John Hoolihan of Brewlihan Fermentables pours at Free the Whales.

July 2, 2021  

Free the Whales was a Taste of Good Things to Come

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John Hoolihan of Brewlihan Fermentables pours at Free the Whales.

Ever since “beer festivals are back” is one of the most common phrases in my newsfeed. 

I was promised an epic shit show. Epic? Yes. Shit show? I disagree, Free the Whales was a well-organized beer festival housing more than 40 breweries and five food vendors in one brewery.

South Florida’s largest craft beer party’s founder, Kristofer Marino, is no rookie to throwing beer festivals. The latest Free the Whales at Tripping Animals Brewing attests to the Miami native’s experience coordinating these events. Here’s a video recapping the event:

I paid general admission for me and three others. There was no line to get in and check-in was simple: A guy scanned my app, led me to a tent where I  was given a wristband, tasting glass, and map of every brewery pouring.

I’m more than ever looking forward to upcoming festivals in the next few months.

There will be two out-of-state festivals coordinated by Marino in September…

  • Above the Clouds at Bhramari in North Carolina on Sept. 18
  • Pontoon Brewing’s Brownie Bash 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia on Sept. 25 [Tickets are officially on sale on the Oznr app]

…With the way FTW went, I’d say it’s worth making the trip, if possible. In the same month, there are two other beer festivals going down in South Florida.

After the rollercoaster ride of 2020, there are only good things on the horizon in South Florida beer.



About Joe Pye

My name is Joe Pye and I love local, independent beer.


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