Dynamic Duo: Sea and suds
This week is about two things, so pay attention: Beer. And. Seafood.
BEER NIGHT ST. PETE
First up, catch one of the main events of this year's St. Pete Wine & Food Festival with Beer Night St. Pete. Under two huge, elegant white tents in North Straub Park, top local, regional and national brewers will present their best craft beers and ciders, paired with restaurant cuisine, in an all-inclusive celebration of Tampa Bay's emerging craft beer scene. 4:30-9:30 p.m. Friday. Must be 21 or older. $65, $85 VIP (includes early admission). Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive, St. Petersburg.
BREW HAHA AND BANDS, BREWS AND BBQ
Saturday night you can choose between the Brew HaHa at the TPepin's Hospitality Centre in Tampa or Bands, Brews & BBQ at Sea Dog Brewing Co. in Clearwater.
The former features craft beers, live entertainment, food trucks and games, and benefits Starting Right, Now, a charity to end child homelessness. 5-9 p.m. Saturday. $35-$40; $15 designated driver. 4121 N 50th St., Tampa. (813) 868-1995.
The latter features more than 15 beers on tap, growler specials, brats on the grill and a full menu, plus prizes, giveaways, live music and outdoor games, as well as a meet-and-greet with the brewmaster. 3-9 p.m. Saturday. Free admission; food and drink prices vary. 26200 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. (727) 466-4916.
BRANDON SEAFOOD FESTIVAL
Despite the fact that Seafood Month just concluded, November is getting off to a sumptuous start with the Brandon Seafood Festival on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. An all-you-can-eat Southern fried seafood buffet combines with a pie-eating contest, live music, face painting and bounce houses, and it benefits local and international charities. $20 advance, $25 at door; $10 ages 12-17; $1 or one canned food donation ages 11 and younger. Rotary's Camp Florida, 1915 Camp Florida Road, Brandon. (813) 313-6366.
FISH BROIL & MULLET FESTIVAL
If that didn't scratch the seafood itch, get up the next day and head to the Fish Broil & Mullet Festival in St. Pete Beach's Horan Park. In a new location this year due to road construction on Pass-a-Grille, the 86th annual fish broil features a signature fresh fish dinner ($8), grilled on mattress coils over hot coals, with other food vendors and beer and wine for sale, live music, a fishing tournament for kids and other kids' activities (think super trampoline, inflatable games and auctions). The event benefits Gulf Beaches Elementary, Montessori by the Sea, St. John Vianney, the St. Pete Beach Public Library and Gulf Beaches Historical Museum. 1-6 p.m. Free admission. 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach. (727) 363-9245.
LARGO TASTE FEST
If you feel like combining sea and suds, the Largo Taste Fest on Saturday allows you to savor menu favorites presented by area restaurants like Roosterfish Grill, Sage's Bistro and Cafe Largo, then relax in the beer and wine "aquatic garden." Once fortified, you can browse the festival grounds in an outdoor tropical setting, view works by local artists (like the ones at left from a previous festival) and vote for your favorite restaurant and best artist work, with music, silent auction and a cash bar. Beverage sales support the Largo Rotary Community Grant program, and other proceeds support the Summer Camp scholarship program for the Recreation, Parks and Arts Department. 5:30-8:30 p.m. $25 advance, $30 at door; includes one drink. Highland Recreation Complex and Family Aquatic Center, 400 Highland Ave. NE, Largo. (727) 439-0761.