Thursday, January 14
In the age of information and communication, learning how to do almost anything isn't too difficult. The internet is vast, and expert (as well as not-so-expert) knowledge goes deep. Making good beer, however, takes some hands-on experience. Sure, you can learn the steps and list of ingredients, but the art and craft of brewing is something that has to be experienced. Thanks to the growing craft beer industry in South Florida, the average joe is fortunate to have access to breweries to give us this experience without having to spend a barrel full of cash. Passing on the craft is exactly what LauderAle owner Kyle Jones is doing with his second-annual Project Yeast 002. If you're a newcomer to beer-making or simply an enthusiast, this is the event for you. Beer experts, homebrewers, and brewmasters are particularly welcome — there's always more to learn and share. Head to LauderAle Brewery this Thursday to participate in Project Yeast 002. Bring $9, which pays for a flight of four beers and access to the course, led by Jones. Most important, he'll need help choosing the best yeast strain and will ask for feedback. This means you'll actually have a hand in what beer LauderAle makes for production. Everyone who participates will also receive a LauderAle sticker.
Project Yeast 002 begins at 8 p.m. The brewery is located at 3305 SE 14th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. To RSVP, call 9540-653-9711 or email email@example.com.
Friday, January 15
Every January since 1912, more than a half-million visitors head to the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach to enjoy the weeklong festivities at the South Florida Fair. It's one of Florida's oldest — and largest — community events, and fairgoers can once again get in on all the action this Friday through January 31. For the 2016 installation, fairgoers can dance and sing the night (or day) away as five stages present live shows and concert performances, or get thrills from the variety of midway rides, including a giant Ferris wheel. But this fair isn't all fun and games: There's also an opportunity to make it an educational experience. You can learn about Florida history at the interactive Yesteryear Village, come face-to-face with livestock of all shapes and sizes at the award-winning Agriplex exhibit, and take a walk through the 80,000-square-foot "Discover the Palm Beaches"-themed display at the Expo Center. But the best part, in our opinion, isn't the rides, shows, or exhibits. It's all that crazy fair food. When it comes to outrageous eats — all deep-fried, of course — nothing beats the South Florida Fair. Expect a wide variety of treats, from the classic fried dough and cotton candy to bacon on stick and pork parfait. Goodbye, new year's resolutions.
The South Florida Fair is located at 9067 Southern Blvd. at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach. Admission costs $15 for adults, $9 for seniors (over 60), and $8 for children ages 6 to 11; children under 5 get in free. Unlimited-ride wristbands cost $25 per person Monday through Friday and $35 Saturday and Sunday. Visit southfloridafair.com.
Saturday, January 16
If there's a beloved food item, South Floridians find a way to celebrate it. We bring brewers together as an excuse to drink. Slow-cooking experts gather for barbecue parties. Country music and chili collide for a big day of eating, drinking, and line-dancing. For burgers, there's gonna be a battle for the best patty. Heck, we even go crazy for the most odiferous of ingredients, garlic. So it should come as no surprise that the region's best-known specialty will be celebrated this Saturday at Riverwalk's fifth-annual Stone Crab & Seafood Festival. Presented by Grille 401, the event features live music, drinks, games, the infamous hermit crab races, and plenty of crustaceans and other briny delights. Seafood dishes start at $5 and are available from Grille 401, BrewFish Bar & Grill, Kelly's Landing-New England Seafood, Historic DownTowner, Shuck N Dive, Kingzz Jerk Juice, Southport Raw Bar, Hott Legg'z "Drink'n. Cook'n. Rock'n," and the J-Ro Nana Seafood Shack. This year's edition also features a local craft beer garden offering samples from Funky Buddha Brewery, SaltWater Brewery, Barrel of Monks Brewing, and Due South Brewing.
Admission is free, and beer garden tickets cost $25. The Stone Crab & Seafood Fest runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Esplanade Park, located at 400 SW Second St. in Fort Lauderdale. Visit goriverwalk.com.
An aspiring brewer can earn recognition by not only making great beer but also winning brewing competitions. Such a feat can — and often does — launch careers. For instance, Tamarac resident Russ Brunner struck a deal with Boston Brewing Company, and his recipe was re-created for mass production after he won the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Competition. His other accomplishments include a gold medal for his Scotch ale at the 35th-annual National Homebrewers Conference and a gold medal for a foreign/export stout at the 2014 Miami Coconut Cup. The third-annual Mardi Gras Casino Homebrew Beer Competition could inspire such success. Local brewing clubs compete for best in show, and the best part about it is that the general public reaps all of the benefits. You'll even get to be a beer judge. For a $15 admission fee, you'll receive a tasting cup to refill with delicious homebrews and a pretzel necklace to cleanse the palate between beers (and soak them all up). If you're still hungry, plates of barbecue will be available for purchase. About 30 brewing clubs are expected to compete this year. Radio personality Darlene Evans from KISS Country will be onsite to MC and give away prizes.
The third-annual Mardi Gras Casino Homebrew Beer Competition runs from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday trackside at Mardi Gras Casino, located at 831 N. Federal Highway in Hallandale Beach. Call the casino at 954-924-3200, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, January 17
Jim Moran's center for at-risk youth in Deerfield Beach — the Youth Automotive Training Center — is one of the most successful programs of its kind in South Florida. The center goes far beyond simply training kids in basic automotive repair by providing a safety network that the students can depend on sending them on to academic, vocational, and life-defining success. With two long-term studies conducted since it opened in 1984, the YATC has consistently created a positive impact on its graduates, with an almost negligible recidivism rate. This is without a doubt one of the most worthwhile enterprises of this nature in our community — and like all entities fighting the good fight, it needs your help. A boon to the center's mission is its annual Cool Wheels Car Show, featuring more than 500 show cars, a silent auction, raffles, food trucks, and presentations by the Broward Sheriff's Office SWAT team. Music will be provided by DJs and the Blues Brothers Soul Band. Kustom Kulture enthusiasts can meet with artist Ben "Drag Daddy," and owners of show cars can register their vehicles in advance for $20 or $25 the day of the event. There will be trophies and cash prizes for the top three and assorted gifts for the first 300.
The Youth Automotive Training Center's fifth-annual Cool Wheels Car Show begins at 10 a.m. Sunday at Shelter 10 in Quiet Waters Park, located at 401 S. Powerline Road in Deerfield Beach. There's no entry charge for spectators except a park admission fee of $1.50 per person over the age of 5. Call 561-452-3684, or visit yatc.org.
Monday, January 18
As one of the greatest orators and luminaries of the American civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is best known for monumental nonviolent actions such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington, highlighting the nation's deep racial inequalities. But King was also an intersectional thinker whose work on injustice didn't end at civil rights; it stretched into issues of income inequality, environmentalism, and antiwar sentiments. Another lesser-known aspect of his legacy is his work on environmental justice issues; he believed that all people have the right to clean soil, air, and water. For Dr. King, looking out for fellow beings extended to nonhumans, and many an environmentalist has dusted off an applicable King quote, such as "Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake." This Monday, the national day of service to honor King's legacy, Sawgrass Nature Center & Wildlife Hospital and Leadership Broward Foundation will host "Engage MLK Day of Giving — Creating a Garden of Awe." The event will pay tribute to King's teachings by planting trees and shrubbery to create a natural butterfly garden. Foliage chosen to attract various species of beneficial insects will be planted, and a shaded resting spot for visitors will be installed.
The day's digging and planting takes place from 8 a.m. until about noon at Sawgrass Nature Center & Wildlife Hospital, located at 3000 Sportsplex Drive in Coral Springs. Pre-registration is required. Call 954-767-8866, or visit sawgrassnaturecenter.org.
Tuesday, January 19
For better or worse, "bold" and "beautiful" are two words that describe South Florida pretty well — from our criminals and McMansions to our beaches and bikinis. And they don't have to be mutually exclusive terms, as revealed by the six local artists whose works are on display in "Bold and Beautiful," a new exhibition at the Atlantic Hotel & Spa, in conjunction with ArtServe. For some of the artists, South Florida's beautiful seascapes and exuberant ambiance inspired bold statements, like Michael D. Harris' sculptures of the region's waterways and Diane Delorey's vivid, textural paintings. Other artists capture the universally beautiful in bold new ways, from Leonardo Montoya's large-scale reimaginings of Audrey Hepburn's profile to Susan Clifton's indescribable fabric mosaics and Carlos Pundik's 3D pop art. Celebrate their vision at Tuesday's opening reception, featuring appetizers and drinks provided by the Atlantic Hotel's onsite restaurant, Beauty & the Feast; appearances by the half-dozen artists; spoken-word poetry from participants in ArtServe's teen arts program, the VoiceBox; and live music performed on handmade instruments.
The reception runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Hotel & Spa, located at 601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. Call 954-462-8190, or visit artserve.org.
Let's face it: Symphony orchestras may not survive another century if they play only Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. They need to boldly go in new directions to foster audiences outside the dwindling constituency of classical music —hence blockbuster multimedia productions like Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage, an orchestral concert-cum-Trekkie-confab that launches its national tour in South Florida this month. Gene Roddenberry's continually evolving space saga has spawned more than 700 TV episodes and 12 feature films in its 50-plus years as an American cultural landmark, and it has attracted eminent composers such as Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner to produce the franchise's iconic scores. That's a lot of music from which to choose, and Ultimate Voyage conductor Justin Freer, who has produced concert celebrations of The Godfather and The Lord of the Rings, has selected a generous survey of nearly 30 compositions, from the original series to J.J. Abrams' recent films. A 40-foot screen behind the orchestra will project carefully curated montages — and sometimes unbroken scenes, like the Kirk-versus-Spock fight — from the series' immense corpus, which will satisfy cultists and casual fans alike. Prepare your best Vulcan salute and bring a hanky: Because Leonard Nimoy's death is still fresh in fans' minds, preview concerts have not shied away from sentimental climaxes.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, located at 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $30 to $65. Call 954-462-0222, or visit browardcenter.org.
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Wednesday, January 20
Craft beer is the current undisputed king of adult beverages. Because it offers such variety, plus the fairly easy (and legal) ability to make the stuff at home, there's no surprise that beer holds the title. But Americans can be fickle, and their jaded palates are always on the hunt for something new — or perhaps something old that is new again. The rise of craft spirits is nigh, and nowhere is that fact more evident than at cocktail-centric establishments such as Stache, which will host the Fort Lauderdale Whiskey Society's latest meetup. This Wednesday at 7 p.m., representatives from Tullimore DEW Irish Whiskey and Gordon & MacPhail will be present to not only impart their knowledge about whiskey but also pour whiskey. Featured for sampling are single malts from Brenne French Malt Whiskey and Gordon & MacPhail. The Fort Lauderdale Whiskey Society is composed of industry professionals as well as whiskey enthusiasts. Activities through the society consist of whiskey events, dinners, tastings, monthly mixers with two whiskey purveyors, group discussions, and an active Facebook group page. The whiskey included and discussed in these happenings involves all of its forms, including Scotch, Irish, Canadian, Japanese, and bourbon. The group's mission is to expand its members' and the public's knowledge of whiskey. The group is free to join, as are all events. Each event has a sign-in sheet and tickets for each tasting table to best educate attendees.