Looking Back at the JCBF


Looking Back at the JCBF

3 Comments By Blake February 5, 2010

I’ve been attending every beer festival in the area for years and have come to the conclusion that the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival is the premier beer event in South Florida. It’s a nice venue, the organizers get representation from all the major breweries and distributors in the area and get them to break out the good stuff. The throngs of people lined to get in 20 minutes before the gates opened was just astounding to me.

All the local brewers were represented, Titanic came up from Miami, Gordash and Big Bear from Broward, and of course Brewzzi represented well.  There were some odd booths too. Newcastle looked out of place and the “Blue Moon Brewing Co” booth struck me as nothing short of funny. Make no mistake about it, craft beer is big business and everybody wants a piece.

Breweries represented with top of the line beers. Victory had Wild Devil on tap, Big Bear had a great double amber called Double Diablo and Bell’s was opening a case of HopSlam every hour on the hour. I gave up trying to get my hands on one after hour two. I heard murmurs in the crowd that the 3pm case was gone in less than three minutes.

If the festival were a contest, the winner would be Cigar City. I knew they were good, a few impressive beers like Winter Warmer have been trickling in for a few months. I had read that Rate Beer members had voted them the #3 brewery in the country, but they exceeded all expectations.  Hunahpu’s Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout was a wonderfully dark chocolate stout.  JAI-ALAI IPA was bright and citrusy and just a wonderfully balanced IPA.  Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Porter was the most interesting beer I can remember. It literally tastes like a cookie. I know that doesn’t sound appetizing, but it is. Somehow the fact that its a beer does not get lost amongst all the malty sweetness and oatmeal and raisin flavors. Its truly a remarkable accomplishment.

The JCBF was a great time, but I think they have outgrown their new venue already. I neglected to visit some booths early and by 2:30 or so it was nearly impossible to get to them. In the end, it means there is a growing population of passionate craft beer people in South Florida.  That bodes well for all of us.



5 tips for the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival

No Comments By Blake January 30, 2010

1) Camp out near the BX beer depot tent. The lines for homebrew are shorter and they will help keep your little cup full. If you haven’t tried homebrew you will be pleasantly surprised bow much you like it.

2) Always ask what they have in the back. The booths wont offer you the aged 120 minute or other rare beer. You need to ask.

3) Don’t miss Cigar City. They are hands down the best brewery in Florida.

4) Ask a stranger for a recommendation. Beer is a social animal, most people will be more than happy to help you break out of your shell.

5) Arrive early. We were only able to get two passes for the event. I am currently 1098th in line.

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