Fermentation Lounge set to honor fallen friend

In the history of the Tallahassee Beer Society's bottle shares over the last two years that have raised over $20,000, we've benefited entire organizations like the Alzheimer's Project, Hang Tough, Second Harvest and the Down Syndrome Association of Tallahassee. And we've also given back to entire communities, like the Eastpoint fire victims, and Panhandle survivors of Hurricane Michael.

But this Saturday from 4-8 p.m. at Fermentation Lounge for our latest charity bottle share, the spotlight falls firmly on one man: Tallahassee's Ron Nieto, a beloved local triathlete who died of cancer one year ago this week after a three-year battle for his life.

Nieto and Fermentation Lounge owner Jon Nash were close friends and training partners, and Nash told us months ago he wanted to hold a charity bottle share in his buddy's memory that would benefit the RonStrong Foundation — a charity that was created after Nieto's death in July 2018 that aims to support cancer treatment and research being done right here in North Florida like the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center, where Nieto spent his final days. 

So when Saturday rolls around, Nash said to expect a few beers to be cheers-ed in Nieto's memory, and likely a few tears shed on the anniversary of his passing.

"A few words can't describe Ron and what he meant to so many people," Nash said. "What I remember most about Ron is that he never stopped smiling, and he also loved triathlons and a good IPA! The fact his funeral just one year ago this month was standing-room only says so much about how his life impacted so many people here. We all miss him around here."  

Nieto was indeed a big craft beer fan, and he and Nash would often cap their long bike rides, swims and runs together with a cold craft brew. In fact, there's even a portion of the RonStrong Foundation website that mentions Nieto's love for the suds.

"Husband. Father. Friend. IRONMAN. Ron loved competing in triathlons, especially with his friends and family. There was always the next race — especially when the reward was an obnoxiously hoppy IPA waiting at the end of a long, hard workout. Life is short. Live. Love. Laugh and lead a life worth living — a testimony Ron gave us all," the Foundation's website said of Nieto, who was a veteran of the United States Air Force and a proud alumni of Florida State University.

If you need any information about how one of our charity bottle shares work, TLH Beer Society co-founder Matthew Crumbaker wrote a "Bottle Share 101" column last year  that's definitely worth a read. 

But in short, there's really just five things we ask:

1. Make a donation to the charity when you arrive

2. Bring a beer or two to share with the crowd

3. Sample lots of styles of beers and eat some great food 

4. Enjoy yourself responsibly

5. Arrange to get yourself home safely — whether by Uber, Lyft, Yellow Cab or a designated driver

It's really that simple.

The suggested donation for Saturday's bottle share is $10 per person, and local Tallahassee restaurant Riksha Tacos, which will be on site serving. We've also got loads of raffle prizes to give away from our area breweries and craft beer bars, and your initial donation gets you one ticket — or you can buy more tickets once you arrive and the extra money will be added to the fundraising pot.

Hope you'll come out, support a great cause and take part in our bottle share mission: #DrinkBeerAndDoGood!

Ology hires former GrassLands brewer, preps for more collaborations

With Ology's two-year anniversary now in the books and work on its new production facility in full swing, Tallahassee's Midtown brewery is back to doing what it does best: making beer.

And on that topic, two quick things to note:

• Ology announced this week it had hired former GrassLands lead brewer Jake Thurmond following GrassLands' closure last week. This is awesome news because Jake is a great guy, a talented brewer and the Tallahassee craft beer scene would've missed him if he'd left for another job outside our area. Congrats, Jake!

• Ology is headed to Colorado soon to work on two more collaboration beers — an IPA with Weldwerks out of Greeley, Colo., and a Double IPA with Outer Range from Frisco, Colo. The Weldwerks collab is especially intriguing because Weldwerks currently makes two of the Top 5-rated New England IPAs on UnTappd, and Ology is renowned for its NEIPAs as well.

Speaking of collaborations, over at Deep ...

Deep Brewing, after not doing a single collab in its (almost) first three years of being open, has now done three collabs in the last three months. 

The first was an All-Tallahassee collab with Proof Brewing — "Constructive Interference IPA" — that is now out in both tasting rooms in cans and on draft, and you can also buy it in area Publixes. But over the last few weeks, Deep also wrapped up a SomeBeach - Piña Colada Pastry Sour collab with Idyll Hounds Brewing in Santa Rosa Beach, then headed South to Bradenton and started an Old Ale collab with Motorworks Brewing. 

Look for more details on those beers' release dates soon.

Lake Tribe set for busy weekend

Lake Tribe Brewing is set for its first-ever "Arts And Ales" event on Friday, July 26, from 5-8 p.m. presented by local Tallahassee art studio, Pyramid Inc., which is a local nonprofit agency (actually just around the corner from Lake Tribe!) that provides services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They will display a gallery of arts from the students of Pyramid for purchase in the private event space called the Wild Woods Room, and all proceeds go back to the studio and its students.

Then on Saturday, Lake Tribe releases its 10th canned beer. Yes, 10th! 

"Coffee Cabin Camp Amber Ale" debuts at 1 p.m. on Saturday in cans and on tap. This amber beer is brewed with local RedEye Coffee Company Columbia Santa Barbara cold brew coffee.

Yup, our friends off Garber Drive in West Tallahassee have been doing serious work since buying their own canning line last year and it's so exciting to see them put out all these different beer styles in cans.

Hit Proof before free concert at Cascades

Downtown Tallahassee's Free Sundown Concert Series at Cascades Park has another installment this week with Miami-based funk and blues band "The Lee Boys," who will take the stage with "Jon Bellamy & the Rebels!" from 7-10 p.m. The concert is free for everyone, and Proof Brewing beer will be sold at the event.

But because you can also bring your own coolers, we would encourage you to hit Proof beforehand and pick up any of the five canned offerings they have for sale to-go right now, including "Eightfive-0" Pale Ale, "Mango Wit, "La La Land" West Coast IPA, "Proof Lager" and "Constructive Interference," which is their IPA collaboration beer with Deep. Proof's happy hour also runs right up until the event, so you can always have a beer or cocktail there in their beer garden before walking over to the concert.

The TLH Beer Society is a group of avid craft beer lovers co-founded by Danny Aller, who is also the co-host of the Saturday Morning Bottle Share on 97.9 ESPN radio. Follow TLH Beer Society at Facebook.com/TLHBeerSociety or @TLHBeerSociety on Twitter and Instagram or email tlhbeersociety@gmail.com

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