Brew Review – Bench Life by Green Bench @greenbenchbrew

I feel like Bench Life (Lager, 4.6% ABV, 7 IBU) should have a hashtag in front of it, like a basic tag when talking about St. Pete. #BenchLife.

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Brew Reviews – 32958 by Pareidolia and Lavender Ale by Motorworks at HopCat Port St. Lucie @PareidoliaBrew @MotorworksBrew @hopcatpsl

Based in Michigan, HopCat is a restaurant and pub concept that brings in an extensive and varied menu with a very large selection of taps to deliver an exciting a dining experience to beer aficionados.

Heard that before, haven’t you?

To be honest, I had originally dismissed HopCat because I have been burned so many times by restaurants with disturbingly huge tap lists. Generally, there’s only so many beers from places that ‘used to be craft but sold out’ that I can really stand. Plus, if they do anything local, it’s a local beer so ubiquitous that I could go to any Publix to grab the cans off the shelf.

I will say, however, after visiting the HopCat in Port St Lucie, I was very pleasantly surprised. First of all, the facility is gorgeous and has an absolutely stunning back wall painting that needs to be seen to be believed. Heck, it’s even on some of the shirts that I saw available for sale there.

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Brewery Visit – Corporate Ladder Brewing

Interstate 75 is a great place to find some quality Florida craft breweries. It’s pretty surprising how close so many locations are to the Interstate, with many being only a minute or two from the nearest exit.

One of those breweries is Corporate Ladder Brewing. It’s located just south of The Interchange between Interstates 75 and 275 in Manatee County. If that doesn’t sound like a major craft beer area, you would be absolutely right.

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Brew Review – Sandy Feet by Walking Tree at Conchy Joe’s @walkingtreebrew @conchy_joes

Not totally sure how we found Conchy Joe’s Seafood in Jensen Beach, but we did manage to find ourselves there on Father’s Day, which my family and I treat as more of a nice enjoyable family day.

Trust me, you can pretty well guess what Conchy Joe’s looks like. It’s your traditionally kitschy looking coastal fish eatery. Huge patio space overlooking the intracoastal waterway, lots old road signs and bar accoutrements on the walls and ceiling, very interesting on-stage fresh seafood steaming station, and multiple bars.

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Brew Review – Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale by Bold City Brewing @boldcitybrewing

Three cheers for the brown ale!That once workhorse of the Craft Beer community has been put out to pasture in recent years, left aside for pushing the boundaries of how many hops and how funky your yeast can be to get its highest possible score on whatever beer rating app you’re looking at.And while that is fun to a point, there comes a time when you need to get back to basics. That’s one of the things that amazes me about Bold City Brewing in Jacksonville. To be sure, they have their IPA. Their other two standard year-round releases, that you can find almost all over the state, are relatively unassuming workhorse styles that don’t have the greatest reputations. Continue reading

Brew Review – Beers at 81Bay with Craft Beer Ballers Podcast

I’m not totally sure what’s it called now, but one of the podcasts that I enjoy listening to in the Tampa Bay Area was, up to this point, known as the Balls and Brew podcast. Once they release another episode, they’re going to change that name to something akin to Craft Beer Ballers.

It had started off as a sports and beer podcast, and along the way the sports aspect sort of disappeared into the ether. That’s perfectly fine by me, since I can’t really get into sports unless you’re the Tampa Bay Lightning, and even then I don’t think I can discuss the Bolts for hours on end.

Beer, that’s a slightly different story and I have a bit more love and attention span for that.

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Brew Review – Sunken Gardens by Flying Boat Brewing @flyingboatbrew

You do not remember a time when Sunken Gardens did not exist in St Petersburg. If you do, you are very, very old and I congratulate you for reading this blog.

The Sunken Gardens is a lush, tropical paradise that still exists on 4th Street, next to a children’s museum and across the street from Crescent Lake. It’s maybe 10 or so minutes north of the Central Avenue area, of which my family is so fond.

It’s not very big, for what has been a traditional Florida tourist stop for decades. It actually started in 1903 when George Turner purchased land that he was interested in using for a house and to pursue his horticultural hobby.

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Brew Review – Cottonmouth Witbier by Swamp Head Brewery

If you look way back, and I mean way back, several years ago you’ll find a blog post of my review on a beer called Blueberry Cottonmouth from Gainesville’s Swamp Head Brewery.

I was really excited to find some, as they had a very small distribution network for their exclusive releases in 22 oz. bombers.

It’s amazing how much time has changed. Swamp Head has ditched the bombers in favor of 12 oz. cans, they are now found in most of the state of Florida, and looking at the post, my photography setup has definitely improved.

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