Inaugural Craft Beer Fest a success

If you missed Craft Beer Fest this year, you really missed out.

Garage operations, commercial brewhouses and mom and pop shops came out in force to Ye Olde Brothers Brewery inaugural Craft Beer Fest 2019 last month.

As Navarre’s first craft brewery and a leader in the region, Ye Olde brought together more than 20 local and regional craft brewers to offer samples of their wares in a friendly competition. And those wares were delicious.

As live music played, hundreds of 21 and overs sipped samples ranging from fruity concoctions to classic styles.

Home brewers Brett Reid and Thomas Grier of Alga Beer Co. took home the title of People’s Choice. Alga is looking to open up a brewery business in downtown Pensacola in the near future.

“It is awesome,” Reid said. “To be a home brewer right now and beat out regionally commercial breweries is pretty dope.”

The companies stand outs were a crawfish saison made with Zataran’s seasoning and lemon zest as well as their galapagos double IPA.

“We ran out of almost everything,” Reid said.

The name Alga is a mass up of the abbreviations for Alabama and Georgia. The company got its start as two dudes meeting up on the weekends to share their creations. Reid lived in Birmingham, and Grier was living in Atlanta.

Coming in second by just one vote was Navarre’s up and coming brewery, St. Michaels Brewing Company. Located at 2199 Highway 87, St. Michaels owner Michael Bares has already cleared land for construction of a new brewhouse and tap room. Their cream ale, Irish stout and other brews were favorites among those sampling.

“We are waiting for some of the engineered building plans to come back to us,” he said. “Then we go back to the county for our second review. Then hopefully we can start pulling permits for construction.”

The gulf coast sports an impressive brewing legacy, and these craft brewers are always ready to welcome new taste testers. Plan to attend next year’s Craft Beer Fest by booking today at NavarreListings.com.

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