Craft-beer enthusiasts and folks looking for a good time — and are of the legal drinking age, of course — are encouraged to buy tickets and join in on the fun from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, in downtown Windermere.
Chris Sapp, the event’s lead planner and the chairman of the Downtown Windermere Business Committee, said this year’s festival will be highlighted by an increased emphasis on local brews.
“The difference this year is we’ve concentrated on the small shop, local feel,” Sapp said. “Ninety percent of our breweries that are participating are local Central Florida or I-4-corridor brewers. … That’s the difference between our beer festival moving forward — it’s not going to be that typical distributors’ event. We want to keep it Florida as best as we can.”
To that end, some local breweries whose beers will be available will include Winter Garden’s Crooked Can Brewery, Orlando Brewing, the recently opened Ten10 Brewing in Orlando and two soon-to-be-opened breweries that will share a building on West Church Street in Orlando near the site of the Orlando City Soccer Club’s future stadium, Black Cauldron Brewing and Broken Strings Brewery.
The event will also feature plenty of good eats and live music. Like the inaugural festival, the day will begin at 3 p.m. with a 5K “Beer Run” through downtown Windermere.
Judging by the number of pre-sale tickets sold to this point, organizers are excited and anticipating an even larger turnout than in 2014, when more than 500 beer drinkers came out in addition to the non-beer drinkers who joined them.
Proceeds from both the run and the festival will benefit the Windermere Police Foundation.
In addition to going toward a good cause, Sapp said hosting these types of events in downtown Windermere serves an important purpose to growing the district’s brand around Central Florida. That is something that has been a priority for the Downtown Windermere Business Committee, which also puts on the town’s food truck events and farmers’ market.
“The goal is to say, ‘Hey Windermere is here — it’s a vibrant downtown, so on come down and check us out,’” Sapp said. “We want there to always be something going on. I think (the craft beer festival) is a perfect fit. It has got a great ambience (paired) with the brick streets and the oak tree canopy.”
IF YOU GO
Windermere Craft Beer Fest & Beer Run
WHEN: 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24
WHERE: Downtown Windermere
TICKETS: Available at windermerecraftbeerfest.com ($50 for VIP, $30 for general admission and $10 for designated driver)
BENEFICIARY: Windermere Police Foundation
To get more details about the second annual Windermere Craft Beer Fest & Beer Run, or to purchase tickets, go online to windermerecraftbeerfest.com or visit the event’s Facebook page, facebook.com/Windermere CraftBeerFest. Registration for the Beer Run can be purchased by visiting the website of Tri & Run of West Orange, trinrun.com.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].