Florida Craft Brewery: Side Door Brewing Company
Established: December 5th, 2015
Location: 1419 SE Village Green Drive, Port Saint Lucie, FL 34952
Known For: Side Door’s Jamaican Me Jittery Coffee Stout is a beer not to be missed from what I was told. So how was it you ask? Haha! Well, the keg had finished up a couple of days before I visited. I will find it and try it eventually. The other beer the Side Door Brewing Company is known for is the Key Lime Hefeweizen w/ Lactobacillus and after trying it I certainly see why it’s so popular.
Current Beer Menu: Side Door keeps eleven beers on tap. The day I visited six of those were their flagship beers, four were small batch, and one was a guest tap of Orange Blossom Brewing’s Pilsner. They seem to strive to keep something on tap for everyone. Equinox, Simcoe, and Citra IPA’s were three of the flagship beers. My favorite of the three was Simcoe followed by Citra and Equinox. Typically Citra would have been my favorite. The aroma smacked me in the face, but the taste didn’t quite keep the bar raised as high. The Side Door Porter and Castronovo Chocolate Porter were nice offerings. The base Porter edged out the chocolate in my eyes with its coffee backbone pushing it ahead for me. Both the Hinge Pin Oregon Hefe and Key Lime Hefe w/ Lactobacillus are great summer beers. The Key Lime was my favorite beer of the day. That beer seriously needs to be canned and distributed. The Lacto gives the Key Lime that extra bit of sour kick that knocked it out of the park for me. Dwayne, the head brewer, was kind enough to pull a couple of beers from the barrel for me and the other bar patrons to try. The first was an Old English Ale that has been resting in a Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey barrel for six months. The smell had me thinking I had just been given a shot of whiskey, but it was so damn smooth I’d be really interested in trying it again after reaching its full term in the barrel. The other was an English Style Bitter (ESB) that didn’t turn out the way Dwayne had hoped so he dry hopped it with Sorachi hops and put it to rest in a Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey barrel. It was certainly an interesting beer to try and will never be created again. The big question Dwayne raised while we were trying his concoction was what in the heck should he call it? How about the One Off Wonder? The next beer checked off the list was the Whisky Stout. What’s better than a stout? A stout aged for ten months in a Jim Bean barrel of course! It was on Nitro which gave it the creaminess that you know and love if you’ve ever had a beer on Nitro. At only 6.3% it wasn’t a big stout, but it certainly was good. The barrel and the base beer melded together perfectly. Finally, I tried the Mango Salsa. Salsa fits this beer well because you could certainly taste it. The jalapeno wasn’t overpowering the mango, which can happen when brewing a beer like this. It was the perfect beer to end the day with. It’s always nice to leave a brewery and be able to say there wasn’t a bad beer in the bunch.
Price Range: A couple of different options are offered for flights. For $6.50 you can try four 6oz pours of their flagship beers, for $10.00 you can try four 6oz pours of their small batch beers, and for $20.00 you can try 6oz pours of all eleven beers on tap, which includes one guest tap. The flagship beers run $7.00 for a pint and $3.75 for a 10oz snifter. The small batch beers are $8 per pint and $5.50 for a 10oz snifter. Growlers are available in both 32oz and 64oz sizes. The 32oz growler glass will cost you $6.00 and if that’s not enough the 64oz glass will cost you $7.00. Filling the 32oz will run you $9.00 for a flagship beer and $16.00 for a small batch if available. If you’re looking to fill a 64oz growler with a flagship beer expect to pay $16.00 and if the small batch is available expect to pay $25.00.
Wine Menu: Both red and white wines are offered in single serve containers for $5.00 apiece.
Food Menu/Food Trucks: Every Friday between the hours of 4:30 and 8:00pm you can find Gordo’s Taco Truck out front serving his delicious creations.
Ambiance: Going to Side Door Brewing I knew I was heading to a small establishment, but when I opened the front door (yes there is a front door) I was a bit surprised to see the bar only a few steps away. It most certainly isn’t a large taproom, but what space is available has been put to good use and without making you feel like you’re stuck in a sardine can. A mix of both country and Top 40 played overhead depending on which person had control over the music. The interior was a mix of rustic design and man cave. It made for a nice place to have a few beers on a Friday afternoon.
Bar Seating: There are nine seats at the bar, three high top tables, a picnic table, and seating along the window. Definitely arrive early if you want to have a seat at the bar.
Staff: Megan and Samantha were handling the bar duties while I was visiting. Both of them are quite personable and happy to talk about the beer on tap and whatever else might be happening with the brewery. In addition to tending bar, they help out with the brewing as well. I had the opportunity to meet Dwayne Buccholz, the head brewer and founder of Side Door. He was enthused to talk about and show off everything that Side Door had coming up.
Brewing System: Side Door currently has the capacity to produce 600 gallons per year using two 55 gallon tanks and the newest addition of two seven-barrel fermenters.
Merch: Tank tops, t-shirts, fishing shirts, and work shirts are all available for between $16.00 and $32.00.
Membership offered: Every December Side Door offers up a chance to join their Mug Club. For $100 you receive 50% off of all beers on tap plus 10% off growler fills, merchandise, and glassware.
Best days or time of year to go: Friday and Saturday evening are the busiest at the brewery. I arrived at 3:00pm Friday afternoon to find only four patrons. Based off of that, the early afternoon would be your best bet to have a few beers and not worry about a crowd.
Happy Hour: To be announced.
-Side Door’s 1st-anniversary party is on December 3rd, 2016. December 5th, 2015 was chosen as the grand opening day because it is Repeal Day, which of course is the day Prohibition ended in 1933.
-The name Side Door comes from the speakeasies of the early 1930’s. The front entrance was never used, allowing for the building to be as nondescript as possible. A side door was used to let in the liquor hungry patrons.
-All of the citrus peels, coffee, and chocolate are sourced locally on Florida’s Treasure Coast from All Things Citrus, Culinary Coffee Roasters, and Castronovo Chocolates.
-Side Door is Port St. Lucie’s first brewery.
-All spent grain goes to a local farmer in exchange for fresh eggs.
Overall Rating (1-5): I’m rating Side Door Brewing Company a 4 out of 5. Everything across the board was good and worth another trip. I am looking forward to seeing where they have risen to in another year.
What was missing: The Jamaican Me Jittery Coffee Stout was certainly missing, but that’s just bad luck on my part. Dwayne told me he is going to try and keep it on tap moving forward because it is so popular.
In closing, you should check out Side Door Brewing Company if you’re looking for a beer in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, or Indian River Counties. For those of you who vacation in the area, you should certainly add these guys to your to-do list.
Is there something else you would like to know about the Side Door Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.