Monday, November 18, 2019

Cin-Duh-Rella Pumpkin Pie Sour

Over this past weekend, I had the opportunity to try JDub's Brewing's Cin-Duh-Rella Pumpkin Pie Sour. It paired well with the sweet defeat of OSU's wrestling team to Virginia Tech! My first pumpkin beer of the year, and it sounds pretty cool!

This bomber-sized sample was sent to me by the brewery. They told me they were pretty happy the way it turned out and wanted to spread the word. So check them out when in Sarasota, Florida as this particular beer is not bottled or canned. 7% alcohol.

From JDub's What's On Tap Menu
Anyway, it has an aroma exactly like a pumpkin pie, big cinnamon, all-spice, pumpkin. Whoa! Lightly tart and sour to start but not overdone. And super creamy and silky texture. Full of flavors that work perfectly with that sour aspect too.

Pumpkin and cinnamon, pumpkin pie in a glass, with an acidic sour balance. A touch of alcohol also helps the flavors stand out! Super interesting beer. Definitely check this one out!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Wine Barrel Three Philosophers

Brewery Ommegang is one of my favorite breweries, so when I saw Wine Barrel Three Philosophers on the shelf, it was a no-brainer to grab a can. I love the original Three Philosophers quad with Belgian Kriek, so let's see what aging that for 3 months in red wine barrels does.

This beer was actually brewed and canned for Ommegang by Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City, MO. Pounder can. 9.3% alcohol.

Cherries and wine acidity in the aroma. Yep! It's Three Philosophers with a twist! Rich body with a beautiful cherry flavor and initial tartness.

A terrific set of flavors are layered throughout: caramel, dark fruits, figs, brown sugar and brandy. Hints of oak from the barrel and some dry tannic character show, especially in the finish. Subtle and interesting, but my reaction to the additional treatment is that I prefer the original Three Philosophers!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Grovetoberfest 2019

Grovetoberfest is one of my favorite beer festivals to attend each year! Guess what? Grovetoberfest 2019 is just two weeks away! This year, the festival will be held at Regatta Park in Coconut Grove, a terrific location with lots of space for craft beer enthusiasts to check out a lot of breweries and their beers!

Check out this impressive list of breweries! And besides the beer, there is great food, live music, an unmistakable Miami vibe, and so much fun! I personally guarantee you will make some new friends and have some awesome conversations!

This is the must-attend beer festival each year for all of South Florida! Grovetoberfest will be held Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Regatta Park, 3500 Pan American Drive, Miami, FL 33133. Get your tickets here now! This festival will sell out!

Leave me a comment and maybe we can meet at the festival!

North Miami BrewFest 2019

Heads up! The 2019 North Miami BrewFest is approaching rapidly and you should get your tickets now! This beer festival will be held Saturday, November 16, 2019 in the same location as last year, MOCA PLAZA in the City of North Miami. You can get tickets here.

NoMi BrewFest started as a student project of FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, and proceeds of the festival still support its Brewing Science program. You'll be sure to see plenty of student volunteers, and I'm willing to bet their leader Professor Barry Gump will once again be in attendance.

Professor Gump photo op!

I went to this festival a few times before including last year in MOCA Plaza. The organizers have really created a unique environment for your enjoyment. Everything is included in the price of the admission: hundreds of beer samples, gourmet food, live music and some awesome beer seminars . Some of the breweries will even be giving NoMi BrewFest attendees first tastes of some new beer creations!

Last year, the beer was awesome, the food was delicious and way beyond what you'd expect from any outdoor festival (mmm, beef tenderloin), and the seminars were done by very interesting and knowledgeable beer experts! The music was also terrific, played by some very talented musicians. I expect even more this year!

Lincoln's Beard was there last year! Nice beers!

Again, the North Miami BrewFest will be held Saturday, November 16, 2019 at MOCA Plaza, 700 Northeast 124th Street, North Miami, FL 33161. You can get your tickets here.

Leave a comment and maybe we can say hello at the festival!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Tropicalia India Pale Ale

Last month, I had the chance to visit Creature Comforts Brewing in Athens, Georgia. I'm sure you remember that! Definitely check that out! It was also a "first brewery visit" for two of my nieces.

Now I have had their Tropicalia India Pale Ale several times during business trips near my sister's house in Atlanta the past few years, including a few pre-gaming the brewery visit. But I decided to bring a few cans home with me to Miami for more pictures and a real review!

For this review I grabbed the can in an Atlanta Publix around a month after it was canned. 6.6% alcohol.

Bright orange and citrus aroma. Tangy orange and citrus flavors come first. Nice initial sweetness, beautifully fruity flavors in perfect balance. Also plenty of bitterness to counter that initial sweet. Definitely an IPA and a delicious one!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

A Visit to 3 Taverns Craft Brewery

Last week when I was in Atlanta, my sister and I made a visit to Three Taverns Craft Brewery. We almost had the place to ourselves for the time we were there. This brewery doesn't serve flights but has small pours and since we were allowed two each at a time, we broke the rules and made our own flights!

Our first was VERY diverse: Prince of Pilsen Pilsner, Rowdy and Proud IPA, Lord Grey Tea Sour Ale, Saporous Passion Fruit and Guava Cream Sour Ale. We also had very different rankings of the set, with me preferring the IPA while my sister loving the Lord Grey beer.

At one point, there was a couple with an infant having a few pints (the couple was drinking them). The only reason I mention that is that I highly approve of children being permitted in breweries. In fact, the day after this visit, we took my three nieces aged five and under to Creature Comforts! What do you think about that?

We grabbed another flight and headed upstairs to a comfy loft area that overlooked the downstairs. Very cool. Two people were playing scrabble up there, but my sister and I decided not to start playing one of the other board games. My sister thought that was pretty hipster, but I told her every brewery down by me here in Miami has that too.

Check this out for our second flight: Quasimodo Belgian-Style Quad, Morning Smack Maple Bacon Banana Coffee Milk Stout, Basileus Cucumber Basil Sour, Lord Fog with Lavender and Vanilla.

Nice place, the beer was different and really good! They have a gift shop that includes beer to go as well. We took a 4-pack of one of their big stouts home to my brother-in-law. Definitely check it out!

Monday, August 26, 2019

A Visit to Creature Comforts Brewery

Yesterday, I visited Creature Comforts Brewery with my sister and her family. Sounds benign enough, right? Well, we were a power brewery family, including three girls five years old or younger traveling from Atlanta (like 1.5 hours in traffic each way) to Athens! Kindergarten pickup directly to the brewery!

I personally pre-gamed in Atlanta with a few Tropicalia IPAs around noon. Was perfect for our 4pm arrival! As we arrived, all of us 40-year olds (I'm 47) got carded and stamped by the staff! Georgia is so LOL as that was three times (the other two in Publix) in three days! Even my brother-in-law's parents got carded later! #DoubleLOL

Anyway, my brother-in-law and I decided to order a few flights to start. I started with a few I'd had in cans before along with a few new ones: Athena, Tropicalia IPA, Born Dreaming Hazy Double IPA, and Awaken My Love Imperial Stout.

Once you set up your tab, you're good at both bars (they have some different options) and also in the gift store. We put away a few flights, repeated, picked a few of our favorites for full pours and headed out before the brewery event later that evening.

Very cool space! A lot of room, though not enough for my 5 year old niece to be practicing her ballet without running into some guy's watch with her head. For the average beer drinker, this was killer though! And we learned a little history about the space while there. Apparently, a lot of the brewery's history is as a tire dealership!

Favorites included Tropicalia, Athena (and Athena Paradiso, a variation with passion fruit and guava), A Different Octave DIPA, Moon Tree Pale Ale, and Common Things Saison.

I had a bottle pour of Life in Flux Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout too. Big Beer! Pretty chill for 13%. I preferred the (non-barrel aged) imperial stout called Awaken My Love with cinnamon, coffee and lactose, though was a touch sweet.

Great place! Thank God I don't live in that town or I'd be figuring out reasons to "work" remotely from the brewery!

Friday, August 23, 2019


You probably remember when I called IPGA IPA one of my favorites back when I visited Twisted Trunk back in 2015. Well, apparently they have started canning and at least doing some local distribution. This can was on the local Miami shelves yesterday! 6.2% alcohol. 67 IBU.

Bright citrus aroma. Nicely bitter to start, full of orange citrus. Lightly spicy and hoppy with a sweet malty balance in the background. Nice beer! Definitely check out the brewery!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Roasted Jalapeno Blueberry Porter

Roasted Jalapeno Blueberry Porter? Who wouldn't want to try that from Two Henrys Brewing? You can read a little story below describing the beer. 5% alcohol.

Chocolaty, blueberry, spicy aroma. Chocolate flavors come first, lightly sweet at the start. Some peppery spicy creeps into the mix with a dull heat.

Hints of coffee and char show. Blueberry flavors don't really show, but OK since you told me they exist. And I wanted that blueberry because I think it's a great pairing idea. Beer was OK.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Dr. Robot Blackberry Lemon Sour

I'm headed to Atlanta later this week for business (with some time reserved for fun too), so when I saw Monday Night Brewing's Dr. Robot Blackberry Lemon Sour on the local liquor store shelf, I decided to do a little pre-gaming. 5.0% alcohol.

My brother-in-law and I are going to try to hit Creature Comforts in Athens and maybe another locally in Atlanta. We'll see! Meanwhile here in Miami, my older kid is not happy he's in charge of taking his brother to baseball practices. I told him he can get a job instead if he prefers.

Aroma full of berries, lemony and acidic. Blackberry flavors show first with some sweetness. That initial sweetness is challenged with hints of tartness and a light lemony kick. But I was honestly expecting this beer to be WAY more tart, and "sour" has no place in its name.

Refreshingly tart and nice flavors.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Soft Parade

Today I'm checking out Short's Brewing's Soft Parade, a fruit ale brewed with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. 7.5% alcohol and "Handmade by people who care."

Sweet, fruity, marmalady aroma. Flavor is full of berries with raspberries most prominent. Initially sweet, but there are some nice tart nips here and there. Can pick out blueberries after a few sips, but this is really more of a generic berry festival in your mouth.

I liked it!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Rickenbacker Pilsner

Today I'm checking out Wynwood Brewing's Rickenbacker Pilsner, a Czech-style pilsner named after WWI flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker. There's a little story on the label that you can read below. Nice label art. 5.0% alcohol.

Grainy aroma with a pleasant sweetness. Grainy and sweet to start. A bitter and spicy answer comes nipping at your palate. That spiciness grows a little with each sip. Interesting and unique. Check it out.

Monday, August 12, 2019

A Visit to Somers Point Brewing Company

Every year, my family visits Ocean City, NJ for a vacation. You already know that, duh. Every brother and sister and their spouses and children and our parents and often a few hangers on. Was 19 this year, down one from a divorce from last year.

OCNJ you probably know is a dry town which is just stupid. They used to have blue laws too when I was growing up, making sure I didn't play Paperboy and Ms. Pacman on the Sabbath. This year, Darryl Strawberry gave the sermon at the OC Tabernacle the week we were there. My mom and brother went and were impressed.

Anyway, the first structure across every bridge is a liquor store. Circle Liquor got a lot of cash from us this year! But there is also a new brewery that was a must stop: Somers Point Brewing Company.

My wife and I went one evening after miniature golfing to see what this brewery had to offer. Two flights, and I can honestly say every beer was great. Nice space and location, good crowd, food delivery, was a nice experience!

Sunday, August 11, 2019


About a month ago, I had the opportunity to check out Concrete Beach Brewery's Concrete-A-Con, an ale brewed with pineapple puree and Centennial hops. I actually had enough to take some extras to my friend's 4th of July party where it was well received. 

Can label art, done by @Golden305, is great. I'm still trying to get a few unused labels signed by the artist for another contest/giveaway. 4.8% alcohol.

Hoppy with juicy pineapple aroma. Juicy pineapple flavors come first as well, sweet but not overly done. Some tartness shows in the finish. Nicely refreshing, with pineapple lingering long after each sip. Check it out if you can!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Pleasure Chest IPA

I'm sure you all remember my visit to Playalinda Brewing in Titusville, FL a few years back. Right?  Well, their Pleasure Chest IPA appeared at my local Miami liquor store in cans this week, so I thought I'd check it out! 6.6% alcohol. "Keep your cooler hoppy" around the rim of the can.

Fruity orange aroma, hoppy and spicy too. Great body, very fruity with sweet orange to start. A spicy, peppery, hoppy answer comes next, excellent balance.

 Very flavorful. YUM!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sprung! 2019 Spring Beer Festival

Yeah, I know the Sprung! 2019 Beer Festival took place a few months ago, but I still wanted to share a few pictures. This year's event took place at The Wynwood Marketplace.

The festival was fun, the beer was great, and I made a few new friends. They even had a professional wrestling ring in the back with live matches!

Check it out when Sprung rolls around again in 2020!