Beer Buzzed 

Hurricane Matthew Affects Beerfests

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Hurricane Matthew continues its trek northward from the Caribbean and The Bahamas toward the eastern Florida coast and is expected to pass dangerously close and/or make landfall in the Jacksonville metro area on October 7. While the severe physical effects of the powerful hurricane and threats to life cannot be downplayed, even the beer community has been affected, as several outdoor beerfest events have already been rescheduled.

brewatthezoojaxJacksonville Zoo has rescheduled its Brew at the Zoo beerfest from Friday night, October 7 to Friday, November 11. All levels of tickets to the beerfest sold out in August.  The beerfest, celebrating its 10th Anniversary, features over 130 vendors, including breweries and distributors, along with restaurants.  The event is unique in that the ticketed entry also includes food samples. Ticketholders do not need to take any further action; existing tickets will be honored at the rescheduled November 11 fest.

Further, according to a press release issued on October 5, the Zoo reported that it will be closed to the public on Thursday and Friday, October  6 and 7, with a planned reopening on Saturday, October 8, pending damage assessments.  Zoo Executive Director Tony Vecchio emphasized that “[e]very precaution is being taken to ensure the well-being of our patrons, employees and their families and our animals.” The Zoo is holding many of the animals in their night houses for their safety, and the larger animals will stay in their indoor enclosures during the storm. Certain Zoo staff will remain on premises throughout the storm to monitor the animals and the property.


rockywaterbrewfestlogoAnother beerfest rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew is the third annual Rocky Water Brew Fest, reset to Saturday, November 5 from the original date of Saturday, October 8, at the Eau Gallie Arts District in Melbourne. The Rocky Water Brew Fest is an all-Florida brewery fest, featuring approximately 30 Florida breweries. Proceeds benefit charities served by the local Eau Gallie Rotary Club. Each year, several streets in the Eau Gallie area are closed for the fest, which has an intimate, small-town feel.  The Fest features not only unlimited beer sampling, but live musical entertainment and food trucks.  Take a look at my recap of last year’s fest here.

Follow these and other beerfests and beer events in the Jacksonville area and around Florida at


Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®