I am very proud to have been the recipient of the first Growler to ever leave Big Bear Brewing Company in Coral Springs.Big Bear Brewing Company is a brewpub right on the Restaurant Row section of University Drive in Coral Springs, a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale. They’ve been in business for over 20 years, and have always been a fixture of the community as long as I’ve known. With their latest brewmaster Jeff Evans, they have really put their feet to the flame and increased their beer game considerably, winning many local national awards.
The one thing they’ve never done, however, is beer to go. If you want something from Big Bear, you have to go to Big Bear and stay there. No beer ever left the premises.
The recent Covid-19 quarantine has changed that, not just for Big Bear, but for breweries across the country. Everybody has had to change their game considerably, leaving Big Bear to create a drive-thru option and allowing growler fills for the first time in their history.
Relatively sad, since one of the beers they still have on tap was Wilderness Wheat (Wheat Ale, 6% ABV), their witbier that was the recent recipient of the Best Florida Beer award for 2020, given out only weeks ago in Tampa.
Naturally, this is what I got in my growler. This beer is a lovely cross between a classic witbier and a Hefeweizen, keeping a foot in both worlds without firmly committing to either one. The color is considerably darker, being a deeper orange hue with a light orange and banana aroma. The flavor has a little bit of both, with interesting notes of banana and coriander at the same time.
I spoke to Jeff, and he said he did research, but a lot of it was intuition and creativity on his part not whooping wanted to be bogged down by the characteristics of a specific style. What you get is a beer that is flavorful, bright and citrusy, and complex enough with spicy undertones to deliver something new with every sip. In short, well deserved for its new status as being the best beer in Florida.
But the only way you’re going to get a right now is with a growler, and I’m sure those tanks are going to empty pretty fast. Please head to your local brewery like Big Bear and purchase some of the packaged beer to go, supporting your local breweries.
Also, we just released a quick interview with Jeff and his assistant Shane about how the quarantine has affected Big Bear and Jeff’s experiences as a firefighter with what he has to do during the quarantine on the Florida beer podcast. You can listen to that episode here.
Drink Florida Craft,
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