110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Feb. 3-9 declared DeLand Craft Beer Week
posted Feb 5, 2013 - 4:16:28pm
One of Central Florida’s most-anticipated events, the DeLand Craft Beer Festival is less than a week away.
But, this year, brew lovers don’t have to wait until the day of the Feb. 9 festival to start celebrating the art of brewing fine beers. The MainStreet DeLand Association has declared Feb. 3-9 DeLand Craft Beer Week.
MainStreet DeLand Executive Director Mary Beth Harris is looking forward to the event on Artisan Alley, which has been a sellout each year since it was created in 2009.
“People travel far and wide to come to this event,” Harris said.
Home-brew coordinator Ann-Marie Bays is excited about the growth of the 4-year-old festival. This year, organizers have added 25 additional beer tables, nearly doubling the choices for those who come to taste beer, and making plenty of room for domestic and international craft beers, as well as cask ales.
The Craft Beer Festival will occupy both of the historic garages on Artisan Alley, which runs
“This year’s festival will be bigger and better,” Bays said.
Bays and her boyfriend, Blair Willacker, are avid home-brewers and members of the Volusia County Homebrewers Guild. The guild will be serving at the festival, and Bays and Willacker will also be sampling some of their personal crafts.
“This is an event centered around craft beer,” Bays said. “It gives people the chance to try beers that they might never have the opportunity to.”
Attendees at the festival go from table to table tasting small servings of beer and talking with other beer lovers about the flavors and recipes. There are also breakout sessions for learning about aspects of beer-making, selling and packaging.
This year, three kickoff events will lead up to the Saturday festival.
The home-brew competition is first. Brewers will present their best porters and Valentine-inspired brews, and vie to please the palates of three judges. Members of the public are invited to watch the judges work 6-9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 5-6, in the MainStreet DeLand Association office at 100 N. Woodland Blvd., Suite 4.
On Thursday, Feb. 7, the kickoff party is planned 8 p.m.-close at DeLand Abbey, 117 N. Woodland Blvd. There will be raffles and prizes and, of course, plenty of beer flavors.
From 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, there will be meet-and-greets throughout Downtown DeLand, offering opportunities for festival patrons, organizers, brewery representatives and other beer lovers to network. For details about this event, check www.delandcraftbeerfestival.com.
The main event will take place 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, in Artisan Alley. More than 50 breweries will be represented, and staff members from Central Florida restaurants and bars will be on hand to pour samples of more than 130 beers.
DeLand artist Andy Dover will create live art at the festival, and there will be live entertainment, as well.
Festival tickets cost $35 in advance and $40 at the gate (if they are still available). Tickets can be purchased in person at Abbey (cash only), or at the MainStreet DeLand Association office.
Those attending the festival must be 21 or older. No pets, and no children — including infants — will be admitted.
For more information, call the MainStreet DeLand Association at 386-738-0649.
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