Brewpub Visit – Ulele 

​The things that make a great legend are the same that make a great beer. Start with a basic outline, add lots of local influence, and let it sit for a significant period of time. Pretty soon, you’ll have something people continue to talk about. 

Take the story of Ulele, for example. 

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Brew Review – Hoplomatic Immunity by Dixie Bar and Grill @dixiegrillwpb

​I literally could have passed by West Palm Beach’s Dixie Bar and Grill had not my wife been on the lookout while I was driving. T’is a small but mighty place. 

I didn’t really know it existed until they appeared on the After The Show Podcast from my friends at the KVJ Show on 97.9 WRMF. Listening to their reps, Dixie Bar and Grill was apparently trying to make it as a standard sports bar, but just couldn’t turn the tables over fast enough.  Continue reading

Brewpub Visit – Sarasota Brewing Co.

Sarasota Brewing is one of Sarasota’s oldest brewers. Since 1989, Brewmaster Vince and his team have been making a lineup of 5 core beers, plus a large selection of seasonals.

It definitely looks like it’s been around a long time. Inside, it’s an interesting mix of old school 70’s style architecture and German bierhaus. Sarasota Brewing has an extensive mug club, and those mugs are all over the restaurant.

Much of their brewing equipment has gorgeous copper plating, and has nice picture windows for a great on-stage look.

The food’s pretty good, too, with a nice selection of Chicago-style pizzas (of which there just isn’t enough of).

Like I said, they had a good selection of standard beers. I didn’t try them, since I had already tried a good amount of beers earlier in the day, so I settled with one, a coffee Red ale called Red Java Laga (6% ABV, 24 IBU).

It has French Roast coffee. If you can’t taste that coffee flavor, then you might need to look into a tongue replacement. It’s huge, and our server even warned me about it. It’s delicious, but the coffee flavor is huge.

It also tends to overpower the roasted malt flavors in what is a pretty looking beer with a deep reddish color. If you taste very closely, there is a slight hint of caramel malt flavor. But it’s mostly about the coffee.

My wife had their root beer, as in standard, non-alcoholic. While it was good, there was a slight tang to it, almost as if it were brewed with artificial sweetner.

As a restaurant, the food is good and the beer was excellent. Now if it weren’t so far away, I would try to get back more. Sigh…

Drink Florida Craft,

Dave
@floridabeerblog
Floridabeerblog@gmail.com

Brewpub Review – Brewzzi

Brewzzi is a brewpub situated in the busy corridor of Glades Rd. in Boca Raton, just off I-95. They’re the oldest brewery in Boca Raton, and for quite some time have been headed up by veteran Brewmaster Matt Manthe. At least when he’s not at the helm on his hot new brewery Wild Oak Artisan Ales.

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Brewpub Dining – Winter Seasonals at Big Bear Brewing Co.

I have, from time to time, written about Big Bear Brewing Co., a brew pub in Coral Springs that I particularly enjoy for excellent beer and great nosh. Heck, I had no problems going there the night before a recent surgery (it was nothing. The surgery, I mean).

Big Bear Brewing Co. Entrance

Big Bear Brewing Co. Entrance

And even though they recently lost brewer Matt Cox, who is opening his new brewery Coppertop in Boynton Beach soon, Big Bear still adheres to an excellent lineup of great craft beer and interesting new seasonals.

I’m going to focus on the seasonals today. I’ve written about some of their standards before, and I have another post about standards that will be coming soon. As for right now, here’s what they have: Continue reading

Brewpub Visit – Charlie and Jake’s Brewery

I will admit, Charlie and Jake’s was a little hard to find. It anchors a large strip mall in Melbourne, next to a workout place that looks like it used to be a Publix. All the way on the north side is this place, Charlie and Jake’s Brewery Grille.

Charlie and Jake's - Outside

Charlie and Jake’s Brewery.

Inside, it’s a pretty standard sports bar-type atmosphere. It also had a pretty standard sports bar-type menu, which I didn’t sample from. I was really just there for the beer. I did find it odd, however, that for a pub with a pretty sizeable brewery, they also sold (and advertised the heck out of) stuff like Bud and Corona. I haven’t really seen that before.
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Broward New Times Beerfest Contest!

Readers! It’s time for an awesome contest!

Broward New Times‘ orginal Beerfest is back for 2014. This event will be taking place this Saturday, October 25th at Esplanade Park in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale. It’s next to Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Museum of Science and Discovery, and a pretty convenient parking garage.

It’s going to be pretty awesome, and there are going to be a lot of good Florida breweries there like Funky Buddha, Cigar City, Mack House, Miami Brewing, Florida Beer Co., Florida Avenue, Big Storm, Islamorada, and LauderAle. You’ll also be seeing other brewers as Missouri’s native son Boulevard Brewing, Kona Brewing from Hawaii, Chicago’s Goose Island, and a lot more. Over 100 beers in all.

I will be there covering the event, and you can be there too! FOR FREE!

Here’s what you have to do:

  • Step 1 – Follow Florida Beer Blog on Twitter.
  • Step 2 – Tweet “I wanna go to Beerfest with @FloridaBeerBlog! #drinkfloridacraft” to your followers.
  • Step 3 – Cross your fingers (this step is optional, but recommended).

A winner will be randomly picked at 10 AM Friday morning to receive two General Admission tickets to Beerfest 2014!

If you can’t wait and want $10 off the purchase of General Admission tickets right now, head to the Beerfest 2014 ticket page and put in the code 10GA11 for $10 off! This code expires at 10 PM tonight, so act fast! Good luck!

Hope to see you there…

Drink Florida Craft,

Chris & Dave

@floridabeerblog

floridabeerblog@gmail.com

 

Brewpub Visit – Hollywood Organic Brewery

I love the beach. And being in South Florida has its benefits, since pretty much everywhere is close to the beach. But having freshly brewed craft beer right by the beach? Never thought I would see that.

Organic Brewery Exterior

Hollywood Organic Brewery

I also hadn’t been to Hollywood Organic Brewery, which is right on the Hollywood boardwalk. Which is right on the beach. And by right on the beach, I mean that you can stand on their outdoor patio, grab a growler, and with even a half-hearted throw hit the beach sand. It really is that close.

Inside, it’s an interesting faux-German interior with lots of beer steins thrown into artificial rockwork. It’s interesting. The menu also has a lot of German specialties, and a lot of homemade sausages. But the owners are Russian, there’s a lot of Russian food on the menu, and the brewery also has a line of housemade schnapps. It’s an interesting mix.

HOB Brewing Equipment

Hollywood Organic Brewery’s brewing equipment.

Organic Beer Lineup

Hollywood Organic Brewery’s tap lineup.

There’s a pretty good amount of brewing equipment available at the restaurant, but they only carry four standard beers. I haven’t been able to get a lot of information about other beers they may have.

German Pilsner

German Pilsner by Hollywood Organic Brewery

Usually I don’t like pilsners because I find them bland and flavorless. Their German Pilsner, however, has that light crispness, but with a good light, almost fruity flavor. It’s not as far as a hefeweizen (that comes later), but it’s a good smooth maltiness.

Hollywood Wheat

Hollywood Wheat by Hollywood Organic Brewery

The Hollywood Wheat is your classic hefeweizen. light, malty, fruity, and with almost a bubblegum aftertaste for me. Sweet, light, and really good.

Belgian Ale

Belgian Ale by Hollywood Organic Brewery

Their Belgian Ale is both different and excellent. Most Belgians tend to be a big, strong, explosion of malty flavor. They also tend to be a little on the rough side, lacking the smoothness that, say, a porter would have. This one, however, is smooth as butter. It’s got that great Belgian beer malt taste, and goes down really easy.

Russian Knight

Russian Knight Imperial Stout by Hollywood Organic Brewery

Their Imperial Stout, Russian Knight, is a bit of an anomaly, too. Most stouts that I’ve had are smooth, and this one is, for certain. But whereas most Imperial Stouts are heavy, insanely dark, and very bitter, this one was clean, smooth, lighter, and had an interesting tang to it. Like a slight fruity tang. It almost feels like they brewed an imperial stout with a hefeweizen yeast.

Hollywood Organic Brewery is one of a rare few breweries I’ve seen that will sell their beers in the classic liter steins. Yes, you can buy the steins, and a lot of good quality logo glasses, too. Plus they’re set up with a growler machine for 32 oz growlers and the 128 oz aluminum mini-kegs, too.

I need to go back to try their food. Plus, the beer is really fantastic. It’s a tiny little place, it’s a bit hard to get to, and their social media is a little post-dated, but they are still there. It is worth it to go.

But tell them to make more beers. I’d like to see what they can come up with.

Drink Florida Craft,

Chris

@floridabeerblog

floridabeerblog@gmail.com