The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg has declared that beer can be a work of art, so for the Beer Project running Thursday through Saturday, the museum and downtown galleries will toast beer crafts, craft beer and artworks.
From 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday author and craft artist Shawn Bowman of Portland will show "what to do with 99 bottles of beer on the wall." She can create wearable jewelry, a birdhouse and sculptures from repurposed beer cans, bottle caps, even labels. She will sign copies of her book Beer Crafts following the demonstration. Cigar City Brewing and Brew Bus Tampa Bay will provide beer tastings and CD Roma Restaurant will offer free snacks. The program is free with MFA admission ($5 after 5 p.m. on Thursdays), which includes access to the entire museum.
On Friday from 7 p.m. to midnight, Green Bench Brewing Co. will have a release party for its Double Rice IPA, influenced by the MFA's visiting collection of Asian art. Gerard Walen also will sign copies of his book Florida Breweries from 7 to 9 p.m. There is no cover charge at the brewery, 1133 Baum Ave. N in St. Petersburg.
Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at the museum there will be at a tasting, demonstrations and awards. You can taste home brews and vote for your favorites. There will be beer and craft demonstrations and snacks from CD Roma, with Walen signing copies of his book from 2 to 3 p.m. The cost is $35 and tickets can be purchased online at fine-arts.org/beer-project or by calling (727) 896-2667.
Later Saturday, several galleries will have beer tastings during the Second Saturday Art Walk from 4 to 9 p.m. Each gallery will have a scavenger ticket to enter a drawing for prizes at 3 Daughter's Brewing later in the evening at the after party from 6 to 9 p.m. at 222 22nd St. S in St. Petersburg.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer
Festival on the bayou
Nectarine Lambic. If those two words caused you to start drooling, read on. That's one of the beers that Tampa homebrew club Special Hoperations is pouring at Saturday's Sour, Berliner Weisse and Lambic Festival at Pinellas Park's Cajun Café on the Bayou. Now in its third year, the festival is a can't-miss event for lovers of funky, sour beers, such as lambic, gueuze, Berliner weisse, gose and American wild ale. Several local breweries, homebrew clubs and distributors will be on hand with samples of their most tart, fruity and complex brews, accompanied by Cajun food and live music. Cajun Café owner Paul Unwin will also share a boatload of bottles from his private stash, including several highly sought-after brews not found elsewhere in Florida. The festival runs 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Cajun Café on the Bayou, 8101 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park. Tickets are $50 in advance through etix.com, $65 at the door. For info, call (727) 546-6732 or see cajuncafeonthebayou.com.
Justin Grant, Times correspondent
Exploring the sour side
Enjoying exotic, mysterious beers is all the more enjoyable when you have an idea of how they're created. If you want to elevate your knowledge of the art of sour beer production, check out New Belgium Brewing's Sour Symposium Friday evening at Tampa's Epicurean Theater. There are events at 6 and 9 p.m. featuring Eric and Lauren Salazar, the folks behind New Belgium's wood cellar, barrel-aging program and sour beer blending process. Attendees will learn how beers are blended to create new, complex brews and the sensory aspects of the process, all while enjoying some of the brewery's phenomenal La Folie sour brown ale. The symposium is inside the new Epicurean Hotel, 1207 S Howard Ave., Tampa. Tickets are $50 and available at epicureantheater.com.
Justin Grant, Times correspondent