The Gulf Coast's Entertainment Destination since 1967
Emerald Coast Beer Festival at Seville Quarter
Julio Diaz, Entertainment Editor
Emerald Coast Beer Fest, Thursday and Friday
Start the month by raising a pint or two this weekend at Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St., as the annual Emerald Coast Beer Festival returns for two nights of suds-fueled celebrations.
Kicking off Thursday, a special beer-pairings dinner will feature selections from Tampa's Cigar City Brewing. Cigar City "Ambeersador" Wayne Wambles will lead attendees through the evening's beers, paired with a special menu created by Seville Quarter's executive chef, Brandon Melton. Melton's selections will include Ropa Vieja, the classic Cuban shredded flank steak paired with Tocobaga Red Ale; coconut-crusted grouper with Guava Grove Saison; and a smoked pork and candied ham Cuban sandwich paired with Peach IPA.
The cost is $65 plus tax and gratuity, and at deadline, reservations were going fast. Call 434-6211, or visit www.sevillequarter.com to learn whether any spots remain available or to reserve yours.
The main event, though, is Friday's Grand Tasting. More than 50 exhibitors — breweries, brewpubs, homebrew clubs, distributors, retailers and vineyards — will be set up throughout the historic entertainment complex and on Government Street, which will be closed, offering samples of their wares from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Additionally, VIPs have access to Heritage Hall beginning at 5 p.m., with hors d'oeuvres and exclusive, hand-selected beers not available in the main tasting.
All ticket holders will receive a souvenir festival beer tasting glass, and will be admitted free to a post-event concert. Food will be available from vendor stands as well as Seville Quarter's full-service restaurant.
Tickets for the tasting are available for $25 from members of the Escambia Bay Homebrew Club, which presents the event, or for $39 online at www.emeraldcoastbeerfest.com. The price rises to $40 the day of the tasting.
VIP Tickets are $50 from Homebrew Club members and $55 online, or $60 the day of the event.
For an event like this, a designated driver is a must, and there will be plenty for them to enjoy at a substantially lower price, just $10. Obviously, those tickets do not include tasting any adult beverages.