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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

“Beer: So much more than just a breakfast drink.” - Homer Simpson

September 3, 2018




“Beer: So much more than just a breakfast drink.” - Homer Simpson

Labor Day weekend in Key West has come to mean one thing and that is the annual Brewfest. Brewfest is now on its ninth year and it has continued to grow each year expanding from just the signature tasting event and a few beer dinners to what is now a full four day weekend of multiple events and activities.  Now in addition to the big tasting event, there are a multitude of other beer related events including a bunch of beer dinners at various restaurants, beer brunches, happy hour parties and what I really took advantage of this year, beer pool parties at various hotels and guest houses.


Sponsored by various beer companies, the beer pool parties are just as they sound wonderful parties held at hotel swimming pools and poolside bars. My first stop was at what is probably the longest running pool party sponsored by the Islamorada Brewing Company which is held each year at the Pineapple Pool at the Southernmost Beach Resort.



The party featured free flowing tappings of some of the Islamorada Brewing Company’s finest beers including Sandbar Sunday, Islamorada Ale, No Tan Lines, Channel Marker IPA and their yummy No Wake Zone – a Key Lime Coconut Ale. The place was crowded with their staff- all wearing their distinctive neon yellow gear and a bunch of beer fans as well as those who just enjoy a good party. 


My friend Top Jimmy was the DJ, as always providing some terrific tunes that complimented the activities which included giveaways, contests like the belly flop contest and more. The crew from Islamorada is a really fun group and they always bring a big posse down the Keys for Brewfest. 


This year was also the first year for another fun Brewfest event, a beer poker run. This event involved stopping at five different bars and enjoying a pint of some specialty craft beer, and getting a playing card eventually turning in your final hand at the final stop, with the best hands winning cash and prizes. You had two days, Thursday and Friday to complete your hand by stopping at  the Cork and Stogie, Old Town Tavern, Sinz Burrito, General Horseplay, and Sunset Pier – where you would turn in your hand.

Of course I completed the run and had a hand that contained- absolutely nothing. It was still fun to stop and visit the various bars, and to enjoy a nice variety of some cool craft beers in advance of the main event on Saturday afternoon. It is cool how Brewfest has now taken on a life of its own and what was already an amazing event just keeps getting better and better.


Perhaps the most enjoyable event I went to was the pool party at the Wicker Guest House sponsored by Ballast Point Brewing and Funky Budda Brewing. The Wicker Guest House is one of my favorite spots on the island and unlike some venues, it is not really open for public events all that often and I always enjoy going there when I get the chance. I think the last time I was there was for the KW Songwriter’s Festival back in May. 


Locally owned and operated the Wicker Guest House drew a wonderful mix of the out of town brewfest folks and a fun local crowd that included a lot of our good friends. The setting is so relaxing and wonderful and catching up with so many wonderful friends was especially wonderful, though events of the weekend involving the sudden passing of one of those friends make it especially bittersweet in retrospect. In the moment though, it was truly a wonderful and enjoyable party and I am so glad that I chose to attend.


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