We've gone on and on about this upcoming weekend for a few months - and now it's finally here. Cigar City Brewery's 2013 Hunaphu's Day has arrived, and this brewery in-planning will be heading down with Broken Cog brewing buddy Tyler T. to scope out the action, taste some awesome beer and interact with, no doubt, some very cool people.
If anyone gets the chance, check out the cray taplist that's been published for Saturday. I've got my eye on the Habanero Mango IPA (hah! for those of you who know me...I'm not a spice/heat kinda guy), the 2010 Bourbon Sea Bass, the 2012 Leon Barrel-Aged Barleywine, the Angry Chair Brewing Company's Raspberry Berliner Weiss, Due South's Desert Inn Rye IPA, and many, many others.
There are some really interesting, innovative and extremely cool beers that are slated to be poured to the masses. And when I say masses, I'm guessing there will easily be more than 4,000 craft beer lovers descending upon Cigar City's facility & parking lot. I'll be one of them! Oh yeah, our friends at Tallahassee's Proof Brewing Company will be serving as well! Viva Tallahassee! I'm exceptionally excited to meet some new & old GrassHoppers!
An event like this makes me totally psyched about the possibility of Tallahassee becoming a craft beer destination. We've gone over Tallahassee's craft viability ad nauseum, so we won't continue that analysis - but it's very awesome to see Tampa's evolution in this respect. Tampa Bay Beer Week is the real deal - and it's not just all about Tampa...it seems to be a great way to highlight FL brewing in general! All week long, I've been salivating while reading my brewing/brewery buddies' status updates - Beer dinner here, special release there. It's incredible. The town has totally embraced the fact that beer brings people (cool people) together.
When GrassLands finally gets off the ground, one of our primary goals will be to promote Tallahassee as a craft beer destination. I got goosebumps when I read Creative Loafing's interview with Cigar City founder Joey Redner...who talked a little about Cigar City, but primarily used the venue to voice his support and love for the city of Tampa. I understand the necessity to promote your brewery every chance you get when you start out (guilty as charged), but it definitely says something about your business' personality and philosophy when you promote something other than your own business.
I firmly believe that Tallahassee is an awesome town. It's grown on me and my wife (Saralyn) ever since we arrived in 2006 and it's awesome to see brewing presences here like Proof and Momo's taking home some serious bling from the Best Florida Beer Championships. Tallahassee is getting there and I want GrassLands to help put it over the top. We're a beer-centric town, but Tallahassee doesn't really know it yet. I've already stated that as soon as GrassLands launches, I want to work with every brewing presence in town on collaboration recipes. It's fun as a homebrewer - it's exceptional to see it done on the professional level.
Tallahassee has the potential...I see it every day. Tallahassee Beer Week - is it possible? Perhaps. We'll do (brew) our absolute best so that people from out of town will take notice as to what's going on in Tallahassee. That's what gets me going every day.
So with that being said, I'll let you get to it as I've got some driving to do and preparation for a crazy beer weekend. Will I see YOU in Tampa?
Whatever you're doing, have an absolute blast, my dear readers - because you most certainly deserve it.