Known as “Miami’s Beer Festival,” Grovetoberfest isn’t just any craft beer carnival — it’s a cornucopia of food, drink and fermented fun. The craft beer craze may have taken a little while to reach South Florida, but it’s not going anywhere. If you don’t think craft beer matters much in South Florida, just ask Kris Marino, Beer Ambassador at SWARM Event Agency.
Kris, what’s your role in Grovetoberfest?
I was hired to curate the beer list for this year — I deal with all the breweries and distributors for the festival.
What can you tell us about this year’s fest?
The festival continues to grow and so does the local beer population of Miami. Miami has come a long way as far as its beer taste and knowledge goes. It’s great that we are having to keep up and continue to challenge our drinkers. With the new location we were able to do a lot of fun cool stuff and I think everyone will take notice this year.
How are the breweries who participate chosen?
We started off looking at all the Florida breweries we could get down here first. Our first push was securing as many of them as possible. After that it was a mixture of who we’ve had in the past at the festival. Then I started concentrating on brands we never had before that I personally love.
Are there any standout breweries (that we don’t see much of in SFL) to look out for?
Though we see them in South Florida, Civil Society (in Jupiter) has just started very limited distribution in Miami-Dade County. I am very excited to have them at the festival. Also, a first for us at the festival will be Jolly Pumpkin, Mikkeller, Crooked Stave,To Øl, and a personal favorite of mine, Prairie Artisan Ales.
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What can a fest-goer expect?
They can expect amazing food and cooking demos along with some of the best beer this country has to offer. We will be having timed tappings and some cool surprises. Overall the beer list is unlike anything anyone has seen in the past at Grovetoberfest.
About how many people are you expecting?
We’re expecting about 4,500-5,000 people. Sales have been amazing the last few days and we are well ahead of sales from last year. I think everyone is excited about the new breweries along with the new location. I am excited that we are doing it at the historic Marine Stadium. I spent a lot of time there as a kid so to be able to throw an event like this is really an honor.
What’s your favorite part of the fest?
I love the cooking demos and all the awesome food. The VIP section this year will blow anything we have done in the past away.
If you had to describe Grovetoberfest in three words, what would they be?
Delicious, Fun, and Hops
See you at Grovetoberfest Saturday!
If you haven’t got your tickets yet, what are you waiting for? Purchase them here.