By: Andrew Silverstein

Lowry Park Zoo's annual WaZoo Beer Festival was this past Saturday and made for an awesome time on a number of fronts.

Despite the blistering heat and humidity, tons of Tampa's finest came out in droves to sample over 250 big-name brews and lesser-known (but equally delicious) beers from craft breweries all around the world.

VIP-ers got in an hour early to dive into the festivities before the rest of the crowd.  In the center courtyard of the Lowry Park Zoo, beer vendors lined the walkways pouring everything from Sam Adam's Blackberry Wheat Beer to Blue Moon's Honey Moon Summer Ale, Sierra Nevada Kellerweis and so many more.

Food vendors like Tijuana Flats and Tampa Bay Brewing Company were on hand at WaZoo 2011 as well serving up small plates of their best dishes for the snacking; Cuban sandwiches and black beans and rice from Tampa Bay Brewing Company, monstrous tacos from Tijuana Flats.

Our own, beloved Grille 54 was also there serving up sushi rolls, pasta, and more to, easily, the longest food line of the festival.

The Safari Lodge was definitely where it was at, though.  Lined with beer and wine vendors, live music emanating throughout the building, and best of all, air conditioning, the Lodge was the place to be if you wanted the best in cuisine and libations at the festival.

Missed out or just want to relive the experience?  Check out our WaZoo 2011 video below or head to our WaZoo 2011 photo gallery to see if we captured you in the midst of the WaZoo action at Lowry Park Zoo.

Once you've been, it's easy to see why WaZoo is deemed one of the top ten beer festivals in the country.  If you missed out, don't sleep on it next year because you know it's coming back bigger and better than ever, only at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.