KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Fans of beers and ales can sample nearly 200 of them, while also discovering the flavors of the continental United States’ southernmost island, during a festival “brewed” especially for Labor Day weekend visitors.
The eighth annual Key West BrewFest is set for Thursday through Monday, Aug. 31 through Sept. 4. Activities “on tap” include brew-focused dinners, pool parties and tap takeovers, a lavish tasting festival on the beach and other enticements for thirsty attendees.
The event is presented by the Southernmost Beach Resort and the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club of the Conch Republic, and benefits Rotary charitable initiatives.
Beers range from intriguingly named offerings such as Harpoon Leviathan and Andygator to local favorites from the Florida Keys Brewing Co. and Islamorada Beer Co.
BrewFest starts at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, with a kick-off party at Key West’s Waterfront Brewery, 201 William St. Later Wednesday attendees can enjoy offerings including a Dogfish Head Beer Dinner at Bagatelle, 115 Duval St.
Friday’s attractions are to include a tap takeover and pool party with Islamorada Brewing Co. at the Southernmost Beach Resort’s Pineapple Pool, 1319 Duval St. That evening, the All AmeriCAN party pairs Key West’s famed waterfront sunset with leading canned craft beers at Ocean Key Resort’s Sunset Pier, 0 Duval St.
The undisputed festival highlight is Saturday’s BrewFest Signature Tasting Festival. Featuring some 200 beers from around the world, the tasting extravaganza is set for 5-8 p.m. on Key West’s South Beach, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at 1405 Duval St. Admission is $40 per person in advance or $45 at the door.
Lager lovers also can choose to pay $75 per person in advance for admission to a 3-5 p.m. VIP tasting with passed appetizers from the Southernmost Beach Cafe.
Subsequently, attendees can join the 8 p.m. Second Line March, dancing from South Beach down Key West’s legendary Duval Street to the Green Parrot Bar, 601 Whitehead St., for an after party.
Other weekend events include Sunday afternoon’s Pool Beer Pong Party Tour, a Monday bingo bash at the Green Parrot and beer dinners set for Sunday and Monday nights.
Event information and ticketing: keywestbrewfest.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY