For centuries, the traditional European brewery standard is to release an exclusive draught during the holidays.
Traditionally, these beers are darker, a bit heavier in malt and alcohol, and spiced with your standard holiday seasonings. They’re a far cry from the gingerbread, white chocolate, rum barrel-aged, hay imported from Bethlehem sort of holiday special beers you find in the US nowadays.
Being decidedly European in styles and feel, Boca Raton’s Barrel of Monks created a holiday beer of their own, one which is getting a release in the area in their trademark champagne bottles. It’s a delightful little number by the name of Father Christmas (Quadrupel, 10% ABV).
Father Christmas by Barrel of Monks
When you’re at a beer festival, please read the signage. It’s for your safety.
So maybe it was the excitement of another beer festival, or maybe it was seeing Phil wearing his now trademark heavy monk robes on a balmy Florida evening, but I made sort of a fatal error when visiting Boca’s Barrel of Monks at the New Times Beerfest in Ft. Lauderdale.
Knowing this is October, and knowing October is breast cancer awareness month, Barrel of Monks brewed a raspberry witbier. And that’s what I thought they brought. It even said raspberry. I even tuned Phil out and dove right in.
Not too long ago, I visited Boca Raton’s new production brewery Barrel of Monks. Now I see them everywhere. That’s a good thing; they make an excellent selection of beers.
It was with some happiness that I fond them while dining at Boca’s other brewery, the long-standing Brewzzi. There I was able to sample one of the Barrel beers I hadn’t been able to at the brewery, White Wizard Wit (Witbier, 5.5% ABV, 14 IBU).
White Wizard Witbier by Barrel of Monks
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.
I recently visited Barrel of Monks, Boca Raton’s first production brewery and specialist in all beers Belgian. They have a fantastic lineup of classic Belgian-inspired beers, but one cannot operate a brewery on just a few beers. Diversity is good for the soul.
And, so far, what I’ve sampled is excellent. Some are light, such as their Nuance Saison or White Wizard Wit. And some are frighteningly dark and heavy, such as Parade of Souls Belgian Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout, 10% ABV).
Parade of Souls by Barrel of Monks
Disclaimer: I am a sucker for Belgian beers. High malt, low hops, inventive and complex yeasts, and sometimes sky-high alcohol contents. And I still want a Westy 12…
When I found out that Boca Raton was about to get their first production brewery, Barrel of Monks, and that brewery was going to focus almost exclusively on Belgian-style ales, You can imagine how excited I was.
I just didn’t expect how good it was going to be. And how it’s lovingly tucked away in… an office building?
Barrel Of Monks brewery and tap house.
I’ve always been particularly fond of Belgian ales. While I’ve always found myself preferring Belgian ales actually from Belgium, the quality of Belgian ales being brewed stateside has been nothing short of incredible lately.
Not just that, but there a number breweries that are popping up specializing in nothing but Belgian ales. One of those is Barrel Of Monks, soon to be opening in Boca Raton.
As with any good Belgian brewery, they will be selling monk plush dolls. Totally not kidding there. And I want one, too. Oh, and they have excellent beers as well. I was able to get a little of their dubbel, Abbey Terno (Dubbel, 6.7% ABV), at Due South’s recent Trench Day festivities.
Abbey Terno by Barrel of Monks
This post is going to be a bit more image heavy than what you may be used to from me, but that’s because I got me an exclusive tour of the brand spankin’ new bottling line at Oakland Park’s Funky Buddha Brewery!
Funky Buddha’s new bottles – Floridian Wheat Ale (L) and Hop Gun IPA (R)
It’s been pretty big news around here recently that Funky Buddha will be bottling and distributing in the South Florida market (Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, & Monroe) starting on December 10th. By the end of 2015 they will be expanding state-wide. Continue reading