Celebration & Mourning

Some say that without the bitter, the sweet just aint as sweet. That's certainly a nice way of reporting two bits of news to you all today. First, the good bit (feeling British):

1. We had an absolutely amazing & successful 2014 Pints for Paws! 

When I say amazing, I mean it. First, from the GrassLands team perspective: Future brewers Corey & Thomas were serving at their own stations and quickly kicked all their kegs - folks were raving about Thomas' Mint Chocolate Stout - essentially a liquid Thin Mint - and Corey's secret Flanders stash! Gabe, Scott & Andrew served at another station and kicked all their kegs in less than 3 hours. Best part? The infusions! We do this every year and it's a total blast. We take three French presses and infuse complimentary ingredients with the beer and pour them out for folks. What'd we serve & pair this year? A) Big Bend Florida Weiss (Peach) with white peaches, B) Groundation Amber Rye with whole Simcoe hops, and C) our Rye Saison with chamomile, rainbow peppercorn & apricots! Any surprise as to why those puppies didn't last too long? :)


Now to the numbers. North Florida Brewers League brewers donated a whopping 475 gallons of homebrewed beer to this event, serving to over 1,400 attendees! What'd we raise? $21,000!!!!!! All of these numbers are new Pints for Paws records! What makes it even better is the thought of how much of the Animal Shelter Foundation's annual budget will get offset by that incredible donation! Let's do it bigger next year, Tallahassee!

...and on to the cause for mourning.

2. Mile Marker Brewery officially (& surprisingly) closes its taproom doors

When we heard a wild rumor going around last Thursday that Mile Marker was closing, we couldn't believe it. Not only is it a cool venue that offers an alternative approach for the traveling craft beer fanatic, the people are awesome. We've built a great relationship with Linda & Vance who embody every characteristic you would expect people who operate a cool craft brewery to have. That's what makes this announcement burn a little more. You get to really know the people in this industry and it's never a good thing to hear about a business closing its doors. Nobody knows the real story and MM isn't telling (at least not at the time of this writing) - but with all the progress Florida is making in the craft beer industry, this one stings a bit.

But the news isn't all that bad - we've heard rumors about Mile Marker beginning contract brewing so at least their beer can still get distributed to all their accounts throughout the east coast of Florida. This is a silver lining, of course, because the taproom is an important cog in any brewery...not just for the craft community, but for the bottom line of any brewery's budget. We'll see how things progress for them, but we absolutely wish our good friends the best.

Sweet & Bitter. Please support your local brewery and the local brewing scene!

With that last piece, we'll leave you all to it for now. Have an absolutely wonderful weekend, my dear readers, and tell your fathers you love 'em! Shout outs to Bruce G., Ronnie S., Jeff W., & Donnie W.!