Brewery Visit – Half Barrel Beer Project

If you currently live in Orlando and you like beer, you are currently a much luckier man than I. Since you now have access to beers from Half Barrel Beer Project.

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Brew Review – Spearfish Amber by Florida Keys Brewing Co. @keysbrewing

There’s a small but growing unhappiness within the craft beer community regarding names. You get some names that are just a bit too close to an obviously pop-culture specific reference (such as “It’s Always Sunny in Amarillo,” one I saw recently on the west coast).

Then you get some that are very similar to each other. Florida beer drinkers might remember last year’s hurricane-named beer brouhaha. I won’t really be getting into it here, but it’s a relatively big and contentious issue.

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Brewery Visit – Marker 48 Brewing @Marker48Brewing @BeerInFlorida

Hernando County is a good drive north from Tampa, about an hour or so. It’s main tourist attraction is Weeki Wachee State Park, home of the dancing mermaids (just as long as you ignore the air hoses in the background). Just a bit north of the park, maybe 10 minutes, is the home of Marker 48 Brewing.

Built out of an old car repair shop, husband and wife team Maurice and Tina Ryman opened the brewery in 2015 as the only full production brewery in the county. The Rymans, plus Tina’s brother and Marker 48’s brewmaster John, found the location after a fair amount of searching. They actally found it as the realtor was putting up a ‘For Sale’ sign outside the shuttering repair shop.

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Brew Review – Super Secret Stout by Bold City Brewery @BoldCityBrewery

The funny thing is I had no idea The Pub was experimenting with ‘pour your own beer’ stations. At least they were in the location at Pointe Orlando in, well, Orlando.

They might have hated the fact that I saw it, though. When I went, their tap list was a little underwhelming, and the service staff we had wasn’t the best in terms of knowing their beers. It was during a massive special event, so what was I to do?

The answer was to spy a tap handle of Bold City’s Super Secret Stout (Stout, 7.5% ABV), nitro no less, on those self serve taps the restaurant had unceremoniously turned off. I asked very nicely and got me a goblet of this wonderous brew.

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Brewery Visit – BrewHub @TheBrewHub

It’s just so massive. I mean really, really huge.

If it’s not the biggest non-macro brewing system in the state, it’s awfully close. That alone is worth the trip to Lakeland and BrewHub. It’s not difficult to see the 100 BBL behemoth, as it sits behind huge picture windows taking up an entire wall of their tap room.

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Brewery Visit – Inoculum Ale Works @InoculumAW

I’ve said it to his face as well, but Nick Moench is to beer what Ferrari is to cars.

Here’s the reason why: Ferrari really doesn’t want to make cars. They do, and sell them, but it’s not their true passion. That true passion lies in racing, and the car sales finance the racing team. It just so happens that, because they are so good at racing, they make awesome cars.

Nick’s passion is in microbiology. Seriously, the man is incredibly knowledgeable about the subject. And what he does to collect, study, and utilize microbes is nothing short of amazing. He would definitely be the ‘cool’ professor at a college in his later years. Beer is sort of his blow-off valve, allowing him to experiment and really push the boundaries of what has been achieved and achievable in modern beer making.

Naturally, that beer is fantastic.

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Brew Review – Imperial Honeymoon Lager and more at Ulele @uleletampa

To Richard Gonzmart, Columbia Restaurant Group

Dear Mr. Gonzmart,

I think it is time to rename Ulele.

It is nothing short of amazing how popular Ulele is with the Tampa crowd. I am sure you are quite aware of how many locals come by for a meal on any random night.

It’s well deserved, too. The food is fantastic, the service is great, and there’s even a gallery of Tampa Bay Lightning jerseys; all of which makes me very happy.

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Brew Review – Morlock Milk Stout by Hourglass Brewing @hourglassbrew

If you’re a fan of classic sci-fi (and I mean actually classic, not like “I prefer the original Star Trek series” classic), you may have heard of the morlocks.

Created by H.G. Wells in his seminal 19th century novel The Time , morlocks were brooding, hulkish, relatively weak, subterranean monsters that lived in a far-flung future Wells puts his time traveller on his fantastic adventure.

All of this is practically perfect for Longwood’s Hourglass Brewing and their well-known penchant for anything sci-fi – especially time travel, hence the name – using these brutes as the inspration for their dark, menacing Morlock Milk Stout (Stout, 5.6% ABV).

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