This week in food and drink

Tampa Bay Beer Week festivities, Strawberry Festival, Renaissance Festival and culinary classes!

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This week in food and drink

Wednesday, March 7: Creative Loafing Office Space
Don't miss this 13th Step dinner, served right in the CL office space. Tasting Tampa has joined forces with Florida Beer Company and cooking connoisseurs Bonanno Brothers, so you know there will be bodacious brews to pair with that killer cuisine. Tampa Preservation is the featured charity of the evening. Reserve tickets at [email protected] $50; 7:30-10 p.m., 1911 N. 13th St., Tampa, tastingtampa.com.

Wednesday, March 7: Datz
Special Hoperations and South Tampa Homebrew Club will be teaming up for a homebrewing history, celebration and tasting at Datz. Enjoy a keg of a limited edition honey brew, Bell's Hopslam, as well as other specialty beers. If you are lucky, you will receive a gift or prize. 6 p.m., 2616 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, tampabaybeerweek.com.

Wednesday, March 7: Lykes Gaslight Square Park (Food Truck Fiesta)
Head to the park on your lunch break, and satisfy your food truck craving at Mayor's Food Truck Fiesta. Mayor Bob Buckhorn will participate in this fiesta. Favorite food trucks like Wicked Wiches and Taco Bus, as well as newbies like Cuppin Cake, will be parked. Free; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 410 Franklin St., Tampa, tampagov.net.

Wednesday, March 7: World of Beer Westchase
Get crafty at this Pioneer Night, honoring the forefathers of the craft beer industry, including Sam Adams, Anchor and Sierra Nevada. And have some cheese with that beer; it will be there to munch on. 6 p.m., 9524 W. Linebaugh Ave., Tampa, tampabaybeerweek.com.

Wednesday, March 7 - Sunday, March 11: Strawberry Festival
It's Strawberry Fields Forever at Plant City's event of the year, Strawberry Festival. Enjoy strawberry shortcake, strawberry confections, traditional festival treats and games, live entertainment and more. After you are "berry" full, shop for strawberry-related items, from jewelry to tea. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., 303 N. Lemon St., Plant City, 813-752-9194, flstrawberryfestival.com.

Thursday, March 8: Lagerhaus Brewery
Get your fill of German brews at Lagerhaus Hefweizen and Unfiltered Lager Festival. Honey Weizenbock and Hefeweizen Sturm will be among the featured brews, but non-German brews will be available as well. Receive a free glass, mug or pint for any featured brew ordered, but limit two per patron. 5 p.m., 3438 East Lake Business, Palm Harbor, tampabaybeerweek.com.

Thursday, March 8: Traveling Beer Tasting Blindfolded Contest
You will be tied up during this contest, taking place at four different bars. Taste Cafe, Tapping the Vine, 8th Avenue Pub and Nolan's Pub will be the locations, and you can start and end at the location(s) of your choice. Prizes will be given to the top five contestants. Proceeds will benefit local charities. $35; 4 p.m., Main Street, Safety Harbor, tampabaybeerweek.com.

Friday, March 9: Cold Storage Craft Brewery
Put on your party hat and celebrate at the Cold Storage Craft Brewery One Year Anniversary Party. Get your glass (included in the cover) filled three times. Consider filling them with two of Cold Storage's newest brews, Reserve #2 and Copperhead Ale. $10; 5 p.m., 4101 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, tampabaybeerweek.com.

Friday, March 9: Peg’s Cantina
Leave work early and head to G.O.O.D. (and RARE!) Barrel-Aged Beer Day. But don't despair if you can't make it there until later; the beer will be flowing into the evening hours. Several kegs, including Rare D.O.S. and Batch 100, will be tapped at 12 p.m. and at 7 p.m. 3038 Beach Blvd., Gulfport, tampabaybeerweek.com.

Friday, March 9 - Saturday, March 10: Safety Harbor City Marina
There is nothing fishy about this annual two-day Safety Harbor Seafood Festival, featuring seafood from around the U.S. Enjoy live music, arts and crafts booths and more, in addition to the seafood. Kids will love jumping on the inflatables, face painting and crafts. Free; 5-10 p.m. on Friday, 12-10 p.m. on Saturday, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane, Safety Harbor, 727-724-1572, cityofsafetyharbor.com.

Saturday, March 10: BergHOFF Culinary Center
If you like to drink beer and cook with it, this Cooking with Beer class is for you. Bacon meatballs with beer sauce and beer onion chicken will be featured items. Chocolate stout brownies will be the buzz-inducing dessert. $45; 12 p.m., 11063 State Road 54, Odessa, 727-853-3773.

Saturday, March 10: Central Cafe and Organics
If you enjoy craft beer and organic foods, this Drink Local event is for you. The brews will be available on tap and in bottle, brought to you by local breweries. Order one of these featured brews, and take the pint home with you. The featured organic food selections will complement the brews. 5 p.m., 243 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, tampabaybeerweek.com.

Saturday, March 10: Cigar City Brewing
This is the official closing event of Tampa Bay Beer Week. Chug a wide variety of beers from Cigar City Brewing, and other breweries, at Hunahpu's Day Imperial Stout Release Celebration. There will be food, music, and of course, the release of the world-renowned, prize-winning Hunahpu's Imperial Stout. Wristbands will be required. Cash only. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., 3924 W. Spruce St., Tampa, tampabaybeerweek.com.

Saturday, March 10: First Unity Church
Almost twenty food trucks will be heading to church for this North St. Pete Food Truck Rally, sponsored by Tasting Tampa. Enjoy your food truck finds at the covered seating and table area, while listening to live music. Participate in the drawings and win a 42-inch television. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 460 46th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, 727-527-2222, tastingtampa.com.

Saturday, March 10: Nature’s Food Patch
Raw is good at this Raw Fusion class. Sweet and spicy cashew wraps will be the featured item. Wash down these nutty wraps with a Green Smoothie. Free; 3 p.m., 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater, 727-443-6703, naturesfoodpatch.com.

Saturday, March 10: Whole Foods
Get better acquainted with a "king," at this Get to Know the King: Parmigiano Reggiano event. This "king of cheese" will be spotlighted at Whole Foods' annual Crack Heard Round the World event. Wheels of this delightful cheese will be cracked and ready for you to sample, and perhaps purchase. 3 p.m., 1548 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa, 813-874-9435, wholefoodsmarket.com.

Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11: Renaissance Festival (MOSI)
Get romantic at Wine, Chocolate and Romance, this weekend's segment of Renaissance Festival. Renew your wedding vows, and then participate in the couple's pie eating competition. Take advantage of the free wine tasting. Fling some fudge at the Fudge Fling. Participate in the pub crawl. Admission is $18.95, free parking; 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 11315 N. 46th St., Tampa, 800-966-8215, bayarearennaissancefest.com.

Sunday, March 11: Cru Cellars
Enjoy seafood with seasonal ingredients (harvested locally), paired with small-production wines, at the Harvest Wine Dinner. In Bloom Catering will prepare the four-course feast, which includes selections such as Crudo of Gulf Amberjack. Reservations are required. $100; 7 p.m., 2506 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, 813-831-1117, crucellarstampa.com.

Sunday, March 11: New World Brewery
End Tampa Bay Beer Week on a "sour" note at the Sour Beer Breakfast. Your breakfast will be hops-infused, thanks to grain-based, tart brews. Smokin' (smoked) cheeses will be available in addition to traditional breakfast bites. $30; 11 a.m., 1313 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa, tampabaybeerweek.com.

Sunday, March 11: The Independent
If all of that Saturday boozing kept you in bed until noon, start your "morning" off right and head to Sour Ale Sunday. Sip sour ales such as Guezes and Rodenbach Flanders Red. Free; 2 p.m., 5016 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, tampabaybeerweek.com.

Sunday, March 11: Sweet Caroline’s Bakery
Does the art of baking cake sound pretty sweet to you? If so, learn Executive Pastry Chef Michael Ostrander's sweet secrets at this Pastry and Baking Boot Camp. This hands-on Art of Cake Baking class will teach you how to bake and decorate a cake for any occasion. $100, including lunch and goodies to take home; 9 a.m., 3347 Tampa Road, Palm Harbor, 727-781-1888, sweetcarolinesbakery.com.

Monday, March 12: Ritz Ybor
Combining mixologists' skills, sweet tattoos and music, Tuaca's 2012 Florida Drinks and Ink State Finals takes at the Ritz. The mixologists' shot recipes will be judged on taste, creativity, ingredients and name. Tattoos will be judged on craftsmanship, artistic integrity, and the story behind the tattoo. Acclaimed tattoo artist Corey Miller will also be present, performing with his rockabilly-blues-surf band, Powerflex 5! R.S.V.P. at Tuaca's or Ritz Ybor's Facebook pages. Free; 10 p.m., 1503 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, tuaca.com.

Monday, March 12: [email protected]
Eat and learn at this Farm for the Future event, sponsored by Slow Foods Tampa Bay. Urban farmer Jim Kovaleski, of Freedom House Farm, will be the guest of the evening. He will share his urban farming secrets and how he combines them with permaculture, to grow an impressive garden. He also discusses what you can do to preserve the earth. Potluck begins at 6 p.m.; bring a dish or $5 contribution. Be sure to bring your own utensils. Discussion begins at 7 p.m. $5; 6 p.m., 620 1st Ave. S., St. Petersburg, 727-895-6620, studio620.org.

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