(This post is one for our Christmas in June series, which is a bunch of blog posts that I had partially written for beers that appeared over the 2017 holiday season, but never managed to publish on time. Enjoy this as insight for some of the beers that you can try at these fantastic breweries, and place the blame for its untimeliness squarely on my shoulders.)
Chances are, if I mention St. Augustine to you right now, you’re either thinking of the fort or King George Street. Don’t deny it, it’s something we all do.
One end of the main tourist drag of King George Street is the Plaza de la Constitution, a big open expanse with a pavilion in the middle that leads out to the Intracoastal and the iconic Bridge of Lions.
There’s a lot of interesting, and sometimes pricey, shopping to be had in the stores that face the plaza. One of those has, not too long ago, become a new satellite Tap Room for Ancient City Brewing.
This is good, since their brewing facility and main tap room are a bit of a distance away from the main tourist areas. Sure, most major restaurants in the city are starting to carry their beers, but those are only core beers. This taproom is a great place to get a wide variety of beers that Ancient City makes on a regular basis.
It’s also great place to let your daughter snooze in the stroller, as my wife and I found out on our annual trip to the nation’s oldest city. She (my wife, not the kid) is nothing if not a big aficionado of dark beers, which is why she went for a pour of Straight from the Tate (Stout, 5.3% ABV, 20 IBU).
I’m not sure who Tate is, I should probably research this, but I can tell you there’s nothing better than a Nitro milk stout. More than IPAs, I feel like this is the style that needs to be on tap per contractual obligation with every brewery in existence. And Tate, whoever that is, makes a great one, because this is smooth and velvety and creamy and sweet in all the right places.
My wife is also a big fan of cherries, so I decided to go for a draw of their Black Cherry Ale (Blonde Ale, 6.1 ABV, 16 IBU). To be honest, I was expecting something along the lines of a cherry flavored cider.
I didn’t get that, and I was very happy. When I got was a blonde ale, light and crisp with a very low hop quality and a solid, slightly biscuity malt base, with a wonderfully restrained flavor of fresh black cherry. This is not a candy flavored extract or a Jolly Rancher. If you’re looking for a cider, this isn’t it, and that’s a good thing.
I’m very happy that Ancient City opened this new tap room, especially since it’s a great place to get away from the tourist bustle that surrounds it. It’s also great to see the city starting to really embrace its craft beer culture, and this provides just one more location to let that shine through. I definitely know it will be a stop on our itinerary whenever we go back.
And who knows, maybe I’ll find out who Tate is as well.
Drink Florida Craft,