The History of Best Florida Beer
Founded in 2002, Best Florida Beer Championships came to fruition at a time when the local craft brewing industry was still in a stage of infancy. The Florida State Fair Homebrew Competition served as Florida’s largest competition for home brewers. Tampa BEERS and Dunedin Brewers Guild were the original co-organizers of this event. When these organizations recognized the opportunity to expand the competition by including commercial brewers in addition to home brewers, the idea for the Best Florida Beer Championships was born.
With support from the Florida Brewers Guild (Florida’s craft beer lobby), BFBC was established and word spread that the State Fair could now include commercial as well as homebrew in this FLORIDA ONLY competition.
Over the next 5 years, the rise in popularity of craft beer and the instrumental role of the Best Florida Beer Championships, gave way to the formation of the Florida Homebrew Circuit.
This Circuit was created to track the number of medals in a calendar year for individual homebrewers and homebrew clubs for 7 state-wide competitions.
- Coconut Cup (Miami)
- Best Florida Beer Championships (Tampa Bay)
- Hurricane Blowoff (Palm Beach)
- Hogtown Brew-off (Gainesville)
- First Coast Cup (Jacksonville)
- Commander Saaz Homebrew Blastoff (Melbourne)
- Sunshine Challenge (Orlando)
- Awards are presented annually at the Sunshine Challenge for the best brewer and homebrew club. These awards are sponsored by Best Florida Beer.
While it’s basic structure called for BEERS and DBG to alternate between running events and competitions there began a discussion in 2011 for re-organization. These groups wanted to increase participation among other Florida homebrew clubs in the planning and organization of the Best Florida Beer events. The question then became how to motivate other clubs to partake in this work-load.
The solution was proposed in the notion of profit sharing. As a result, 2012 marked the first year of profit sharing with other homebrew clubs in the region. With the tremendous outpouring of participation that stemmed from this evolution came the need for further restructuring.
In 2013, a Board of Directors was established to continue the progression of the Best Florida Beer Championships and help guide the Florida Homebrew Circuit. By encouraging and recognizing outstanding brewers and their beer, Best Florida Beer hopes to provide a focal point for advertising and promoting craft brewed beer on all levels in Florida.
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