What’s happening in food: Prepare for Hunahpu and other Tampa Bay food and beer festivals.

Spring is coming. Celebrate with a whole bunch of beer and food festivals this weekend.
Published February 20

Times Food Critic

SAVE THE DATE: HUNAHPU’S DAY

Serious beer lovers have already got this inked in and underlined. Tickets for Cigar City’s 10th annual Hunahpu madness are already on sale, and the event is March 9 in Lots 5 and 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. This year, Cigar City Brewing is offering two variants of the award-winning Imperial Stout (the 15th highest-rated beer in the world by ratebeer.com), only released to the public one day a year. There are three types of tickets for sale: For $200 you get entrance to Hunahpu’s Day and four bottles of the 2019 release of Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout. For $300 you get entrance to Hunahpu’s Day, four bottles of the 2019 release of Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout and four bottles of Xbalanque, an Amburana wood-rested Imperial Stout. And for $400, you get the entrance, four of each of those, as well as four bottles of Xquic Maple Imperial Stout. All tickets include unlimited 2-ounce samples of beer during the event, tapas-sized food portions from area food trucks, a collectible acrylic sample glass and free general admission entry into the Gasparilla Music Festival on March 10. Additional VIP benefits include access to an exclusive tent with seating, specialty food options, VIP exclusive tappings and private restrooms. hunahpusday.com.

SEA SALT: WINE DINNER

Chef Ken Tufu and sommelier Jackie Eash are putting together another wine dinner at Sea Salt in St. Petersburg, this one saluting Duckhorn Vineyards at 7 p.m. Feb. 27. Tickets are $120 plus tax and gratuity. The guest speaker will be Patrick Madden from Duckhorn Vineyards, and dinner will include belon oysters paired with Calera Central Coast Vin Gris, Hamachi tartare with Calera Mt. Harlan Viognier, maple-tamari baked wahoo with 2015 Canvasback Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and seared venison loin with 2015 Duckhorn Napa Merlot. In other Sea Salt news, for every glass of red wine sold in February, the restaurant will donate $1 to the American Heart Association. Consider it a Valentine’s gift. 183 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 873-7964.

FEELING SHAKEN OR STIRRED?

It’s time to dress up for WineFest 2019: Vino Royale. Come in your James Bond-inspired costume (villains are more fun: Blofeld is kind of difficult, but for Oddjob you really just need the bowler hat) for this fundraiser with a two-tiered wine tasting with small plates (Friday) and a multicourse wine-paired dinner by chef Marty Blitz (Saturday). This event at the Tampa Theatre benefits the theater’s ongoing preservation and restoration. $55 to $275. 8 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday. 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8286. tampatheatre.org.

MORE BEER: A GOOD THING

Head to England Brothers Park in Pinellas Park for the Florida Food and Brews Festival. In addition to the selection of craft beers, there will be more than 40 local restaurants and food trucks offering dishes for $5 or less, plus live music, standup comedians and shopping. $15, 12 and younger free. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 5010 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park. (727) 541-0845. foodbrewsfestival.com.

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