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Bar Tab: Sarasota Craft Brew Fest (updated with video)

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For years it was called the Sarasota Beer Festival. Simple enough, right? But now Sarasota is so hip, at least among suds sippers, that the city’s biggest beer drinking event needs a cleverer sobriquet. OK, then. The Sarasota Beer Festival has been rechristened the Sarasota Craft Brew Fest. Yeah, yeah, regular readers of Ticket know we have earned the crafty title and we take pride in the response by Ricki Black, coordinator of the Florid Beer Festivals and its annual event here.

“We changed the name from Sarasota Beer Festival to Sarasota Craft Brew Fest because Sarasota-Bradenton is more sophisticated now and wants more craft beers added,” Black says.

“Sophisticated”? Us? Aw shucks.

We have our stable of local breweries making fine beer. Big Top, Darwin’s, Fat Point and Motorworks will all be repping Saturday at Robarts Arena. Alas, another Sarasota beer great, JDub’s, will be absent. It’s a silly distributor and sponsor thing keeping them out. I’ll save that for another rant. I mean column. Point is, it’s a great time to be a discerning beer drinker, especially in the 941, especially Saturday.

Noelle Murauskas, Nikki Albert, Wendy Day and Holly Day Bisaha had fun supporting their husbands, the owners of Big Top Brewery, Saturday, August 24 at the Beer Fest atRobarts Sports Arena. (August 24, 2013) (Herald-Tribune staff photo by Rachel S. O'Hara)

Noelle Murauskas, Nikki Albert, Wendy Day and Holly Day Bisaha had fun supporting their husbands, the owners of Big Top Brewery, Saturday, August 24 at the Beer Fest atRobarts Sports Arena. (August 24, 2013) (Herald-Tribune staff photo by Rachel S. O'Hara)

The Sarasota beer festival offers brews from breweries across the state and across the nation, plus most of our local craft breweries. But it gets better. In addition to unlimited 2-ounce beer samples, attendees can nosh on unlimited samples of food from area restaurants that is designed to, you know, pair perfectly with beer. From Ker’s WingHouse to Dunkin’ Donuts, there will be all kinds of fun ways to stuff your face in between quaffing beer.

High-roller? Carmel Cafe is hosting the VIP section that costs $60 in advance and $75 at the door. That price, double the regular admission, gets you plenty of stuff. Namely, you get full pours of select craft brews, wine, a full catered meal from Carmel Cafe, tables and chair, and a cigar.

Main reason Sarasota Craft Brew Fest is rad? In addition to all the beer and food that will fit in your belly? It’s in the air-conditioned confines of Robarts Arena. It’s August in Florida, people. We are smack dab in the middle of another sizzling summer. It’s a good deal in a great location. We’ll see you there fellow craft beer enthusiasts and party people. Oh, yes, it’s gonna be a party, too. I can feel it. Seriously, though, just remember to save cab money or bring a designated driver. All those shots of beer add up. Quick.

Sarasota Craft Brew Fest
5-9 p.m. Saturday; Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota; $30-$75; floridabeerfestivals.com

Have a suggestion for a place or event to be featured in Bar Tab? Comment below, email to wade.tatangelo@heraldtribune.com or contact me on Twitter: @wtatangelo For past Bar Tab columns and slideshows visit the archive.

Sarasota Craft Brew Fest
5-9 p.m. Saturday; Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota; $30-$75; floridabeerfestivals.com

Wade_Tatangelo_by_Mike_Lang_HT_06212013
WADE TATANGELO is the editor of TICKET + and a contributor at TicketSarasota.com. He has been an entertainment editor, reporter, columnist and reviewer for more than a decade at publications nationwide. He is a Hershey, Pa., native who grew up in Tampa and graduated from the University of South Florida. Wade joined the Herald-Tribune in 2013 and writes the weekly Bar Tab column. He can be reached by email or call (941) 361-4955.
Last modified: August 28, 2014
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