Brew Review – Den of Sins & 1801 Koffee Saison by Barrel of Monks @barrelofmonks

I find it amazing that when I talk to some people that are interested in beer, or just getting into brewing, that Belgian beers tend to have a mixed reaction.

It seems that for most beer enthusiasts, liking Belgian beers is as much of a requirement as wanting your IPA to have as high an ABV as humanly possible. And then you have some that won’t touch the stuff, no explanation given.

I will say, in all due fairness, I adore Belgian beers. They tend to not be overly hoppy, usually have a great nuanced and complex flavor, and the strength of the beer is accompanied by richly varied flavor profiles. These are not beers that are a dare or brutal in any sense of the word, merely strong because that’s just how the recipe ended up to get the flavors that the brewers, sometimes monks which I find very interesting, wanted.

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Brew Review – Dry Strawberry Cider by 3 Daughters Brewing @3dbrewing

It’s funny that I really knew the difference between dry and sweet from drinking wines, not beers or ciders. With the exception of saisons and a few other styles, however, it’s not a term that gets thrown around a lot when it comes to beer.

It does in cider, however, especially since ciders are, in many ways – and according to Florida law – a wine. So you’ll get your big, sweet ciders, and your big, sweet, fruity ciders, and strong, dry ciders. There aren’t a lot of big, sweet, dry ciders, however. One that tends to buck the trend is Dry Strawberry Cider (Cider, 8% ABV) from St. Petersburg powerhouse 3 Daughters Brewing, or their new cidery arm.

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Brew Preview – Shipwreck Series at Lauderale @lauder_ale

(I don’t get to do articles like this very often, so I’m a little excited.)

Sunday, April 8th is going to be a busy, fun day at Lauderale. For starters, it’s a Sunday, which means jazz Sunday brunch, a happening I feel a bit foolish for not knowing was a thing. It’s also going to be their first Farmers Market, set up in conjunction with one of their food truck regulars. There will be a lot of local artisans and wares, so it should be some good shopping.

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Brew Review – Big Nose by Swamphead Brewery @SwampHead

As the Florida Craft Beer scene continues to grow, there are just some breweries that come out known for some of the magical things they do with their hops. I am not saying that only some Florida breweries know how to truly ‘use’ hops; what I’m saying is that there are just some breweries tht are very well known for the lupulin wonders that come out of their brew systems.

Swamphead Brewing in Gainesville is one of those. In the time since I first found their beers by driving well north and searching for bombers, I have experienced firsthand how well they know how to use their hops. Some time ago, they switched their focus – smartly so – from 22 oz. bottles to 6-packs, moved into a larger facility, and greatly increased their statewide distribution.

This will probably be old news to most expert beer drinkers, but for hop heads just jumping into Swamphead, the beer you will be starting with is probably going to be Big Nose (IPA, 7.3% ABV, 56 IBU).

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Brew Review – Casa’blanc’a by Lake Tribe Brewing @laketribebrew

It’s been a little while since I’ve written about Lake Tribe’s ultra-limited release of their Wild Woods Project, a run of wild-fermented ales treated to the absolute hilt.

And that’s the thing, especially with wild ales. Sometimes you get an esxpertly blended, well crafted beer. Sometimes you get, well, vinegar. Believe you me, I’ve had too many vinegar wild beers in my life.

That’s why I was very happy to see that Casa’blanc’a (Wild Ale, 4.7% ABV) is easily the former.

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