Six Ten Brewing’s Co-Founder/Head Brewer/Co-owner Chris Johnson said it best: Six Ten Brewing is basically the second cell phone lot for Tampa International Airport.
With their location in Tampa’s Town & Country neighborhood, there’s very few breweries that are closer. And with the beers he has on tap, there are definitely few placed to be that would be better.
The location is firmly in the middle of a nicely-upkept industrial park, where Six Ten gets a lot of their after-hours clientele from. Chris and his wife/co-founder Leslie were two of those people, leaving their tech jobs to find good beer at the end of a weekday (Six Ten is one of the few breweries with an up to date app, a nod to that background).
After a full day, Chris worked on a lot his recipes during the ‘second shift’ from 6 to 10 PM (where the brewery got its name). The brewery itself came to fruition in 2014, and has started to get a good local reputation for quality beer. Chris himself was there, putting the finishing touches on cleaning his 10 BBL brewing system while a few patrons enjoyed his beers and played with Maggie, their dog and the inspiration for their Magpie Pale Ale.
I’m more of a dark beer fan, so I started with their Porter (Porter, 6.5% ABV), a light, immensely drinkable porter with a lot of flavor and an easy, smooth body.
Chris and I discussed Tampa’s growing importance to Florida and the U.S. as a beer destination. It’s remarkable how much the industry has grown here, and keeping the SIx Ten name out is important (as it would be with any brewery).
They just signed a deal with Pepin Distributing for limited distribution, and even held a Six Ten Day on June 10th (6/10, of course). What I found interesting is that it wasn’t held specifically at the brewery. Instead, it was at a few local beer bars in the area, as a rather ingenious way to get more word of mouth.
I’m hoping the patrons at those events got to try some of the beers I was able to. Other than Porter, and CBGB that I sampled some months earlier, I also managed to get a few brighter beers from their draft lineup:
The beer on the left was Tent Beer (Munich Lager, 5.2% ABV), a light and refreshing take on the traditional, heavier Munich beer. It still have a deep malt flavor and a stiff kick, but without being intensely heavy.
On the right was Monk’s Melk (Belgian Singel, 5.2% ABV), a very sessionable belgian-style that still resonated with bubble gum and funk. Very much a sessionable and unassuming beer with plenty of flavor and no thick, weighty body to bog ou down.
It’s a shame that Chris doesn’t have a larger facility. What I’ve tried from him is quite excellent, and a bigger footprint would only serve to show more Florida beer drinkers all of the good stuff coming out of T&C.
I also wish I had more time to try more beers, but I (literally) had a plane to catch.
Drink Florida Craft,