While most of the country will be under a foot of snow February 1, Miami will host a boozy way to cool down: the Miami Beer Festival.
Last year's inaugural event introduced around 2,000 attendees to more than 150 beers under the retractable roof of Marlins Park, with 50 breweries featuring at least three beers on tap.
This year's festival shifts to the football field at Sun Life Stadium and will have a greater focus on local breweries and local ingredients.
"One thing that makes this beer festival unique to others around the nation is the freshness of the ingredients," says Dan Silberstein, the festival's promoter. "A guava ale made in South Florida will taste noticeably fresher than one made where the ingredients have to be flown in."
Local breweries -- including Miami Brewing Company, Angry Union, MIA Brewing (formerly Most Wanted), Sexy Llama, and Wynwood Brewing -- will feature aptly named Floridian brews such as Poolside Pilsner, Lost in Paradise, La Rubia, Magic Sticke, and Mango-Guava Sour.
A bigger market for craft beers and more restaurants carrying local brews on tap has encouraged the local beer industry across South Florida.
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"We have tried to set this festival apart by focusing on and featuring local breweries," Silberstein explains. "With so many more local breweries springing up, it is obvious that the local craft beer industry is on the upswing in South Florida."
In addition to the 51 breweries slated to keep the suds flowing, the second annual Miami Beer Festival will offer a fun zone. Guests can take pictures in the unique Volkswagen Beetle photo booth, take turns throwing footballs through hoops, and try their luck kicking the pigskin through the uprights. The party will also feature a live local DJ and food trucks Latin Burger, Che Grill, Empanada Truck, Top Fries, and B&B Joint.
Tickets cost $40 for regular entry at 2 p.m. and $50 for VIP, which allows entry at 1 p.m. Along with enjoying shorter lines and an extra hour of pounding beers, VIP attendees can sample a special brew from each brewery that will be exclusive to the first hour of the event. Tickets and a list of participating breweries are available at miamibeerfestival.com.