We'll just say what everybody's thinking about the first-ever Tampa Bay Beer Week: What took so long?
The group organizing the event represents many of the major players in the burgeoning Tampa Bay craft beer scene — brewers, distributors, taverns and home brewers. It'll kick off with the Florida Brewers Guild Beerfest at Centro Ybor on Saturday, and ends March 10 with Cigar City's third annual Hunahpu's Day, a mini-beerfest marking the release of the brewery's acclaimed Imperial Stout and featuring additional samplings from local homebrewing talent.
In between will be smaller events (some actually start tonight), from beer pairings to special-release beers to brewery nights at taverns to homebrew demonstrations. Here are highlights. For a larger list, go to tampabaybeerweek.com
Times staff writer
Cold Storage's One-Year Anniversary: Featuring the release of two new beers, Copperhead Ale and Betchy Brown. $10 cover includes a commemorative glass and tour of the brewery. Cold Storage Craft Brewery, 4101 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813)374-2101. 5 p.m. today.
Seventh Sun Brewery First Pour: Get a taste of the new brew on tap for $5-$7 per glass. Dunedin House of Beer, 927 A Broadway, Dunedin. (727) 216-6318. 7 p.m. today.
Chain Links and Craft Drinks: A beer- and bike-enthusiast event featuring "Goldsprints" competitions, a free bike-repair clinic and specials on Lagunitas Brewery beers. No cover. The Independent, Seminole Heights, 5016 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 341-4883. 2 p.m. Saturday.
Florida Brewers Guild Beerfest: Sample more than 100 Florida-made craft brews. Advance $30; day of $40. Centro Ybor, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 242-4660. 2 p.m. Saturday,
East Coast vs. West Coast Beers: Battle of the beers between Brooklyn Brewery beers from New York and California's Anchor Steam varieties, with beer basket, drink card giveaways. No cover. Datz, 2616 S MacDill Ave., Tampa. (813) 831-7000. 6-10 p.m. Monday.
Dogfish Head Night: Choose from 10 beers on tap from Dogfish Head, including their special limited release 120 Minutes IPA. No cover. World of Beer Downtown St. Petersburg, 100 Fourth St. S, . (727) 823-2337. 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Hops in the Cauldron: Dunedin Brewery takes over the taps at the Ale and the Witch, where you can try Dunedin's Pale Ale, Dropkick Murphys Red Ale, HopNOM, Nelson Sauvin IPA, Black Cherry IPA, and Hop Cauldron on cask. No cover. The Ale and the Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-2533. 6 p.m. Tuesday,
Bell's Brewery Night: The Mellow Mushroom pours Bell's seasonal rendition of Double India Pale Ale, Hopslam Ale. No cover. Mellow Mushroom, 10959 Causeway Blvd., Brandon. (813) 685-1122. 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Beer Cocktails Night: Sample from a special menu of cocktails using locally crafted beers as mixers. $9-$13 each. Ciro's Speakeasy & Supper Club, 2109 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa. (813) 251-0022. 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Cigar City Brewmaster's Big Bottle Tasting and Discussion Table: Sample big bottles of specialty brews from Cigar City Brewery and join a discussion panel with the guys who make it all happen. $12. The Independent, Seminole Heights, 5016 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 341-4883. 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Grain to Glass: Ever wonder how simple ingredients like grains and hops combine to create beer? Special Hoperations, South Tampa homebrew club's interactive demonstration of brewing, includes bread types used in ancient brewing in Egypt and Mesopotamia, display of grains, hops and wort (prefermented liquid that becomes beer), plus beers for sampling and expert homebrewers on hand to talk beer and describe how different styles are created. No cover. 6-10 p.m. Wednesday.
G.O.O.D. (and RARE!) Barrel-Aged Beer Day: Peg's will be tapping special barrel-aged versions of their flagship beers at noon and 7 p.m., including two versions of Rare D.O.S., a beer with a 100 rating on Beer Advocate and 99 on Rate Beer. No cover. Peg's Cantina and Brew Pub, 3038 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport. (727)328-2720. Noon March 9.
Hunahpu's Day: Cigar City will release this year's batch of Hunahpu's Imperial Stout to much fanfare, including food trucks, live music and beer samples from local homebrew clubs. Bottles of Hunahpu's will be sold for $20 from 3:30-7:30 p.m., with a three-bottle limit. No cover. Cigar City Brewing, 3924 W Spruce St., Tampa. (813) 348-6363. 11 a.m. March 10.