Windermere played host to its 5th Annual Craft Beer Festival over the weekend and I got together with a few friends (some old some new) and we hit downtown Windermere like we were the kings and queens of the castle. Well maybe more like princes and princesses….you get the idea. We went out and partied!!!!! We had delicious craft beer. Listened to live music. Learned a little more about beer and a little bit about ourselves. Alright lets get to…. A Grand Quinquennial – Recap of Windermere’s Craft Beer Festival.
One of my favorite parts about beer fests are the future brewers who are looking to in with the crowds. MAE Brewing won me over this weekend. Not only did they have some great beer on tap but they were color coordinated. I’m talking hats to shirts to shorts. These guys looked like they were going to do a concert after the event.
In fact they were cool enough to give me a selfie. In turn I gave them an interview. You can see what everyone was saying about MAE Brewing on their Facebook page here.
These guys had a bunch beers on tap for patrons to enjoy. If I had to pick one I would say that Tolú , a white stout made with Colombian coffee, was my favorite of their list. To be fair they all had a great flavor profile and were prepared well. Keep your eyes peeled when as MAE Brewing is shooting for a 2019 Opening in Ocala, FL.
Another new standout that got me talking was the Windermere Brewing Company. Packed with 6 taps of beers that ranged from the light and refreshing to the dark and mysterious, Windermere Brewing Company seems to have the right ingredients when it comes to making a great quality beer.
It’s seems like a no-brainer that a city that provides an amazing beer festival year after year have a brewery in it’s own downtown area to help be a flagship. I for one hope they finalize a spot sooner than later so I can visit and enjoy their brews more often.
Winderemere Brewing Company ran the gambit in terms of types available at the event. Lake Day, a kölsch, was light and flavorful which would be perfect on a hot summer day in the shade. My favorite of the list was The Boilermaker, a chili pepper smoked porter. When it comes to introducing flavors I am always nervous that it will be either to strong and overpower the drinker or not have enough “umph” to really get what the label represents. Boilermaker gave me a nice layer of heat with a little smoke at the end.
The photo above may be the most unrelated pic for the whole event but was by far my favorite of the day. UFC Gym was out promoting as well and they had the Heavyweight Championship belt. I was not the first nor the last to throw on the title but damn do I look good with it on my shoulder. Shout out to the stranger who I said “Look serious for this photo”. I think he tried his best.
Overall this event was great. The Winderemere Police Foundation hosts this event and is one of my favorite events each year. Here is a quote about the foundation from their site:
The Foundation will also seek innovative ways to improve the quality of life of the citizens served by the Windermere Police Department and the Central Florida community, through advancements in safety and crime reduction, all with the goal of enhancing services within the area.
I love that this event is put on purely by volunteers and the foundations goal of improving quality of life for their city and Central Florida. I look forward to the Sexennial event next year (That’s 6 years for those who didn’t want to google).