When it comes to homegrown beer, St. Augustine’s claim to fame has to be A1A Ale Works.
The only brewery in the nation’s oldest city, A1A Ale Works has sat only steps away from the city’s famed Bridge of Lions for quite some time. Good reason, too. It’s a quality full-service restaurant with a full bar and gorgeous copper brewing system right in the facility.
They’re owned by Craftworks Restaurants, based out of Colorado and Tennessee (how you do two headquarters is beyond me). But they seem to give their brewers a good amount of autonomy. The restaurant has quite a lot of awards placed prominently around the restaurant.
So, good restaurant with lots of good food (and you can practically sit in the kitchen if you sat where we were). But what about the beer?
To start, look at the beer flight above. Each of those are 4 oz. The entire flight was $6.25. That’s a good deal. So, what’s on there? Starting from left to right on the top row:
King St. Light Lager: A very light, crisp lager. Clean and easy.
Porpoise Point IPA: It’s a pretty good representative of your standard IPA. Nothing too fancy here.
Red Brick Ale: A slightly hoppy but robust red. Great maltiness.
Summer Wheat: A good hefeweizen should be bright, crisp, fruity but not overly sweet, with just enough bite to be there, but not bite your head off. Everything A1A’s seasonal Summer Wheat beer is.
Coconut Porter: Coconut porters are starting to become the next big thing in fruity beers. This beer shows why. It’s got the big, dark flavors from a quality porter, and the coconut brings that slightly sweet, slightly tropical quality to it. If I had more than a few sips, it would be better. Alas, my wife loved it. Which means it got beernapped.
Two more beers in the flight pictured above to review. The one in the middle was Poolside Ale, a very standard, medium bitter pale ale.
Finally, on the far right is their Summer Honey Ale. I’m a big fan of honey ales, since the honey brings a nice sweetness that really complements the maltiness.
There were two standard brews in the A1A Ale Works lineup, A. Strange Stout and Bridge of Lions Brown Ale, that were unavailable at the time. Kind of a shame, especially considering how much I love brown ales.
In all, A1A has a great lineup and great food. It’s a little on the confusing side to get in, but omce there, it’s a good time. Say hi to A. Strange for me.
Drink Florida Craft,