Creative Loafing’s weekend of Best of the Bay festivities brought together hordes of happy Tampa Bay folks to toast each other’s achievements and drink a whole lot of beer.
On Wed. Sept. 18, more than 500 BOTB winners, friends and family crowded into CL’s offices to get a first look at the issue and pick up their awards. Bryan Leighty photographed the proud plaque-holders, and DrunkCameraGuy roved around shooting candid shots of party-goers.
A few nights later, 1,400 thirsty beer-o-philes crowded into MOSI for CL’s beerfest, where they sampled more than 80 brews; rocked out with UNRB; laughed with Hawk and Wayne; enjoyed an array of food truck cuisines and (for VIPs) tasty snacks from The Refinery, Datz, and Tampa Bay Brewing Company (makers of the immortal Loafinbräu beer); and explored the museum’s interactive exhibits, even including the High Wire Bike. Photographer Nick Cardello captured all the beer-lovin’, death-defyin’ fun.
For slide shows, click on the following links:
Creative Loafing Tampa's 23rd annual Best of the Bay is divided into four thematically organized sections: People, Places & Politics; Food & Drink; Arts & Entertainment; and Goods & Services. We don’t have individual bylines on the critics' picks, but just so you know who to thank (or curse), here (in alphabetical order) are the writers who contributed to BOTB this year: Shawn Alff, Rebecca Bailey, Joe Bardi, Natalie Campisi, Jon Palmer Claridge, Brian Frederick, Julie Garisto, Chris Girandola, Scott Harrell, Leslie Joy Ickowitz, Colin Joyce, Nicole Kibert, Mark E. Leib, Sean Nordquist, Mitch Perry, Leilani Polk, Deborah Ramos, Ray Roa, Linda Saul-Sena, Tom Scherberger, Andy Stern, Arielle Stevenson, Megan Voeller, and myself.
For results of the Readers' Poll, click on the links to the right of the Critics' Picks in each section. Turnout broke records this year, with 14,349 voters casting over 300,000 votes in closely fought categories like Best New Restaurant, Best Local Business, and Best College Hangout.
Thanks to all who took part. Here's hoping some of your own personal bests came away with a win.