I continue to surprise people with the knowledge that a place like Half Barrel Beer Project exists. It is such a fantastic little place tucked away in a section of Orlando that I don’t think anybody would expect something like them to be.
As usual, I’m going to plug the Florida Beer Podcast, as we had a great interview with co-owners Josh and Scott about their location, brewing in the area, and Orlando beer as a whole that got published in Episode 20.
It’s been a bit of time since I was at the Ocean Brews and Blues event in Deerfield Beach, but in recent days it came to mind as one of the better beer festivals in the area.
It’s on Deerfield Beach, literally on the beach. As a result, it’s not necessarily blocked off and welcomes people of all ages to the event. (That doesn’t mean anyone can come up and get beer; you still need to buy a wristband).
It was a minor victory to finally get to Castle Church Brewing Community, located just off Semoran Blvd., maybe a few minutes away from Orlando International Airport. It’s a little hard to believe that there is a religious institution there, especially with the gigantic golden temple almost across the street.
Inside, the first word that comes to mind is efficiency. Castle Church was the first business in the space, and they had a great time planning the layout to make everything practically perfect for them.
I feel like Bench Life (Lager, 4.6% ABV, 7 IBU) should have a hashtag in front of it, like a basic tag when talking about St. Pete. #BenchLife.
Based in Michigan, HopCat is a restaurant and pub concept that brings in an extensive and varied menu with a very large selection of taps to deliver an exciting a dining experience to beer aficionados.
Heard that before, haven’t you?
To be honest, I had originally dismissed HopCat because I have been burned so many times by restaurants with disturbingly huge tap lists. Generally, there’s only so many beers from places that ‘used to be craft but sold out’ that I can really stand. Plus, if they do anything local, it’s a local beer so ubiquitous that I could go to any Publix to grab the cans off the shelf.
I will say, however, after visiting the HopCat in Port St Lucie, I was very pleasantly surprised. First of all, the facility is gorgeous and has an absolutely stunning back wall painting that needs to be seen to be believed. Heck, it’s even on some of the shirts that I saw available for sale there.
Interstate 75 is a great place to find some quality Florida craft breweries. It’s pretty surprising how close so many locations are to the Interstate, with many being only a minute or two from the nearest exit.
One of those breweries is Corporate Ladder Brewing. It’s located just south of The Interchange between Interstates 75 and 275 in Manatee County. If that doesn’t sound like a major craft beer area, you would be absolutely right.
Not totally sure how we found Conchy Joe’s Seafood in Jensen Beach, but we did manage to find ourselves there on Father’s Day, which my family and I treat as more of a nice enjoyable family day.
Trust me, you can pretty well guess what Conchy Joe’s looks like. It’s your traditionally kitschy looking coastal fish eatery. Huge patio space overlooking the intracoastal waterway, lots old road signs and bar accoutrements on the walls and ceiling, very interesting on-stage fresh seafood steaming station, and multiple bars.
Three cheers for the brown ale!That once workhorse of the Craft Beer community has been put out to pasture in recent years, left aside for pushing the boundaries of how many hops and how funky your yeast can be to get its highest possible score on whatever beer rating app you’re looking at.And while that is fun to a point, there comes a time when you need to get back to basics. That’s one of the things that amazes me about Bold City Brewing in Jacksonville. To be sure, they have their IPA. Their other two standard year-round releases, that you can find almost all over the state, are relatively unassuming workhorse styles that don’t have the greatest reputations. Continue reading