The official kick-off party for Tampa Bay Beer Week is Friday at Tampa's Pour House at Grand Central, featuring 40 beers from Florida breweries. But there are dozens of other events running through March 12, ranging from large-scale festivals to beer tastings, classes, beer dinners and more. It's no coincidence that the craft beer community has grown along with this event that started in 2012. For info on the kickoff, call (813) 402-2923. Here are more of the week's highlights, in chronological order.
The Ultimate Brewer II
27 different breweries including Barley Mow, Brew Bus and Pair O Dice were challenged with a blind draw to select from 30 different ingredients to craft a beer from. The winner will be decided at this blind tasting event. How do you feel about sea salt and banana or butterscotch and thyme? $25. Crooked Thumb Brewery, 555 Tenth Ave. S, Safety Harbor. (727) 422-2087. 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Florida Brewers Guild Craft Beer Festival
Sample your way through more than 200 beer handcrafted by more than 50 Florida breweries. Includes unlimited samples and a commemorative tasting glass. Food trucks on site. 21 and older only. $35-$65. Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park, 601 Old Water St., Tampa. (804) 938-8650. 2-5 p.m. Saturday.
Brewers' Ball After-Party
There will be special brews on tap, burgers and brats served and musical entertainment provided by Poetry in Lotion. Beer prices vary. Independent Bar & Cafe, 5016 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 341-4883. 5:30-11 p.m. Sunday.
Beer Pairing Dinner
Mastry's Brewing Co. and Urban Comfort pair up for a five course meal of southern favorites combined with five new craft beers. $50 advance, $60 day of. Mastry's Brewing Company, 7701 Blind Pass Road, St. Pete Beach. (727) 202-8045. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Monday.
Beer and Cheese Pairing
Enjoy eight different cheeses, each paired with a beer and accompaniments. Learn the process of making cheese and brewing beer. $35. Six Ten Brewing, 7052 Benjamin Road, Tampa. (813) 886-0610. 6-7:30 p.m. Monday.
BJ's Brewhouse Beer Dinner
Five course dinner with BJs Goliath Imperial Red IPA, Jeremiah Red, Tatonka Stout, and the beers of Guinness. $35, $20 designated driver (dinner only). BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse, 3800 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park. (727) 525-4640. 7 p.m. Monday.
Hot Spot 305
A Miami style dance party featuring the tapping of 10 Mia Beer Company beers, a DJ spinning music from Miami's clubs, beer sample flights and Cuban sandwiches. Food and Beer additional. The Independent - Seminole Heights, 5016 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 341-4883. 7-11 p.m. Monday.
Total Eclipse of the (7th) Sun
Tapping fourteen 7th Sun specialty brews with raffles and brewers around to party with. No cover. Independent Bar & Cafe, 5016 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (727) 851-9032. 7-11 p.m. Monday.
Relive Oktoberfest with $10 steins (limited availability), $6 refills, wear your lederhosen or dirndls for discounts. Beer prices vary. Rapp Brewing Co., 10930 Endeavor Way, Seminole. (727) 692-7912. 3-10 p.m. Tuesday.
Cheers to Belgian Beers
Representatives from Belgian breweries discuss the history and brewing process of different Belgian beers as you sample your way through the styles. $30 (includes commemorative tasting glass). The Independent - Seminole Heights, 5016 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 341-4883. 7-9 p.m. Tuesday.
Find a complete listing of events at tampabaybeerweek.com.