Look, part of me is really annoyed by all the hype that Tampa’s brewing scene gets. Yes, it is well deserved, I completely I get that, but I am not going to discount some of the awesome beers that are elsewhere in the state.
There’s other aspects of Tampa however is that I absolutely adore. Right up there, behind my beloved Lightning, is the Riverwalk. It’s a 2.6-mile long stretch of walking pathway along the Hillsborough River, stretching from Armature Works down to the Tampa Bay History Center.
Plus they are probably going to be extending the walk, which is amazing. One of the awesome places that are on the Riverwalk is Ulele. I make no secret that this is one of my favorite breweries, and one of my favorite restaurants in the State of Florida (if not the entire planet).
Their brewmaster, Tim Shackton, is nothing short of a genius, and the best part of the Riverwalk is the fact that you can get one of his beers to go.
Honestly, it’s encouraged. All of the to-go restaurants along the Riverwalk sell drinks to go, even providing drinks in specially branded Riverwalk cups, for consumption along (and only along) the walk.
So what am I drinking of his? Well, there was an awful lot of awesomeness on the menu, but since I am a sucker for anything nitro I went for the 7th Anniversary Nitro Stout (Stout, 7% ABV, 30 IBU).
It’s just a nice, classic, clean beer. It has an almost dark brown to blackish color with a big coffee aroma that has nice notes of toasted bread, some deep chicory, and maybe a little bit of plum and prune.
The flavor is incredibly deep. This is one of the boldest non-imperial stouts I’ve had in a very long time. It’s nice and thick and chewy, with big coffee notes and an almost amazingly intensely roasted flavors just shy of a rauchbier.
It’s that intense. And it’s good. And Tim makes really good beers. It’s almost a shame that he’s not in charge of a massive production facility. I firmly believe we could have another Cigar City-sized brewing behemoth in Tampa if they, being Ulele and Columbia Restaurant Group chose to go that route.
But he’s happy, and it makes you lately the kind of destination where people continue to come back for year over a year.
Even if they walk there on the Riverwalk.
Drink Florida Craft,
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