Fran Andrewlevich didn’t know what to expect or what he was getting into when he created the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival six years ago.
“I didn’t know if anyone would come,” he said. He doubted it even more when Abacoa’s permit office clerk had to be told what a craft beer was. “They had come into their own, but we were behind the curve down here with brewpubs and breweries,” the brewmaster of Brewzzi said. Andrewlevich had already won medals for his own craft beers at the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado – the Mecca of beer-lovers.
When the crowds at the gate of the initial fest had to be quelled by police presence, and a few hundred turned away from sampling about 50 beers, the brewer decided craft beer had a footing in the area after all.
Saturday, the 2012 Craft Brewers Festival takes place at Abacoa next to the Roger Dean Stadium on Main Street. Andrewlevich has limited attendance to 3000, and created a family-friendly event Craftoberfest at the amphitheater next door to handle the kids and dogs and spillovers who can’t get in to the main event.
Friday night is the Field of Beers, the baseball-themed dine around held on the baseball field and in the dugouts with food and beer pairings. Chef John Carlino of ChefStart in Palm Beach Gardens teamed with Andrewlevich to match foods and brews. It’s sold out the day tickets are put out online.
There are still tickets available at the gate for those 18 and up. More than 150 beers will be on tap for sampling, many from Florida’s own brewers, like the Tequesta Brewing Co., or Cigar City Brewery from Tampa. Mead, pilsners, lagers, ales, IPAs and more are here for the tasting.
Tickets go quickly here – it’s still a popular event, with music, contests and more; food is sold separately. Get there early if you want a ticket.
To read more about it, see my story in this week’s Florida Weekly.
Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival
- When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
- Where: Held outdoors at Roger Dean Stadium, 4751 Main Street (Abacoa downtown), Jupiter.
- Cost: Tickets are $35 at the door (online tickets are sold out); fee covers all samples. Foods are sold separately. (Attendees must be 18 or over and have a photo ID for admission.)
- Craftoberfest, on the lawn at the amphitheater next door, is from 2-7 p.m.; admission is free. Beer and food are sold separately. Open to all ages; pets on a leash are welcome.
- For information: Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to the website, www.jupitercraftbrewersfestival.com