The Longest Running Beer Festival on The Gulf Coast
The 26th annual Emerald Coast Beer Festival will return to the streets of downtown Pensacola September 8 through September 9. Organized and hosted by the Escambia Bay Homebrewers Club and Seville Quarter, the Emerald Coast Beer Festival has earned its reputation as the longest running beer festival on the Gulf Coast.
“We expect to fill all 65 spots for breweries and brew clubs this year, with the one even coming all the way from Missouri. However, a majority of the breweries at this year’s event have been regular attendees for a number of years,” Escambia Bay Homebrewers club Treasurer Jim Martin said.
The Emerald Coast Beer Festival will kick off Thursday, September 8 at Seville Quarter at 7 pm with a five-course beer pairing dinner featuring an exclusive assortment of handcrafted beers. On Friday, September 9, the festival kicks into full gear with beer samples and other micro brewed beverages from more than 50 breweries from across the country, highlighting the Southeast and Gulf Coast regions.
The festival will also feature a variety of tasty brews and craft beverages from more than a dozen regional homebrew clubs as well as several major regional beer distributors. Attendees will be able to purchase food from a variety of local food truck vendors and enjoy live music performed across several stages.
“Guests can choose from more than 200 different types of beverages to sample at the event, including seltzers, wines, meads and beers,” Martin said.
Since the Escambia Bay Homebrewers took over the beer fest in 1999, it has grown from just 200 attendees in its first year to nearly 2,500. The Homebrewers Club started with some craft beer lovers in the spring of 1985, back when the craft brew scene only happened in the garages and basements of enthusiasts. Today, it consists of more than 100 members who craft all types of adult beverages including beer, wine, mead and cider. Since its establishment in 1985, the club has developed connections with other homebrew clubs across the country.
“We took over the fest from the Florida Brewers Guild with the original purpose of brewers and homebrewers to get together at the end of the summer and have a good time. At that time there were only a few breweries along the Gulf Coast and when we started hosting the festival, there were less than 10 breweries present and only two brew clubs. I expect to see more than 60 for this year,” Martin said.
Tickets for the 26th annual Emerald Coast Beer Festival are currently on sale and can be purchased online at emeraldcoastbeerfest.com, or at one of the following ticket outlets in Pensacola: A Little Madness Brewery, Gary’s Homebrew Supply, Gulf Coast Brewery, Pensacola Bay Brewery, Seville Quarter, Spahr Brewery and Ye Olde Brothers Brewery. General admission tickets are $30 in advance or $40 the day of the event.
A limited number of VIP tickets are also on sale and include early entry into the VIP room at 5 pm with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and access to an exclusive selection of handcrafted beers. VIP tickets can be purchased in advance from an Escambia Bay Homebrewers Club member for $75. VIP tickets can also be purchased through the festival website or at any local ticket outlet for $80. All ticket holders receive a souvenir festival beer tasting glass. Proceeds from the 2022 Emerald Coast Beer Festival ticket sales benefit Seville Rotary and the Alfred-Washburn Center.
For tickets and complete event details, visit emeraldcoastbeerfest.com.