SFL Hops Celebrates Six Years With New Rewards Card and Events
By Joe Pye
The local craft beer meetup group has hosted two socially distanced events since the pandemic and has a few more coming up.
It took five years for Stuart Skopit to build up SFL Hops and only six months for the brewery shutdown to bring it to a grinding halt.
Last March, Skopit was forced to stop what would’ve been his most successful year of craft beer festivals and events. During the first three months of 2020, Skopit hosted two bar crawls and a new event called the Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Pairing. The last event was so unique, it was featured on Deco Drive.
“I finally got everything where I wanted it to be,” Skopit told Broward Beer. “After the Girl Scout cookie event, everything fell apart.”
Two weeks ago last Sunday, Skopit celebrated the six-year anniversary of SFL Hops. With more than 6,000 Instagram and nearly 1,500 Facebook followers, SFL Hops has been referred to as a “meetup group for craft beer enthusiasts.”
Under the same name, Skopit created a $20 rewards card for discounts and deals to redeem at more than 60 craft beer bars and breweries, to which he just added four new locations.
COVID-19 may have slowed down SFL Hops’ momentum, but here’s how Skopit has adapted…
Carrying on in a pandemic
SFL Hops has led Skopit to organize and promote more than 300 craft beer events and festivals. But there is one event he’s most proud of: the Craft Beer Carousel.
The annual event typically showcases local homebrew and commercial breweries’ best stuff for an all-you-can-drink event. Of course, in 2020 he needed to work harder and think more creatively than ever before.
Back in October, Skopit organized a Craft Beer Carousel at Gulfstream Brewing in Fort Lauderdale. At the time, the Miami New Times wrote it was the “socially distanced beer festival South Florida needs right now.” It seems the paper was correct: 240 people showed in the end.
Only parties of six close friends or family members were allowed to rent individual tents spaced out more than six feet away from other parties.
Only 20 tents were available. So the event was broken into two separate sessions to minimize contact with other people.
“Most years I just collect tickets and let people have at it,” Skopit told Broward Beer. “This past Carousel, everyone had to stay seated. So my team and I had to bring the beers out.”
What SFL Hops has coming up
As an elementary school teacher by day, the SFL Hops founder has students who sell Girl Scout cookies.
Early last January, he partnered with a student’s parent from class and Gulfstream Brewing to host the first-ever Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Pairing. In two weeks, the event will return with a new spin on it.
“Guests will get a link to a YouTube video to watch at their table,” Skopit said. “It’s a video of the brewer explaining the beer and how that style pairs well with each type of cookie.”
SFL Hops will be hosting two Girl Scout cookie events this year: One on Feb. 28, at Gulfstream Brewing, and another on March 13, at Tarpon River Brewing.