Gas stations are becoming wonderous places. I remember in the old days when the best you could get from a gas station was some dirty hole in the wall off to the side of the road that you never really wanted to go in, but sometimes it was the only choice. Maybe if you were lucky you found a somewhat nicer 7-Eleven, but that wasn’t quite the destination that’s some of these new mega-stations are becoming.
Cumberland Farms seems to have upped its game, and now we have Wawa in Florida (unfortunately we don’t have Sheetz, their vastly superior Western Pennsylvania counterpart). If you’re in Miami, however, and you’re looking for something fun that has a mom-and-pop feel, Mendez Fuel is the place to go.
It’s interesting that they are a Mobil station and have an amazing selection of craft beers in both bottles and crowlers. I’ve never seen a gas station with a crowler line, and the beers that they manage to get are nothing short of fantastic. Honestly, somebody on their purchasing team does a very good job of getting these setup because they always have fantastic local and hard to find national beers.
A lot of the time, they get something that I didn’t even realize was in distribution in South Florida. Take, for example, Seventh Sun. I know they have a brand new Tampa facility to compliment their tiny but mighty original room in Dunedin. With expansion comes increased output, but I had no idea that we were going to be seeing that output here any time soon.
What they had on tap was Coffee Run (Porter, 5.5% ABV), a coffee porter that was insanely delectable. The aroma is quite interesting, and not necessarily in a solely coffee way. The smell is more like a coffee candy, and if you’re familiar with Nips, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
It’s sweet and milky, along with that robust roast of Arabica goodness. It’s quite interesting and immediately inviting, and a lot softer and more accessible in aroma then I think I’ve ever found in a coffee porter.
The flavor is nice and moderate, supplying a good amount coffee in with a roasted malt flavor with moderate characteristics of toasted bread and maybe even a touch of brown sugar. The creaminess is evident in both the flavor and the mouthfeel, and had a velvet silkiness that makes the beer not only smooth as butter, but creamy as a milkshake as well.
Seventh Sun does a great job and is very well renowned in the state for the beers that they make, and this is a perfect indication of that. And luckily enough, it looks like I can go to Mendez Fuel on occasion and get some of the beers and a crowler to take home.
And a full tank of gas. That’s a nice surprise as well.
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