Beer Drinker's Edition

Two of the Bay area's best beer events arrive.

Thought eating local was all about avoiding pesticides and carbon footprints? It's also about knocking back a few cold ones!

This weekend sees two of the Bay area's best beer events coming to town, both exclusively featuring Sunshine State beers. First up is the Florida Brewer's Guild Beerfest ($30, 2-6 p.m. Sat., March 8, Centro Ybor, Tampa, floridabrewersguild.org), where the winners of the FBG Best Florida Beer Championships are announced and over 30 Florida breweries will be pouring their wares.

Spend Sunday morning soaking up carbs and recuperating, then head over to Skipper's Smokehouse for the Brewers' Ball ($30, noon-5 p.m. Sun., March 9, Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa, bestfloridabeer.org). This is the jewel of the homebrew circuit, where dozens of award-winning, kegged homebrews are available for sampling, along with all the craft-brew winners of the FBG awards from the day before.

And with every sip you'll experience the spiritual well-being of knowing that nothing gets more local than a few guys whipping up a bock or barleywine in their garage, throwing it in the back of the minivan and trucking it an hour or two to town for your beery pleasure.

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