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
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.
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.
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.
So we are going to go in on a big dessert porter today. And we’re going in on a completely different avenue than how I expected, courtesy of Hop Life Brewing in Port St. Lucie.
I feel like it’s sort of antithetical to talk about a brewery in Port St. Lucie without talking about A) the relative lack of craft beer on the Treasure Coast, B) Hop Life and their owners being former firefighters, or C) their incredible proximity to the New York Mets spring training stadium.
I am lucky that I have been to both Momentum’s old tap room and their new tap room, both in Bonita Beach. It’s interesting that entire facility they left was the same size as just the tap room space of their new digs, and their new production floor is double that space.
In short, they have all the space they need to make even more of their awesome beers. I came by there a few weeks ago to interview owner Brian Hahn for the Florida Beer Podcast (which should be up soon, by the way), and I did get to grab a few crowlers for the road. One of those was their house IPA, Instinct (IPA, 6% ABV, 40 IBU).
It has been more than a couple of months since the word Floridaweisse has graced the pages of this blog, and maybe now is a good time to bring it up again, since I am very fond of that particular style.
I’ve had a few events happen recently where I have had to summarize and promote Florida craft beer, and I really do believe, as others do as well, that the Floridaweisse is something that is uniquely suited to the state of Florida.
Treatments are odd things.
Usually, you’ll see a treatment be a lighter beer that was infused with some sort of a fruit adjunct, or a darker beer that was aged in some sort of a liquor barrel for 6 months up to a year.
Rarely do the two meet, and rarely do I see them stray from their traditional treatment upgrades. Well, Barrel of Monks in Boca surprised me a little.