Florida Craft Brewery: Tequesta Brewing Company (TBC)
Established: January 14th, 2011
Location: 287 U.S. 1, Tequesta, FL 33469
Known For: Tequesta Brewing Company (TBC) brews a German Kolsch called Der Chancellor that can be found in restaurants all over South Florida. It’s a nice gateway beer for those folks who aren’t typically craft beer drinkers. Every September TBC sets aside one week to celebrate the year’s hop harvest. It’s called Hop Week during which they produce a number of different special releases all using fresh hops which are also known as wet hops. Luckily two of their creations were still available for me to try.
Current Beer Menu: When I visited TBC they had ten of their own beers available on tap. Three of which were flagship offerings. Der Chancellor, a German Kolsch, represents the style well. Gnarly Barley, an American Pale Ale, is pleasantly hopped and contains a slight breadiness not normally found in the style. Terminally Ale, an American Brown Ale, was an easy drinking chocolate, coffee, hop-bomb of a beer. Pink Drink is Der Chancellor treated with watermelon and was my least favorite offering of the day. For me the watermelon and base beer did not meld together well. TBC’s take on the German Oktoberfest beer, Vantoberfest, really turned out well. Udderly Delicious, a Sweet Stout, was brewed with Ecuadorian cacao nibs and milk chocolate. Coffee and chocolate came through very nicely. Welcome to the Darkside was a Schwarzbier (Black Lager) that had a nice roasted malt character which I rather enjoyed. The Black IPA was brewed with Chinook and Citra wet hops. I’m a sucker for this style when done right and this beer was certainly a great representation. The pine and citrus mixed with the roastiness of the malt were perfect together. It was my favorite beer of the day. The last two beers were stragglers from TBC’s Hop Week. The All Wet and Sticky IPA was brewed with Simcoe, Cascade, and Equinox wet hops. The aroma of citrus was fantastic and it was dripping with hops. Lastly, 99 Problems But A Wet Hop Ain’t One was a Double IPA brewed with Zeus, Nugget, and Chinook wet hops. A mix of both pine and citrus came through well on that Double!
Price Range: Tequesta likes to keep things simple. A flight of four 5oz pours will cost you $5.00, which is pretty much the cheapest you will find in South Florida. The majority of their beers on tap were $4.50. The only one that strayed from the rest was the DIPA, which was $5.00. Their Freedom IPA comes in 16oz cans and is $13.00 for a four pack. Also available were 12oz cans of Surf Betty Raspberry Berliner Weiss for $11.00. Growlers are also offered in 32oz, 64oz, and gallon sizes. If you don’t already have a growler you can purchase one for between $7.00 and $9.00 depending on the size you require. The fill will cost you either $13.00, $19.00, or $27.00 depending on the size.
Wine Menu: The wine list consists of five whites and four reds. A glass will run you between $7.00 and $9.00.
Food Menu/Food Trucks: TBC doesn’t serve food or do food trucks. However, you can order food from the Corner Café, which is right next door. You can also bring a snack from home or order delivery from another establishment.
Ambiance: The combination of the brewery and taproom are squeezed into a relatively small space so when you walk in the front door you are immediately hit in the face with the sweet smell of beer brewing. TBC keeps the lighting to a minimum in the brewery. Fluorescent blue lighting runs the entirety of the space, which really makes the brewing area jump out as the centerpiece. Large, almost tear-drop shaped light fixtures hang from the ceiling above the bar, which adds a sort of old-time elegance. The bar itself was brought down from Pennsylvania and is 100 years old.
Bar Seating: There are 14 seats at the bar, six high tops with two seats each, and seating for at least 20 more in the lounge, which separates the bar from the brewery.
Staff: Sara was the bartender during my visit. She has worked for Tequesta a little over three years and was a wealth of information. From what I saw she has a serious dose of patience, which I guess has to come with the territory. I also had the opportunity to speak with Kenny, who has been with TBC since day one. He is one of TBC’s brewers, assistant manager, and a jack of all trades.
Brewing System: TBC brews on a 15 barrel system which includes two 30 barrel fermenters, four 15 barrel fermenters, and two 5 barrel fermenters for higher gravity beers.
Merch: Hats are available for $20.00 – $23.00 depending on the style. T-shirts both short and long sleeve range from $18.00 – $22.00. You can pick up a pint glass for $4.00, tap handle for $25, growler koozie for between $6.00 – $8.00, and growler bag for $10.00.
Membership offered: Available spots for the Mug Club are raffled off every April. If you are one of the lucky ones the membership will cost you $50.00 and in return you receive a t-shirt and 20oz pint glass instead of the 16oz everyone else uses.
Best days or time of year to go: The locals keep TBC busy a majority of the time so arriving before work cuts out for the day isn’t a bad idea.
Regular Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 12:00pm to 11:00pm
Happy Hour: Tuesday through Friday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm you can take advantage of $1.00 off beers and $.50 off flights on their already low prices.
–Matt Webster and Fran Andrewlevich made TBC the first craft brewery in South Florida when they opened their doors.
-TBC is the older sibling to Twisted Trunk Brewing. Both breweries are co-owned by Fran and Matt. Fran is head brewer of Twisted while Matt is head brewer of Tequesta. They are also opening a third brewery in West Palm Beach called Steam Horse Brewing, which is slated to open in early summer 2017.
-The bar, which is 100 years old, was brought down from Pennsylvania. It belonged to Fran’s grandfather who ran a bar in the 1950’s.
-Fran Andrewlevich is responsible for starting the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival in 2007. It is still going strong and one festival I look forward to every year.
-TBC is distributed throughout South Florida by Brown Distributing.
-TBC is organically certified and brews up to 45 different beers a year.
Overall Rating (1-5): I’m rating TBC a 4.5. I enjoyed the time I spent, the people I met, and the vast majority of the beer I tried.
What was missing: Nothing was missing from this great brewery!
In closing, TBC is yet another brewery in Palm Beach County that is worth checking out if you’re new to the area or have never stopped by before. If you live close by, you’re sure to become a regular. They have something for everyone.
Is there something else you would like to know about the Tequesta Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.