Beer #197 Allagash Fluxus 2009

Allagash Fluxus 2009

Allagash Fluxus 2009

Name: 2009 Fluxus

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Brewery:  Allagash Brewing Company  website

Country: USA

Region: Portland, Maine

ABV:  8.3% abv

How served:  750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a De Dolle Brouwers Oebier glass.

My Overall Opinion: Very Good 4 Stars a

I paired this beer with:  Would you believe a potato knish topped with deli mustard.

Tasted on:  Saturday March 2, 2013

Notes:  This is from batch #1.  This beer is no longer brewed.  This Ale is Brewed with Sweet Potatoes & Black Pepper

The cork came out of the bottle with a nice “pop”. The beer poured a mostly clear light golden color with a few floaters.  The head was white and about 2 fingers high which left a thin sticky lacing on the glass.       

The nose was very floral, herbal and peppery.  There were also hints of honey and an earthy funkiness.     

The 1st thing that hits me as I tasted this beer is the ground pepper and the spices from the yeast.  Mid way through I picked up some sweetness from the malts, brown sugar and a mild orangey flavor which mixed with the pepper, spices and earth flavors and a very faint pumpin pie (guess the punpkin pie was from the sweet potato).   This beer finishes on the dry side with a very refreshing finishes which lingers on the tongue.  

This beer had a medium crisp body with a nice carbonation level.

Overall I did this was a very delicious beer and very true to the Saison style, hopeful someday Allagash will make this one again.

On the Label:

[fluk-suh s] –noun, Latin.

1. a flowing or flow.

2. continuous change, passage or movements

Ale Brewed with Sweet Potatoes & Black Pepper

From their website: Allagash Fluxus

Fluxus is a beer brewed every year to commemorate the anniversary of our first beer sold in July 1995. The name Fluxus is Latin for continuous change, something we seem to find ourselves in. Every year, Fluxus is brewed with a different recipe, giving our brewers a chance to push the limits of beer.

*Allagash Fluxus is brewed to help fund a scholarship set up for pediatric nurses at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. For details on the great work that they do there, go to mmc.org.

Fluxus: 2009 Ale brewed with Sweet Potato and Black Pepper

Fluxus ’09 was brewed in the style of the traditional Saison. For our twist, we added sweet potatoes, black pepper and a generous amount of hops. Sweet potatoes not only enhance its pale orange appearance, they contribute significant body. Centennial hops produce a bold grapefruit aroma, which is followed by a mild, honeysuckle sweetness. The intensity of both the pepper and hops are felt throughout, leaving a lingering warmth on the tongue. Papya, citrus and pepper dominate the flavor profile.

Description: Saison
ABV: 8.3%
Profile: Orange, Spicy Pepper, Full bodied, Citrus
Serving Temperature: 40°-50°F
Availability: No Longer Available – Last Brewed 2009
Package: 750ml bottle, 5.17 gallon keg
Ideal Within: One Year

Awards:  Bronze, World Beer Cup 2010

The Fluxus Series 2007-2012

2007 Fluxus: Rye Beer @10%abv

2008 Fluxus: Double White Beer @10%abv

2009 Fluxus: Saison @8.3%abv

2010 Fluxus: Imperial Chocolate Stout @10.3%abv

2011 Fluxus: Biere de Garde @8%abv

2012 Fluxus: Belgium Strong Golden Ale @7.7%abv

Bon Beer Voyage

Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus

Today’s Brewery of the Day:

Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus

Polderweg 2 Deinze-Gottem Belgium

Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus

We’ve just returned from France & Belgium where we met with some of the brewers and vendors for our upcoming October 27th –November 3rd Bon Beer Voyage beer tour:  “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France”

During this trip we visited 3 fabulous breweries on the French side of the border, 5 on the Belgian side as well as one French genièvre distillery.  In France, we visited Brasserie St Germain, Brasserie Thiriez & Brasserie Bailleux (where we had lunch in their magnificent restaurant Au Baron). In Belgium, wevisited Brouwerij Rodenbach, Brouwerij St Bernardus, Brouwerij Van Eecke, Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus & Chimay.

Over the next few days we will be highlighting each of the breweries on our tour as well as sharing some beery cool information on the beer scene in Lille.  For those who want a quick look at the amazing Day by Day Itinerary of the Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise click here.

Brewery of the Day: Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus

Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus is the smaller building in this photo

Sint Canarus is an extremely small brewery which makes really “big” beers.  They are located about a half hour drive southwest of Gent in the small town of Gottem (for you Batman fans, you can call it Gottem City).

Dr Canarus

The owner and brew-master Piet Meirhaeghe – who is better known in the beer world as Dr. Canarus, has a very interesting sense of humor which he imparts on his brewery.  Both Dr. Canarus & his brewery get their name from a local drinking club, called “Semper Canarus” which translates to always drunk.  Also, the word canard meets duck, and if you see a duck walk we would say it waddles, or looks drunk, therefore the word canard is slang for a drunkard. 

Below you will see Dr. Canarus hard at work serving up some of his fantastic brews

Dr Canarus serving up some of the fabulous brews at Sint Canarus

Bottles for sale at Sint Canarus

Beers available at Sint Canarus the day we were there included:

Export, his Pilsner is 4.6%abv

Sint Canarus Tripel 7.5%abv

Sint Canarus Tripel

Maeght van Gottem (which translates to the Virgin of Gottem) is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 7.0%abv and inside every bottle, placed by hand, is a single hop cone.

Potteloereke 8% abv a Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Pere Canard, which would translate to drunk father was originally brewed for Christmas and is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 9%abv.

Sint Canarus Pere Canard

Sint Canarus 10 jaar 8.72%abv, his 10th anniversary brew, is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Rule of Thirds (Import Series Vol 4) is a Tripel at 8%abv.   A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol 2) is a Saison at 8.0%abv. Both of these are collaborations with Stillwater Artisanal Ales and brewed here.

Here is Dr Canarus serving up Rule of Thirds (Import Series Vol 4)

Dr Canarus serving Rule of Thirds his collaboration with Stillwater Artisanal Ales

 Here is a peek at the “Large” brewery seen behind Ruth as she enjoys her Pere Canard:

Ruth enjoying her Pere Canard at Sint Carnarus

Currently, Potteloereke & Sint Canarus Tripel are their only “non- collaboration” beers which are being imported to the USA (12% Imports) and they not too easy to find-so we hope you’ll join us for our awesome upcoming beer trip-  “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France”  where you can enjoy these wonderful beers and experience the special humor of Dr. Canarus  yourself! 

Ruth & Mike at Sint Canarus

Cheers from Mike & Ruth! 

Bon Beer Voyage

Brasserie Bailleux / Restaurant Au Baron

We’ve just returned from France & Belgium where we met with some of the brewers and vendors for our upcoming October 27th –November 3rd Bon Beer Voyage beer tour:  “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France”

During this trip we visited 3 fabulous breweries on the French side of the border, 5 on the Belgian side as well as one French genièvre distillery.  In France, we visited Brasserie St Germain, Brasserie Thiriez & Brasserie Bailleux (where we had lunch in their magnificent restaurant Au Baron). In Belgium, wevisited Brouwerij Rodenbach, Brouwerij St Bernardus (where we stayed at the Brouwershuis), Brouwerij Van Eecke, Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus & Chimay(where we stayed at  l’Auberge de Poteaupré).

Over the next few days we will be highlighting each of the breweries on our tour as well as sharing some beery cool information on the beer scene in Lille.  For those who want a quick look at the amazing Day by Day Itinerary of the Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise click here.

Restaurant Au Baron & Brasserie Bailleux

Today’s Brewery of the Day:

Brasserie Bailleux / Restaurant Au Baron

2 rue du Piemont  Gussignies, France

Brewer Alain Bailleux grilling in their copper brew kettle

 Au Baron was started as a small tavern in the petite French town of Gussignies by Alain Bailleux and his wife Danielle Baron Bailleux in 1973.  By 1981 they turned this tavern into a wonderfully quaint restaurant with a grill made from a copper brew kettle!  In 1989 Alain, a brewer, with the help of his father (who also happens to be a brewer, as was his grandfather) built Brasserie Bailleux in the back of the restaurant.   This multi-generation family of brewers has now passed this brewing art onto Alain’s son Xavier.

Brasserie Bailleux is run by only 4 employees and make 3 year round brews and a Christmas beer.  We are excited that this year’s batch of Christmas beer will be finished brewing when we return in November on our “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France”

The 3 year-round beers are: 

Au Baron Cuvée des Jonquilles

Cuvée des Jonquilles 7% abv. A Bière de Garde brewed with dandelions.   Cuvée des Jonquilles has a marvelous looking head with a fantastic nose. Also look at that nice thick lacing left on the glass!

What a great nose on the Cuvée des Jonquilles

Saison Saint Médard Ambrée & Saison Saint Médard Brune both are 7% abv Saisons / Farmhouse Ales named after the patron saint of the parish of Gussignies.   Pictured here is the Saison Saint Médard Ambrée

Au Baron Saison Saint Médard Ambrée a 7% abv Saison

 The restaurant was packed with locals enjoying the great food and beer at Au Baron.

Restaurant Au Baron

Restaurant Au Baron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Salade du Berger, which is salad, tomato, walnuts and toast topped with warm goat cheese

For lunch Ruth had the Salade du Berger, which is a salad with tomatoes, walnuts and toast topped with warm fresh goat cheese.  I had the plat de jour, which was a beef carbonnade made using the Saison Saint Médard Ambrée… Yummy!!

Inside the Restaurant is a shop to buy local delicacies and of course their delicious beer!

Local products for sale inside Au Baron

Here are a few photos inside the brewery: 

Brasserie Bailleux

Brasserie Bailleux

Currently, Cuvee de Jonquilles is the only beer imported to the USA (12% Imports) and not so easy to find-so we hope you’ll join us for our awesome upcoming beer trip-  “Grand Crus to Farmhouse Brews- A Beercation Cruise through Belgium & France” so you can enjoy the wonderful ambiance at Au Baron and try some of these fabulous beers and delicious food for yourself! 

 

Mike, Ruth and Brewer Alain Bailleux

Cheers from Mike, Ruth & Alain! 

Bon Beer Voyage

Beer # 186 Epic Sour Apple Saison

Epic Sour Apple Saison

Name: Sour Apple Saison

Style:  Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Brewery:  Epic Brewing Co website

Country: USA

Region: Salt Lake City, Utah

ABV: 7.8% abv

How served:  22 oz capped bottle poured into a 3 Fonteinen glass.

My Overall Opinion: Good 

I paired this beer with: Ravens vs Patriots AFC Championship Game & Snyder’’s Pretzels

Tasted on:  Sunday  January 22, 2012

Notes: 

The beer poured a light & cloudy straw color with a large 3 finger billowing head with medium to large sized bubbles.   The beer left a nice lacing on the glass.     

The nose was of faint sour apples and some earthy undertones.

The taste started off with mildly sour green apples  and yeasty.  Midway through I picked up some of the cloves and coriander.  It finished crisp and dry

The body was light to medium body with the feel of champagne from all the carbonation.

The drinkability was very good and this would be a good substitute for champagne at brunch time.

Overall I rated this beer as Good, But I was torn between Good & Very Good and in the end I gave it a “Good” as it was more one dimensional.  However YOU might think otherwise, so if you can Try it Yourself because it might end up being Very…..!!!

On the Label:  Exponential Series. Bottled Conditioned. Release #6

You are holding something special – one of only 1,800 bottles released and numbers.  Intrigued?  Visit www.epicbrewing.com to explore this limited brew’s precise details.

From their website:  Sour-Apple Saison

Sweet, yet dry and tart, apples spiced with coriander, grains of paradise, anise, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger. There is no wrong way to enjoy this Saison Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale!

Sour Apple Saison-Style Ale Release #6   Brewed on June 6, 2011. Packaged July 7, 2011.

This is a gorgeous saison, it has a nice mild sourness with a slight kick of apple and cinnamon. It has a very dry finish from the classic Saison yeast that gives it a little earthy, peppery and spiciness.

The Malts

Weyermann Pilsner is the base malt on this beer followed by Briess Flaked Oats and Muntons Wheat Malt.

The Hops/Spices

Saaz, Tettnang, ground Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Anise Seed, Grains of Paradise, and Coriander.

ABV 7.8%

Beer #178 Southampton Cuvée des Fleurs

Southampton Cuvée des Fleurs

Name: Cuvée des Fleurs

Style:  Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Brewery:  Southampton Publick House website

Country: USA

Region:   Southampton, New York

ABV: 8.2%% abv

How served:  750ml caged and corked bottle poured into Ommegang glass.     

My Overall Opinion:  Very Good

I paired this beer with:   Salmon filets with fennel and leeks wrapped with foil and then placed on the grill to be steamed in its own juices.   Yummy!!!!

Tasted on:  Thursday July 21, 2011  

Notes:  This beer pours a hazy yellowish gold with a fluffy almost 3 finger white head which lingered until I was about halfway done with my glass leaving a sticky lacing on my glass.    

The nose was like whiffing a flowery perfume with some sweet citrus and bubblegum.   

The taste starts off slightly sweet and like you’re drinking a bouquet of flowers. A very nice bouquet of flowers that is.  I also picked up some citrus and honey.  Near the finish this beer ending on a dry note.

This beer had a medium to light body with a low to medium carbonation level.       

The drinkability was good, but just a little bit too sweet for my idea of a perfect saison.  The 8.2% abv was undetectable.  

On the Label97678 by 6/12 14.  Ale Brewed With Flowers and Rose Water.

Cuvée des Fleurs is a unique brew of our own imagination.  We flavor this distinguished ale with a variety of flowers, including L. augustifolia, A. nobilis, C. officinalis and a generous amount of H. lupus.

From their website:    Cuvèe des Fleurs roughly translates to “batch of the flowers”. This most distinctive ale is flavored with a variety of edible flowers. Aromatic and medicinal flowers such as Lavender, Chamomile, Calendula, Rose Hips and Hops (they’re flowers too!) are added to this special brew to impart a distinct aroma and flavor.

Beer #173 Terrapin TomFoolery (Side Project Volume 14)

Terrapin TomFoolery (Side Project volume 14)

Name: TomFoolery (Side Project Volume 14)

Style:  Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Brewery: Terrapin Beer Company.  Website

Country: USA

Region:   Athens, Georgia

ABV: 7.30% abv

How served:  22 oz capped and gold foiled bottle poured into a Lamoral degmont glass. 

My Overall Opinion:  Good

I paired this beer with:  Hot & Spicy grilled Italian sausages. 

Tasted on:  Monday June 6, 2011  

Notes:  This is a Black Saison Ale

The beer poured a dark brownish black with a large 3 finger tan head, which left a nice lacing on my glass.   

The nose was a mix of what you would expect from most saisons, spicy and fruity notes, plus what is not normally found in a saison, roasted and toasted malts.

The taste started off with the roasted malt flavors and was followed with mild funkiness, citrus fruits and mild pepper which ended on the dry side.  The entire flavor profile was on the light and mild side.

It had a nice medium body with a crisp/pleasant carbonation level.    

 The drinkability was easy going, but much less refreshing as I would expect in a saison.

Overall I felt that this was an interesting twist on the saison style, but IMHO I would much rather have the roasted malt flavors left out of my saison, as it made it less refreshing than I would like in this style.

On the LabelTomfoolery “Black Saison” is the latest addition to our Side Project series of beers. Number 14 on the list, this ale boasts an uncharacteristic black color for a traditional Saison, but is just untraditional enough for our experimental mentality.

Made with a silly amount of rye, wheat and black malts, this dark spicy beverage will tickle the taste buds of any court jester in the land. We hope you enjoy our light hearted attempt at making this traditional style with foolish brewing behavior.

 Cheers! Spike and John.

Spike’s brewing words of wisdom: Brewing beer is serious business… but what you have here is pure shenanigans!

From their website:   

Volume 14 – Tomfoolery

Tomfoolery “Black Saison” is the latest addition to our Side Project series of beers. Number 14 on the list, this ale boasts an uncharacteristic black color for a traditional Saison, but is just untraditional enough for our experimental mentality.

Made with a silly amount of rye, wheat and black malts, this dark spicy beverage will quench the thirst of any court jester in the land. We hope you enjoy our light hearted attempt at making this traditional style with foolish brewing behavior.

Spike’s Brewing Words of Wisdom: Beer is serious business…what you do after consumption often times is not.

 O.G. 15.2 F.G. 1.5 ABV% 7.4

Hops: Golding, Willamette, Vanguard

Malts: Pale ,Vienna, Wheat Rye, DH Carafa III, Acidulated

Tampa Bay Beer Safari Weekend February 18th – 20th 2011 in Review

Tampa Bay Beer Safari Weekend February 18th – 20th 2011                                  

Our 2nd Annual Tampa Bay Beer Safari Weekend Beer Tour was quite a success!   We visited 2 brew pubs, 2 breweries, had two great beer paired dinners and 2 after dinner beer tastings.

Happy Hour

We started out our 1st night with a get to know each other Happy Hour.  We had the opportunity to sample:

Anchor Christmas Ale

Anchor Christmas Ale – Winter Warmer – 5.5% abv –  Anchor Brewing Company

Trappist Achel 8 Briun

Trappist Achel 8 Briun – Dubbel – 8.0% abv –   Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse  

Twin Sisters – Double IPA – 9.0%abv – Left Hand Brewing Co 

Left Hand Imperial Stout – Russian Imperial Stout – 10.4% abv – Left Hand Brewing Co 

Kalamazoo Stout – American Stout – 6.0% abv – Bells Brewery

Orange Blossom Pilsner – Fruit beer – 6.5% abv – Orange Blossom Pilsner LLC

 …Plus 2 extra special growlers fresh from the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery in Boca Raton!

So Thank You MusicGinger Lemongrass Wheat – unknown abv

Last SnowCoffee Porter – also an unknown abv

Funky Buddha's So Thank You Music, oh what a great nose you have!

Funky Buddha’s “So Thank You Music”, oh what a great nose you have!

So Thank You Music was the “Hit” of the Happy Hour with its amazing nose of fresh ginger and lemongrass, as well as its wonderful taste which matched the nose.  A close second was Last Snow, which is an interesting name as Boca Raton never even gets a 1st snow… actually it’s a celebration ale for those in South Florida to toast with as the “Last Snow(bird)” leaves the region.

 After the happy hour we took a short walk to Bernini, a fabulous Italian Restaurant in the heart of Ybor City for our first beer paired dinner.

 To honor Sierra Nevada Brewing Co’s 30 years of great brewing I paired 3 of their outstanding brews with this evening’s dinner. 

Cheers from Bernini

For the 1st Course we had Bruschetta and Calmari paired with:

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Kellerweis – Hefeweizen – 4.80% abv.  In my opinion this is one of the better examples of a true German Hefeweizen made in America.

 For the 2nd Course we had a choice between the Classic Caesar Salad (I had mine with extra anchovies) or the House Mista Salad paired with:

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Pale Ale – American Pale Ale – 5.6% abv.  This is Sierra Nevada’s “Flagship” beer and the one beer you can count on finding in most pubs or restaurants which haven’t figured out the craft beer movement yet.

 For our Main Course our choices were either Angel Hair pasta tossed with Grilled Chicken Breast; Shrimp Orecchiette; Margherita Pizza or the New Yorker Pizza with roasted peppers, onions, mushrooms, pepperoni, Italian sausage & mozzarella. (the pizzas as well as the meal servings were HUGE!)  These were paired with:

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Torpedo Extra IPA – IPA – 7.2% abv.  This is their Pale Ale on steroids! 

 We also had the opportunity to try the Torpedo Extra IPA side by side with Cigar City Brewing’s Jai Alai IPA – IPA – 7.5% abv. 

Cigar City Jai Alai

Maybe I’m being a “homeboy” but I felt the Jai Alai had a tad better nose and taste, I have to say, it was it really close.

 Here is a very entertaining short video of an impromptu after dinner discussion of the tour by Ruth & Mike:

After the dinner & the “show” we walked around the corner to see what was brewing at the Tampa Bay Brewing Company.

Tampa Bay Brewing Logo

Tampa Bay Brewing Company was founded in 1996 and is a family business, with mother and son serving as general manager and brewmaster respectively. Their on-site brewery is equipped to produce up to twelve tap beers and several cask-conditioned ales on a 10bbl step-infusion brewing system.  As a matter of fact, 12 of their 16 serving tanks used to hold the beer at the famous Bass Ale Brewery in England.  

Tampa Bay Brewing Co’s Tanks

Here we tried the Wild Warthog Weizen – 5.2% abv;  Jack the Quaffer London Porter – 5.7%;  Iron Rat Stout – 8.0% abv and the MooseKiller Barleywine- 10.0% abv as well as a taste of their fabulous Root Beer, which is made on site.

Tampa Bay Brewing Co

After we left Tampa Bay Brewing Co, our plan was to do some beer hunting at New World Brewing Co.  At New World Brewing you will find the best selection of craft beer in Ybor City with 26 taps and at least 100 bottled beers.  You can also enjoy entertainment in their outside courtyard.  However tonight the courtyard was packed, so instead we opted to return to the hotel and do some beer tasting in a more relaxed atmosphere. 

 Back at the hotel, in additional to revisiting some of our “Happy Hour Beers”, we shared:

McChouffe, Gouden Carolus Noël and 2 Turtle Doves

McChouffe – Belgium Strong Dark Ale – 8.0% abv – Brasserie d’Achouffe

Gouden Carolus Noël – Belgium Strong Dark Ale – 10.5% abv – Brouwerij Het Anker

2 Turtle Doves –  Belgium Strong Dark Ale – 12.0% abv – The Bruery

& a fresh growler of

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum via the Funky Buddha Lounge

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum – Double IPA – 10.4% abv – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co

Showing the Funky Buhdda’s “So Thank You Music” some Love

Friday Night after Dinner Get Together

Tarpon Springs and Spongeorama

On Saturday morning our 1st stop was Tarpon Springs. Tarpon Springs is known as the Sponge Capital of the World, so we visited the Famous Spongeorama to see the Sponge Diving Museum and stroll along the waterfront and a few specialty shops. 

Hellas

Tarpon Springs is also Florida’s own Greek village, so we of course had to sample some mouthwatering pastries at the very authentic Greek restaurant, Hellas.  This was a “sweet” way to start the morning! 

Heading over to Saint Somewhere

After spending about an hour here, we headed off to meet our friend Bob Sylvester and see his brewing set up at Saint Somewhere Brewing Company.

 While Bob explained to us his brewing process, including his use of open fermentation, he also showed off his new tanks and told us that he has just expanded to offering his 3 brews- Saison Athene – Saison – 7.5% abv, Lectio Divina – Belgium Strong Pale Ale – 8.0% abv & Pays du Soleil – Dubbel – 8.0% abv- in kegs. 

Saint Somewhere

After seeing the size of this small brewery everyone was extremely impressed when Bob told us that his beers can be found in 35 states!  It is truly mind boggling that that much beer can be produced here.  Bob also said that he will be brewing the next collaboration beer he has planned with Cigar City called Déjà Vu, in this location.  He told us that it will be a completely different style then Vuja Dé, which was made at Cigar City.

Checking the smell of Lectio Divina

Did you know that 11:00 am is the time of day your taste buds are supposed to be most in tune? Well fortunate for us our beer tour happened to be at Saint Somewhere right about then, and we were invited to help ourselves to a taste of Lectio Divina out of the keg…and as if that wasn’t a beautiful thing in itself, Bob also shared with us 3 additional very special brews!  

The Younger Oak Aged Blend

The 1st special brew was an extremely young oak barrel aged blend of his beers.  Bob warned us that it was “young & hot” and really needed to age quite a bit longer before consuming.  The nose of this beer was a mixture between rocket fuel and nail polish remover, however when it came to the taste, it was like drinking a fine port wine with no hint of the fuel or remover.

The 2 oak barrels used in aging the special brews

Enjoying the special brew

His 2nd special brew was a mature 2-3 year old oak barrel aged blend.  This beer was sublime, the nose was mildly tart/sour with hints of oak, caramel and vanilla and the taste was both tart yet mildly sweet of fruit- with notes of the oak and a smooth as silk mouth feel. I could drink this all day. Ruth says just thinking about it makes her mouth water!

Getting a whiff of the Saison Athene with Brettanomyces “C”

Saison Athene with Brettanomyces “C” strain

The 3rd special brew was a taste of a beer which he says never made it to the market. It was his Saison Athene with Brettanomyces “C” strain.  The “C” strain added more tartness and citrus in the nose and taste than you would find in the “regular” Saison Athene.

 After tasting these 3 beers, it made me feel extremely blessed that we have such a great Belgium style artisanal brewer here in Florida. 

Great sign on Bob’s Desk

Dunedin Brewery

So we left Tarpon Springs to head over to Florida’s Scottish heritage town, Dunedin.  Here we visited Dunedin Brewery for a brewery tour, beer tasting and a great lunch! Plus we will have Bob from Saint Somewhere join us too!

Dunedin Taps

Dunedin Brewery is the oldest microbrewery in Florida.  They always have 8 of their beers available year round on tap plus a few extra seasonal beers as well as guest taps.

Dunedin Celtic Gold Ale

We all stated off with their Celtic Gold Ale – Kölsch – 5.2% abv to enjoy while we toured around their brewing facilities

Dunedin Brewery Tour

Sharing a Dropkick Red Ale with Bob

We had all worked up a mighty thirst during our tour, so we were happy to try the samples of their Dropkick Red Ale – Amber Ale &

Dunediin Leonard Croon Stout

Leonard Croon Stout – Stout – 5.2% abv  offered to us by Ricky (our awesome guide, beer tender and server) before we placed our order for lunch. 

Dunedin… I’m ready for lunch

I chose to have their famous Pacific Coast Fish Taco, and since I heard they still had some of their delicious Christmas Farm Ale – Spiced Beer – 5.2% abv available, I paired that with my fish taco.  Boy, this was one great lunch stop!

Having fortified ourselves, we will set off to Cigar City Brewery.  On our way over to Cigar City we passed the time playing a few rounds of Beer Cap Bingo for some beery cool (of course) prizes.

Cigar City Brewing

Cigar City Brewery was founded by beer columnist and Tampa native Joey Redner in the summer of 2007. Since its inception CCB has been guided by Joey’s passion for both great beer and the city of his birth.   With the creative input and expertise of Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup award winning brewer Wayne Wambles, Cigar City Brewing endeavors to make world class ales and lagers which celebrate the rich heritage and traditions that make Tampa one of the world’s most unique cities.

 During our tour of Cigar City’s facilities what struck me the most was how much they have expanded since we were here last year. During our walk around the brewery we even caught a glimpse of a group of B.J.C.P. judges occupying the back end of the brewery where they were hard at work judging something I’m sure we will quaff in the future!

What on Tap at Cigar City Brewing

Once we made our way to the tasting room we had some samples of:

Getting a taste of Vuja Dé

Vuja Dé – American Wild Ale – 10.0% abv

Cubano Espresso – American Brown Ale – 5.5% abv

Jose Marti – American Porter – 8.0% abv

Humidor Jai Alai IPA – IPA – 7.5% abv

Cigar City Tasting Room

After having our fill at Cigar City we made our way back to the hotel to get ready for our big night out at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. (or so they keep calling it…I wonder how long and how many beer dinners it will take to convince them to add Beer to the name?)

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar

Stylish, contemporary dining is the hallmark of Fleming’s. The menu features the finest in prime beef, augmented by a tempting variety of chops, seafood, chicken, generous salads, inventive side orders and indulgent desserts.  

Fleming’s

We had a 4 course beer paired gourmet dinner created especially for our Beer Safari by the chef at Fleming’s.

 Here is our menu:

 First Course

lobster mango crisps; Crispy wontons topped with main lobster, mango finished with garlic, shallots, and fresh herbs paired with:

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis  a  Hefeweizen of 4.80% ABV by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
 

Second Course

Malheur’s Spring Salad; Julienned Pears and Gala apples, tossed in Orange Sriracha vinaigrette, finished with candied walnuts and grape tomatoes paired with:

Malheur 10

Malheur 10 a Belgian Strong Pale Ale 10.0% ABV from Brouwerij De Landtsheer NV 

 

Third Course

petite filet; Chimichurri sauce, served with roasted baby carrots with golden raisins and balsamic reduction, garlic mashed potatoes paired with:

Terrapin Hop Karma IPA

Terrapin Hop Karma IPA an American Brown Ale 6.00% ABV by Terrapin Beer Company 

 

Fourth Course

chocolate stout cake; Cake infused with double chocolate stout, served with Chantilly cream paired with:

Young’s Double Chocolate and Stout Cake

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout a Sweet Stout 5.20% ABV Wells & Young’s Ltd. 

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Belgium Barge Re union

Between Courses we had a brief overview of the beer we were drinking and the chef explained how he paired the meal with the beer.  As you can see, we decided to try the same beer for the first pairing as the previous night, in order to do a comparison of appetizer/beer pairing for this beer, just to try something a little different.  This Kellerweis is what I consider the perfect example of this style.

 After Dinner we returned to the hotel for another round of beer tasting, but the 1st order of business was to settle our dispute as to which cartoon dog, Muttley or Snuffles, was the one which would jump up and then float down in air on his back like a feather after receiving a treat.  To our surprise it was both!

Muttley vs Snuffles

Saturday Night after Dinner Gathering

This evening we finished what was left of:

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum – Double IPA – 10.4% abv

Funky Buddha Lounge’s Ginger Lemongrass Wheat, So Thank You Music

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout – American Stout – 6.0% abv

As well as the following:

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale – Belgium Strong Dark Ale – 10.0% abv – Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Southern Tier Crème Brulée – Imperial Stout – 10.0% abv – Southern Tier Brewing Company

Paníl Barriquée – Flanders Red Ale – 8.0% abv – Paníl

The Lost Abbey 10 Commandments – Belgium Strong Dark Ale – 9.0%abv – The Lost Abbey

Saturday Night’s Beers

An old cigar factory

On Sunday morning after a leisurely breakfast we enjoyed a perfect day for our guided historical walking tour of Ybor City (the original “Cigar City”).   

A little piece of Cuban Soil found in Ybor City during our walking Tour

The old Florida Brewing Company Building

Our guide informed us that Ybor City is also the home of the 1st brewery in Florida, the Florida Brewing Company (after prohibition it was re-named Tampa Florida Brewery, Inc)In 1896 the construction of the Florida Brewing Company started; when it was finished, it was the tallest building in Tampa at six stories.   They used the water from a natural spring which ran under the building to make their La Tropical Beer.  The Florida Brewing Company exported more beer to Cuba than any other brewery in the USA.  Unfortunately this Brewery closed in 1961.

“Count” Bon Beer Voyage

Then was back to the hotel to say our goodbyes and check out.  Overall, an amazing weekend with a fantastic group of people and great beer to match!  Can’t wait until our next one!  Looks like the  Saint Augustine Beer Safari Weekend will be coming up in September…make sure you are on the BEERmail list to keep up to date on the latest with our Beercation Beer Tours and Weekend Beer Safari beer trips! Cheers!

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