On Saturday, a cold and windy day by Florida standards, over 40 craft breweries from all over Florida converged on Ybor City to share their wares, introduce new brews, and generally have a great time at The Florida Brewers Guild’s Brewfest 2013. The beer, as cold and frothy as the day, was plentiful and the crowd was large. But how did this year’s Brewfest, at the new location in Centennial Park, measure up to past events?
Pretty darn good, but not perfect.
The new location presented challenges that the organizers clearly neglected to take advantage of. For instance, the crowd of a few hundred was serviced by less than 10 port-a-potties set up with a mere five feet between the make shift restrooms and three poor brewers. With no room for lines it was next to impossible to reach these poor guys. Add to this mishap, the addition of a VIP area with BBQ and a few select beers just a couple feet further on and the poor layout really gets problematic. It might be a great idea for the harry band of brewers that organize this annual adventure into beer-drinking bliss to invite a woman to help layout the location next year.
Beyond the problematic set up, the event itself was an inexpensive success. Last year’s ridiculously long lines seemed to move faster with pre-screening and more volunteers, we didn’t hear of as many taps running dry, and the move out of Centro Ybor provided a much-needed space to take a break from the crowd and breathe for a minute.
We give this year’s Brewfest three out of five stars. For $30 this is an inexpensive Saturday out in Tampa.