The sixth and final installment of my 2011 Spring Break trip log features “Florida’s Oldest Microbrewery,” Dunedin Brewery in Dunedin, Florida.
We decided to take a vacation from our vacation. During Spring Break week we left my parent’s house in Ruskin for an overnight trip to Clearwater Beach, about an hour north. I booked a room at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort, overlooking a brilliant white sand beach along the Gulf of Mexico. But we had some time to kill before we could check-in, so we went to a brewery!
We arrived at Dunedin Brewery in downtown Dunedin at 11:00 a.m. We were the first people in the pub and were treated to friendly and attentive service. I ordered the sampler, and I got to select six beers from the dozen that they had on draft. I wanted a broad cross-section of beers to get a real flavor for the brewery, so I stuck to the year-round offerings. My sampler came with:
- Lowlands Wheat Ale (5.6%), an unfiltered American Wheat Ale
- Razzbeery Wheat Ale (5.6%), an American Wheat Ale fermented with all natural Oregon raspberries
- Apricot Wheat Ale (5.6%), an American Wheat Ale fermented with all natural Oregon apricots
- Celtic Gold Ale (5.2%), an organic Golden Ale
- Beach Tale Brown Ale (6.0%), an old-world style Scottish Brown Ale
- Pipers Pale Ale (6.0%), a slightly bitter American Pale Ale
I couldn’t resist trying a couple of the limited release beers and I also tasted:
- Black Rye IPA (8.5%), dark fruit and green hop aroma, spicy flavor
- Highland Games Smoked Porter (6.4%), Scottish-American Porter with Peated Malt
All of the beers were solid, and I decided to bring home a bomber of the just-released Smoked Porter.
The food was delicious too. We were starved even though it was early, so we decided to share a bunch of different appetizers. This was pub grub at its finest — Fried Cheese Curds, Loaded Nachos, Chicken Quesadillas, and Chicken Tenders!
After lunch, we drove down to Clearwater Beach and took a dolphin cruise on Little Toot. We saw a bunch of dolphins swimming around the boat and jumping in our wake. They gave us quite a show – see the pictures in the gallery below.
The dolphin cruise was followed by a few hours at the resort pool with poolside bar service, dinner at Clear Sky Beachside Café, and sunset festivities at Pier 60. The next morning, we spent a few hours on the beach before the end of our vacation from our vacation.
As I close the 2011 Spring Break trip log, I’ll summarize my beer explorations:
- We visited five brewpubs — in Savannah, Sarasota, Tampa, Gulfport, and Dunedin.
- I sampled 40 different beers, almost all brewed in the state of Florida.
The end of Spring Break 2011 came on Easter Sunday, April 24, when we started the 900+ mile journey home to Kensington, MD.
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