Brew at the Zoo, April 30

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Laine Doss
View photos from Brew at the Zoo 2011 here.

This past Saturday night, you could have removed all wildlife from Zoo Miami and it still would have been overrun by animals: a species known as frat boyalis to be exact. Said crazy mammal was observed square-dancing to Otis Day & the Knights, originally a fictional band in Animal House that's now legitimately touring; participating in beer pong and animal-mating-call contests; and even hot-boxing a porta-potty (we kid you not).

We began the night as sincere beer enthusiasts, doing obnoxious things such as swirling the samples in plastic cups and smelling the aroma. But inevitably the long lines at several stations gave way to a Darwinian survival of the fittest in which our only goal was to secure as many beer samples as possible while avoiding giant crowds. In other words, we ended up drinking a lot of Pabst Blue Ribbon while chatting up the friendly reps in trucker hats offering rides aboard an antique car.

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Laine Doss
But prior to our defeatism, we sampled several brews from around the world, including Estrella Damm from Spain, Tiger Beer from Singapore, Chimay from Belgium, Chang from Thailand, and dozens of others. Our favorite was a delicate, malty Longboard Island Lager from Hawaiian microbrewery Kona Brewing Company.

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Laine Doss
And the food proved gratifying in the greasy, overindulgent manner of county-fair grub but with a little added sophistication. Deep-fried pickles, pulled-pork sliders with bacon coleslaw, mini corn dogs, chicken and beef pinchos, and toasted marshmallow "s'mores" brownies were served in the VIP area. On the general admission grounds, chunky arepas reigned supreme.

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Laine Doss
The animals were wisely kept away from the drunken masses, but a few creatures, including a cheetah and an insanely huge snake that could have easily devoured one of the people holding it, were brought onstage early in the evening. But only a pack of deranged baboons could have provided better entertainment than the crowd.

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Location Info

Map

The Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens

12400 SW 152 St., Perrine, FL

Category: General

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9 comments
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Yak
Yak

We arrived around 7pm and found no lines. There was beer and decent grub in the VIP area for about the first hour sans lines. After that it was a free-for-all. There is something to be said about the early bird catching the worm...

mel
mel

I had a great time! I will definitely go back again next year!

Al Kohalic
Al Kohalic

The brunette Hoegaarden girl was a bitch ass hoe...

Beergeek16
Beergeek16

I went to the event, paid $60 for my partner and myself. I likely won't be back.

--Signage was poor. People waited in the VIP line for half an hour before finding they were in the wrong place.--Tickets were checked twice, and general admission was allowed into an entry area. When the gates opened, there was a SINGLE GATE, allowing 2 people at once. The large number of people in the waiting area (who had already been ticket-checked) were funneled into this tiny space. Poorly done.--There was a map of the site, thanks. Unfortunately, it was not handed out at the funnel-gate. We found it at the New-Times booth, at the north end of the event, after we'd been there an hour. That made no sense whatsoever.--The individual booths were so close together, it was difficult to queue-up to sample the brews without creating a mess.--Individual vendors did a very uneven job showing what brews were being dispensed.--A number of bottled beers were poured at near-room temperature, or were opened early and had gone flat.--There were a number of vendors whose booths were empty.--Whenever you have beer, you need food. The selection was scant, at best. A hot dog vendor, someone selling "Tornados", and an arepa vendor. Really! Buffalo Hot Wings had a booth, but it was...empty.--There were nowhere near the more than 100 beers promised, especially if you yanked out mainstream beers like Yuengling and Polar which are simply not a craft beers.--When this was promoted as "Brew at the Zoo", I honestly thought this would be "in" the zoo. Instead, it was in a picnic area complete apart from the zoo. You could have held it in a Kendall parking lot for all the connection it had to the zoo. Very misleading.--The whole presentation was amatuerish and poorly laid out. There was no flow, and even with a map booths were hard to find.

I tasted a lot of beer. I even liked some. It would have been great if someone had created a scorecard , organized by vendor, listing their beers. That way, people could have tracked what they liked and followed up. I bet your vendors would have appreciated that, because the people I saw were so plowed it's unlikely they remembered what they sampled.

We tried to get info in advance from your website. 5 words: Go Back And Try Again. It was among the worst, especially for a media company that has a decent main site. I was dumbfounded.

Final complaint: The Ads in the New Times continued to promote "VIP Tickets" up until the issue the week of the event. When we inquired, the rude customer service rep at the ticket company you used gave an audible sigh, and said, "Honey, those tickets fold out almost immediately," giving us the impression we were stupid for asking. Why continue to offer the tickets in ads unless you plan to sell them?

I really looked forward to this. I don't club or go to bars, and as a beer geek, I looked forward to trying the unusual. I was saddened by the poor execution and selection, and astounded at how many people were lined up when we left about 10. At $30 per head, you likely took in well over $150 thousand, plus the money paid by vendors who actually showed up. The beer was free, a vendor promotional expense. With all of that money, it's amazing how much this looked like a high school carnival with suds. I hope the zoo at least got a nice chunk of change from this.

I guess I'm getting old. After I left, I said to my partner that we'd have been better off if I'd taken the $60, gone to Stop and Shop, bought 40 bottles, and invited a few friends over to sample. More variety, more fun, and far less of the feeling that I had been brew-beaten by the New Times.

Shame on you for not doing better. This could be so much more.

Bleee7
Bleee7

No Doubt a Turd of an event. Poor in every ascpect.

Loosealoo
Loosealoo

Could not have said it better. A friend of mine went last year and said it was awesome! After 45 minutes to turn in to Zoo another 45 in line to get in...they left. We stayed...and by 9:30...I saw a young crowd getting drunk and crazy. We left. We will NOT go back. Shame, I love the zoo and try to participate in anything they set up.

Miamidude77
Miamidude77

This is not a beer geek event this is a drunk fest that I hope will not be around next year. As a craft beer fan we need to grow the craft beer world by attracting X amount of people...but we need to attract the right people not the fools just trying to get blasted.

Next year check out Jupiter Beer Fest or next year's Brews N Bites.

Cheers.

Robert
Robert

Deer Beergee16 I could not have agreed with you more. I attended the 1st annual Metro Brew last year and it really felt like a wine tasting event. It was less crowded, it really felt from my point of view more organized. It gave us the opportunity to speak to vendors, purchase glass memorabilia and inquire about the history of the beer being tasted. We were really looking forward to this 2nd annual Metro Brew. It was nothing like the first, it fealt like a college party more than a Brew fest! No glass memorabilia was left, too many people! The booths were too close together, no food, I only saw 2 police officers, and my friend told me that for $70 dollars for the VIP section it was not worth the price.

We were really disappointed with the event. It was more of "lets see if we can get to drink some beer", rather than "lets taste this brew and find out where it comes from and if they are selling it locally?".

Boohoo for you New Times, also the entrance was a mess. We waited to get in a good 30 minutes, on the first event we just walked in through the gates, and also there was more police attendance in the entrance and within the premises.

lola
lola

Where r the rest of the pics! :-(

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