GastroFest is a celebration of Jacksonville’s food and beverage scene! If there’s one thing North Florida does well, it’s craft brewing, so it’s a major focus of our fest. Come visit us at Hemming Park on March 21st from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. to see what’s brewing!

We are proud to be serving up a variety of locally-produced craft beers from Aardwolf Brewing Company, Bold City Brewery, Engine 15 Brewing Company, Green Room Brewing, Intuition Ale Works, Pinglehead Brewing Company, Veterans United Craft Brewery, and Zeta Brewing Company in our beverage tents during the entire festival. We will also have McKenzie’s Cider and other drinks available for purchase in our beverage tents.

Beer30 logo

Local craft beer merchants Beer:30 will have a tent in the park where they will be selling empty growlers that can be filled at their Riverside location on King Street (or their new San Marco location that is set to open soon!). They are our sponsor for the Beer:30’s Homebrew Competition that is being hosted by The Beer Apostle, Brian Little. There will be two opportunities for GastroFest guests to taste what locals have been brewing: the first homebrew tasting session will run from 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. and the second homebrew tasting session will run from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. During the homebrew tasting sessions, we encourage everyone to vote for their favorite beer. A People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice Award will be announced on the Mainstage at 8:15 p.m. This FREE tasting is being presented on a first-come, first served basis for GastroFest guests ages 21 and up.

All aspiring homebrewers should make plans to attend the Gospel of Brew Workshop sessions where The Beer Apostle, Brian Little, and James Moriarty of Veterans United Craft Brewery will be discussing the science and art of homebrewing. The Gospel of Brew Workshop sessions will be held at Down the Rabbit Hole at 42 West Monroe Street (between Laura & Main on Monroe Street) at 11:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

Jacksonville’s new local beer trade association, the Jax Beer Society, will be passing out information and presenting membership opportunities at their booth inside the park. The mission of the Jax Beer Society is to advance the emerging craft and specialty beer scene in Jacksonville and to promote regional events and festivals that support the industry. Members of the Jax Beer Society include representatives from the local craft breweries, wholesale beer distributors, as well as associate members from local retailers and restaurants, and local craft beer enthusiasts who want to support Jacksonville’s craft brewing scene.

GastroFest thanks Friends of Hemming Park and all of our sponsors, who include Harbinger Innovations, MOCA Jacksonville, D’land Productions, All About Events, Cheney Brothers, Chamblin’s Uptown, Floaters, Lovely Loo and Grease Rags Clothing.

About Erin Thursby