Two words: disco lights.
Sure, craft beer, Tampa Bay area, nice people, awesome logo, tasty blah blah blah disco lights.
Before we get to Studio 54, we talk about how Palm Harbor’s Stilt House Brewery is opened in November of 2015 by three friends; Jeff Domb, Sam Price, and Sean Greelish. Naturally, all of them were long-time homebrewers, and Sam happened to have 100k laying around he wanted to use to open a brewery.
That brewery, Stilt House Brewery, opened in a strip mall on the main drag of Palm Harbor’s Alt. US 19. The name comes from Jeff, who happens to live in a stilt house (of course depicted in the brewery’s gorgeous logo) in nearby Oldsmar.
For a small place, the brewery tends to be hopping, with a giant bar boasting a great selection of house and guest taps. A private side room is decorated top to bottom with aquatic scenery, a remnant of the space’s former life as a dive store. And, of course, the brewing system in the back.
It’s also adjacent to the Pinellas Trail. But, whereas the trail goes in front of close neighbor de Bine Brewing, it goes behind the building here. They keep the back door open for people to come up on their bikes on the trail, but not have to walk all the way around the building, and they have a nice little roped off course through the system leading into the tap room.
But they don’t have harsh fluorescent lights on the system. They don’t have cool uplighting or nifty spotlights. No, they have disco lights. Lots of little pinpoints of shiny, multicolored lights that pulse and move in time to whatever music is blaring over their system. It’s quite the trip.
The lengthy guest list was, naturally, ignored in favor of a nice 6-selection beer flight to see what they had on tap. Here’s what I sampled along with Nick Moensch from Inoculum Brewing. And yes, that’s a jalapeno on the first one.
Hell Yeah! Honey Jalapeno Cornbread Lager (Lager, 6.1% ABV, 34 IBU) – I really should have gotten a picture and tasted this before we took the bartender’s recommendation to add a fresh slice of jalapeno to the beer. But there was a lot of good jalapeno heat and nice, fresh aroma to the beer that lasts until the honey comes around to cool things off. This beer had been recommended to us and for good reason.
Amber Agave (Wheat Beer, 7.1% ABV) – There’s almost a light roast quality to the beer that finishes with the faintest sweetness coming from the agave syrup. This is definitely a good, all-around beer.
Roasted Stout (Stout, 5.8% ABV) – The beer had a delectable, light, coffee aroma that gives way to a bigger coffee flavor and warm roasted malt notes.
Berend Brown Northern English Brown Ale (Brown Ale, 5.5% ABV, 20 IBU) – The beer had a light, fruity aroma, with a moderate malty, nutty flavor.
Pinellas Trail Cream Ale (Cream Ale, 5.2% ABV, 20 IBU) – Clean and wonderfully true to style. Moderate and soft malt flavors are flavorful but unassuming.
Mothra Bohemian Pilsner (Pilsner, 5.4% ABV, 39 IBU) – I am guessing Stilt House enjoys good ol’ Japanese monster movies… once again, a light dusting of hops rounds out this true to style beer.
Stilt House is definitely an experience, and judging by the size of the digs, one that you’ll need to go to in person. What was sampled above, however, was less than half of their in-house beers, so visitors will have an excellent selection to choose from when you go.
But go at night. Disco lights.
Drink Florida Craft,