Earlier this month we had the opportunity to go to Miami and attend the 2018 Grovetoberfest. Having only attended Hunahpu the last two years, I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to attending beer festivals. Needless to say, I was excited to attend a different beer festival and see how it stacked up.
Our day began with a drive from Orlando to Miami; after driving 3 and a half hours filled with 80s and 90s R&B, we arrived at our hotel. Our room wasn’t available so we set out to find something to eat.
Since Miami is known for their Cuban food, we decided we’d try to find a Cuban place near by. By pure luck, we found Havana Harry’s. Our lunch was so great we returned back for breakfast the next day. I would highly recommend a visit if you’re ever in the area. If you’re there for lunch or dinner, get the vaca frita. It’s enough to feed an army! Above all else, it’s delicious and the staff at Havana Harry’s are truly welcoming.
But I digress, let’s get back to the festival…
The festival was held in Coconut Grove, Miami at Peacock Park. The park was large enough to handle the number of folks that turned out and Biscayne Bay served as a nice backdrop.
VIP for the day.
Our VIP tickets got us:
- Two extra hours of beer sampling
- A commemorative beer glass
- 2018 Grovetoberfest t-shirt
- Access to a VIP tent area that included more beers, hors d’oeuvres, and air conditioned bathrooms (if you’ve ever been in an outhouse in 90° temps, you’ll appreciate this touch)
We arrived at the festival about 30 minutes after VIP admission began, so we weren’t met with the massive admission lines I’ve grown accustomed to with the Hunahpu Festival. After collecting our tasting glass and VIP lanyard, we were on our way.
Compared to Hunahpu, the crowd at the 2018 Grovetoberfest was different, in a good way. This festival seemed to cater to the casual beer drinker (not the beer snobs I’ve been accused of being) looking to expand their palate and have fun doing it. Having VIP tickets gave us a different experience and allowed time to stop and chat with each of the breweries to learn a little more about them and their beers.
If I had one complaint about the festival, it was water, or the lack of free water. 90° temps and beer are not the best combination, so the small bottles of water at $3 a pop was less than appetizing. I’d suggest bringing your own unless they start providing it complimentary in the future (hint, hint).
From the retro video games available to play, the live DJ, and of course the beer, for the money, this festival is one that shouldn’t be missed.