Showing posts with label Craft Beer. Show all posts

Pints n' Paws Craft Beer Festival

We've been trying to go to the Pints n' Paws Craft Beer Festival every year but we're either out of town or already have plans. This weekend we finally made it to the 8th Annual event.

Oktoberfest Craft Beer Tour

Over the weekend, myself and a dozen other ladies went on the Brew Thru SRQ tour to explore the craft beer scene in Sarasota for my Sister-in-law's bachelorette party. Who knew Sarasota had such amazing breweries? It was the perfect way to celebrate with my eclectic, beer-loving SIL

The meeting spot to start the tour was at Mandeville Beer Garden and I was so surprised that we had never been or heard about this brewery before. They have a beautiful (dog-friendly) outside patio and inside bar/restaurant area plus a huge selection of craft beers and German-style eats.

From there we took off on the trolley to explore some more breweries. Our first stop was at JDub's Brewery where I tried a nice Passion Wheat beer. While I do drink some beers, I don't like heavy and hoppy craft beer but I was able to find some lighter options at each brewery we stopped at.


The staff were really incredible in terms of keeping us entertained and educated throughout the tour. Despite it being a million degrees outside, I have to say this is the most fun I've had on a brewery/pub tour.

The third stop was at Big Top Brewing Company, which is another hidden gem with some amazing brews especially the Key Lime Wheat and then their Pumpkin Stiltskin during Oktoberfest.

The next stop was at Calusa Brewing Company which is a huge Tap Room with a brewery attached. At this point, all we wanted was some AC to cool down in before exploring the beer menu. The Coffee & Cinn Brown Ale was a hit among our group.


The last stop was at Pi Craft Beer & Spirits Restaurant which is a small laid-back joint in a strip-mall but is hugely popular for their pizza and craft beers. I think they knew pizza/food would hit the spot after beer drinking during the day.


It was such a fun experience and a great way to celebrate a bachelor/bachelorette party for those interested in breweries and beer tasting. I'd definitely go again at another time of year since Brew Thru Tours rotate to different breweries depending on the season.

Is it Friday yet?

Weekend Bachelorette Bash


I went to my first bachelorette for the year over the weekend for my sister-in-law. She's around my age so thankfully she chose a daytime brewery tour which is more my speed than going out clubbing until the early morning.

On Saturday morning we made the drive over to Sarasota to meet up with my SIL, cousins and her friends. Around 2pm we left for an Oktoberfest brewery tour to 5 different craft beer breweries in Sarasota. Despite it being a million degrees outside, it was a really fun tour and we tried some amazing beers.

After the tour, K and I went to grab dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Siesta Key. We shared some appetizers while listening to live music on the outside patio. After daytime drinking in the hot sun, I was ready to have a quiet night relaxing at my in-laws house for the rest of the night.

On Sunday morning we had some coffee with the in-laws and then hit the road to head back home. It was a fun weekend although I wish we could have stayed longer to go to Siesta Key beach which is gorgeous but hopefully we'll make it there before "winter" in Florida arrives.

Joining the lovely Biana for some Weekend talk.

Making Our Way Around Epcot's Food & Wine Festival

I've been living in Florida for 13 years and this was the first year I made it to Epcot's Food & Wine Festival and we had a blast. My only complaint is that it gets very crowded but otherwise the food and drink samples are excellent and worth every calorie.

The Food & Wine Festival was a huge part of why we purchased annual passes in the first place. Sadly our passes just expired over Thanksgiving weekend but we definitely made good use of them over the year especially at Epcot since it's more adult-friendly and our favorite park because of the amazing food and drink options. Unfortunately I didn't get to try every marketplace at the festival but everything we did try was nothing short of amazing.

The Ocean Spray cranberry grower's display as you walk into the world showcase shares the history of cranberries, how they are grown and harvested and why cranberries are excellent for a healthy lifestyle. Not the most interesting showcase but nevertheless it shared some interesting facts.

We had some wine and an assorted cheese platter at the Wine & Cheese Studios. I forgot to snap a photo but the trio artisan cheese platter included:
- Karst cave-aged cheese served with honey
- La Bonne Vie goat cheese served with Craisin bread
- Rogue Creamer Oregan Blue Cheese with berry port compote

Food: Chicken gyro with tzatziki sauce
Drink: Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko Athiri

Drink: Kaiser Brewery Xinghu Black Beer
Food: Escondidinho de carne (layered meat pie with mashed yucca)

Craft Beer:
Flight #2: Craft Beer Lovers
- 3 Daughter St Pete Beach Blonde Ale
- Florida Beer Company Passport
- Funky Buddha Vanilla Espresso Porter
- Shipyard Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Eat To The Beat Concert:
The performers change from week to week (2015 schedule) but we happened to catch Starship in concert back in October and they were amazing live. There are usually three show times per day and the concerts only last 35 minutes so it's not a long show and you can move on to exploring the rest of Epcot.

Drink: Snakebite (equal parts larger and cider).
You can get this all year long at the Rose & Crown Pub.

New Zealand:
Food: Lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney
Drink: Kim Crawford Pinot Gris

Photo credit

Farm Fresh:
Drink: Florida Orange Groves, Key limen wine
Food: Loaded mac 'n' cheese topped with Nueske's pepper bacon, cheddar cheddar cheese, peppers and green onions.

Food: Buttered chicken with micro cilantro and naan bread
Drink: Indaba Chenin Blanc

For anyone that has visited the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot, what's your favorite food or drink to sample?