Posted by BoaBeerBlog on March 12, 2013
After a busy February for the Boa Beer Blog, March has been a bit quiet due to travel. I’m finally settled in back home and ready to post my beer travelogues.
I had a business trip to Tampa last week and I flew down a couple of days early to spend time with family who live in the area. My plane landed at TPA at 11:00 a.m. and by 1:00 p.m. we were walking into Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin to watch the Orioles play the Blue Jays in a spring training game.
I had left the doldrums of DC for the warmth of Florida and an afternoon in the sun watching my favorite baseball team in the cozy confines of a 5,000-seat stadium. And life would only get better from there! Here’s the first thing I saw upon entering the stadium:
On my way to my seat I made a quick detour to the Craft Beer Dugout for local brew from one of my favorite breweries: Old Elephant IPA from Tampa Bay Brewing Company. I have a long history of visiting TBBC during trips to Tampa to see my parents. It was awesome to find it on draft at the baseball game, even at $6.75 a pop.
Old Elephant IPA is aggressively hopped and clocks in at 80 IBUs. At 6.8% ABV, it isn’t exactly a session beer so I only had two. In between, I had an easy-drinking Florida Avenue Ale (4.7%), an American wheat ale from Cold Storage Craft Brewery in Tampa.
The baseball game ended in a 6-6 tie, but I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my trip!
Posted in Beer Bar, Beer Travels | Tagged: Cold Storage Craft Brewery, Florida, Tampa Bay Brewing Company | 3 Comments »
Posted by BoaBeerBlog on May 24, 2011
Salvador Dali Museum
I found a great little brewpub in Gulfport, Florida during our 2011 Spring Break: Peg’s Cantina. More on that in a bit…
Our day started with a visit to the new Dalí Museum. This is an amazing collection of art in an amazing building. The museum is in a new $35 million building that is art itself. Housed within is the mind-blowing art of Dalí, explained by a fascinating audio tour. I loved hearing the stories of Dalí while trying to understand his brilliant art. Surround Yourself with the Surreal at the Dalí Museum.
When we left the museum, it was right between lunch and dinner, so we were looking for an afternoon hangout. I think we found the perfect spot at a sidewalk table at 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House. What a combination – fresh Florida seafood and fresh local craft beer, with a view of the bay!
Our friendly server pointed us to the best of the beer menu and we sampled several local brews along with blackened grouper tacos, crispy buffalo gulf shrimp, and other tasty small plates. At 400 Beach, we tried pints of:
- Jai Alai India Pale Ale (7.5%), a very strong interpretation of an American IPA, from Cigar City Brewery in Tampa.
- Maduro Brown Ale (5.5%), a Northern English-style Brown Ale, from Cigar City Brewery in Tampa.
- Florida Avenue Krystal Weiss, a refreshing Wheat beer from Cold Storage Craft Brewery in Tampa.
- Red Head Red Ale, an Amber Ale from Dunedin Brewery – a preview of a visit to Dunedin Brewery a few days later.
We were killing time because our next stop, Peg’s Cantina, didn’t open until 5:00 p.m. I found Peg’s on a whim — a last minute Google search of brewpubs near St. Pete. I’m so glad we decided to give it a try.
Peg’s is a “bungalow turned into a restaurant” that features freshly made Mexican food and G.O.O.D. (Gulfport Original On Draft) beer. We sat at an outdoor table and the prompt and friendly service led to a plate of nachos and a flight of beer, including:
- Blind Date, an Amber Ale (5%)
- The Dude, a Robust Porter (7%)
- GOOD Day Wheat, a Wheat Ale (5.2%)
- Dancing Cody IPA, a solid IPA and my favorite of the flight (6%)
I learned from our server that the brewer at Peg’s Cantina, Doug Dozark, is also an assistant brewer at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa. Doug is Peg’s son, and when Peg herself stopped by our table to greet us, she talked about all of the great beer that Doug is brewing for her restaurant. This led to an impromptu tour of the brewhouse by Peg’s husband, Tony. Peg’s web site has some great pictures of the micro-brewery (and I mean micro). The folks at Peg’s were so warm and friendly and we really enjoyed the hospitality, food, and beer!
Check out the gallery below for pictures of the Dalí Museum, 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House, and Peg’s Cantina.
Posted in Beer Bar, Beer Travels, Brew Pub, Brewery Tour | Tagged: Cigar City Brewery, Cold Storage Craft Brewery, Dunedin Brewery, Florida, Peg's Cantina and Brewpub, Spring Break 2011 | 6 Comments »
Posted by BoaBeerBlog on May 5, 2011
Spring Break calls for a cooler of cold brew! Sure, I visited five different brewpubs during Spring Break 2011 and enjoyed some mighty-fine locally-brewed draft beer. But I also had my cooler stocked with the best bottled beer from Florida breweries.
The beers from Cigar City Brewery were easily my favorite. This brewery is located in Tampa, just north from where we were spending Spring Break with my family in Ruskin. One of my Spring Break regrets was not visiting the tasting room at the Cigar City Brewery while we were in Tampa! It’s definitely on my to-do list for our next visit.
From Cigar City Brewery, I had bottles of (pictured right):
- Jai Alai India Pale Ale (7.5%), a very strong interpretation of an American IPA. This is a tasty and strong, but well-balanced IPA. I liked this one so much that I brought home a six-pack. I also had this on draft at 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House in St. Pete – delicious! Named for a once-popular sport played in Tampa.
- Maduro Brown Ale (5.5%), a Northern English-style Brown Ale. This is a flavorful session brown.
I also enjoyed the Florida Avenue line of beers from Cold Storage Craft Brewery in Tampa. These beers included:
- Florida Avenue Ale (4.7%), an American wheat ale with a hint of lemon. A light and refreshing summer brew perfect for Florida weather. (pictured below)
- Florida Avenue Blueberry (4.5%), an American wheat ale with a hint of blueberry. Nice and light blueberry flavor, another thirst-quencher.
- Florida Avenue IPA (5.6%), an American IPA designed for the hot and humid Florida climate. A decent IPA. Not close to Cigar City’s IPA, but not bad overall.
Finally, I also had bottles of (pictured below from left to right):
- Orange Blossom Pilsner, Florida’s Honey Beer. A crisp, refreshing light beer. The 2.3 teaspoons of orange blossom honey in each bottle imparts an interesting citrus-honey flavor.
- Key West Sunset Ale, a basic, drinkable, American Amber Ale from the Florida Beer Company in Melbourne.
- Ybor Gold Amber Lager, a basic, drinkable American Amber Lager, also from the Florida Beer Company.
These last three weren’t anything special, though I did like the unique flavor profile of the Orange Blossom Pilsner.
I enjoyed these brews at my parent’s house, hanging out by the pool during lazy Spring Break afternoons. I bought all of my six-packs of Florida bottles at Publix Super Markets. I love shopping at Publix when I’m in Florida and it is so convenient to be able to buy beer at the grocery store. My least favorite thing about living in Maryland – no beer in the grocery stores. That’s why I buy my beer in Virginia or DC! Get with it, Montgomery County and the State of Maryland!
Posted in Beer Travels, From the Beer Store | Tagged: Cigar City Brewery, Cold Storage Craft Brewery, Florida, Florida Beer Company, Spring Break 2011 | 2 Comments »