I’ve been to some breweries that really are hidden from public view. Places where you have to basically go over the hill and through the woods with a sherpa and GPS unit to have any hopes of finding the place.
When you take that into consideration, Hidden Springs Ale Works isn’t so hidden, really.
Located in North Tampa, Hidden Springs opened mid-2015 a few blocks from Columbia-owned Ulele and the northern extension of the Tampa Riverwalk. Even though a few blocks away is the Ulele spring, that wasn’t the inspiration for brewers and owners Joshua Garman and Austin Good. It was more of an homage to the springs they played around in growing up in the Central Florida area.
Expansion is going well, and their beers are starting to hit distribution in the Tampa Bay area. This is how I was able to get a hold of one of their year round beers, Deja Moo (Milk Stout, 6.1% ABV).
Deja Moo is their variation on the milk stout, one of my favorite styles. With this beer, however, Josh and Austin added cocoa nibs and chipotle peppers. Do not let this scare you, however. This is not a pepper beer.
In fact, it’s one of the most satisfying milk stouts I’ve had. The aroma is very soft and has a moderate, lingering coffee aroma, to be honest. Drinking the beer is just as enjoyable, with the light cocoa blending in with a coffee-forward malt bill accented very, very lightly from the pepper.
The result is creamy, velvety soft, and incredibly rich and flavorful. Exactly the way a good milk stout should be, really. And it’s because of this that I should probably try to search them out if and when I am back in the Bay area.
Hopefully I’ll be able to find them.
P.S. Congrats to the Hidden Springs team for their ‘Best New Brewery’ win at the 2016 Creative Loafing Best of the Bay!
Drink Florida Craft,