Broward teacher Stuart Skopit started SFLHops, a South Florida beer tasting group, when he saw the need to educate his colleagues on beer and its many varieties.
“When we would hang out after work, my colleagues would always order wine,” Skopit said. “Most of them are women, so I wanted to show them that beer is just as good, if not better.”
For two years, Skopit has connected with beer lovers through meetup.com, Facebook, Instagram and Untappd, all under the name of SFLHops.
On Saturday, SFLHops will hold its second beer festival, this year at Craft Beer Cartel in Fort Lauderdale.
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SFLHops Beer Festival will bring together 22 breweries, food trucks and live music.
“Unlike full-blown festivals, it will not nearly be as many people, so the festival will have a much more intimate feel, with little-to-no lines waiting for the beers,” Skopit said.
Festival goers will have the opportunity to participate in a VIP bottle share, as well. An attendee who purchases a VIP ticket will need to bring at least two “stellar bottles” of beer to share with others who are also VIPs. A portion of ticket sales will benefit Animal Aid, a no-kill animal shelter in Coconut Creek.
SFLHops holds events throughout South Florida. 305 Brews with SFLHops takes place Friday, Feb. 24, in Wynwood. Previous events have been held in Miami, Oakland Park, Doral, Miami Gardens and Wellington. The group visits different local breweries, other beer festivals and also does “bottle shares,” in which members bring their own beer bottles from across the country and get to share them.
Skopit works closely with the breweries to bring his group members deals such as a free flight (sampling) of beer, a free pint or discounts on food and beer.
“Attending events with us means not only having unique beer experiences, but also receiving wonderful deals that you wouldn’t have received on your own,” Skopit said.
Crystal Poon has been going to the group’s events since it began.
“Bottle shares are fantastic because I get to try beers that I otherwise would never have given a chance to,” Poon said, “also because I could never finish an entire bottle on my own.”
If you go
▪ What: SFLHops Beer Festival
▪ When: 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday
▪ Where: Craft Beer Cartel, 557 SW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale
▪ Tickets range from $8 to $38 (VIP), plus fee: http://hrld.us/beerfestival; enter “sflhops” for a discount
▪ More information: email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/SFLHops