Two Henrys is an interesting place to go. It’s also in an interesting place, Plant City.
To get there, get off I-4 at the same exit as Dinosaur World. Go past the endless rows of growing strawberries, past the trailer park, past the tiny retirement home with the barbed wire fencing, and eventually take a right to end up at the dual home of Keel & Curley Winery and Two Henrys Brewing.
Inside the roomy building is two bars: the left side is for Keel & Curley’s fruit-based wines and their rapidly expanding line of Madman ciders.
On the right are the taps for Two Henrys Brewing. Behind that bar and outside is a particularly huge patio and outdoor stage, small strawberry patch, gazebo, and fountain. It’s actually a gorgeous place to relax and have a few pints. They have a kitchen as well, so meals are a possibility, too.
The one thing I didn’t get to do was to see the production facility, which encompasses a separate building out back. It was pretty busy, with most of the staff preparing for a festival starting the next day. Good for them, bummer for me.
No big deal, I drowned my sorrows with a pint of Jameson Steamboat (Brown Ale, 7% ABV), the French Oak laced with Jameson Irish Whiskey aged version of their Steamboat to Cuba Brown Ale.
As always the stalwarts of combining beer with Florida History, the ‘Steamboat’ refers to the Plant Steamship Company. This was named for (as with Plant City) and owned by Henry Plant, one of the two Henrys. That company – in the 1880’s, mind you – reguarly carried freight, passengers, and U.S. Mail between Tampa, Key West, and Havana.
Back to the beer. It’s definitely not simple and sweet at all. What you have is a beer that has a strong, solid base of think, nut-forward malts and a moderately earthy hop quality. On top of that is a very noticeable, rough hewn woody character punctuated with the piquant sharpness from the whiskey.
This is clearly not a simple, easy drinking beer. It has a rough and tumble quality to it, combining flavor with a great earthiness. With any luck, I will be able to go back sometime soon to see where it was brewed.
Or I can hang with those dinosaurs.
Drink Florida Craft,