There’s service and then there’s service.
And braving the pouring rain storm for a new keg of beer, that’s definitely service.
To set the picture for you, it’s late afternoon, and we have been spending the entire day with some friendly pufferfish over at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, and since it’s less than a mile away, my family and I decided dinner was going to be at Dixie Grill & Brewery.
We just made it in time as the rain bands from what was supposed to be Hurricane Elsa moved through with a vengeance.
If you’ve never been to Dixie Grill & Brewery, first of all, did you even go to West Palm Beach?
Second, it’s worth the trip just to bask in the glow of all their stuff. And do they have it, a bizarre and outrageous collection of lunch boxes, Pez dispensers, tap handles, and early Florida tourism ephemera, blanketing their walls and ceilings.
It’s a fire inspectors worst nightmare. It’s to the point where every Friday they highlight a different piece of memorabilia on their social media account. They can do it once an hour and I don’t think they would run out of things to post at all.
Hopefully they won’t be running out of beer, either. My wife took it easy on them, getting a pint of Straight Tail Stout (Oatmeal Stout, 6% ABV).
As a stout, it was fantastic and nice to get a good solid dark beer on draft for the first time in a long time. It has a light and nicely velvety mouth feel, with interesting flavors of cocoa and a touch of coffee. A very solid stout, and that flaked oatmeal does wonders for the body and texture.
I had to be the difficult one since I wanted to try a pint of Winchester (Amber Ale, 5.5% ABV), creatively described as their version of an Amber ale backed up with a light hop punch. A bit odd, since one of their signature beers is an Amber ale (You’ll even see it on the shirts of many of the servers when you go).
Winchester it was for me, and Winchester was currently kicked. A really nice woman said she would go get another keg if I was willing to wait, which I was. And therein lies the service, because I did not realize she had to go out into the pouring rain to another building to get the beer.
She even said it was her favorite on tap, but she was biased since her husband made the beer.
Success! We have made contact with the owners of this absolutely insane establishment, and I had no idea that I was speaking to Rachel Matta, who, along with her husband Jason, are the current owners of this longtime West Palm Beach establishment.
I also felt horrible since you can tell you have clearly gotten rained on in her quest to get me a pint of what is one of the best Amber ales in South Florida, if not the country.
Honestly, it’s that good. It’s got the right combination of nutty sweetness and malty breadiness, with maybe a light touch of a beautifully earthy hop that brings flavor without a trace of excessive bitterness. It was an absolute masterpiece. Rachel was even kind enough to give us a little tour of the brew system afterward, where Jason was hard at work hopping a new batch of beer for the restaurant.
Dixie Grill & Brewery is the kind of place I love writing about. It’s a small place, run by the skin of the teeth of a few people who are very passionate about quality and hospitality. It’s been a long-running promise, but I swear I will get them on the podcast sometime soon you can hear their story and understand a little bit more about creating a line of craft beers in a restaurant inundated with craziness.
Hopefully it won’t be raining that day.
Drink Florida Craft,
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