Beer Buzzed 

DeLand Craft Beer Fest Offers Beer Samplings, February 11

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Back for its 8th year, the DeLand Craft Beer Fest will once again be held in historic Downtown DeLand, but at a new location. According to Fest Organizer Ann-Marie Bays, the fest has simply “outgrown” the previous site along Georgia Ave. As much as the Fest Committee “loves that part of town,” the fest is being moved “a couple of blocks north, to Indiana Ave., still in the heart of downtown.” The fest venue runs along East Indiana Ave. from North Woodland Blvd. to and including North Alabama Ave. Those streets will be closed to accommodate the brewery tents and foot traffic.

As of now, Mother Nature is indicating that the only thing that will be pouring at Saturday’s upcoming DeLand Craft Beer Festival is BEER! The forecast calls for a near 80°day with sunny skies, so you just might be able to swap that rain poncho for some sunscreen this time around (you had to be there; see recap of last year’s fest).

The fest will feature 85-90 breweries, pouring about 350-400 different beers. Fest attendees will find local Volusia County breweries, of course, along with a large contingent of breweries representing Central Florida and the Tampa area. Breweries from Space Coast, North Florida and South Florida will also be under the tents, in addition to a number of national and regional breweries. Also on site will be three area homebrew clubs: Volusia County Homebrew Guild, Central Florida Home Brewers, and Brew Club of Seminole County.  New this year is the addition of local restaurant vendors with food booths setup throughout the fest venue. DeLand Craft Beer Fest is the main event of Volusia Beer Week, which began on February 3 and concludes with a Hangover Brunch on Sunday. The Week’s events are a celebration of beer and include: East Meets West, Drink Volusia Bus Tour, Canal Street Craft Beer Walk, History by the Pint, Beer Geek Trivia, Weyerbacher Wednesday, Brews and Bowties, Vendor Party, Brooklyn Brewing presents Volusia Brew-Con, and various tastings at Total Wine Daytona.

DeLand Craft Beer Fest 2016: singin in the rain…. or slingin in the rain (photo by Linda Johnson)

Two local Volusia County breweries, Daytona Beach Brewing and New Smyrna Beach Brewing, brewed a Volusia Beer Week Collab Beer, the Eureka Effect DIPA (9.1 ABV, 90 IBU), which is available now at those tap rooms and is expected to be poured at the Fest.

The second signature event of Volusia Beer Week is the “Brews & Bow Ties” 10-course beer pairing dinner held at the Artisan Alley, on Thursday, February 9 from 7-10pm. The dinner is a cocktail-formal event and pairs 10 unique and/or rare beers with dishes prepared by local chefs. As of this writing, limited tickets are available.

DeLand is about 1-1/2 hours away from Jax. If you aren’t familiar with DeLand, it’s the Volusia County Seat, home of Stetson University (the oldest private college in Florida), and host of a number of 19th-century historic buildings.

Downtown DeLand might be described as “quaint,” and it certainly has a small-town feel. Indiana Avenue is dotted with shops and eating/drinking establishments under lampposts. Proceeds from DeLand Craft Beer Fest benefit Main Street DeLand to help support historical preservation efforts and funding of events presented by the organization to protect and promote DeLand’s historic heritage. In addition, a portion of proceeds from the Brews & Bow Ties and Bus Tour events are directed to the Children’s Home Society of Florida (seeking to protect abused children) and Drink Safe Florida (community awareness program designed to advance safe environments in bars and restaurants).

The DeLand Craft Beer Fest runs from 1-5pm on Saturday, February 11. Limited tickets are available here.


Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®

(cover photo by Linda Johnson)