What I love about breweries is their focus on keeping things local. Not only do their profits, for the most part, stay within the community, but they are usually the first to champion other local businesses.
Clearly this extends the food trucks first and foremost, but there’s plenty of other things breweries do to celebrate local businesses, especially the substantially more ubiquitous craft fairs.
It was one of those craft fairs that drew my family and I to Old Soul Brewing in Fort Myers. Old Soul celebrated their fifth anniversary this year, all in their location in one of the many industrial parks facing the airport. There’s a lot of Old Soul that is fairly standard for Florida breweries, including a spacious taproom, great range of beer styles on tap, and even an indoor stage.
They have thankfully split their facility into an indoor, air-conditioned tap room with the brewing system outside. I didn’t get to see that, since I was too busy enjoying the local artisans that had set up shop for a local craft fair inside.
A couple great local photographers, interesting nail art, finishing salts, one painter taking up the pool table with a variety of different acrylic paint projects he was working on, and the Bob Ross-trained Lazy Painter Brushworks my daughter and I had a particularly fun time interacting with and watching. Make sure to check him out on Facebook, there’s some great stuff there.
Of course, all of this was done with beer in hand. Had I known about their rather bizarre take on hard water, making an alcoholic seltzer in flavoring it with copious amounts of astronaut endorsed Tang, I would have gotten that as it was actually rather tasty. I like Tang.
I got my wife a pour of the Greatful Deaf Stout (Stout, 7% ABV), a bourbon barrel-aged stout with a nice touch of bourbon that succeeds without being excessively boozy. It’s not chewy at all, sticking the landing a bit more on the refreshing side, which in and of itself is a refreshing result on a style that far too often gets bogged down with being too thick for its own good.
I was more interested in the Midsummer Night Summer Ale (Pale Ale, 5.1% ABV) that was just the right amount of resin and citrus, but still keeping things well under control with a light biscuit malt.
But there was so much to see and do and drink that it’s going to be worth a visit to get back there sometime soon. Plus I forgot my Southwest Florida Ale Trail passport, so that’s got to be taken care of as well. Who knows what other local stuff I can get when I go back as well. 🙂
Drink Florida Craft,
Listen to the Florida Beer Podcast – Powered by Florida Beer Blog on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Breaker, and more!