Sprung, the Spring beer festival at Coconut Grove's Peacock Park, featured everything beer-related one could want in an afternoon. thousands of brew enthusiasts donning beer goggles, lederhosen, and their favorite brewery's logos gathered on a cloudy day to sample beer, listen to music, and play beer pong.
What made Sprung unique, however, was organizer Tony Albelo's dedication to showcasing Florida breweries. Indeed, instead of one "locals' corner", Florida brews commanded much of the beer fest's real estate, turning Sprung into a both a celebration of Florida's breakout beer scene and a preview of local breweries to come.
Oakland Park favorite Funky Buddha kept it classic with offerings of their Crusher Single Hop Session IPA; Hop Gun IPA; and Floridian Hefeweizen.
4th Age Brewing, opening a Wynwood Brewery, presented their Audrey II, a refreshing hibiscus beer with a spicy bite.
J. Wakefield's Strawberry IPA might just be the "it" beer for the coming Miami heat wave. A crisp IPA finish ensures that the fragrant strawberry top notes never overpower this porch pounder with too much fruit.
The Vice City roller derby team sold pretzel necklaces for their annual fundraiser. Both practical and delicious, the necklaces came in handy as both a palate cleanser between beers and tasty talisman to ward off hunger.
Lola the Baker's beer cupcakes were a hit. Each petite treat was baked with a different beer in the batter. For instance, the French toast maple bacon cupcake was made with Funky Buddha maple bacon porter and the lemon raspberry was made with Seadog raspberry wheat ale.
Saturday was a day for previews. Michael Schwartz's Harry's Pizzeria, soon to open just steps from Peacock Park, offered bites of polenta fries and spicy ketchup, paired with Michael's Genuine Home Brew.
Fans of Saint Arnold Brewing Company were able to try the Texas brewery's Santo, Lawnmower, and Endeavor beers way ahead of this week's Miami launch parties.
Concrete Beach was pouring Rica wheat IPA and Stiltsville European-style pilsner beers before their late spring opening of their state-of-the-art Wynwood tap room.
The most promising find of the afternoon was Spanish Marie, which combines craft beers with gourmet sweets for a decadent pairing experience. We particularly liked the King Charles Hefe, paired with a passion fruit candy. Partner Robert Pando says the company is looking to open a shop in the future. In the meantime, you can follow them on Facebook.
She's just in it for the Maple Bacon Porter.
Mustaches were in for everyone. Alchemy & Science's Traveler fruit ales dispenses mustaches for everyone in exchange for a shandy.