Friday, October 21, 2016

LocAle Local Ale

Today I'm checking out Saltwater Brewery's LocAle Local Ale, their third canned beer. Coincidentally, I also just received a press release announcing Saltwater's new Head of Brewing Justin Rick, a former senior brewer with Brooklyn Brewery among other top craft breweries. I think that's a big score for the brewery!

LocAle is a 3.7% alcohol Golden Ale, a part of their Coastal Series. The can has nice artwork as usual, showing a beach hut and crashing waves in an early morning sunrise scene. Pair with burgers and crabs. Canned on 09/21/16.

Honey, grainy, nicely sweet aroma. Similar flavors, sweet grain and bread with a hint of honey. A hoppy answer follows with some light apple flavor. Simple, flavorful, tasty. Good body for such a low-alcohol session beer. Could easily have a few for breakfast and throughout the day!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

db Bistro Moderne Beer Dinner Featuring Wynwood Brewing

This past Tuesday evening, db Bistro Moderne hosted a dinner featuring the beers of Wynwood Brewing Company. The theme was Local Brews Meet Local Produce, a nod to locally sourced ingredients used by the restaurant and Executive Chef Clark Bowen.

And of course, a nod to the local beers of the nearby Wynwood neighborhood brewery! Representing the brewery were Missionary of Beer David Rodriguez, Marketing Wizard Enrique Vittorino and Owner Pop's (no first or last name needed). And let's just say the week of beard growth on my face was like peach fuzz in this crowd!

My wife and I were of course on time, one of our best qualities. David and Enrique were already there talking beer with the chef. And from my eavesdropping at the end of the conversation, we were about to have an awesome meal.

As other people started to arrive, the restaurant staff served fried green tomatoes and shrimp ceviche, both paired with La Rubia Blonde Ale. Both items were delicious and La Rubia is a very flavorful, refreshing beer, a great starter. David and Enrique introduced themselves to all the guests while my wife and I chatted with the others sitting at our table. That's when Pop's arrived, and no cardboard cutout Pop's either!

Chef Bowen then led us through a fabulous four-course dinner, while David presented each beer and answered a lot of questions about the brewery and the beers themselves. The food was excellent, and I've posted the menu below along with some photos. Probably my favorite parts were the burrata in the first dish, the beer soaked roasted pork shoulder, and My God, the entire dessert!

Not to be outdone, the beers were expertly paired with each dish. Since I was sitting next to Pop's, I got to hear a lot about each beer and some fun stories. He let me know that their Berliner Weiss, Guava the Hut, is not a style the brewery makes often, but they are keeping this one because it's subtle tartness and hint of guava are something their fans love.

The group was chatting about the RC Cola plant across the street from the brewery as we were being served Wynwood Fox Imperial Red Ale. Pop's said the name of the beer actually comes from a fox that lived there in that lot when the brewery was opening, kind of a legend. But Pop's found a picture of the fox on his phone and showed everyone. 

And of course, the famous Pop's Porter served with dessert. This beer won the Gold Medal at GABF a few years ago and it's rich, roast and coffee flavors tasted great alongside that cake and ice cream. And that's where I had to get the picture: Drinking Pop's with Pop's!

The meal, beers and hospitality were only trumped by the nice people and entertaining conversation at our table. I hope to stop back at db Bistro Moderne for what I was told is an ever-changing and exciting menu!

Here are some pictures of tonight's fabulous dinner. Thank you for everything.

Florida Figs
Burrata, Rocket Coulis, Focaccia Tuile
Guava the Hut, Berliner Weiss

Local Pompano
Confit Fennel, Blistered Tomatoes, Lemon
Wyntoberfest, Märzen

Pork Tasting
Roasted Shoulder, Beer Sausage, Baby Carrots
Wynwood Fox, Imperial Red Ale

Chocolate Opera Cake
Chocolate Biscuit, Coffee Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream
Pop’s Porter, Robust Porter

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Grovetoberfest 2016

Grovetoberfest took place this past Saturday in its new Miami Marine Stadium home on Key Biscayne. When it was time to leave my Miramar home, we had already had a few inches of rain that morning, so we were a bit nervous for the day. It didn't rain one drop at the festival, however. What a beautiful day it turned out to be!

Let me see if I can tell the story of the day with some beer t-shirt pictures (with a few others mixed in too, I guess).

My wife and I bumped into our friends Floribrew and Mrs. Floribrew in the entrance line. Mrs. was sporting a pretty sweet Dogfish shirt!

The VIP area had some new and interesting beers. I suppose my favorite was Bourbon County Brand Stout, paired with some really awesome sliders, tacos and sandwiches from Latin House Grill!

Alpine Beers are the first table inside the festival? This isn't going to be in alphabetical order is it? Seriously though, Hoppy Birthday is a fabulous beer!

Over at the "Support Florida Breweries" section, we stopped at a bunch of local and semi-local stops including Funky Buddha. Red Velvet Red Ale is amazing!

One of the distributor reps that was pouring was friends with a guy who was drinking Jolly Pumpkin beer while wearing a Bam the Dog shirt!

I didn't even know Elysian was distributed here in South Florida, but apparently I can look for Space Dust IPA and others at local liquor stores! And I guess I'll have to do that since I never made it back for this beer's tapping.

Hey, there's Anler from Bacardi and Hatuey! Besides their Pale Ale, Anler pulled a bottle with no label on it and said he wanted me to taste it, LOL. Apparently, these guys finally ventured to Beer #2, a pilsner created to replicate one the brewery brewed back in Cuba. Grovetoberfest got to sample the test batch! Nice and crisp, refreshing.

Anler is the Chief!

My wife got caught trying to take a picture of the burly dude with the best beard ever. Guess what? That's David from Wynwood Brewing, the reason I gave up trying to grow a beard. And yeah, Pop's was there too!

On the other side of the "Support Florida Breweries" trailer were some out-of-state breweries I definitely support as well!

Like, for example, the beers of Duvel, Ommegang, and Boulevard being poured by two of my favorite brewery employees, Jessica and John. John told me about all the recent successes the breweries had at GABF while I philosophized over a shot of Three Philosophers. But the beer that caught my attention (and my wife and our friends too) was the Boulevard Tripel Julep!

While the woman from Founders Brewing poured me some favorite Centennial IPA, a new yellow can caught my eye. Founders recently started brewing their new PC Pils, featuring American hops and coming in at 5.5% alcohol. Also available in those handy 15 packs. Full of flavor, crisp, refreshing.

I guess it's time to check out Lincoln's Beard Brewing!

I'm such a sucker. She got pissed when I told her I didn't want to try the beer! I caved in though.

Bangin' Banjo Brewing and Adam were there showing off their beers. Sure, I'd love some Hop of the Muffin IPA!

Right after we left the Bangin' Banjo table, I chased down a guy I saw with the shirt below. Turns out it was Adam's uncle! LOL.

Miami Marine Park was spacious and I think a big improvement on the park in Coconut Grove. Also a big bonus is that the set up is on concrete (remember the mud from last year?) Parking was also way more convenient. The crowd was big but not on top of each other. I hope the festival organizers continues to hold Grovetoberfest here.

Here's a picture after the festival got into full swing (and the weather-conscious attendees figured out the sun was shining).

Guinness was pouring two new beers from The Brewers Collection. Antwerpen Stout and Rye Pale Ale.

Not Present!

Islamorada Brewing had a couple of nice looking local beers to check out!

MIA Beer Company had quite the crew led by owner Eddie Leon. And quite the line of people wanting to sample their beers!

Thank you very much! I'll take that!

Copperpoint Brewing from Boynton Beach was on the scene! DEFINITELY go visit that brewery!

Magic Hat was pouring Belgo Sutra Quad among other beers. I didn't try them at this festival but have a bottle of Belgo Sutra waiting in my fridge for the Fifth Annual #QuadDay December 2nd.

The Tank Brewing is another brewery that I must visit soon. Right off the Palmetto. Hmmm. Maybe Thursday, LOL.

Stone Brewing is one of my all-time favorites. Everything is terrific...

...including their Devastatingly Dank Enjoy By Series!

Abita was serving their Purple Haze among other beers.

No, Phil isn't here! I wonder how many people asked this guy if Barrel of Monks Brand Manager Phil Palmisano made the long trip from Palm Beach County to MIA.

Great crowd!

Unfortunately unavailable!

Coppertail brews some fabulous beers! Their entire core lineup is money including Wheat Stroke!

Green Man in the house!

Inner Peace!?! The End!