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Brew Review

Rainy Day Blues to Halloween Brews

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By Joni Williams


So the weather has been a little—ahem—unpredictable lately and put a damper on some long awaited events like the annual Destin Seafood Festival. But have no fear, Halloween weekend is almost here. And that means plenty of fun events guaranteed to turn your rainy day blues into hoppy brews. Yes, they all feature beer. Lots of it. And dark clouds—if we get ‘em—will just add to the Halloween ambience. Take that, Mother Nature.


The annual Fort Walton Beach Crypt Crawl kicks off with a shotgun start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, in downtown Fort Walton Beach. This year’s pub crawl includes some of the best spots in town, all within walking distance of each other. The lineup includes Fokkers Pub, Salty Duck, the Green Door, Coasters, Giovanni’s One 89, and the Block. Not only will these vendors be going out of their way to show you a devilish good time, they’ll offer food and drink specials. There will also be some door prizes and other giveaways along the way.


There’s no entry fee and no set schedule to follow. In other words, you can start off wherever you want and pretty much meander through the pubs at your own pace. Just be sure to end at the Block at the bewitching hour of 11 p.m. so you don’t miss out on the big prize giveaway. Plus, there will be more drink specials and a costume contest around midnight with a grand prize that really is grand. Or more specifically, a grand. Yes, we’re talking dollars and no cent, so make sure you show up in a costume.


Ditto if you plan to hit up HarborWalk Village on Oct. 28 for the Monster Mash Pub Crawl starting at 6 p.m. And this party keeps going until 1 a.m. The $10 per person entry fee benefits local charities and gets you an armband. Wear it proudly and watch the drink specials unfold at participating vendors—Jackacuda’s, Coyote Ugly, Crab Island Cantina, Harry T’s, FishHeads, Margaritaville and Jester’s.


On the Main Stage, there will be live music starting at 7 p.m., plus fireworks and an adults-only costume contest (there’s another one just for kiddies and fur babies Sunday afternoon) where you can win cash and other prizes. Once again, it pays to show up in a costume. We already got ours, and we’re not saying what it is, but here’s a hint—it has something to do with beer.


(Editor’s Note: Sorry, Joni, couldn’t resist spoiling the surprise.)


This year, there are more beer-themed costumes than ever, ranging from simple adornments like beer mug head boppers and hats for well under 10 bucks to full blown Oktoberfest getups. Party City even sells a beer maiden “ride on” piggyback costume, complete with a stout, stuffed beer maiden, which is not to be confused with a stout brewski, though you might opt to include one anyway. Other places to shop for grown-up costumes include Walmart, Amazon and the new Spirit of Halloween store in the Santa Rosa Mall.


If costumes and pubs really aren’t your thing, or you’re more of a hallowed day than hallowed eve’s kind of person, you won’t want to miss the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s 22nd Annual Festival of the Arts Oct. 28 and 29 at the Cultural Arts Village in Destin. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Entry fee is five bucks.


Rest assured, this is not an uptight, champagne-sipping, pinkie-extended kind of an event.  This is one art fest that’s both classy and fun, offering non-stop live music, customized merch, and aisles of art booths showcasing some 200 artists vying for $10,000 in juried art prizes.


Make sure you show up hungry, because some of the area’s best loved food vendors will be there offering seriously scrumptious eats. Plus, there will be all kinds of treats, including that festival fave, the funnel cake.


But wait, there’s more… There’s an expanded lineup of wine and craft beer. That’s right. Beer! As in, not champagne. Lucky for us, the good folks who put this event together wisely realized that nothing goes better with good taste than beverages that taste good.


And we couldn’t agree more.

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