Cigar City Hunahpu's Imperial Stout

What is essential to making sure folks have a good time at bottle releases?

Funky Buddha’s John Linn: “We pay a lot of attention to the actual festival and making sure that people have a good time. To that end, organization and event logistics/amenities are the most important part to us. We want lines to be short and people to not have to stress about things. The music should be good and it should be easy to get a beer.”

Maine Beer Co.’s Dan Kleban: ”The most important thing is to keep our customers happy. We try to make every release smoother, faster, and better.”

Cycle Brewing’s Doug Dozark: “[T]he single most important thing is communication, make sure you deliver on what you promise and stick to your plan. We manage expectations carefully and with fairness in mind. We promise as little as possible in advance, price, bottle count, limits per person, none of that is truly necessary to set in stone until you know what you have and how many people.”

Kane Brewing’s Michael Kane: “We do our best to prepare. We have to make sure we communicate with everyone. Separate things out with different lines and manage the chaos the best we can. Plan. Prepare. Communicate.”

Due South Brewing’s Mike Jurewicz: “People obviously come to drink some beers as well as get bottles, probably even more so. So it is important that we have a variety of beers available to our attendees to enjoy while they are here. This is why we put on small, limited items and get beers from our fellow Florida breweries that folks may not normally get to try.”

East End Brewing Co.’s Scott Smith: “Make sure it’s fair. Everyone is getting a fair crack at the beer—if 500 people show up, then we’re going to lower the limit. If we foster a measure of fairness, it passes around.”

Mark DeNote is a native Floridian, a teacher, and a beer writer. The author of two books on Florida’s craft beer scene, Mark writes about craft beer at