Wallop are great beers for hopheads.

I've been to a few beer festivals, and I'm sure you didn't ask, but here's my advice if this will be your first beer festival.

Don't try to drink everything; know your limits. There are going to be too many beers for any person to try, even if you only take a sip of each. Pick and choose.

Pace yourself. I know from experience that if you start drinking sample after sample, soon you're just drunk. Instead, pace the beer out with food and water, which leads to my next points.

Hydrate. Drinking water can make all the difference. I try to drink at least an equal amount of water to beer.

Eat something. Have a good meal before you go to the festival. And take advantage of this festival's free food. Food in your tummy helps absorb alcohol. Eating won't allow you to drink any more, but it will temper alcohol's effects.

And most importantly,

Have a designated driver. You're going to a beer festival. Don't drink and drive. And if you don't have a ride and don't want to pay for a taxi, Gold Coast Eagle Distributing (the beer sponsor) and West Coast Executive Sedan will be offering free cab rides after the festival. The Alert Cab taxis will be stationed outside Robarts Arena. Take advantage of this free service and don't risk killing yourself or someone else by driving drunk.

If you want to attend you can buy tickets online for $30, at the gate for $35 or save some money and buy tickets in advance for $25 cash at the following places:

Mr. Beery's -- 2645 Mall Drive, Sarasota

Evie's Tavern -- 1989 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota; 4715 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota; 5897 Whitfield Ave., Sarasota; 5955 Factory Shops Blvd., Ellenton

World Of Beer -- 8217 Tourist Center Drive, Sarasota

Growler's Pub -- 2831 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Shamrock Pub -- 2257 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota

Cock & Bull Pub -- 975 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota

Maduro Cigar Bar -- 7386 Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 5275 University Parkway, Sarasota

Lost Kangaroo Pub -- 406 12th St. W., Bradenton

Have a great time, and I hope to see you there.

avatar

Alan Shaw

Alan Shaw has been a fan of craft beer for more than a decade. He is partial to hops and has been an editor at the Herald-Tribune since 1997. He can be reached at (941) 361-4914, by email or mail at 1741 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. Follow him at @alancshaw on Twitter and on Facebook.
Last modified: August 26, 2011
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published without permissions. Links are encouraged.
COMMENTS