To be honest, I think I can count the number of breweries in Florida that release a beer with the same name as the brewery itself on one hand and still have fingers left.
I can only assume this is what Safety Harbor’s Crooked Thumb Brewing was going for when they decided to make a slight detour and name today’s beer Namesake Porter (Porter, 4.3% ABV, 23 IBU).
Man, you don’t go to a brewery f0r a few years and the entire thing just expands exponentially.
The last time I took the drive down to Homestead and Schnebly Winery/Miami Brewing, their tap room was a counter in the main winery tasting room. Not so much anymore. That space has been turned into their new Redlander Restaurant, a really, really good Farm To Table restaurant that has outside, tableside views like this:
Brew Hub is kind of a nutty place to be. It’s disgustingly huge, and the tap list is really, really interesting.
To explain, Brew Hub – a giant beige building right on I-4 just outide Lakeland – is a massive contract-style brewery meant to assist breweries incerease their output. The list of breweries that brew, can, and distribute using Brew Hub’s facilities and distribution capabilities.
Titusville is about an hour east of Orlando, the quintessential heart of Florida’s Space Coast. Its proximity to Kennedy Space Center, Port Canaveral, and huge concentration of various military/space contractors keeps the area busy with locals and tourists.
For those taking the trip into downtown Titusville, some might venture into the old, bright yellow hardware store that is now Playalinda Brewing. The brewery’s named for a nearby beach, a go-to spot for the locals.
I’m fairly certain the sale of Tampa-based Cigar City Brewing to Colorado-based Oskar Blues sent pretty significant waves through the Florida craft beer community. Sure, it could have been worse, and lucky for many their Intent to Sell agreement with AB lapsed long enogh for them to become the next jewel in the Oskar Blues crown.
Their first acquisition, about a year before the CCB deal went down, was Michigan-based Perrin Brewing. Now, as part of the expansion and capital influx coming from the sale, Perrin Brewing has started to come into the Sunshine State with a range of their canned standards (no bombers yet).
I think I’ve had more trouble with my tablet’s autocorrect feature typing the name of today’s brew than I have in a long time.
Escape Brewing was nice enough to have the name’s translation, Daydreamer, on the tap list in their newly expanded tap room. But I’m still going to refer to the beer by its real name, Rêveur (Saison, 4.5% ABV).
I’m not sure what the designation Table Saison means, but if this is the perfect example of one, I am definitely down to drink more. It’s light and crisp, and a lot smoother on the tongue than most other saisons I have had.
The aroma is quite sophisticated, a mélange of chardonnay and citrus notes with a wild yeasty tang. Those notes appear in the flavor of the beer as well, accompanied with a muted but still noticeable funkiness.
This is not a challenging beer, as some saisons and wild beers tend to be. That is the best part of Rêveur, knowing the beer is easy to drink, refreshing, and really tasty.
I’m actually going to mention here that Escape co-founder John McGregor sent details of their upcoming spring beer event and bottle release for Seeds of Hope, their 10.5% ABV Imperial IPA. 7 to 11 PM in their Trinity, FL tap room, over a dozen local breweries, and a commemorative tasting glass. Tickets start at $30 and can be found at seedsofhope.brownpapertickets.com.
I wish I could be there. It would be fun to try over 30 local beers.
And that beer doesn’t play hell with my autocorrect.
Drink Florida Craft,
At this point, I consider reviewing anything from Cigar City as sort of an obligation, a place that everyone immediately recognizes instead of some of the small, out of the way, mom and pop breweries that I tend to really enjoy.
Yes, they make good beer. And their relative proximity to Tampa Int’l is their way of saying “You know you’re coming here, right?” Of course, I do. The latest beer I got from this Spruce St. staple was Jazzy Gotama (Brown Ale, 4.8% ABV, 25 IBU).
It is with great happiness that I can finally report Ookapow Brewing is in the process of opening their brewing facility. Opening later this year, Ookapow Brewing will be in West Palm Beach, just south of the Kravitz Center and CityPlace.
Damian Ramos told me about the new place at this year’s Brew at the Zoo at the Palm Beach Zoo, not too far fro the new brewery. He also had several new beers for my wife and I to try, which was good since it’s been a while since I’ve had some of his wares.