It's time to rock the vote again, this time with the Keepers of the Craft campaign by Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell and DRAFT magazine. The two craft beer behemoths are teaming up to promote the bartending side of beer and the 172nd anniversary of the Pilsner Urquell brewery with a 64 craft beer bar regionally seeded bracket.
Luckily for us, one of Fort Lauderdale's premiere craft destinations is on the list: Laser Wolf. The 'No Jerks' venue is fighting off Raleigh, North Carolina's Busy Bee Cafe' in the first round, and I think South Florida's craft beer enthusiasts can easily push Laser Wolf through this first round and knock those Tar Heels back from whence they came.
To vote is relatively easy. Simply sign up at the DRAFT magazine promo site (I'd expect you'll be receiving promo material from then on), and begin the selection process. Be aware that you'll have to select a winner from each of the 32 separate groupings, so it might take a while. Don't forget to pick LaserWolf when you get to it!
Everyone who registers will also be entered to win a Micromatic Freedom Kegerator, a nifty battery-powered kegerator which holds a 1/2 barrel of four 1/6th barrels.
Possibly the best part about winning this contest (besides getting that awesome title), is that the top rated bar will receive an oak cask of the unfiltered anniversary batch beer to tap on November 11th.
Some cool beer history is provided with this campaign, so beer nerds read on. In 1295, when King Wenceslas II of Bohemia founded his kingdom, he allowed everyone to brew their own beer, which must have been a godsend at the time, and a real change of pace from legislators today. This lasted for hundreds of years until the brewing became pretty terrible.
In 1838, several of the more enthusiastic brewers in town declared 36 barrels undrinkable and dumped them out in front of town hall. This drove the brewing households to join forces and collectively build a brewery - The Citizen's Brewery of Plzen. The idea was to create a state-of-the-art brewery to put in place a series of new beer-making practices that were making their way across central Europe, including the use of soft water and drying malt away from smoke.
Under the main building, they dug a network of ice tunnels for another new technique called "lagering." Four years later, they launched a golden clear, crisp light-bodied beer that blew the doors off the dark and cloudy beers of the times.
So there you have it. With a little bit of beer history, it's time to put South Florida in the history books as a pillar of craft beer serving in the United States. We wish Laser Wolf the best of luck in this competition.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Instagram.