It’s just too much fun.
Holy Mackerel, as a brand, has been around for years. I remember it being well established when I started this blog over seven years ago. In that time, ownership has changed several times and now lands squarely in the hands of event planner and businessman Frank Barecich.
I couldn’t find a better person to give it to, since he has a good vision for what he wants to do with the brand, including a brewpub, on-site production, and more. The restaurant side aspect is open already in Wilton Manors, in the place formerly occupied by the Old Florida Seafood House.
The brew system is there, almost ready to go, and since the quarantine is starting to dissipate and visitorship is starting to go up, they are finally in a place to stop contracting their beers and hire a brewmaster to produce everything in house.
Once those beers are made on site, they have a ready-made kitchen and wait staff willing to support them.
It’s a fun location, with very awesome greenery walls, more than enough fire toy engines, and a beautiful old Florida mural that must be seen to be believed. The food’ fantastic too, and their dollar burgers on Thursday night are a surprisingly good deal. Yes, toppings are extra. What did you expect?
Anyway, they’re focusing on having good beers right now, and they do have a hand in the recipes as well. I found this out as I started with a pint of their Haus Arrest (Lager, 4.3% ABV).
It’s incredibly clean, very much like a flavorful American Adjunct lager, or maybe a lighter cream ale. It’s incredibly flavorful with a very smooth and easy to drink finish.
According to Frank, that wasn’t enough beer for me, as I got a flight curated by Frank himself to show me everything else they had. And yes, there was quite a breadth of difference in what was on tap (from L to R):
Pop Some Pils (Pilsner, 5% ABV, 26 IBU) – It’s a classic German-style PIlsner, low on the hops and bringing a nice light flavor of bright malts and lemon. Quite refreshing and easy to drink.
Scotty Doesn’t Know (Red Ale, 6.2% ABV, 25 IBU) – Scotty knows. Scotty knows quite a bit. This silky smooth red ale is flavorful and strikes the right balance between caramel malts with a touch of light noble hops. This is one I could drink all day.
Sour Blackberry Lemonade (Cider) – Sour fan? Cider fan? Want both? Here yo go. It has quite the pucker and a feel like a super-electrified wine. There’s huge blackberry notes that get powered up with a very tart lemonade taste. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
Ambition Amber (Amber Ale, 5.2% ABV) – It’s a red ale that has a herbal nose and a floral upfront character that gives way to a soft, pillowy caramel aftertaste that is simply wonderful.
Along with all of this, their menu focuses on barbecue, something that I really should have tried. No worry, this is a location that invites and requires repeat visitation, something I’m very happy to to do. And once that beautiful brew system is up and running, it’s going to be even more fun.
Now, can you find the hidden speakeasy?
Drink Florida Craft,
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