Task: describe Fort Myers.
Well, it’s on the Gulf Coast of Florida, much lower than Tampa, but much higher than Naples. Sleepy town, a few spring training stadiums, great if you need some relaxation time. Especially since my family tends to find the beaches on the Gulf Coast have much calmer waters than the beaches on the Atlantic coast.
Fort Myers is starting to become a sizeable brewing town, but back in 2013, that was not the case until the aptly-named Fort Myers Brewing came into existence. It was created by Rob Whyte and his wife Jen and started life as Rob started home brewing in, of all places, the brewing mecca that is San Diego, California.
After a brief trip North for a couple of years, they made the big move to the Gulf Coast. Jen pushed Rob to do something with all those brewing skills he had acquired, making a good size brewery centrally located (with what appears to be a sizable following, judging by the massive crowd that was there on a Sunday afternoon).
As far as ambiance goes, it was actually pretty standard when it comes to a lot of Southwest Florida breweries, in that there is a tap wall and sizable tasting room with picnic tables on one end of a bay in an industrial park. Sneaking in through a side door in the back leads you to the brewing floor with 10 BBL system, canning line, and everything else are located.
It’s not difficult to find Fort Myers Brewing beers around the area, and they have two canned varieties readily available in six packs pretty much everywhere in the region, including grocery stores. I’ve reviewed both of those beers before, Gateway Gold being one of my particular favorite beers in the state, but it was nice to go to the source to see what else they had.
There was a good amount of non beer options, especially a few slushie options that my non-drinking mother-in-law was was interested in. I however do not have that issue and so here’s what I was able to try, from left to right:
City of Palms Pils (Pilsner, 4.2% ABV, 10 IBU) – Named after Ft. Myers’ nickname, this pilsner has a light, buoyant lemon flavor, incredibly bright and bubbly and wonderful to drink.
Tamiami Tan (Brown Ale, 5.6% ABV) – Huzzah to the brown ale! A simple, true-to-style brew with a solid, bready, nutty quality.
Start Early Stout (Oatmeal Stout, 6% ABV) – This has an almost black color to it, which hints to a smooth and creamy stout with a great, almost Hershey’s-esque chocolatey flavor to it.
Niner Strong (Belgian Strong, 10.8% ABV) – Has a strong, sweet candy aroma, with a wonderful sweet flavor and a light, Belgian funkiness to it.
Plus there was the snifter of Chocolate PB Porter (Porter, 5% ABV) – A nice, dark porter with a deep malty character and a nice peanut butter flavor on the back end.
This is nowhere near the amount of beers that Ft. Myers had on tap. I probably could have gotten at least another three flights to try everything, obviously not counting the ones that are currently in cans.
They’re centrally-located, just rely on your GPS and follow the directions in the few road signs that they have as you approach the area. Do that, and you’ll be in for an interesting treat from a local leader in craft beer.
Drink Florida Craft,