INsite Magazine

Friday, April 2, 2010

Greater Gator Beer Festival

Photo from Website

Some use it as an excuse to binge-drink and overeat. For others, simply getting together with friends is enough. We, however, came for the sightseeing: drunken old men stumbling about, hitting on drunken young women. Nothing gets more comical than that. Whatever the motivation, though, there’s no feeling guilty. It’s Gainesville tradition.

On Saturday, March 27, for the 14th annual Greater Gator Beer Festival about 2,500 townies and students packed inside Magnolia Parke on Northwest 39th Avenue. From 1 to 5pm, attendees tasted as many of the more than 100 beers to sample as they could while schlepping around, munching on endless supplies of food. Local restaurants, including Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Texas Roadhouse, Hungry Howie’s Pizza and Kazbor’s Sports Grille, catered for the festival.

An obvious hit for a town defined by Gator mania and mass tailgates, the beer festival can be described as tailgate meets backyard barbeque, meets chili cook-off. Jose Ramon, 34, a first-year attendee, says he came for “the beer, the pretty women, the nice day and the food.” To attend, patrons had to be at least 21 and pay $25 in advance at one of the participating restaurants, $30 online or $35 at the entrance.

Event coordinator Ricki Black says she keeps the festival thriving with new additions each year. This year new games (polish horseshoes), restaurants (Calico Jack’s Oyster Bar and Texas Roadhouse) and free samples (bottled lime-flavored salt called Twang) were featured.

Feeling thirsty? We just found this recent addition to the Gainesville beer establishment family: Tipple's Brews. Located on Tower Road, the locale offers a nice range of international beer, wine and cheeses. And as always
visit Stubbies & Steins or Gator Spirits and Fine Wines for extensive beer selections.

- Cindy Taveras

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