'Virtual Beerfest'

On Aug. 8, Tampa Theatre will host its 9th annual BeerFest in a brand-new way. Groundhop Day — will feature some of the best craft-brewed beers from around Tampa Bay. But instead of coming to Tampa Theatre to try them, we’ll package up a tasting 12-pack of bottles and cans, two tasting glasses, a big bag of fresh Tampa Theatre popcorn and a few other fun surprises.

The sampling selection, curated by founding BeerFest chair and owner of The Independent Bar and Café, Veronica Danko, represents local breweries like Hidden Springs Ale Works, 7venth Sun Brewery, Coppertail Brewing, Cigar City Brewing, Motorworks Brewing and more.

Grand sampling boxes are $55 and premium boxes — featuring higher-end brews — are $75 (Theatre members save $5 off each level). Boxes will be available for pick-up under the Tampa Theatre marquee at 711 N. Franklin St., from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 7 and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 8.

Then, at 6 p.m., the social aspect of BeerFest begins on Tampa Theatre’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TampaTheatre, with a welcome from Tampa Theatre president and CEO John Bell and live-streaming music from Ronnie Dee and the Superstars. At 7 p.m., a panel of local brewmasters will discuss the brewing process and answer viewer questions on the Facebook stream. And at 7:45 p.m., Tampa Theatre will host a Netflix watch party of the classic 1993 Bill Murray comedy, “Groundhog Day.”

The Tampa Theatre team is also developing a just-for-fun scavenger hunt around downtown Tampa designed to work up a thirst as you solve the clues and see the sights on foot before coming back to the majestic movie palace to pick up your sampling box.

This year’s unprecedented, multi-month shutdown has made the community-supported nonprofit organization’s financial situation all the more cloudy and support from events like BeerFest is more important now than ever.

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