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Tampa Bay food events this weekend: Barrel Aged Saturday, Flavors of Love

Plus, the Florida State Fair’s Fair-Tastic Food Contest has crowned its student winners.
St. Petersburg brewery Pinellas Ale Works will release a lineup of whiskey barrel-aged beers on Feb. 1. [Courtesy of Pinellas Ale Works]
St. Petersburg brewery Pinellas Ale Works will release a lineup of whiskey barrel-aged beers on Feb. 1. [Courtesy of Pinellas Ale Works]
Published Jan. 29


Barrel Aged Saturday takes over Pinellas Ale Works with a release of five special beers on tap. Aged in whiskey barrels for more than a year, the featured drafts include Howlin’ (strong Scotch ale), Play Dead (barleywine), Pomeranian Porter (Baltic porter) and Cocomutt (toasted coconut Baltic porter). But the award-winning 1888 Russian Imperial Stout leads the pack. Bonus: Bottles of Cocomutt also make their tasting room debut. Filipino food truck Flip’n Tasty supplies the eats, while live music comes from Brittany Baldwin. Free, food and drink additional. Noon-midnight Saturday. 1962 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 235-0970.

St. Petersburg brewery Pinellas Ale Works will release a lineup of whiskey barrel-aged beers on Feb. 1. [Courtesy of Pinellas Ale Works]


The Florida Food & Brews Festival brings beer and grub samples and a friendly competition to England Brothers Park. Dozens of restaurants and breweries are set to face off for several titles, including Best Entree, Best Vegan Entree, Best Food Truck, Best Side Dish and Best Dessert. Tunes, a pet treat contest, wiener dog races, musical bingo and vendors complete the afternoon. Benefits antiviolence and community programs. $5, food and drink additional. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. 5010 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park.


Ratza Chocolate owner Sara Ratza and Two Lions Winery & Palm Harbor Brewery join forces for Flavors of Love: A Craft Chocolate and Wine Pairing. Hosted at Two Lions, this 21-and-older event with limited seating matches Ratza’s single-origin organic chocolates with a curated flight of four wines. Ratza Chocolate uses the raw cacao bean — roasted, peeled and ground in small batches — to pull off its sweet signature. During the pairing, the owner will walk you through the bean-to-bar process while discussing the history behind cacao and love. Tickets include access to the wine and chocolate, plus tip and a chocolate bar for the road. $40. 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday. 1022 Georgia Ave., Palm Harbor.

Sara Ratza, the owner of Ratza Chocolate. [Courtesy of Ratza Chocolate]
Related: All the new Florida State Fair foods, from Oreo funnel cake to peanut butter ramen burgers


The Florida State Fair has named the winners of its annual Fair-Tastic Food Contest. High school culinary students from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Manatee counties threw down with out-there fair food recipes earlier this month. Three came out on top: Natalia Collazo of Durant High School for Apple Fingers with caramel and powdered sugar; Arianna Fratta of Bloomingdale High School for Decked-Out Fries with diced onions and tomatoes, beef, cheddar cheese, sliced scallions and jalapenos and sour cream; and Alexis Guyton of Bloomingdale High School for Cuban egg rolls with mayo, mustard and honey sauce. In addition to appearing in the digital Florida State Fair Cookbook, their victorious bites will be served in the Demonstration Kitchen at this year’s celebration, which returns to Tampa Feb. 6-17. Other planned fair foods include everything from new Cajun chili cheese fries to the peanut butter ramen burger.

Alexis Guyton of Bloomingdale High School won the Best of Savory category for her Cuban egg rolls at this year's Fair-Tastic Food Contest in Tampa. [Courtesy of Florida State Fair]


  1. Downtown St. Petersburg's Watergarden Inn at the Bay houses a new popup restaurant called the Kitchen at Watergarden. [Courtesy of the Kitchen at Watergarden]
  2. Watermelon salad with feta and mint [MICHELLE STARK  |  Times]
  3. An illustration of a casserole. [Illustration by Lisa Merklin   |   Times]
  4. Chef Joe Isidori will lead JoToro, which is opening soon at Sparkman Wharf in Tampa. [Courtesy of JoToro]
  5. Tampa's El Toro Loco features more than a dozen tacos, including crispy fried fish, center. [MEAGHAN HABUDA  |  Times]
  6. Gulfport's North End Taphouse pours a Tampa Bay-focused lineup of craft beers, ciders and hard seltzers. [MEAGHAN HABUDA | Times] [MEAGHAN HABUDA  |  Times]
  7. New in Clearwater, the Healthy Hive specializes in energizing teas and protein smoothies. [Courtesy of the Healthy Hive]
  8. Yesterday• Arts & Entertainment
    Strawberry shortcake is among the attractions at Plant City's Florida Strawberry Festival, which will kick off on Feb. 27. [Tampa Bay Times (2016)]
  9. New '47 brand caps featuring spring training designs are on display as the Phillies reveal what's new at Spectrum Field in Clearwater. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  10. Columbus, Ohio-based Jeni’s Spendid Ice Creams plans to open two locations in Tampa this summer. [Courtesy of Jeni’s Spendid Ice Creams]
  11. New Orleans-based Dat Dog offers exotic sausages like alligator, duck and crawfish, along with multiple vegan options and more than 30 toppings. The chain is seeking franchisees to bring a location to Tampa Bay. [Dat Dog]
  12. The Cheesecake Factory will bring an iconic selection of more than 50 cheesecakes and desserts to Clearwater mall Westfield Countryside this year. [Courtesy of the Cheesecake Factory]