From out of nowhere, Ft. Lauderdale is really coming screaming into the craft beer game. Over the past few years, a significant number of new places have opened with more on the way. One of those new places is Tarpon River Brewing.
Tarpon River is actually not as ‘new’ to the game as some might think. It’s actually a joint collaboration between three groups: Lisa and Julian Siegel, owners of the city’s venerated craft beer spot Riverside Market, restaurateur group The Restaurant People, and brewmaster Adam Fine. It’s worth the time to take a few minutes to fully understand Adam’s pedigree.
Adam, for those of you not familiar with the gentleman, is the founder of Native Brewing, the local contract-brewed beer label available pretty much everywhere in South Florida. If you saw Native Lager, Glades Pale Ale, or the rarer (and simply fantastic) The Eleven brown ale, Adam was the man behind it. For the past few years, Adam has been at Craft Beer Cartel, the joint venture between he and Riverside Market. Between running a fantastic bottle shop and teaching homebrewing classes, he was getting ready for what eventually became Tarpon River.
And the brewery is located not too terribly far from both of those locations. Housed in a warehouse that started life as a boat lift, Tarpon River is located in a newly up and coming section of Ft. Lauderdale. They have a full menu and attracts a variety of customers, from businessmen coming in from lunch to families with little ones.
They’re coming to a great looking brewery. In the middle of the space is a giant barn, housing the taps and much of the seating. There’s even a front porch area, complete with requisite brewery games and artificial grass. Directly next to it is the Tarpon River Brewing system. Adam’s had this system for some time purchasing the copper jacketed behemoth from Brewzzi when they closed the doors to their CityPlace location in West Palm.
It’s working up a storm now, with brewers scurrying all over it engrossed in whatever the day’s recipe happened to be. Their tap list is varied and nicely colorful, even being so young a business. Adam definitely had plenty of time to perfect some great brews for the place.
But I ended up doing something a little different from the beers that have been worked on. As you no doubt know, South Florida is still grappling with a difficult and senseless tragedy that gripped our community in Feb. To that end, Tarpon River created Parkland Pale Ale (Pale Ale), a beer created to benefit the Stoneman Douglas Survivors Fund.
$1 of every pint sold goes to this worthy charity, and beer drinkers rewarded with a fantastically flavorful pale ale, with a light golden color and a big, sweet citrusy nose. The flavor has an almost candy-citrus quality, with a good, solid dose of piney resin to bring a light earthy dimension to the beer.
It’s just a small dose of what Tarpon Springs has to offer. Opening at 8 AM (!) every day, FTL residents have plenty of time and plenty of space to relax and enjoy a new player on the local beer scene.
Or new digs from old players. Or whatever. Still not quite sure how to classify them.
Drink Florida Craft,