"Original" Beerfest

New Times Beerfest Judges: Nine Expert Drinkers, Including These Two Lucky Readers

Greg Heller, a financial analyist and major beer fiend, and Stevette Hay, a former brewpub employee and local chef, are our two readers who will join an esteemed panel to help judge the New Times Beerfest 2011 awards.

Heller and Hay provided two detailed and impassioned descriptions on this blog post explaining why they'd be good to hand out awards to the best beers at Saturday's event. "I'll do ya proud!" Hay wrote, and by the answers they both provided, we have no doubt.

They'll join nine other expert judges who will select the Best Overall Brew, Best Florida Brew, Best American Brew, and Best Import Brew. Winners will be announced Monday on Clean Plate Charlie. The other judges are:

James Carras

An economic development consultant, Carras is president of the

Himmarshee Village Association and manages numerous

street celebrations.

His work has brought to him over 35 states and several countries, and in

his time off, he pursues his quest of tasting distinct local and craft


Ben Foster
Foster is general manager of Grease Burger Bar,

which specializes in craft beers, with 12 on draft and over 120 in the

bottle. Having tasted hundreds of beers in his 17 years in the

restaurant business, Foster says his goal is to serve beers that can't

be found at other restaurants. Along with his knowledge of beers, he has

alos passed the first portion of the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Jeff John
Managing partner of Revolution Live.

Melissa McCart
New Times restaurant critic and admitted drinker of Bud products (and also a fan of fine craft brews).

Dave Nicholas
Owner and managing partner of PL8, which features an extensive list of craft beers.

Ryan Sentz
Owner and head brewer at the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery,

Sentz was a home brewer for years before opening the Boca Raton brewpub

five years ago. Since then, his beers have been named among the best in

the country by beeradvocate.com and ratebeer.com.

Julian Siegel
Owner of the Riverside Market and purveyor of one of the best beer selections in South Florida.

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB. Follow Eric Barton on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

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Eric Barton
Contact: Eric Barton