Windermere to tap into 4th annual craft beer fest

The fourth annual Windermere Craft Beer Fest features 23 breweries and up to 50 craft beers.

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  • | 12:48 p.m. October 20, 2017
  • Southwest Orange
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WINDERMERE  With 23 breweries confirmed and up to 50 craft beers offered, Windermere’s fourth annual craft beer fest is ready once again to cater to local beer lovers.

Organized and hosted by the town of Windermere’s Downtown Business Committee, the Windermere Craft Beer Fest has brought together local and in-state breweries for four years now. Fans of craft beer will be able to taste a variety of ales, stouts, lagers and more — whether they were brewed a couple of miles or a few hundred miles away.

Chris Sapp, president of the DBC, said that while there are many beer festivals in Central Florida, there is bound to be something offered at Windermere’s that even a craft-beer connoisseur hasn’t tried before. 

“It’s a unique beer fest in regards to a lot of them — this one, to begin with, has the ambiance of being on old, brick Main Street, in front of historic town hall under the tree canopy, and with live music,” Sapp said. “For a beer fest I think it’s a very unique experience in that regard.”

Another key point to note is that Windermere’s craft beer fest is all brewer represented. While other beer fests tend to be run by the distributors, either the master brewers or representatives will be on hand here to talk about their beers.

“They (guests) can talk with someone who actually works with the brewery, whether it be the brewer or one of the brewery reps,” Sapp said. “…That’s another thing our fest prides itself on: A lot of start-up breweries will be there, and there will be something there someone has never tried, whether it be the brewery itself or a specific beer from the brewery.”

While the evening is dedicated to the enjoyment and appreciation of beer, the craft beer is also serving a cause. Proceeds will benefit the Windermere Police Department Foundation, Inc. and the Florida Brewers Guild.

The Windermere Police Foundation was established after the loss of Windermere Police Officer Robert “Robbie” German in March 2014. Its goal is to benefit Windermere residents, employees and families of the Windermere Police Department and the Central Florida community by improving citizens’ the quality of life through advancements in safety and crime reduction.

The Florida Brewers Guild’s mission is to educate the public about the brewing industry in Florida, promote networking amongst brewers and consumers and lobby for the rights of those in the Florida brewing industry.

“I think the biggest highlight is that not only is it a fest for the craft beer lovers out there, but it is a true nonprofit that benefits the town of Windermere, the Windermere Police Foundation and the brewers guild,” Sapp said. “They all donate their time, and they donate their beer to get it out to the public, so it’s our way of giving back to them, too, to help out their cause. We’re all about these small, real, true craft breweries.”

All 125 VIP tickets — which included a swag bag, commemorative event glass and access to Town Hall and VIP-exclusive beers — are sold out, Sapp said, but there are still general-admission tickets available. He hopes that the fest continues to expand in years to come.

“Hopefully this will be one of the premier events in Central Florida for the craft-beer industry,” Sapp said.


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