The Treasure Coast Wine and Ale Trail was started some years ago to promote these particular businesses in Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River counties. In that time it has grown significantly and, judging by 4th annual event in 2022, not only are they doing quite well in the region but there’s more to come.
I know there will be at least one new brewery opening next year, and it was great to see not one but two distilleries that were about to open in the Vero Beach area very soon.
Obviously I cannot wait to visit them, but I also wanted to make sure to try some of the beers from the already-established breweries that were at the event. Some of these have been on the Florida Beer Podcast before, while others I am actively working on to get on the show. Our host, Summer Crush Winery, has a fantastic location with a lot of space specifically geared towards a festival like this.
Also nice about the event is the face that the crowd was not a get drunk kind of crowd. Very family friendly, you saw from little infants all the way up to retirees, all of which were calmly and happily enjoying a very lovely day in Ft. Pierce.
See You in Helles (Helles Lager, 5.5% ABV, 20 IBU), Ocean Republic Brewing – A Helles lager to start off a beer fest? That was perfect. Plus one from an absolutely brand new brewery that I have yet to try that has a brand new owner. It’s nice to see them continuing to move on, and they had one of the biggest beer selections of the event. And yes, the beer is everything I have come to love in a Helles and was the perfect start to the day. Crisp and clean, nice and biscuity sweet, with maybe a touch of lemon. Absolutely perfect.
Volksmarch (Martzen, 5.3% ABV, 23 IBU), Walking Tree Brewing – Yes! I cannot tell you how happy this beer made me. It’s Mid-November, and Walking Tree from Vero Beach still had the wherewithal to go all-in on their Marzen. The best part is, they weren’t the only brewery with a Marzan at the event. Sure, some people will call it trying to drain the stock, I will not, since I am an unabashed fan and was happy to see it represented so well. This Walking Tree Marzen, Volksmarch, was delicate and caramely, with a moderate body and a very clean and snappy finish.
Oh, That’s Nice (Porter, 5.2% ABV), Pareidolia Brewing – I was disappointed that I did not spend as much time with Pareidolia during the event as I did at the last beer festival we both attended. And while I was able to sit for a bit to interview with Pareidolia founder Pete Anderson on the Florida Beer Podcast, we never got to discuss this, which I can see as being a raspberry treated version of his wonderful Slow Paddle porter. As a porter, it’s got a very soft and creamy flavor, nicely roasted but still allowing other flavors to shine through. And with this beer, those other flavors tend to be something fun, like the raspberry and vanilla. Good amount of berry flavor, just a little bit of darkness, and the vanilla really helps tie the two together.
Strawberry Shortcake Sour (Sour Ale, 5.4% ABV, 6 IBU), American Icon – First of all, I’m in the process of trying to get American Icon on the podcast. Met with one of the co-founders, still working on it. Second, after meeting with the team and chatting with them for a little bit, I ended up trying their hefeweizen again. It’s a classic, something that I reviewed on my first trip to American Icon in Vero Beach a few years ago. But I felt it was time to publish something a little bit different, and seeing a Strawberry Shortcake Sour ale, that fit the bill quite nicely. Not going to lie, I didn’t know what to expect and I was still very pleasantly surprised. There is a wonderfully fluffy vanilla quality to the beer, and a light tartness coming from a very strong strawberry flavor that grabs a hold of the kettle souring and drives it forward. But it’s not excessively sour, because that vanilla brings it back and dampens the tartness just enough to where it’s approachable to most people. It’s definitely a sour beer for people that don’t like sour beers, and a wonderfully flavorful beer for people that just want something that tastes good.
Red Wrasse (Sour Ale, 4.6% ABV, 8 IBU), Sailfish Brewing – I’m going to be honest, I’m still not totally sure how to take this beer. It’s funny, this was not the only Raspberry Vanilla beer I had at the event (see Pareidolia Brewing above). But whereas that was a porter, this is a sour ale. Not just any sour ale, but one with … mint? And while the raspberry provided a little bit of berry sweetness that the vanilla was able to lay on top of, it was the mint and the sour that really stole the show. Just enough mint to where it is bright and cool, but not toothpaste. Just enough souring to be electric and tart, but not vinegar. And with all of this, I’m still not totally sure I can really explain what this beer was like. There is so much going on, and it is amazingly electric and frozen and desserty all at the same time. As for the name, that is clearly a fish, of which Sailfish Brewing is fond of catching, but I will have to see if that fish is minty as well. Sorry, I couldn’t think of anything better.
Butcher’s Bloodline (Sour Ale, 6.5% ABV), Mash Monkeys – This was my third raspberry beer of the event, but I particularly adored this beer. It was listed as a sour red on their board, but when you get closer it was more of a Flanders red. That has more of a natural souring, delivering a little more nuance and a little less pucker. The raspberries used helped to zing the beer up a bit, but there was a nice mellow sweetness to it as well. That was courtesy of Bloody Butcher heirloom red corn malt from our friends at Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, North Carolina (that appeared on the Florida Beer Podcast several episodes ago). Super, super happy with this beer, nice and mellow, but all the flavors very well represented in an expertly blended beer. I have to say it was my absolute favorite beer of the event, and I absolutely hate saying that during beer festivals.
Back to Ocean Republic for Eclipse (Stout, 8.5% ABV, 41 IBU). I was on my way to do recording for that episode of the podcast I mentioned earlier, and I knew I needed a beer. Ocean Republict had a ton of beers that I simply needed to try, and since my wife had already sampled Eclipse earlier in the event and gave a positive review, it’s what I grabbed. Simple and clean, rich and roasty, with a big coffee flavor. It’s an easy to drink stout, and simply perfect.
Nearing the end, cans were starting to pile up and kegs were starting to empty, but there was just enough left over for a good pour of Babycakes (Oatmeal Stout, 5.1% ABV, 26 IBU), a favorite old standard from Walking Tree. It never ceases to please, with the oatmeal bringing a wonderful smoothness to the mouthfeel and a light sweetness that makes this a bold and flavorful, yet simple and easy to drink beer.
Then to Ocean Republic one last time to help them kill the keg of Thrasher (IPA, 6.8% ABV, 62 IBU). This was the beer I was expecting to see a lot more of, but did not find. That was the most interesting thing about this entire beer fest, the depth of styles. There were a lot of stouts, a good amount of sours, plenty of simple American lagers and pilsners and so on, but only a couple of traditional IPAs. Thrasher was a this kind of beer, big and bold with lots of pine resin notes mixing in with strong grapefruit, orange, and lemon characteristics.
And there we go. It’s been a few months since we attended the event, but we’re still talking about how great a time it was and I am definitely looking forward to going back again. Hopefully when we do, there will be more breweries to sample when we are there.
In the meantime, I shall enjoy what the Treasure Coast has to offer, and there’s a few more breweries that I definitely need to connect with and get them on the Podcast. As soon as I do, you will definitely know.
Drink Florida Craft,
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2 thoughts on “Events – 2022 Treasure Coast Wine and Ale Trail”
Seems some great variety in these drinks. Thanks for sharing 🙂
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