Riverside Market is something of a pilgrimage site when it comes to South Florida craft beer. This stalwart of the Broward County brewing scene has been around for years, and one of their big events is an annual homebrewing competition.
This year was different, as they partnered with the Riverside Park Residents Association to take the homebrewing competition and expanding into a larger Fall Festival.
Lake Park, Florida, is not exactly the lap of luxury.
Yes, it is in Palm Beach County. But whereas other Palm Beach cities such as West Palm Beach and Boca Raton are definitely for the more affluent, Lake Park is a bit more unrefined. I’m not saying it’s a bad place to be, but this is not the sort of high society gathering place that you would see somewhere else.
I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.
I’m a big fan of scrappy little towns that give their residents the freedom and the space to create inventive, exciting things. One such place is the Brewhouse Gallery, which was a tap room so incredible I cannot believe that Florida is lucky enough to have it.
You went to high school with a kid who already knew who they were by that time.
They were into music that wasn’t necessarily popular for the time, didn’t dress in clothes that were socially mandated, and they didn’t care. This isn’t because they were trying to make a point, they were just comfortable with the person that they were and they decided to be. And then you see that person 20 years later, and they haven’t changed at all. Sure, they are an expert in the career that they have chosen, and are doing incredibly well, but they are still comfortable with exactly the person they knew they were back then.
That’s the feeling I got from Angry Chair Brewing.
US 41 in Pasco County isn’t exactly the most gorgeous road that you’ve ever been on.
The sides are populated with car garages, gas stations, run down and abandoned buildings, and the kind of old Florida plant growth that is not as carefully pruned and expertly manicured like a stereotypical Florida postcard.
Somewhere along the road, in Land O Lakes, you’ll come across an old salmon-colored Spanish style house, quietly situated next to what looks to be a warehouse. That house, vacant for years and recently renovated, is the home of the city’s first brewery, In The Loop.
St. Pete Brewing is one of those breweries that I’ve seen so often, but just never managed to make it in. It’s the signature anchor and oars in the classic skull and crossbones formation behind the bar that I’ve always seen, at least on digital media.
And then there I was, in downtown St. Pete, sweating ever so much on a warm Florida day (because they’re all warm) a flight in front of me and the anchor and oars off in the distance. I had finally made it to one of the breweries I had always wanted to go to.
I’m not particularly good when it comes to being interviewed, but if you are coming over from my recent interview on Saturday Morning Bottle Share with Tallahassee Beer Society, welcome!
Since I figured I would be getting some new Tallahassee readers after the interview, I decided to crack open the last bottle of Tallahassee beer that I currently have in my beer fridge. And it’s actually a sad occasion for me, since it is the last bottle that comes from last year’s Wild Woods Project at Lake Tribe Brewing.
What’s nice about most breweries these days is not only are they hosting beer events (obviously), but they’re also getting a lot of alternative events for people to come out and do while they’re enjoying their beers.
One of the most common are painting events, where for a set price patrons get a beer, a blank canvas, paint, and guided instruction for how to paint a specific picture. There are a lot of breweries around Florida that do that (and I even remember getting kicked out of my seat at one place in Los Angeles because they wanted to put a canvas there. How rude…).
I know I’ve said this before, but I love that business parks are always found with at least one brewery lurking in the darkness.
Such is the case with Fort Myers Brewing, a place that I have been to once before, but enjoyed coming back to again. It was easy to find, with large black and white signs advertising the brewery in large, friendly letters.