Civil Society Brewing Pulp & Fresh Release

Civil Society Releases Pulp & Fresh in Cans

The morning of Saturday, May 28th, 2016 had been just like any other, but for one thing. I wasn’t waking up to take care of my son, which I do every Civil Society Brewing Pulp & Fresh Releasemorning. I was waking up to head 15 minutes north to the Civil Society Brewing Company for their first official can release. Civil was releasing Pulp for the second time through a special release. The first time it was released in 32oz crowlers and if interested you can read about that release here. This time around Civil was also releasing Fresh in cans for the first time. Both would be released in four-packs of 16oz cans for $16.00. The limit was set at a reasonable twelve cans of each beer per person. A total of 165 cases of Pulp and 150 cases of Fresh were available for the release.

Civil Society Brewing Pulp & Fresh ReleaseNow that I’ve got your curiosity up let’s talk about the beers being released. Pulp is an American Wheat Ale double dry hopped with copious amounts of Mosaic hops and comes in at 6.3% abv. If you didn’t know any better you would swear it’s an IPA. On beeradvocate.com Pulp has a rating of 97 and is listed at #14 on the list of the top 250 beers for the state of Florida. Ratebeer.com lists Pulp at a healthy 96. Fresh, on the other hand, is Civil’s flagship IPA and it comes in at 6.2% abv. It is brewed with Columbus, Amarillo, and Citra Hops. Beeradvocate.com lists Fresh as an 87 while ratebeer.com lists it at 94. After the release and through the weekend I heard that this is the best batch of Fresh to date.

I arrived at about 9:15am to find 10-15 people already in a half ass line. It was really more along the linesCivil Society Brewing Pulp & Fresh Release of my share group with a couple of guys I hadn’t met yet and a few other folks who had their chairs set up in line. After the usual top of the mornings I broke out my Cigar City snifter and poured my first beer, which was ‘Need a Hug’ from Fonta Flora followed by ‘Big Shrug’ from the same brewery. Twenty-two different beers later the one that stuck out the most was a 14% Imperial Breakfast Stout brewed with coffee, maple syrup, and vanilla by Transient Artisan Ales called ‘Buckley’. Talk about an absolutely delicious beer. Everything came out perfectly and the 14% was dangerously hidden. It was definitely a great way to spend the time before the doors opened. At 11:55am, five minutes before the doors opened, there were 107 people in line Civil Society Brewing Pulp & Fresh Releasewhich is forty more than the first release. Just like the first release everything went very smooth. Folks filtered through the line at a decent pace and proceeded to grab a seat at the bar. I gave Pulp a try and I’m happy to report the original haziness is back. I also tried Life Skillz, which was Civil’s latest Double IPA and just like everything they throw hops at it was delicious. I left at about 1:15 pm with the line still moving. If I was to guess there were another 50 people added to the line after I counted.Civil Society Brewing Pulp & Fresh Release

I think it’s safe to say we all had a great morning between the beer share and release. If I had to complain about something, it would be that Civil didn’t have a treatment of their Milk Stout, Gary, on tap. It definitely wasn’t a bad day if I’m just complaining about a beer that wasn’t there.

Did I miss anything or is there something else you would like to know about the Civil Society Brewing Company and the release of Fresh and Pulp? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

 

Florida Craft Beer Brewery Review: Due South Brewing Co.

Due South Brewing Co.

Florida Craft Brewery: Due South Brewing Co.

Established: May 12th, 2012Florida Craft Beer Brewery Review: Due South Brewing Co.

Location: 2900 High Ridge Road #3, Boynton Beach, FL 33426

Known For: The Caramel Cream Ale is their best seller in cans, kegs, and everything else across the board. My wife loves this beer as the caramel adds just the right amount of sweetness. In the taproom, both the Mexican Stand-Off and Cafe Ole Espresso Porters are very popular from the tap and to-go via crowler. The Category 3 IPA can be found pretty much anywhere you see a Due South tap handle, from Florida Craft Beer Brewery Review: Due South Brewing Co.Key West to Jacksonville and west to Orlando. Their distribution footprint also encompasses Eastern Pennsylvania, the Dominican Republic, and Grand Cayman.

Current Beer Menu: At the time of my visit, Due South was carrying 19 of their own beers on tap and one guest tap, which was Cigar City’s Madura Brown Ale. Having so many of their own on tap is pretty typical. Just about every style was represented, minus of course, a stout. The dark beers were represented well, though. An Imperial Porter, named Mexican Standoff, brewed with chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, and chili peppers went down very nicely. Everything managed to come through without being overpowered by the chilis. Another version, Extra Spicy Mexican Standoff, is brewed with Scorpion Peppers and didn’t seem much hotter than the regular version. That very well could be because it was the last beer of the day and I had saved the five beers with peppers (chili, jalapeno, habanero, and scorpion) for last so I’m guessing my palate had taken quite a hit. Due South is also beginning to experiment with sours. Their base Berliner Weiss, called Weekender, was nice and tart upfront. Quite a few treatments have been brewed and I was able to try two of them. Manuel’s Dojo, which is every bit a Margarita Berliner and the Mango Florida Craft Beer Brewery Review: Due South Brewing Co.Habanero, which needed more mango in my opinion. The mango was there, but only slightly. The Oaked (White) Category 5 is a double IPA and rivals that of Cigar City’s White Oak Jai Alai. I would love to have them on tap side by side to definitively pick a winner. Radler is an easy drinking lager with grapefruit juice added. Sweet grapefruit up front with a tart grapefruit back-end. The Saigon Blonde is brewed with cucumber, lime, and jalapeno. Every flavor was on point and the heat was mild at the back-end. The Scorpion IPA brewed with, you guessed it, scorpion peppers was pretty damn delicious. The peppers weren’t overpowering, which really surprised me. It seems Due South keeps their beer menu updated with a little bit of everything to keep the masses happy. Well played!

Price Range: Due South doesn’t do flights, but you can purchase 5oz portions for between $2.00 and $3.50. For the beer available in 12oz pours you can expect to pay between $5.00 and $6.50 and 16oz pours between $5.00 and $5.50. Crowlers will run you between $8.00 and $14.00 while 64oz growlers will run anywhere between $15.00 and $27.00. For $29.95 you can purchase a 64oz aluminum growler. There are also a number of 6 pack offerings available for between $8.99 and $9.99.

Florida Craft Beer Brewery Review: Due South Brewing Co.Wine Menu: Consisting of three Whites and four Reds between $6.50 and $9.00 per glass and $21.00 and $30.00 per bottle.

Food Menu: There are a few choices when it comes to food. You can either bring food from home or order delivery from one of the many menus provided. Due South also has a local food truck at the brewery on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 5:00pm – 10:00pm.

Ambiance: Due South is housed within a 15,000 sqft warehouse. About two-thirds of the space are taken up by the production brewery and the canning line. When you walk in you face a wall of kegs, empty beer cans waiting to be filled, a forklift, and brewing equipment in the background. Venture a littleFlorida Craft Beer Brewery Review: Due South Brewing Co. further and you stumble upon the canning line. It was pretty cool to be able to watch the canning process. The cans are filled, sealed, and run down a line to the guys that put the plastic six-pack holders on the cans. Past the canning line is the barrel aging program where Due South stores the wine & bourbon barrels for aging. There’s no air conditioning in the warehouse, but there’s a small air-conditioned taproom off of the main bar. The space is big and open as you would expect in a warehouse environment with brewing equipment taking up the majority of the room. There’s no theme or specific feel to the environment. It’s all about beer here! There are a few posters of some of the Due South beers hung on the walls as well as a merchandise display. The place was well-lit & didn’t have a typical bar atmosphere. Large industrial fans overhead help to combat some of the Florida heat. There’s corn hole set-up inside in the area across from where the barrels are kept. A few of the barrels hold Wicked Dolphin Rum Barrel Aged Mariana Trench, which is expected to be released sometime in mid-June 2016. Free tours of the brewery are available at 1:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. VIP tours are available Wednesday and Friday at 5:00pm Florida Craft Beer Brewery Review: Due South Brewing Co.and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 and 3:00pm. The VIP tour includes a tasting and souvenir pint glass for $10.00.

Bar Seating: The main bar and the air-conditioned area hold seats for around 25 people while additional 18+ tables, of various sizes, are spread out between the corn hole area and the cordoned off brewing area.

Staff: Rob was pouring the beer while I was visiting. He’s a transplant from the great state of Maine and it just so happens we may have gone to the same summer camp at the same time as kids, which was only a few minutes from his home. For only being in town a short time, he was a wealth of Due South related knowledge.Florida Craft Beer Brewery Review: Due South Brewing Co.

Merch: T-shirts for both men and women are offered for between $12.00 and $22.00. Men and women’s work shirts are $40.00. Hats in two different styles are $15. There’s even a Due South onesie available for $15.00. How cute! Glasses will run you between $4.00 and $6.00. There is plenty more Due South schwag here.

Florida Craft Beer Brewery Review: Due South Brewing Co.Membership offered: ‘The Club’ has 200 members and renews once a year at the cost of $75.00 plus tax. As a member you receive a 20-ounce pour for the same price as a pint, a Due South Club membership t-shirt, a Club glass to take home, access to the members-only party, early access to the purchase of a Trench Day (festival at the brewery marking the release of Due South’s imperial stout, Mariana Trench) ticket, one reserved bottle of Mariana Trench, access to the early purchase of at least one of the special release bottles, and additional perks announced throughout the year such as the free tapping of special members-only release kegs.

Best days or time of year to go: Since Due South opens every weekday at noon there is a good four-hour window where you don’t have to compete for space at the bar before folks start pouring in from their place of work. Friday and Saturday evening are typically busy.

Regular Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 12:00pm – 10:00pm, Friday: 12:00pm – 11:00pm, Saturday: 12:00pm – 11:00pm, and Sunday: 12:00pm – 8:00pm.

Happy Hour: Tuesday – Friday: 4:00pm – 6:00pm. All Due South beers are $1.00 off.Florida Craft Beer Brewery Review: Due South Brewing Co.

Fun Facts:

Their 500th batch of beer will be the Imperial Cafe Ole Espresso Porter. It will be a high abv somewhere above 10%.

The Southern Saison was the first beer ever poured by Due South.

The original name for Due South was going to be Blind Tiki because the owner, Mike, brewed beer on his patio in front of a one-eyed Tiki.

Florida Craft Beer Brewery Review: Due South Brewing Co.Mike started to brew beer by learning to make wine. His wife, Jodi is allergic to sulfites, so he was trying to create a sulfite-free wine. What a nice guy! When that didn’t work out he started making beer based on Samuel Adams’s Boston Lager.

There are plans to turn the 12,000 sqft warehouse space, to the South of the brewery, into an air-conditioned taproom, beer garden, a dedicated area for barrel aging, and their new sour division. The existing space will primarily be for production and special events. Exciting stuff! I’m sure the regulars are looking forward to a bigger air-conditioned space to enjoy their brews.

Due South Brewing Co. was named the 2014 Best Large Brewery in Florida. Now that’s a pretty big deal!Florida Craft Beer Brewery Review: Due South Brewing Co.

Overall Rating (1-5): I give Due South Brewing Co. a 4.5 rating. This is actually higher than I originally thought I would rate them. They have been hit or miss in the past. I was impressed with their Berliners on this visit and I’m really looking forward to seeing what other sours they come up with down the road.

What was missing: Typically I would say that they were missing a stout, but having both the Mexican Standoff and Extra Spicy Mexican Standoff Porter on tap quenched my thirst for dark beers.

In closing, I have been down on Due South in the past, so it was certainly nice to have my opinion changed in one visit. They are an easy exit off I-95 and should not be missed if you are in the area.

Did I leave anything out or is there something else you would like to know about the Due South Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!

 

 

Fun Pancake Art for Kids (and Dads) – Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse, pancakes, craft daddy blog, daddy

Fun Pancake Art for Kids (and Dads)

Do you want to feel like Dad (or Mom) of the year? Well, this probably won’t win you the parent of the year award, but it will definitely make your kiddo smile. That’s pretty much the same thing, isn’t it? That smile that makes the worst day just wither away. Yep, that’s the one! Anyway, I was talking to a friend and he mentioned making Mickey Mouse pancakes for his daughter. Intrigued, I asked him what he was talking about. Do they have Mickey Mouse pancakes I’m unaware of? His daughter is just a few months older than my son and they are both Ga-Ga for Mickey! You know you’re the parent of a toddler when you can sing all the words to the Hot Dog Dance! My buddy explained that he simply uses a squeeze bottle to “draw” designs & shapes when cooking pancakes for his daughter. Hearing how simple it sounded, I just had to give it a try. No need to call Toodles, this is so easy even Goofy could do it!

*This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

All you need is (your Mouskatools):

Wilton Regular Melting Decorating Squeeze Bottle. I have also seen these at Michael’s and Wal-Mart.

-Your favorite pancake mix.

-Cooking Spray.

-A Funnel.

Mickey Mouse, pancakes, craft daddy blog, daddyPrepare the pancake mix according to the package instructions and pour it into the squeeze bottle using a funnel. Place a large pan on the stove and turn the heat on medium-low. After a few minutes, splash a bit of water in the pan with your fingers to test if it’s hot enough. If you hear a sizzle, you’re ready to cook. Don’t forget to spray the pan with a light coat of the cooking spray. I started with a Mickey Mouse face that I found on Google. I drew it in the pan to the best of my ability and surprisingly enough, it wasn’t half bad. Make sure to wait about 30 seconds before you fill in the outline with more batter so it has a chance to brown.Mickey Mouse, pancakes, craft daddy blog, daddy Let that cook until the little bubbles in the pancake mix begin to form and ‘pop’. That’s something I remember my Dad doing when he would make us pancakes for breakfast when I was a child. Mickey Mouse, pancakes, craft daddy blog, daddyAfter what seemed like an eternity, but was in actuality only a minute, I flipped the pancake over to let the other side cook. Your pancakes should be a nice golden brown with the Mickey Mouse outline dark enough to make out who it is. Now, of course, I didn’t get it right the first time. As they say, practice makes perfect and it’s not like your pancakes are going to go to waste just because your first few portrayals of Mickey were less than desirable. After about 15 pancakes, I finally had the outline down to what I thought was a relatively decent representation of Mickey Mouse.Pancake Art

Steps:

-Draw the outline as steady as possible with the squeeze bottle.

-Let the outline cook for about 30 seconds.

-Fill in the outline with more batter.

-Cook until the batter bubbles begin to ‘pop.’

-Flip over and cook the other side until cooked evenly to a golden brown.

-Serve to your kiddo while singing and doing the Hot Dog Dance! “Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog!” Now that will be stuck in your head all day! You’re welcome! 🙂Mickey Mouse, pancakes, craft daddy blog, daddy

When I put the plate of Mickey Mouse pancakes in front of my munchkin, he was elated! He started pointing to Mickey and bouncing up and down with excitement. Funny enough, I was worried for a minute that he might not eat the pancakes because he loves Mickey so much! Luckily, he takes after his Dad and hasn’t met a pancake he doesn’t like. He actually ate more pancakes than usual. He even started hitting his Mom up for her pancakes so I had to bring him another plate.Mickey Mouse, pancakes, craft daddy blog, daddy

This was a fantastic idea, that could not have been easier. I’m no artist, but I think I did okay for my first attempt. It will certainly become a Daddy tradition in our house. I can’t wait to try out more characters. The possibilities are pretty much endless. For example, you can spell out names or Happy Birthday if you want to. Just remember to write it backward so the phrase is facing the right way once you flip the pancake. Maybe practice on a piece of paper first so you have something to reference. If your kids are older, you can have them request certain characters or images on their pancakes to make it a bit more challenging. You could make a guessing game out of it and try to stump them with your artistic abilities or in my case the lack thereof. Or better yet, have your kids give it a try to make pancake faces of their own. This could also be a great opportunity to teach your children about cooking safety while helping in the kitchen.

If you’re looking for more pancake design ideas, here’s a book that lists step-by-step instructions written by a single Dad.

Big Daddy Pancakes – Zoo Animal & Holiday Edition

You can also click below to get the Kindle edition of this book by another creative Dad.

OMG Pancakes!: 75 Cool Creations Your Kids Will Love to Eat

I can’t wait to try these designs out! Of course, you’ll see my artistic creations in future posts.

Have you made pancake shapes before? How was your experience with it? Please share your comments and pictures below. I’d love to see what you come up with. Thanks for stopping by! See ya real soon!

Coral Springs, Big Bear Brewing Company, craft beer, floridaa, south florida craft beer, craft daddy blog

Big Bear Brewing Co.

Florida Craft Brewery: Big Bear Brewing Company

Established: July of 1997 Coral Springs, Big Bear Brewing Company, craft beer, floridaa, south florida craft beer, craft daddy blog

Location: 1800 N University Dr, Coral Springs, FL 33071

Known For: Their pretzel encrusted chicken, burgers, and filets. I have heard through the grapevine that their filets are tastier than Ruth’s Chris.

Current Beer Menu: Big Bear keeps eight house beers on tap. Five of them the Polar Light, Hibernating Pale Ale, Grizzly Red Ale, Brown Bear Ale, and Kodiac Belgian Dubbel are brewed with the average beer drinker in mind. They don’t serve any other brewery on tap so these beers target the folks who usually drink beer from the macro breweries (Miller Lite, Budweiser, etc.). The Kodiac Belgian Dubbel and Hibernating Pale Ale stood out above the Polar Light and Grizzly Red Ale. The remaining three beers are rotating seasonals. “Rye Not” American Amber Ale (Seasonal Brewmasters Choice), Doppel Gun Salute (Seasonal Dark), and Huli Pau Pineapple Cream Ale (Seasonal Fruit) are where brewmaster Jeff Evans allows his creativity to flow. The Kodiac was my favorite offering of the day with cloves and bananas on the nose and the taste of dark fruits such as raisins. I’m a big fan of Rye in a beer and oh boy did “Rye Not’ come through big time. I believe this to be the most rye forward beer I’ve ever had and it was delicious. I’m talking rye on top of rye here folks. The Doppel Gun Salute is brewed with cold brewed coffee and aged on whole coffee beans from the veteran-owned Black Rifle Coffee Company. A portion of the profits benefit Camp Hope, a non-profit veterans charity. This was a very coffee forward beer, as you can imagine, that almost completely overpowered the Doppelbock base. I really enjoyed it. Huli Pau is brewed with pineapple puree, adding a very light fruit backing to this thirst quenching cream ale.

Coral Springs, Big Bear Brewing Company, craft beer, floridaa, south florida craft beer, craft daddy blogPrice Range: Flights are offered in eight 5oz portions for $12.00. Half a flight may also be ordered for $7.00. A 5oz sipper on its own will run you $2.00. Between $5.50 and $6.50 will get you a pint from any of the offerings on the taplist. When beers with a higher abv are on tap, 10oz snifters are offered. Growlers are not available. A number of craft beers from breweries around the country are offered in bottles and range from $5.00 to $9.00.

Wine Menu: Being a restaurant first, the wine list is rather extensive with 15 white wines, 19 red wines, and one Port. The price per glass ranges from $7.00 to $13.00 while bottles run from $24.00 to $90.00.

Food Menu: I had the Bruin Burger, which was topped with jack cheese, Applewood smoked bacon and Bruin Root Beer BBQ sauce. The Bruin Root Coral Springs, Big Bear Brewing Company, craft beer, floridaa, south florida craft beer, craft daddy blogBeer is brewed in house. Unfortunately, my burger was a little dryer than I would have liked. As mentioned above, I have heard good things about how Big Bear handles a steak and their Beer Muenster Cheese Soup is supposed to be delicious. With a full menu and rave reviews online, Big Bear seems to me it would be a great place to grab lunch or dinner.

Ambiance: To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a full-blown restaurant so I was surprised to see a hostess when I walked in. I took a seat at the fully stocked bar and took a minute to take in my surroundings. It was about 2:00pm on a Friday, so there were still a number of people enjoying an extended lunch. I was happy to have the father and his rowdy kids leave about half way through my visit. He was not happy with his kids throwing food at each other and he didn’t care if you heard how unhappy he was. There was also the cry of what had to be a newborn baby. A cry of which I know very well. The restaurant itself was on the darker side with lighting that acted as if torches with a golden hue were hanging just below the ceiling. The Brewhouse and beer storage areas are both behind glass so you are able to see what, if anything, is going on. As I was leaving at about 4:30 the crowd had started to swell again with the stampede of newly freed employees.

Coral Springs, Big Bear Brewing Company, craft beer, floridaa, south florida craft beer, craft daddy blogBar Seating: At full capacity the restaurant can hold 260 patrons inside spread among the many booths. The bar itself holds seating for 23. There is also an area outside that holds 48.

Staff: Jess was my bartender and has held the position for two years. With all she was doing I mistakenly confused her for a manager. She was a great help in answering my questions while also keeping the other patrons at the bar happy. The brewmaster, Jeff Evans, wasn’t available that day but was nice enough to speak to me after the fact via Facebook messenger. Jeff started as an assistant brewer to Matt Cox in 2011. When Matt moved on to open the Copperpoint Brewing Co., in September of 2014, Jeff took over as brewmaster for Big Bear with a couple of big shoes to fill. You see, Matt had won a substantial number of awards for his many creations. At the US Beer Tasting Championship this past year Big Bear took home the top honors for their Hibernating IPA during the summer session and top honors for Drunkin Punkin in the spiced beer category during the winter session in the Mid-Atlantic Southeast region. It’s safe to say Jeff learned a thing or two from Matt.

Merch: Hats are $10.00 while shirts for both men and women are offered for $15.00 and can be seen hereCoral Springs, Big Bear Brewing Company, craft beer, floridaa, south florida craft beer, craft daddy blog

Membership offered: Once upon a time, Big Bear had a Mug Club, but unfortunately it has been discontinued. There are no plans to resurrect it in the near future.

Best days or time of year to go: Monday and Tuesday are typically Big Bear’s slow days. Any day between 2:00pm and 4:00pm will garner you the most attention either by your server or bartender as these are the slowest points of the day.

Regular Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10:30pm, Friday – Saturday: 11:30am – 11:00pm, and Sunday 11:00am – 10:00pm (Brunch 11:00am – 3:00pm)

Coral Springs, Big Bear Brewing Company, craft beer, floridaa, south florida craft beer, craft daddy blogHappy Hour: Monday – Friday: 11:30am – 7:00pm. Yes really! $1.00 off beer, two for one on house wines, and two for one single liquor well drinks. The only downside is you have to be sitting at the bar.

Fun Facts:

-July of 2016 will mark Big Bear’s 20th year operating as a Brewpub which is quite a feat considering how many Brewpubs have come and gone during that time.

-The entire manual brewing system is the original system Big Bear opened their doors with in 1997. An expansion is in the works for the future.

-Not only does Jeff Evans brew beer, but he’s also a fireman.

Overall Rating (1-5): Between the food and the beer I can happily recommend Big Bear as a place to visit when in the area. I am giving them a 4.25.Coral Springs, Big Bear Brewing Company, craft beer, floridaa, south florida craft beer, craft daddy blog

What was missing: There was not a stout or porter on tap. Yes, I know It’s Florida and yes it’s almost summer, but I’ll drink either all year long. Damn the heat!

In closing, Coral Springs and the surrounding areas have definitely made Big Bear home and I think you should stop in and see why for yourself.

Did I leave anything out or is there something else you would like to know about the Big Bear Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!

Orchid Island Brewery, florida craft beer, Vero Beach, craft daddy blog, Indian River County

Orchid Island Brewery

Florida Craft Brewery: Orchid Island Brewery (OIB) Orchid Island Brewery, florida craft beer, Vero Beach, craft daddy blog, Indian River County

Established: August 23rd, 2014

Location: 2855 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32963

Known For: Orchid Island’s motto is ’Grove to Glass Craft Beer Project.’ The citrus (grapefruit, orange, lemon, or key lime) is locally sourced from the growers of Indian River County and the majority of the beers they brew have citrus of some kind in the ingredients. The Star Ruby IPA is their most popular offering and is so popular in fact that it wasn’t available. Luckily I have had it in the past and it is a delicious grapefruit zest hop bomb.

Orchid Island Brewery, florida craft beer, Vero Beach, craft daddy blog, Indian River CountyCurrent Beer Menu: Because of OIB’s popularity and only having a 3 bbl (barrel) system they have a difficult time keeping their outside accounts and in-house taps flowing with their own beers. The four taps they did have on were the Duncan White Grapefruit Pale Ale, Indian River Grapefruit IPA, Jungle Trail Black IPA, and the OIB Berliner Weisse. To expand the beer list a bit OIB has been experimenting with boiling down fruit into a syrup, which is then added to the Berliner Weisse upon request. The two options were cherry key lime and ruby-red grapefruit. I was a bit skeptical at first, but both additions turned out to be very good. My favorite offering of the day was the Duncan White Grapefruit Pale Ale. It had a crisp, easy drinkability with just the right amount of grapefruit not trying to steal the show. The Indian River Grapefruit IPA was a bit more hop forward with the Ruby Red Grapefruit jumping through to smack your taste buds in just the right way. The base Berliner Weisse was a great example of the style, but adding the syrup to it really gave it that Florida Weisse tropical feel. The Jungle Trail Black IPA is brewed with Indian River White Grapefruit zest, Citra, and Nelson Sauvin hops. It was actually more brown in color than black, had a creamy mouth feel, and left intricate lacing on the glass down to the last drop. It was not as hoppy as I prefer and my least favorite out of the tapped beers, which isn’t saying much when the 3 beers I rated ahead of it were very good. OIB also keeps a hefty list of ten rotating guest beers that mainly represent Florida’s ever-growing craft beer scene.Orchid Island Brewery, florida craft beer, Vero Beach, craft daddy blog, Indian River County

Price Range: Flights consist of any four beers in 5oz pours for $8.00. A pint can be had for between $6.00 and $7.00. Growlers are available for OIB’s beers only and will run you $10.00 for a 32oz fill and $20.00 for a 64oz fill. If you don’t already have a growler to fill the glass will cost you $12.00 for the 32oz and $20 for the 64oz.

Wine Menu: OIB keeps the most extensive wine list (eleven white and ten red) that I have seen in a brewery to date. A glass will run you between $7.00 and $10.00.

Orchid Island Brewery, florida craft beer, Vero Beach, craft daddy blog, Indian River CountyFood Menu: OIB is on the rare side when it comes to food and Florida breweries. Unlike most they actually have an in-house kitchen. I ordered a bratwurst and sauerkraut with potato salad that I would absolutely order again. The general consensus in the room seemed to be that the food was damn good. You can check out the menu here.

Ambiance: OIB is a warm and welcoming establishment. Windows on three sides allow for an abundance of natural light to pour through while tunes from the likes of Slightly Stoopid, SOJA, and Rebelution play overhead. Being established in the Town of Orchid Island they, of course, have an abundance of orchids throughout the tasting room, which is a bit smaller than the majority of breweries I’ve reviewed but fits in perfectly with the small town feel. Vero Beach is a known vacation spot for South Floridians who want to get away from the city for a weekend and relax on the beautiful beach, which is walking distance from the brewery. The brewhouse is also open for impromptu tours as long as a bartender is available.Orchid Island Brewery, florida craft beer, Vero Beach, craft daddy blog, Indian River County

Bar Seating: Five high tops (4 – 6 seats), four tables (4 – 6 seats), and 18 seats at the bar make up the indoor seating while seven tables in the courtyard complete the seating arrangements.

Staff: Eric offered up informational tidbits and a tour of the brew house while pouring beers. Athena was called in from the bullpen once the crowd swelled and growlers needed filling. Both were very courteous and took my questions (while serving others) in stride like champs.

Merch: OIB keeps it simple by only selling men’s and women’s t-shirts, for $20.00 a piece, in a multitude of colors.

Orchid Island Brewery, florida craft beer, Vero Beach, craft daddy blog, Indian River CountyMembership offered: No membership or VIP is offered and nothing is planned for the immediate future.

Best days or time of year to go:  I arrived at 1:00pm on a Friday and there was a steady flow of craft beer hungry folk coming in up until I left around 4:00pm, which is when the after work crowd really started to file in. Space at the bar literally shrank by the minute and from what I was told Saturday stays just as busy. If you’re looking for a time to enjoy a citrus infused brew without the crowd Tuesday through Thursday before 4:00 should be your target.

Regular Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10:00pm, Friday – Saturday: 11:30am – 12:00amOrchid Island Brewery, florida craft beer, Vero Beach, craft daddy blog, Indian River County

Happy Hour: Tuesday through Thursday all beers are $5.00.

Fun Facts:

-Alden Bing, owner and brewmaster, still holds a 40-hour workweek as a regional branch manager for a bank. Because of that, most of the brewing is done on the weekends.

-When OIB opened in August 2014 they did so with a three-barrel brewhouse, very small tasting room, and courtyard space. By November, they had outgrown that space and moved into The Tavern, which offers more seating and in-house served food.

-All of the citrus used in OIB’s beer are donated by growers directly from their home county of Indian River.

Orchid Island Brewery, florida craft beer, Vero Beach, craft daddy blog, Indian River County-Indian River County and the Town of Orchid Island are known for growing the world’s most premium citrus.

-There are plans in the works for a new twenty-barrel brewhouse off of Route 60 a mile or so east of I-95.

-OIB’s barrel program currently consists of five barrels. Four of the barrels formerly held Opus One red wine, while the fifth barrel held a Portuguese Port, Angel’s Envy Bourbon, OIB’s Black Orchid Imperial Stout, and now finally a dark saison. The four Opus One barrels currently hold OIB’s Citron Grovehouse Ale each with six pounds of Meyer Lemon zest. One barrel holds the saison with no treatment while the other three were treated with a yeast (Brettanomyces) and or a bacteria (Pediococcus and Lactobacillus). One barrel was treated with Brettanomyces, one with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus, and the third with Pediococcus Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces.

Overall Rating (1-5): A great atmosphere, courteous staff and delicious beer equal a rating of 4.75.

What was missing: Unfortunately, neither the Star Ruby Imperial IPA nor Citron Grovehouse Ale were on tap while I was visiting. With the Orchid Island Brewery, florida craft beer, Vero Beach, craft daddy blog, Indian River Countydemand for OIB’s beer being so high they have a hard time keeping their beer on tap in the tasting room. There certainly could be worse problems to have.

In closing, OIB may be a little out-of-the-way, but if you’re passing through the area or getting away from city life for a long weekend they are definitely one to check out.

Did I leave anything out or is there something else you would like to know about the Orchid Island Brewery? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!