For the 4th year in a row, we're totally amazed at how awesome a community Tallahassee has become. Of course, we shouldn't be surprised. The Pints for Paws event is quickly starting to burst at the seams in terms of a venue size vs. attendance ratio, so it'll be interesting to see how it gets managed in the not-too-distant future. But I digress. As of Thursday night, the final totals came in:
Total Attendance: 1,200
Total Beer Donated: 620 gallons (Or one batch of beer brewed on a 20 bbl system)
Total Funds Raised: $19,000!
W.O.W. You guys are awesome! That's incredible, considering that as you may know by now, last year we raised $15,000 and had just over 1,000 people attend. I thought we'd push $20k and more attendees this year and we absolutely did! I can't wait to beat this year's totals next year!
For those of you who weren't able to come, it was definitely as cool as advertised. We had a freakin' blast and burned through four (4) full kegs of GrassLands' (home)-brewed beer in around 2 1/2 hours. I guess that's a good thing, eh? :D From the picture at left, you can see me, probably concentrating a little too much, hop-infusing our Horizon Line IPA (nicknamed Beamer's Best IPA for the event) using French presses. I loved seeing folks' reactions to what we were doing - some knew what was going on, some had absolutely no clue but were just as intrigued. Once we started the infusions, the floodgates opened! You have spoken - We want hop-infused IPA!!! Now I know that we need more than one IPA for next year's event!
Seriously, once we started infusing our beers (both with hops and with FL-grown citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits & peaches), it was all over. I'm humbled at the crowd that simply congregated & waited outside our station for our beer. We made an absolute mess (as evidenced above), but it was all worth it. You guys were great and offered point-blank feedback (mostly positive) and for that we're über-thankful! Actually, you all burning through our kegs as fast as you did was a gift of sorts - as we got to enjoy the remainder of the event like the rest of you! We had some absolutely incredible homebrewed beers from NFBL's best. Anyone get over by Corey & Thomas' station on the west-side of the pavilion? They had an amazing assortment of innovative beers: ranging from a Pistachio Amber to a Dill Pickle Gose! I still want a cheeseburger after having that, Thomas! Or by Wade & Jen's cider station (near us)? They offered a glimpse of heaven for cider-fanatics with seven different varieties.
In all, I'd definitely consider this past weekend's festivities a huge success. I was totally tired the next day, but when I think about the impact we as a group (brewers and patrons) made on the lives of Tallahassee's homeless animal population, it's all worth it. See how beer can make a difference? :P In all seriousness, we were informed that Pints for Paws is now the single largest fundraiser for the Animal Shelter Foundation. That's incredible!
Now we get to sit on our laurels for a bit, yeah right...like a couple weeks, before we get into another event - one we're really excited about - and no, it's not BrewFest Tallahassee! This is something Glen W. and Emily B. (two extremely passionate & active GrassHoppers) are setting up in Jacksonville's historic San Marco district come August. More details on that as it develops!
But for now, we'll leave you to it. Just know that we're thankful for your selfless generosity this past weekend - and even more so, you've changed the lives of animals in need. Tallahassee, you freakin' rock! Have a blast of a weekend, my dear readers, because you most definitely deserve it!