Drink up: Saturday brings two beer fests to both sides of the bay

97X Craft Beer Experience and CL Beer Fest have 100-plus craft beers in your future.

Which side of the bay you find yourself on this weekend could determine your drinking plans, especially since there's a pair of craft beer festivals in store for downtown Tampa and St. Pete on the same day.

From 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, the 97X Craft Beer Experience will bring more than 100 craft beer styles to St. Pete's Mahaffey Theater. Admission to the fifth annual 21-and-up event, which costs $30 through Friday and $35 the day of (if available), includes beer, cider and mead samples from 33 breweries and a commemorative tasting glass.

Seven special-release brews will debut every half hour, too, alongside prizes, live music by Paint The Town Red, and fare from some of the neighborhood's finest food spots.

In Tampa, CL has moved its yearly Beer Fest from MOSI to the downtown Glazer Children's Museum. Showcasing 95-plus beer varieties from more than 45 breweries, this _-year-old tasting allows guests to sip a little later from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Snag unlimited samples from local and out-of-state names like Angry Chair Brewing, Six Ten Brewing, Green Man Brewery, Saint Somewhere Brewing Company, Oskar Blues Brewery and Crooked Thumb Brewery.

Glazer exhibits will be open for drinkers to explore, as is tradition with Beer Fest. Other features include food provided by SaltBlock Catering Co. and photo ops from Premier Photo Booths of Tampa. SaltBlock is set to sell items like build-your-own brats to general admission ticket holders, while VIP attendees will have access to complimentary SaltBlock and Datz eats — serrano poppers and beer-fused ice cream among them  in addition to early entry.

Advanced tickets, which may be purchased online, cost between $60 and $105 through Friday. The price goes up for both the day of.

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