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Event Recap: Spring Beer Fling 2016

After moving over from Tampa to St. Pete for this year’s event, Spring Beer Fling made another move just days before the big day. Threats of rainy and stormy weather prompted Spring Beer Fling to release the news that instead of occurring at Vinoy Park, the event would be moved inside to the Coliseum. Despite the move, the event continued on as planned, minus a few inflatable games.

I arrived shortly after the event began and the rain had cleared. Walking into the Coliseum really did feel like a spring break event, with beach balls all around and a band playing on the stage. Along the walls, I found local beer from 3 Daughters, Pair O' Dice Brewing, and beer from a little further away like Magic Hat and Bold City.

After making a lap to see what the breweries had to offer, I settled on Tampa Bay Brewing Company’s Reef Donkey, an easy to drink American Pale Ale that I’d tried before. My boyfriend went for Pair O' Dice Clearwater Honey Cream Ale, and it actually did taste deliciously like honey. Drinks were not included in the ticket price, and we bought ours for $6 each via drink tickets.

Outside, we found a nice seating area, giant inflatable games and food trucks. Unfortunately, the rain and flooding made the inflatable games unusable (at least during the time that I was there) but cornhole and giant beer pong were set up and people were playing. The atmosphere resembled a backyard party–one with lots of great food and beer.

Feeling hungry, we browsed the food truck selection and ultimately chose the Surf and Turf truck. I munched on some parmesan truffle fries while my boyfriend tried the Dublin Layer Lobster Roll.

At this point, the crowds were rolling in and I can only image how busy it got by the time the headliner, Rusted Root, showed up to play at around 9pm.

Before we headed out, my boyfriend had his eye on one more beer, Sea Dog Sunfish. It was light in fruity flavor and smelled suspiciously familiar… I finally pinpointed it as smelling exactly like Hawaiian Punch.

Another one of us at The Brewery Bay, Adriana, stopped by The Spring Beer Fling and she gives us her take.

"We were excited to see the event had been moved to The Coliseum due to rain because that building casts such a specific lens over any event. So before any beers were even tasted, I was having a great time observing all the people and pretending we were at a community prom."

As far as beers go, Adriana's thoughts are as follows: 

Bold City - Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale: "This was a smooth brown ale that actually delivered the chocolate and caramel hints it claimed. This was definitely my favorite."

Bold City - Killer Whale Cream Ale: "This was a refreshing chaser to the first ale and was light enough to have more than one if there weren’t so many others to try."

Magic Hat - Electric Peel: "I’m a fan of fruity beer and not ashamed to say it! I especially love a grapefruit finish and this one didn’t disappoint."

Overall, it was a fun beer-filled day, and although I was disappointed at the venue change (although I might have been the only one), it was the right call and made for a great event.

A big thanks to the team at Spring Beer Fling for the tickets!