At this point, I will assume that my readers know the four basic ingredients to beer, as outlined by the German Purity law of 1516, etc. etc. I have come to the conclusion, however, that the fifth basic ingredient to beer is coffee.
Coffee is showing up in beers way more than I had originally seen when I first started the blog, and at this point it’s gone well beyond Porters and Stouts. They’re being found and blonde ales, sour ales, and in this case a Rye IPA from my dear friends at 3 Daughters brewing in St Pete.
Somewhere along the way, Florida became a haven for big brewers. Not necessarily brewers that started small and got big, although, we have plenty of those here in the in the state.
Nope, I’m talking about the ones founded elsewhere that then came to Florida. The obvious one is Yuengling, who’s secondary production facilities are in the Tampa area. Another brewery who’s secondary production facilities in the Bay Area is Sea Dog Brewing, based out of Portland, Maine.
Sea Dog, owned by the Shipyard Brewing Company, open their facility in Clearwater a few years ago. Primarily they’re focused on making the core Shipyard and Seadog brands for release in the region, but recently, under the Shipyard banner, they released a beer exclusively for Florida, their Blood Orange Belgian Style (Witbier, 5.1% ABV).
I recently started dictating my blog posts, so let’s see how my phone deals with this particular post.
Halfway between Orlando and Fort Lauderdale you’re going to come across the city of Port St. Lucie. That’s how most people call it, but for some people in the area, they tend to call it the Pizzle.
I find it amazing that when I talk to some people that are interested in beer, or just getting into brewing, that Belgian beers tend to have a mixed reaction.
It seems that for most beer enthusiasts, liking Belgian beers is as much of a requirement as wanting your IPA to have as high an ABV as humanly possible. And then you have some that won’t touch the stuff, no explanation given.
I will say, in all due fairness, I adore Belgian beers. They tend to not be overly hoppy, usually have a great nuanced and complex flavor, and the strength of the beer is accompanied by richly varied flavor profiles. These are not beers that are a dare or brutal in any sense of the word, merely strong because that’s just how the recipe ended up to get the flavors that the brewers, sometimes monks which I find very interesting, wanted.
It’s funny that I really knew the difference between dry and sweet from drinking wines, not beers or ciders. With the exception of saisons and a few other styles, however, it’s not a term that gets thrown around a lot when it comes to beer.
It does in cider, however, especially since ciders are, in many ways – and according to Florida law – a wine. So you’ll get your big, sweet ciders, and your big, sweet, fruity ciders, and strong, dry ciders. There aren’t a lot of big, sweet, dry ciders, however. One that tends to buck the trend is Dry Strawberry Cider (Cider, 8% ABV) from St. Petersburg powerhouse 3 Daughters Brewing, or their new cidery arm.
(I don’t get to do articles like this very often, so I’m a little excited.)
Sunday, April 8th is going to be a busy, fun day at Lauderale. For starters, it’s a Sunday, which means jazz Sunday brunch, a happening I feel a bit foolish for not knowing was a thing. It’s also going to be their first Farmers Market, set up in conjunction with one of their food truck regulars. There will be a lot of local artisans and wares, so it should be some good shopping.
From out of nowhere, Ft. Lauderdale is really coming screaming into the craft beer game. Over the past few years, a significant number of new places have opened with more on the way. One of those new places is Tarpon River Brewing.
As the Florida Craft Beer scene continues to grow, there are just some breweries that come out known for some of the magical things they do with their hops. I am not saying that only some Florida breweries know how to truly ‘use’ hops; what I’m saying is that there are just some breweries tht are very well known for the lupulin wonders that come out of their brew systems.
Swamphead Brewing in Gainesville is one of those. In the time since I first found their beers by driving well north and searching for bombers, I have experienced firsthand how well they know how to use their hops. Some time ago, they switched their focus – smartly so – from 22 oz. bottles to 6-packs, moved into a larger facility, and greatly increased their statewide distribution.
This will probably be old news to most expert beer drinkers, but for hop heads just jumping into Swamphead, the beer you will be starting with is probably going to be Big Nose (IPA, 7.3% ABV, 56 IBU).