Key West Brew Fest infuses friendships

2016 ‘Trust Me I’m A Local’ calendar signing Labor Day weekend

Islamorada Beer Company Co-Founder Jose Herrera spent Labor Day weekend last year slinging signature beers at Brew Fest in Key West. While spinning the popular swag wheel at the company’s tent on the Southernmost Beach during the signature tasting event, he struck up conversation with local photographer Mike Freas and a professional friendship was born.

“I needed a photographer for a small shoot and called Mike to see if he could do it,” said Herrera. “He jumped right on it, and then brainstormed the idea of shooting a local calendar.”

Freas and Herrera gathered local women for the shoot as well as several other local businesses to create the calendar and raise money for Reef Relief, a Key West non-profit. With the help of The Islamorada Resort Company’s Post Card Inn, local swimwear by Conch designer Scarlett Osborne, makeup by artist Amber Houge, and the donation of boat usage from Plantation Boat Mart, Bamboo Charters, and Islamorada Boat Works, the calendar project took shape.

“Being able to work and collaborate with other small local business owners in the Keys was the best part of this brainchild,” said Herrera. “It’s all about supporting local businesses and getting our names out there.”

The calendar signing party is taking place at Dante’s in Key West during Brew Fest on Friday, Sept. 4 from 2 to 6 p.m. The bikini clad calendar models will be on hand to sign the calendars at the pool party. Calendars are being sold online at the pre-sale price of $15, and will be at Dante’s for $20, which includes a glass of Islamorada Beer Company’s favorite draughts.

“All the girls are local,” said Freas. “They jumped on the opportunity to help raise money for local reef-related nonprofits; this wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

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