To celebrate its fifth anniversary, LauderAle, the beloved Fort Lauderdale brewery, doesn’t want a birthday card, socks, or a melted cake — it wants you to party and enjoy some cold beer.
For the third year in a row, the brewery will host a three-day anniversary festival. The shindig will go down Friday, July 26, through Sunday, July 28.
“It’s really kind of surreal and hard to believe that it’s been five years,” owner Kyle Jones says. “In some ways, it feels like it was yesterday that we opened and, in some ways, ten years. We’re always trying to make things special and better, and that’s what we’re doing with this event too.”
When LauderAle opened in 2014, it was the only brewery in Fort Lauderdale's city limits; since then, it's released nearly 210 varieties of beer. During this year's celebration, it will begin selling ten specialty beers each day. They include Vacation Money (a New England Pale Ale with vanilla and lactose), Brut IPA, a barrel-aged maple bush brown, and Raspberry La Niña (a mango-habanero cream ale with raspberries).
To complement the inventive brews, Lunchroom, Be Nice, Temple Street, and other eateries will feed the masses. Askultura, the Copper Tones, and Spred the Dub will provide the tunes.
What's the biggest lesson Jones has learned over the years at the helm of the successful brewery?
“I’m a little introverted, so it’s been being able to find the right people to help create the culture and to help drive the brand forward,” he says. “It’s all about having good people around you... This is the best team we’ve ever had, and it seems like it’s getting better. Now we have ten employees, and there’s no one that has been here less than two years.”
As for what’s ahead, prepare to chill out — maybe.
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“We’re one of the only businesses or bars that don’t have air conditioning,” Jones says. “Some people really enjoy that... that bare-bones, raw-space feel. We are looking at possibly adding A/C as well as some other equipment.”
Until that A/C is added, though, get ready.
“It is best to be prepared and not show up in jeans,” Jones says. “Dress like you’re going to the beach... but we will have a massive tent and shade over our beer garden, and it’s totally kid- and dog-friendly. We’re just supergrateful and appreciate all the support over our first five years... the community, our fellow brewers, and our customers.”
LauderAle Brewery Fifth-Anniversary Celebration. Friday, July 26, through Sunday, July 28, at LauderAle, 3305 SE 14th Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-653-9711; lauderale.co. Admission is free.