When Kyle Jones hosts LauderAle Brewery's inaugural Brew Competition this Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, he'll be happy if turnout from South Florida's beer lovers is small. In fact, word-of-mouth publicity would be just fine, thank you.
"That'll be good. We're not easy to access. We like being a hidden, hard-to-find brewery at this point. Otherwise, we wouldn't have the brewing capacity to keep up with demand," says Jones, brewmaster at the 3,200-square-foot warehouse located in Port Everglades.
But Jones thinks that beer supply should more than satisfy demand during Sunday's assembly of home brewers, who will collectively serve more than 15 types of craft beer. Concoctions will be served in 3-ounce sample glasses and split among three categories: saisons (a spicy seasonal ale), IPAs and mystery beers.
"Saisons and pale ales are just great for beating back the summertime heat," Jones, 31, says. "They're the beers you kick back with and take out on your boat. They'll be one-of-a-kind, too, because they've never been brewed before the same way."
A panel of judges will select an overall winner from the three categories, Jones says. Assaying the brews will be Jones, Jordan Bellus of Laser Wolf, former Funky Buddha head brewer Alex Postelnek and Fort Lauderdale Area Brewers president Gary Fuller. LauderAle will also offer 12 of its beers on tap, and food truck Its A Cubano B will also be on site.
The winner will collect the Golden Steam Stack Tap Handle, a gold-painted version of LauderAle's red-and-white-striped tap handle. Jones modeled the tap after the Florida Power and Light smokestacks that once stood across the street.
"Second prize is a set of steak knives," Jones says with a laugh, referencing a line from the 1992 drama "Glengarry Glen Ross." "No, really. I bought steak knives."
LauderAle's first annual Brew Competition will start at 2 p.m. Sunday at LauderAle Brewery, 3305 SE 14th Ave., in Fort Lauderdale. Admission is $10. Call 954-653-9711 or go to LauderAle.co.