Local News

Craft beer festival to benefit children's museum

SEBRING - Don't expect to taste Budweiser or Busch at the First Round of Beer Festival this Saturday in downtown Sebring. The festival to benefit the Children's Museum of the Highlands, will feature craft beers, which by definition do not come from major breweries. The American Brewer's Association defines a craft brewery as "small, independent and traditional," according to Wikipedia. The definition also limits craft breweries to those that produce less than 6 million barrels of beer per year and those in which a non-craft brewery has more than 24 percent ownership. Linda Crowder, director of the museum, said that as far as she knows it will be the first craft beer festival in Sebring.
"This is the first year, so we're calling it the First Round of Beer Festival," she said. When the idea was first announced, Crowder said, some people had the wrong impression the festival would be at the museum, possibly with children present. "This is not an event for children," she said, adding that the event will begin at 6 p.m. at the circle. For $25 in advance and $30 at the event, attendees will be able to sample 30 differ flavors of craft beer from 19 breweries. Samples of food from several restaurants will also be available, she said. People will get 2 ounces of beer at each station, she said. "It's not full servings of anything," Crowder said. A lot of the beer will have unusual flavorings, such as chocolate or citrus, she said. Some of the beer will come from breweries in tampa, including Florida Avenue Ales and Cigar City. Tampa Bay area has become a hot spot for craft beer breweries, said Sharmi Duncan, an employee of Florida Avenue Ales. Duncan said Florida Avenue produces four different flavors, including blueberry, that will be available for sampling. "It smells stronger than it tastes," she said. Attendees also will be able to taste Florida Cracker White Ale from Cigar City, another craft brewery in Tampa, said Travis Kruger, an elector who tells the story of the brewery. He said Florida Cracker White Ale has a somewhat spicy taste with some presence of citrus. Cigar City typically produces eight to 12 flavors of beer at anyone time and has created more than 800 flavors during the past year. Craft beer breweries focus more on quality than major brewers, he said. The event also will have entertainment from Logan Dressel, who plays country music. Proceeds will help with the museum's overhead expenses, Crowder said. For information on getting tickets, call (863) 385-5437. jmeisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834.