Gourmet food, specialty beer, walking along the water, listening to music, even shopping – what a perfect way to spend a Saturday. The inaugural Shrimp Road Seafood & Craft Beer Festival will take place April 14th from noon to 5 p.m. on the North Pier located at The Perry Hotel. And it’s just the beginning of new events to come on Stock Island.

Matthew Strunk had a vision for Stock Island years ago that created hospitality in an industrial zone without losing Stock Island’s charm. He was the pioneer not just in developing Stock Island, the backyard of Key West, but now preserving its ambience and artistic essence. The culmination is two beautiful properties, Stock Island Marina and The Perry Hotel, drawing people to the island in an original setting and a perfect place to hold events and festivals.

“The festival will encompass all things Stock Island,” said Jordan Ivey, coordinator. “We get to highlight local artists and artisans, specialty beers and the best food. And also live music.” This was always the plan, to combine the innovative spirit, the fishing industry and community of Stock Island, especially for community festivals. “It’s a creative way to showcase Stock Island.” said Ivey. (Also, plans for the first distillery on Stock Island are in motion.)

The festival will offer three tiers of tickets. A $10 general admission just allows access to the pier, $55 beverage admission will give an all access pass for the many showcased beers, and $95 VIP ticket will not only include the beers but access to the Captain’s Lounge for private beer tastings from certain breweries, the ultimate for any beer connoisseur. All food will be sold separately from vendors.

The pier will be loaded with local products to purchase, more than 50 craft beers, and the popular Key West band The E’Claires will be on stage with Claire Finley rocking the afternoon away. More information is at shrimproadseafoodfest.com.

Craft Beer: Ballast Point, Florida Keys Brewing, Wynwood Brewing, Cigar City, Oskar Blues, Funky Buddha, Due South, Founders, Islamorada Beer Company, Boulevard, Dogfish Head, Left Hand, Victory, Southern Tier, Shipyard, South Beach, Waterfront Brewery, Magic Hat, Saltwater and Tampa Bay Brewing.

Food: Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen and Bar, Salty Oyster Dockside Grill and Bar, Fish, Lost Kitchen Supper Club, El Siboney Stock Island, Hogfish Bar and Grill, Roostica wood fire pizzeria, A Moveable Feast, Gourmet Italian Tomato.

Sponsors: Stock Island Marina Village, The Perry Hotel, Stock Island Times, Fishbusterz, United Way, Big Five Rum, Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, TV88 Marathon florida.com, Broadwave 

Vendors: Koz’s Greenworld Gallery, Namaste Studios, Suzi’s creations, Cosme’s Marine, Florida Keys AHEC, Thrive Le-Vel, Made by Soto, Jen’s Gems, Andreea Mihalcea, Popcorn in Paradise, Cooper Esposito Design, LKCC , MCSO, LKMC, Starfish Designs, Touch of Key West, Grimal Grove, Up the Keys, Washed Up Key West, Namaste Eco-Tours, ReefGeek, Tortugas Sailing Adventures, Sunset Sail Key West

Hays Blinckmann is an oil painter, author of the novel “In The Salt,” lover of all things German including husband, children and Bundesliga. She spends her free time developing a font for sarcasm, testing foreign wines and failing miserably at home cooking.