Pensacola loves beer, whether it’s hoppy, lite, or infused with some kind of seasonal ingredient. Locals anxiously await the release of their favorite summer beers and then enjoy the hunt around town for vendors that carry them. The recently opened World of Beer on Palafox Street has been overrun with guests, with crowds spilling into the streets just about every other night.
Another thing Pensacola loves is a beer festival. Last year’s Emerald Coast Beer Festival outside of Seville Quarter was booming with patrons, and by the end of the night, almost every provider was completely out of beer.
The Kraft Bier Festival this year will be held at the new Pensacola Bayfront Stadium and will be part of the Maritime Celebration day. Dozens of brewers will be onsite, handing out samples in a “tasting- size” custom stein that guests will receive upon entering.
“There are a little over 100 different beers that will be offered,” said Shelley Yates, events coordinator for the Blue Wahoos. “They keep adding a few more every day.”
Samples will be provided by a variety of brewers such as Full Sail, Anchor, Pensacola Bay, Dogfish, Blue Point, Abita, McGuire’s, Sweetwater, Lazy Magnolia and Red Brick.
“McGuire’s and Pensacola Bay Brewery will be there too, so there will be some good local action happening,” Yates said. “There will also be some hearty, crowd-pleasing, beer-inspired food available throughout the park.”
Unlimited beer samples will be provided to all guests. In addition to the samples, guests will also be able to watch the first ever Air Force-Navy softball game inside the stadium.
“The Air Force vs. Navy game will start at 1 p.m. and is being played for the First Tee Charity,” Yates said. The proceeds from the Kraft Beer Festival will also be donated to The First Tee, which is a children’s charity that strives to teach important life lessons through golf, and is partnered with the PGA Tour.
Early in the day, Derek Garner, Roy Jones Jr. and Justin Gatlin will do a “meet and greet” with the crowd, in order to promote educational wellness.
Later on, there will also be a muscle car show, a fireworks display, SEC Football played on the jumbo screen TVs, and an appearance by the Charlie Daniels Band. A convertible Mercedes 560 SL will also be raffled off, with the tickets being sold for $1 each, or six for $5.
“The whole day is open to the public, except the beer festival, which will require a ticket to enter,” Yates said. “There really is something for everyone and we just want people to come out and enjoy their new park and the stadium.”
The Kraft Bier Festival will allow people to try as many beers as they like, while mingling with the community and celebrating the fact that Pensacola’s Maritime Park is finally a reality.
KRAFT BIER FESTIVAL
WHEN: 1 – 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
WHERE: Pensacola Bayfront Stadium (inside Maritime Park)
COST: $35 regular admission, $100 for VIP (Must be 21 to enter, ID required)