Fort Lauderdale is getting its first-ever beer festival! Say hello to Brews at the Beach: where we get to hang out on the sandy Fort Lauderdale beach, try over 40 beers, and still give back to the Broward County community.
With so many beer and wine festivals already in South Florida, it is a surprise that there has not been one yet in Fort Lauderdale.
"There are a ton [of beer festivals] in Miami, North Miami, and Pembroke Pines. There are even a few in West Palm Beach, but there's not one in the middle... so we decided to give it a shot," said Phillip Marro, co-founder of Brews at the Beach.
The idea had been marinating in Marro's head long before he started working with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Food and Wine Festival.
"I always wanted to do a beer festival. At a previous job, I worked with a company that did a festival in South Beach that dealt with beer and wine. They had some struggles with the weather for two years and couldn't sustain it, so it went away," Marro said. And yet, the thought of putting one on himself didn't.
He then met his co-founder Kate Reed while putting together the GFLFW and the two wanted to prove themselves to the market by putting on "something different."
"I love a challenge and I really thought the area needed something like this," Reed said.
In an effort to highlight Fort Lauderdale as a destination in the winter, the festival is also a chance to show off how beautiful the area is during this time of the year. Brews at the Beach is the only beer festival that actually takes place on the sand - a statement that would make the rest of the country want to grab an airplane ticket.
And while locals and tourists alike might be flocking to Miami's Art Basel weekend, Brews at the Beach allows there to be a different kind of cultural experience.
"Art Basel leaves a big void in Fort Lauderdale," Marro said. "Broward County businesses also need some love."
The best part isn't even about the drinks, it's that a portion of all proceeds will benefit The Crockett Foundation, a Broward County-based non-profit organization that aims to help inner-city youth to build leadership skills into different careers. Through after-school programs that focus on math, reading, health, and technology, the students learn how to be the leaders of their community.
So grab your sandals and a ticket, Brews at the Beach is going to be un-beer-lieveable!
Saturday, December 7 from 12-4 p.m.
Sunrise Blvd and A1A on Fort Lauderdale Beach