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Emerald Coast Beer Festival at Seville Quarter

Emerald Coast Beer Festival at Seville Quarter

PNJ.Com

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.

Proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida and Seville Rotary. For details, visit www.emeraldcoastbeerfest.com or www.escambiabayhomebrewers.org.

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