Today, February 15th, is Florida Craft Beer Day. At least it will officially be at 6:05 pm tonight after Tampa’s mayor Bob Buckhorn signs the proclamation declaring it so. Then, there will be a toast to all things craft beer in Florida at 7 pm.
What is Florida Craft Beer Day?
It is “a day where we all can celebrate the economic, cultural, and societal impact that brewing has made in the Sunshine State,“ said Florida Beer Blog founder Dave Butler, who spearheaded the movement to get the day recognized.
See, on February 15th, 1899 the state of Florida saw the opening of its first locally owned and operated brewery, the Florida Brewing Company. While the brewery is no longer in operation, it has been seen as a historical landmark in an over hundred year struggle between ‘big beer’ and the little guys.
“My purpose behind both the blog and the day was to show some the incredible things coming out of Florida,” Butler shared. “I love my home state, and we’re doing a lot of really wonderful things, especially with brewing. We may have gotten a bit of a late start, but the industry here has exploded and I want people to recognize it and be really proud of how far we’ve come.”
Now, February 15th, 2016 will mark the first Florida Beer Day, with a shared statewide toast at 7 pm.
How will the celebrations go down? According to Butler it’s an easy process.
Visit your local brewery and raise a pint. Visit your local craft beer bar and raise a pint. Take pictures and video and share them across social media with the hashtag #FloridaCraftBeerDay.