KEY WEST BREW FEST
With the "Key West Beer Tales - The Sum Of All Beers" radio pod cast show coming into stride, The Key West Brew Fest is naturally a main focus for us. This year marks the fifth year of the event and according to the web site, there are over 150 beers represented here. Fellow broadcaster, Diamond Dave Jr. says it was 176! I have no reason to doubt this, having just returned from the event.
As virtually half of the readers of this blog are not from the U.S., the first weekend in September is a national holiday here, known as Labor Day. This year September 1st fell on a Monday, which is the day off we get, so the holiday was August 30, 31, and September 1st.
While there are many events, the main event is always held on Saturday at South Beach, Key West, right outside the Southernmost Cafe, on the beach itself. Large tents were set up by distributors and contained all their representative beers from around the country. Importers were also there showcasing their products. Some of these beers showcased aren't available at all, such as the Stiegl Brewery's "Sonnen Koenig" ( The King's Sons) which are 1/2 aged in wine barrels and 1/2 in bourbon barrels. What a masterpiece and a true treat!!
The event was a blast! All of the reps for the beers were just great. Most were very educated in their product, so as a beer nut, I was able to ask in depth questions and get informative answers.
Only two criticisms. While the Key West Brew Fest runs from Thursday to Monday at various places around town holding their own events, the main event that I'm talking about here is only one day and runs from 4 - 8 pm on Saturday. My feeling is that this event should be held on Sunday as well. On the flip side, the vendors are having a blast right along with the crowd, so Sunday may be a recovery day.
There was also live music. Great that they had it! The problem was it was too loud. Anywhere within 75 feet (25 M) of the stage the most common word between everyone was "What???". If their volume was set to 8, it should have been at 5. As a musician myself, I always have to rely on the bar staff to make sure my volume is acceptable. In a bar setting, or one such as this, the clientele has to have the option of either listening, or having a conversation. On the stage, it's often impossible to tell as we hear everything through a monitor, which is set for the volume on the stage, not the audience. The organizers need to establish a volume level for the performer. Any pro won't be offended.
At our radio pod cast "Key West Beer Tales - The Sum of All Beers", we're hoping to have a table at next year's event! This will be a bit of a twist, as I don't think there were any organizations there over the weekend who didn't have a beer to offer. The hope with us being that we can do a live broadcast. However, even if we can't do that.. there are a lot of requirements, such as a strong internet connection, we'll do the pod cast regardless.
I HIGHLY recommend anyone who is a fan of great beer, to make the trek to next year's Key West Brew Fest!
Tickets were $35 in advance via their website http://www.keywestbrewfest.com/ and $40 at the gate. They give you a 5 1/2 oz or about 0165L plastic glass. In plain terms, about half a bottle of beer.
Perhaps the finest way to sully, tarnish, and just plain drag your name in the mud in the Keys is to be a lousy tipper. The wait and bar staffs have their own coconut telegraph that blows up like gasoline to an open flame! I recall a few years ago being in one bar and hearing the staff talking about a particular customer, who was described in a not all that complementary fashion. ... actually, that's being quite kind. They were livid. The next day I was at another establishment on the other end of the island where I heard staff members talking about the same individual. He hadn't been there, however the word had gotten around the island to watch out for him. That's right, one end of the island to the other in 24 hours. He was kind of a well known guy as well, having been in the news, so it was somewhat easy to identify him. In the end, no one wanted to be associated with him as he had been labeled an "asshole" and ended up moving after several months.
I had a friend come and see me at a bar I was playing at. At the end of the gig the waitress comes up to me and says "That friend of yours gave me a $1.25 tip". A $1.25 tip. Her service was excellent as well. Unbelievable. I handed her four bucks which warranted the appropriate tip for the bill and told her that it was a reflection on me, as they there as my guest.
Tipping is based on an 18% standard. Here's an easy way to figure it out. Round the 18% off to 20%... it's good karma! Take your total... lets call it $50.00. Double it and move the decimal point one space to the left and you have a $10.00 tip. It's not really too tough.
Bottom line is if you can't afford a 20% tip, you have no business ordering anything to begin with. Just go home. Frankly, it's stealing. It's a theft.
Several weeks ago we had someone arrive at the open mic I hold every Thursday at McConnell's with a very unique instrument. It was a ukelele, however it was made from a south pacific conch shell! Bob McPhail, who spends part of his time at the Boca Chica marina, came up with the idea and started construction on it. He christened it a "Conchalele"!
As we speak there is only one in the world, however Bob has orders (and conch shells) for five more. These are all hand made and electrified. Construction and craftsmanship are superb and it's a stunning instrument that gets hoards of attention!
Bob has a blog which showcases his Conchalele. Be sure to check it out. Anyone who plays a uke, will find it fascinating!!!
BEER SHOW NOW ON SPREAKER!
As our beer show, "Key West Beer Tales - The Sum of All Beers" has no time that makes it go bad, we're now posting the shows that are already aired, on Spreaker! Now you can listen to all of our past shows that have already been aired on the radio stations!
The Key West Beer Tales - The Sum of All Beers, is Sponsored by:
The Cork and Stogie
1218 Duval St.
Key West, Fl. 33040
When listening, be sure to have a beer at the ready and vicariously drink a beer in Key West with us! Also, make certain you have your laughing pants on!
Here's the link, plus you can also download the ap for your smartphone!
For the up to the minute hot off the press radio pod casts, here's the current schedule:
KW Beer Tales Airing/Stations Schedule
KWOM - 10am and 10pm
Trop Rock Radio - Sundays 5 - 6
Radio A1A - Monday's at 7 and last week's show every other day
The Shore - Friday at noon
Tiki Beach Shop - Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 2Pm
Tiki Island Radio - times TBA
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Thank you everyone!!