For me, a good brewery is just not good unless you have good people working there. I have been to plenty of locations whose beers are phenomenal, and had a really bad time because of exceptionally horrible service (I’m thinking of one brewery in PA, FYI).
That is not something I have to worry about at Marker 48 Brewing in Weeki Wachee. I’ve had phenomenal experiences there, and recently had a great time chatting with Tasting Room manager Cindy. If all of her staff is like her, it would make perfect sense for how wonderful your time there will be.
But then there’s Lee. Lee is one of the brewers at Marker 48. He started at Big Storm back in the day, but I actually first met him during his time at DeBine. For as much as I do not live in the area, I find that running into Lee is sort of a habit.
I’m definitely happy that he has settled at Marker 48, because he has used his new home to really spread his brewer wings and help to create a lot of fantastic beers. Someday soon I will get an interview with him, so that you can all meet this absolutely outstanding brewer.
In the meantime, I definitely tried and can explain more than a couple of fantastic brews that he put his hands into:
Centralia (American Light Lager, 5.1% ABV) – As a light lager, it’s easy and smooth, and has a great corn sweetness due to a lot of flaked corn used in the malt.
Buckingdam ESB (Extra Special Bitter, 5.6% ABV) – This one hits, big and heavy, with a nice bitter bite.
The New IPA (IPA, 7.1% ABV, 54 IBU) – The classic west coaster, big with a nice alpha laden citrus bite.
The John Reeves Incident (Double IPA, 9% ABV) – This was their latest bottle release, named after a local legend who had an interesting run-in with visitors not of this world. As a beer, they loaded this New Englander up with Galaxy, Simcoe, and Experimental hops. So what you got is a very heavy, orangey, but also piney and resin laden brew. Very intriguing, definitely not for the faint of heart.
The Woodpile (Mild Ale, 4% ABV) – If you remember several weeks ago, I did a brewery visit piece to Flying Boat in St. Petersburg. They are big fans of the mild ale, a relatively unknown style in the US. With their Mild, they actually did a couple of collaborations, taking that basic recipe and twisting it ever so slightly with other breweries in the area.
One of those breweries was Marker 48, and so The Woodpile is their collaboration. It’s got an interesting cocoa nose, and a nice dark flavor in the body. True to style and true to its name, it is not heavy at all, being a nice, easy to drink brew.
Summer Stream (IPA, 4.7% ABV) – This one has a noticeable character of dark and earthy hops, complimented with a nice dry finish.
Pinky’s Out (Shandy, 2.5% ABV) – This is actually an interesting beer and something that Marker 48 does on a monthly basis. Every month, Marker 48 chooses a local charity and they brew a beer in their honor. Proceeds from the sale of that beer then go back to the charity in question. They used to give all the beers the same name, but that tended to cause a lot of confusion, and so each monthly installment then started to get named for the charity with which it was supposed to represent. This month that beer was Pinky’s Out, a Pink Lemonade Shandy, and it had just gotten tapped when I tried it.
For those of you unfamiliar with a shandy, it’s an ale mixed with some sort of a fruit juice. They used a standard blonde ale for the beer base, and Lee actually spent a good amount of time blending different lemonades and lemonade ingredients to create just the right complement to that blonde. If it wasn’t for a charity, this is something I could see them keeping on the tap list year-round. It’s the perfect mix of light and refreshing and flavorful that Florida beer drinkers love, and this would be easily accessible to anybody coming in for a pint.
All of this is great since you also know the service, headed by Cindy will be nothing short of fantastic. Plus you get Lee’s beers, which is also great. The perfect win-win situation.
Now to ask about that interview.
Drink Florida Craft,