Virginia’s Ocelot Brewing Company

Ocelot Brewing Company

Virginia Craft Brewery: Ocelot Brewing Company

Established: Grand Opening May 23rd, 2015

Location: 23600 Overland Drive #180, Dulles, VA 20166

Known For: The Ocelot Brewing Company is known for their highly rated IPA’s and Stouts. Amongst the crowd of IPA’s one stands out more than the others. The ‘Talking Backwards’ Triple IPA is released once a year in February. It is brewed with CTZ, Simcoe, Mosaic, and Citra hops and comes in at a hefty 10.8% abv. ‘Here Kitty Kitty’, a Russian Imperial Stout, is currently their highest rated stout that isn’t barrel aged. It was first brewed in collaboration with J. Wakefield Brewing, down in Miami, where I originally had a chance to try it. Luckily, Batch 2 was on tap for my visit to Ocelot and it was just as delicious as I had remembered.

Ocelot Brewing Company

Current Beer Menu: I ordered a flight of six beers the first of which was called the ‘Setting Sun’. An IPA coming in at 5.9% abv brewed with Amarillo hops. There was a lot of citrus, especially grapefruit, on the nose. While drinking, the grapefruit came through even more as it warmed. I enjoyed it, but I enjoyed the next IPA even more. ‘Street Lights’ is 6.7% abv and reminded me of an orange Creamsicle. The aroma was fantastic with sweet notes of citrus and peach. The taste was sweet with an almost creamy orange backed by a slight hoppy bitterness. ‘Honey’ Pie is 7.5% abv Saison brewed with honey. The scent brought herbal notes with a bit of sweetness from the honey. As I was drinking the honey came through well, but not enough to overpower the slight funk of the Saison. ‘My Heart’s Delight’, a smoky Red Ale, came in at 5% abv. The fragrance had a light smokiness with a bit of biscuit and citrus. Upon tasting the smoke and a hoppy bitterness play off of each other pleasantly followed by an enjoyable malt background. The smoke came out more as the beer warmed while the smoky bitterness lingered on the tongue. I’m not always the biggest fan of smoke in my beer because it can easily take over, but this one was done very well. ‘Electric Boots’ is a 5.3% abv fruit beer with black currants. The smell was ‘fantastic with berries on top of berries. It’s almost like a black currant and berry puree with a light tart. While I was working on the flight I had ordered a 4oz pour of both ‘Here Kitty Kitty’ and ‘Megaton Maple’. I slowly tasted both as they warmed. ‘Here Kitty Kitty’ is a 12% abv Russian Imperial Stout with notes of coffee, vanilla, and dark chocolate on the nose. The taste was much of the same combined with a sweetness that isn’t typically found in the style. I really enjoyed both the Ocelot and Wakefield brewed batches of this beer. ‘Megaton Maple’ is a 5.2% abv stout brewed with, you guessed it, maple. The aroma had a light smokiness with a bit of biscuit and citrus. The taste was much of the same combined with a sweetness that isn’t typically found in the style. The scent was almost entirely maple with just a bit of coffee coming through. Upon tasting the maple jumps out to the forefront, followed by coffee and brown sugar. Like smoke, maple can take over a beer as well, but once again this beer was done wonderfully and that wasn’t the case. Limited amounts of their IPA’s are bottled and available for purchase. Also, anytime a barrel aged beer is bottled it will also be available in the tasting room.

Ocelot Brewing Company

Price Range: A 4oz pour is $2.00 for everything outside of the big beers. A 4oz pour of ‘Here Kitty Kitty’ for example was $4.00. A 10oz pour will run you between $4.00 and $8.00. A 16oz pour is $6.00 and of course, doesn’t include the heavy hitters. Both 32oz and 64oz glass growlers are available for sale. The fill for a 32oz growler starts at $10.00 while the 64oz starts at $18.00. If you happen to be bringing in your own growler make sure it isn’t of the small neck flip top variety.

Wine Menu: Wine is not available.

Food Menu/Food Trucks: Rotating food trucks are available on site Thursday through Sunday. Outside food can also be brought in. Food can also be delivered using one of the many menus behind the bar.

Ambiance: Like a lot of breweries the Ocelot Brewing Company is tucked away in an industrial park. Walking into the rather large red brick building I found myself taking in multiple pieces of the song lyric inspired mural on the wall. After claiming a seat at the bar and ordering a flight I turned around to see The Barrel Wall. Clever to say the least. The brewery had a nice overall feel to it. The industrial background of the brewing system and masonry of The Barrel Wall paired well against the mural and bar.

Ocelot Brewing Company

Ocelot Brewing Company

Bar Seating: There are ten seats at the bar, three large tables with seating for eight, and numerous smaller settings for small parties. Outside there are two picnic tables on a canopy covered porch.

Ocelot Brewing Company

Staff: Jared was a bevy of information. He was more than happy to answer any and all questions brought to his attention by me or any of the other patrons. If he didn’t know the answer, the bar manager, Jess was quick on the recall. I happened to be visiting on the 4th of July so the bar was hopping, but you wouldn’t know that with how attentive the staff was to everyone. The staff can really make or break a brewery experience and Ocelot seems to only employ the best.

Ocelot Brewing Company

Brewing System: Ocelot brews on a three vessel system made up of a Mash/Lauter Tun combo, a Kettle, and a Whirlpool. The system is 15bbls in size and they currently have seven 30bbl fermenters.

Ocelot Brewing Company Ocelot Brewing Company

Merch: Hats were out of stock on the day I was on site, but they are typically available. T-shirts are $20.00, brewery logo tin tackers are $15.00, glasses range from $6.00 to $7.00, and stickers are a dollar a piece. When purchasing a glass you can have the glass filled for about half of the typical price. Glass growlers are $5.00 for the 32oz and $6.00 for the 64oz.

Ocelot Brewing Company

Membership offered: When asking about a membership/bottle club I received a positive response. It seems to be so secretive that no details could be given. That’s what happens when you don’t know the secret handshake.

Best days or time of year to go: It was a welcomed surprise to learn the brewery is open every day of the week. If you want to miss the hordes, focus on the hours before the rush hour crowd are released from their work related shackles.

Regular Hours: Monday – Friday: 1:00pm – 10:00pm, Saturday: 11:00am – 10:00pm, and Sunday: 11:00am – 6:00pm

Happy Hour: I mean really with prices this low every hour is Happy Hour!

Fun Facts: 

-Being a music intensive brewery it’s no surprise to learn all of Ocelot’s beer names are song lyrics from various artists. The only exception to this would be certain collaborations.

-The names of their favorite frontmen in music grace the brewing tanks.

Ocelot Brewing Company

-Ocelot’s logo is a guitar pick.

-100% of the beers Ocelot produces are gluten reduced.

-The name Ocelot comes not from the wild cat of the same name, but from a song title by the jam band, Phish.

-The wood in both the tables and base of the bar come from a 150 y/o house that was being torn down in Washington D.C. The bar top itself is Pine. It was purchased in Maryland from the Community Forklift. A reclaimed and surplus building materials thrift store.

Ocelot Brewing Company

Overall Rating (1-5): I really enjoyed Ocelot and look forward to visiting again the next time I’m in town to visit my sister. I am rating Ocelot a 4.5 out of 5.

What was missing: The beer available on tap covered a nice range of styles that were all presented quite well. The staff was attentive to not only my needs, but everyone around me and the brewery itself had a very welcoming feel. In saying all of that I can’t put my finger on a particular negative issue.

Ocelot Brewing Company

In closing, Virginia, like my home state of Florida has a very healthy craft beer scene and Ocelot seems to be making a name for themselves. On my next trip, I’ll have to check out a few of their neighbors and see how everyone stacks up.

Is there something else you would like to know about the Ocelot Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!

Ocelot Brewing Company

 

Carnival Vista’s RedFrog Brewery Premiers New Beer

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery

If a cruise is in your future and you love craft beer then the Carnival Vista is a great ship to call home for a week. As Carnival’s largest ship to date, it has everything you could possibly want, including a pedal-powered Skyride, the first IMAX Theater on a cruise ship, and its very own brewery. The Vista’s sister ship, the Horizon, is set to sail in 2018 and will also have a brewery on board. The RedFrog Pub & Brewery is the first brewery on a North American-based cruise ship and Master Brewer Colin Presby is the man in charge.

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery

Colin began homebrewing in 2006 before beginning his career in beer with Weyerbacher Brewing as a cellarman. He then took a brewing position at Stoudts Brewing before accepting the head brewer’s job at the Golden Avalanche Brewing Co. He recently hired on Ronald as an assistant brewer from his home state of Pennsylvania.

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery
Ronald and Colin

Colin had five beers on tap during my visit. One of those, the ‘ThirstyFrog Red’, is brewed off the ship by Anheuser-Busch specifically for Carnival. The profile suggestions for the other four were made by the Concrete Beach Brewery while recipe specifics and the implementation were done by Colin.

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery

The ‘ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat’ is an unfiltered Hefeweizen with light notes of clove and oranges. The ’ThirstyFrog Port Hoppin’ IPA’ is brewed with Warrior, Citra, and Simcoe hops that impart hints of tropical fruits. The ‘ThirstyFrog American Pale Ale’ is brewed with Centennial and Cascade hops and has a balanced malt and hop profile. The fourth brew is the ‘FriskyFrog Java Stout’ with gentle notes of coffee and chocolate.

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery

Colin refers to his beers as full flavored, but accessible. He brews them with the novice craft drinker in mind. Typically, Colin brews 3 days a week using a 3 bbl (barrel) Joh. Albrecht Brautechnik dual vessel glass Brewhouse. Across the hall sits a room containing eight 6 bbl fermenters as well as the brewery’s cold storage.

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery
Photo used courtesy of the Beer Apostle.

To help celebrate American Craft Beer Week Colin brewed his ‘Miami Guava Wheat’ using 84 pounds of pink guava producing 100 gallons of tropical goodness. Carnival invited South Florida media and beer industry folks to the first ever tapping of the cask. Vista Hotel Director, Pierre Camilleri, had the honors of tapping the cask and did so flawlessly.

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery

Also on hand for the festivities was the ship’s, Captain Andrea Catalani. The beer was an aromatic explosion of guava on the nose and thirst quenching deliciousness. It was easily my favorite beer of the day.

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery

“I was drawing inspiration for this beer from the sort of tastes of Miami. We wanted something that spoke to our homeport. I’ve been really inspired by the Cuban pastries, the pastelitos, and the guava in that,” Colin said.

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery

While on board a pint will run you $5.75, but Carnival has gone a step further and also sells growlers for $34.95. The 64oz stainless steel flip top growler comes from Brewsuit.com and is appropriately named the SS Growler. Purchasing the growler filled is $48.95 and a refill is $16.95. If you’re in a hurry to get back to the pool there are also self-service stations where you can get a 14oz pour for $4.00.

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery

The pub is designed with Key West in mind and it certainly does have an island feel to it. There is plenty of seating and the folks handling the bar were as customer friendly as humanly possible. If sitting at the bar and listening to live music doesn’t do it for you there are also two foosball tables and two shuffleboard tables. You can also play Cornhole just outside of the brewery.

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery

In closing, I would certainly look at the Carnival Vista for my next cruise. The brewery and the state of the art amenities would make for a wonderful vacation. So the next time the family brings up going on vacation show them everything that the Carnival Vista has to offer. There is literally something for everyone.

Carnival Vista RedFrog Pub and Brewery
Saint Nicholas, the Patron Saint of Brewers.

Palm Beach County’s Damn Good Beer Bus

Damn Good Beer Bus

My buddy’s wife asked me if my wife and I wanted to go on the new local beer bus to celebrate his birthday. My initial thought was a new beer bus? How have I not heard about this? I confirmed that we would be there out of love for my buddy more than anything, honestly. After checking out the website, I saw the name of the bus was the Damn Good Beer Bus (DGBB). What a great name! Here’s how it works. You head over to the website and pick which day (Fri., Sat., or Sun.) works best for you and/or your party. The days also correspond with different areas of the county. The northern trip has stops at three of the following breweries: Civil Society Brewing Co., Twisted Trunk Brewing, Tequesta Brewing Co., Dixie Grill & Brewery, or Accomplice Brewery and Ciderworks. The central trip stops at three of the following: Accomplice Brewery & Ciderworks, Dixie Bar and Brewery, Due South Brewing, Copperpoint Brewing Co., Devour Brewing Co., and NOBO Brewing Co. The southern trip stops at three of the following: Due South Brewing, Copperpoint Brewing Co., Devour Brewing Co., NOBO Brewing Co., Saltwater Brewery, and Barrel of Monks Brewing.

Damn Good Beer Bus

Once you have picked your trip you then make your payment of $68.90 (taxes included) and BOOM you’re done. The central trip includes lunch at the Dixie Bar & Brewery so the price reflects that with an added $14.00. Believe me the food at Dixie is worth it! At first glance, the price may seem a little steep, but it includes a flight of beer at each of the three separate breweries, a brewery tour at each brewery, a tasting between brewery stops provided by the DGBB, water and snacks, and of course transportation. It’s a fun way to check out what Palm Beach County has to offer without worrying about driving from brewery to brewery. Plus it’s a great way to spend four hours with your buddies or make new friends with other craft beer lovers. Private tours are also available and that information can be found here or by calling 561.906.7212. While you aren’t able to bring alcohol from home onto the bus, you are able to buy whatever the brewery has to offer and store it in the cooler located on the back of the bus. 

Damn Good Beer Bus

Our trip was set for the third Friday that the bus had actually been operating. There really wasn’t any indication that they were so new to the scene because everything went extremely smooth. Since our party rented out the entire bus the option was given to be picked up in Jupiter. Otherwise, the meeting spot would have been at the Accomplice Brewery and Ciderworks near downtown West Palm Beach. The bus arrived around 6:30 as we were opening a beer or two to help get the party started.

Damn Good Beer Bus

A quick round of introductions with Jonathan and Ralph, our DGBB guides, were made. Waivers were distributed for us to sign while nametags were filled out for everyone. Once the boring stuff was finished we headed out to the bus for a quick group shot before loading up. The bus had been decorated with a birthday theme, which I thought was a nice touch. After a few words from Jonathan, we were on our way to our first stop, which happened to be the Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach. It had been quite a while since I had made it down to Saltwater so I was pretty stoked since I am a fan of them. About 10 minutes into the drive, Jonathan handed out cups and brought out a crowler of the Copperpoint Brewing Companies ‘Blood Orange Wit’. It was a nice introduction to the beer that was coming.

Damn Good Beer Bus

We pulled up to Saltwater and headed inside to find an area set aside for us with plenty of seating for our group. That was a huge plus because the tap room was packed. Almost instantly flights of beer were brought out for each rider. The flights are prechosen simply because it would take forever on a busy Friday night to get and receive the orders for twenty people. Each flight consisted of ‘Screamin’ Reels IPA’, ‘Locale Golden Ale’, ‘Sea Cow Milk Stout’, and the ‘Black Current Strong Ale’ which comes in at 11% abv.

Damn Good Beer Bus

I also tried a few other offerings including ‘Imperial Raspberry Reef’, ‘Habanero Screamin’ Reels’, and Coconut Screamin’ Reels’. I am continually impressed every time I get a chance to stop into Saltwater. After a few minutes, those who wanted to were taken back behind the scenes for a tour of the brewery. After about 45 minutes at the brewery, it was time to head to our next stop, which was Barrel of Monks Brewing in Boca Raton. On the drive south Jonathan opened a crowler of Civil Society’s ‘Blondes Make Me Hoppy’. We pulled up into the Barrel of Monks parking lot and quickly headed inside to our designated seating. Flights quickly started coming out and consisted of their Saison, Wit, Amber, and Tripel. I’ve always been a big fan of their Tripel and this time was no different. I also tried their ‘Irish Cream Koffee Tartan Monk’, which is their Scotch Ale infused with Irish Cream coffee. It was an interesting treatment, to say the least. After a bit, we headed into the brewery for our tour.

Damn Good Beer Bus

A rundown of brewing and production was given before moving into the cellar where a bottle of ‘Happy Accident’ was opened for us to try. ‘Happy Accident’ is their ‘Three Fates Tripel’, which picked up wild yeast from the Florida air, giving it a drier funky flavor profile that was definitely a crowd pleaser. The tour lasted about 15 minutes.

Damn Good Beer Bus

After our time was up we piled back onto the bus and headed for Due South Brewing. While on the road Jonathan opened cans of Twisted Trunk Brewing’s ‘IPGA IPA’. We arrived at Due South and gingerly stumbled into the brewery. By no means was anyone smashed, but we were all definitely feeling the beer. Once gathered around our designated area the flights began to appear. They consisted of the ‘Caramel Cream Ale’, ‘Legendairy Milk Stout’, ‘Hopicana Orange Rye IPA’, and ‘Category 5 DIPA’. There wasn’t a tour offered, but we did have access to management who eagerly answered all questions asked. Once back on the bus we were again offered lite snacks and bottles of water for the drive back up to Jupiter.

Damn Good Beer Bus

I can see another bus being added in the future with more breweries set to open before the end of 2017. Since our trip, I’ve been following the pictures posted on DGBB’s Instagram account and they seem to continually have a packed bus. All in all, I think the Damn Good Beer Bus will be a huge success in Palm Beach County.

Damn Good Beer Bus

In closing, if you’re looking for something different to do on the weekend or looking for a safe and reliable way to get to and from the breweries the Damn Good Beer Bus is most certainly your answer. It’s hard not to have a great time when you’re receiving VIP treatment at the breweries, brewery tours, tasting great beers, surrounded by like-minded people, fantastic tour guides, and an overall kick ass experience.

Islamorada Beer Company – South Location

Islamorada Beer Company

Florida Craft Brewery: Islamorada Beer Company – South Location

Established: October 31st, 2014

Location: 82229 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, Florida 32026

Known For: Located 82 miles north of Key West, the Islamorada Beer Company is known for their easy drinking fun in the sun beers. Whether it’s a day on the water, a day at the beach, or a day doing yard work, their beers are designed with the hot summer days of Florida in mind. Islamorada has taken the flag for session beers and run with it. If the outdoors is your playground, you are their target.

Islamorada Beer Company

Current Beer Menu: My family and I were down in the Keys for a wedding so it was a perfect opportunity to hit one of the two breweries located on Islamorada. Having reviewed the location in Fort Pierce already, I skipped their core beers to focus on what I hadn’t tried yet. Islamorada had eleven of their own beers on tap during my visit. Since I had already tried ‘Sandbar Sunday’, ‘Islamorada Ale’, ‘No Tan Lines’, and ‘Channel Marker’ during my visit to their Fort Pierce production facility and tap room I focused on the remaining seven. My first beer of the day was a coconut key lime Blonde named ‘No Wake Zone’. I got the slightest bit of both coconut and key lime. It certainly has a lot of potential. In talking to the head brewer, Stephanie, I learned that she was in the process of working on the recipe so it could be upscaled at the production facility. The coconut used is roasted in-house.

Islamorada Beer Company

The northern facility has purchased an oven to do the same. Next up was a Cascade dry-hopped mango infused Blonde called the ‘Last Flight Out’. I got a lot of mango on the nose with a just enough mango on the tongue followed by a lite hop bite. ‘Treasure Coast’ is a Vienna Lager that is sweeter than what’s normally typical for the style. That sweetness added a little something extra to a style I don’t normally care for. Their Traditional Lager, Wyland, was next. This is the beer that will act as a gateway to all things craft for the patron who stops in asking for a Budweiser. The Queen Conch Raspberry (Tart) Ale opens up as it warms bringing forth a nice dose of raspberry puree. I only got the slightest hint of tartness from the raspberries. I guess tart is listed on the menu so it doesn’t come as a surprise to someone who may not have a familiarity with all of the different nuances of craft beer. My favorite beer of the day was a vanilla coffee Stout called ‘Buzz on Charters’. I got a lot of coffee on the nose with just the slightest backing of vanilla. The taste was completely vice versa for me. The vanilla took over giving the coffee a backseat. At 6.7% abv it’s one of the bigger beers they brew. My last beer of the day was a Blonde Ale named ‘Go Fish’. It was nice, crisp and quite enjoyable.

Islamorada Beer Company

Price Range: A flight will get you four 4oz beers for $8.00. Each additional pour is $2.00. A pint will run you $6.00 across the board. Growlers in both 32oz and 64oz are offered as well. The 32oz growler glass will run you $8.00 and the fill of the growler will also cost you $8.00. The 64oz glass will run $14 and the fill will also run you $15.00.

Wine Menu: A number of styles are offered by the glass for $6.00, but come on now you aren’t there for the wine.

Food Menu/Food Trucks: Food trucks aren’t a legal form of food distribution in Islamorada just yet. Thankfully though you can have food delivered or try one of their prepackaged items. Fish dip for $7.00, hummus for $3.50, and Boar’s Head meat/cheese for $5.50.

Islamorada Beer Company

Ambiance: The Florida Keys are one of those places I visit just to get away from everything. You can feel the weight of the world slowly fall away as you cross the Miami-Dade-Monroe County line. It’s hard to miss The Islamorada Beer Co. with its brightly colored exterior. You are greeted by an explosion of neon yellow and turquoise as you walk through the front door. Some might think its gaudy, but in the Keys, it fits in perfectly with the tropical feel. Overhead you’ll hear music from bands like Sublime and Dispatch, adding to that relaxing feeling that has already taken a hold of you. Nothing, but good vibes flow through those doors. If chilling at the bar isn’t your thing Giant Jenga, a Foosball table, Giant Connect Four, and a number of board games are available to pass the time.

Islamorada Beer Company Islamorada Beer Company Islamorada Beer Company Islamorada Beer Company

Bar Seating: The bar is split into two sections and holds a total of twelve seats. There are seven tables holding four seats each, a picnic-style table, and additional seating out back.

Staff: Luckily head brewer Stephanie Harper was not only on site during my visit, but also single-handedly running the bar. Stephanie moved down to the Keys from Delaware five years ago to become a scuba instructor. The brewery became her go-to spot and she eventually started bartending while helping to brew on the side. One and a half years ago ownership sat Steph down and asked her to take over the head brewer’s position. With no formal training, she learns on the job and reads everything she can get her hands on regarding the subject. The rest, as they say, is history. Steph was a pleasure to talk to while handling the rest of the patrons. I don’t think she could be more personable if she tried. The Islamorada Beer Co. is lucky to have her. They are currently looking for additional bar help. The only prerequisites are having a bit of experience, the ability to show up on time, and arriving mostly sober. It’s a Keys thing!

Brewing System: Islamorada South brews on a two-barrel system.

Islamorada Beer Company Islamorada Beer Company

Merch: Wow, does Islamorada have merch! They devote a decent sized section in the tap room to all of the merch they offer. They offer everything from koozies, bottle openers, stickers, glasses, tumblers, bar signs, t-shirts, fishing shirts, hats, and even calendars. If you want something they most likely offer it. You can view everything they have to offer here.

Islamorada Beer Company

Membership offered: At this time nothing is offered.

Best days or time of year to go: During the week before the end of the work day is you best time to get a seat at the bar.

Regular Hours: Monday – Saturday: 12:00pm – 9:00pm and Sunday 12:00pm – 6:00pm

Happy Hour: Buy one get one pints are available Monday through Friday from 5:00 to 7:00.

Islamorada Beer Company

Fun Facts:

-Islamorada is the number one top-selling craft beer throughout the Florida Keys.

-Before opening the production brewery in Fort Pierce the Islamorada Beer Co. contract brewed at the Beltway Brewing Co. in Virginia, the Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. in New York, back to the Beltway Brewing Co., and finally to the Thomas Creek Brewery in South Carolina.

-The boat pictured below can be found in the tasting room. It is the first boat part owner Chris Trentine owned.

Islamorada Beer Company

-There were only three beers available during the grand opening. Realizing they needed another offering the partners began mixing the beers only to discover that the ‘Sandbar Sunday Wheat Ale’ and the ‘Islamorada Ale’ go very well together. The wine rep. who was on site at the time suggested calling the concoction ‘No Tan Lines’ and it stuck.

-The ‘Wyland Traditional Lager’ was named after artist Robert Wyland, who is best known as simply, Wyland. He helped brew the inaugural batch. He is a renowned marine life artist known for his Whaling Walls.

Islamorada Beer Company

Overall Rating (1-5): If you’re looking for an easy drinking session brew to take out on your fishing trip Islamorada is the beer for you. Their beers are built around the sun and fun life of the Florida Keys. I am rating the Islamorada Beer Co. a 3.75 out of 5.

What was missing: Being a fan of bigger meatier beers it’s always a letdown when a brewery doesn’t have one available. Of course in saying that the heat and humidity of the Florida Keys aren’t exactly the place you want the high abv beers. As much as I love big stouts, porters, and barleywines they aren’t my go-to styles when I’m sitting on the beach fishing.

Islamorada Beer Company

In closing, going into the review I knew Islamorada primarily focused on session brews with the oddball higher abv thrown in around the holidays. I look forward to the next trip we take down to the Keys knowing there’s a friendly spot to stop, grab a pint, and shoot the shit.

Is there something else you would like to know about the Islamorada Beer Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

J. Wakefield Brewing

Florida Craft Brewery: J. Wakefield Brewing

Established: Grand opening February 28th, 2015

Location: 120 Northwest 24th St, Miami, FL 33127

Known For: J. Wakefield Brewing is best known for theirDFPF’ (Dragon Fruit Passion Fruit) Florida Weisse Sour Ale. It is currently the #2 ranked Berliner Weissbier in the world on beeradvocate.com. First place on that list is held by Wakefield’s own ‘Miami Madness’, which is a Berliner brewed with Guava, Mango, and Passionfruit. On ratebeer.com ‘DFPF’ holds the top spot while Miami Madness is in the second spot.

J. Wakefield Brewing

Current Beer Menu: While I wasn’t lucky enough to attend Wakefield’s 2nd Anniversary party known as Wakefest I did visit the brewery the following week. As luck would have it a few of the festival beers were still available in the taproom. One of those was a Double IPA called ‘Mango Feber’. It was brewed using mango and Mosaic hops and Amarillo hops by the Swedish brewer Brewski. I got a very earthy undertone mixed with hoppy mango. Also from Brewski was a Berliner Weisse called ‘Beet Me With Passion, Honey!’ It was definitely the most interesting beer of the day. You wouldn’t think the combination of passion fruit, honey, and beets would necessarily work together, but surprisingly they did. The beets were there, but they weren’t at all overpowering. It was a really enjoyable beer. Another holdover was Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers ‘Blood Orange Sour Time’. A Wheat Lager aged in white wine barrels with Brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus. I really loved how the orange played off of the wine barrel with the added funky sour from the brett, lacto, and pedio. ‘Manatees at the Power Plant’ was next up. It was a collaboration brewed with 3 Stars Brewing Company out of Washington DC. The Berliner Weisse used Jamaican Ugli fruit and guava in the brew. This was the tartest beer of the day with a whole lot of citrus from the Ugli fruit up front and a relatively sweet finish from the guava.

J. Wakefield Brewing

The next collaboration on the board, ‘Brush’, was developed with the Swedish brewery Omnipollo. Together they brewed an Imperial Stout using marshmallows, vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, hazelnut coffee, and ancho chilis. Now I had been drinking really good beer up to this point and ‘Brush’ blew me out of the water with how good it was. I ended up having a second 4oz pour before leaving. It was everything a big stout should be. Rich, dark, and heavy. The different flavors played off of each other so well, I wish I had more of it. Next up was ‘Pi’, a Strong Ale, brewed with key limes, vanilla, and aged in bourbon barrels. This was a collaboration with Bottle Logic Brewing that pretty much came down to key lime pie in a bottle with a shot of bourbon. This was one of those beers that you either love or hate. I happened to be on the side of really loving the beer. The bourbon was a little heavy, but in time that will mellow out. I’m looking forward to seeing what six months of aging will do to the bottle I bought. The ‘UJP’ English Smoked Porter is one of Wakefield’s core beers and one I have always really liked. It’s a chocolatey lightly smoked treat in a glass. The ‘Frank White’ NE Pineapple IPA was the last collaboration on the board and was brewed exclusively for the 18th Street Bottle Shoppe in St Petersburg, FL. I got sweet pineapple up front with a tangy pineapple bite towards the end. My last beer of the day was ‘Midnight Mystery’ Imperial Stout from the Devour Brewing Co. in Boynton Beach, FL. They are a small operation, but really turn out some tasty brews.

J. Wakefield Brewing

Price Range: Flights of the core beers are $8.00 for four 4oz pours while the specialty flights will run you $12.00. 16oz pours of the core beers are $5.00 and 13oz pours of the specialty beers will run you between $7.00 and $10.00. 32oz growlers are available and during my visit ranged between $10.00 and $15.00. You may also luck out and find 4-packs of 16oz cans or 750ml bottles available in the to go fridge. During my visit I purchased a few bottles of ‘Pi’ for $25.00 a pop and a few bottles of ‘Golden Ticket’ an Imperial Stout brewed specifically for Wakefest for $20.00 apiece.

Wine Menu: Wine is not offered, but cider and craft sodas are available.

Food Menu/Food Trucks:  Food trucks are available Friday and Saturday starting at 6:00 pm and all day Sunday.

J. Wakefield Brewing

Ambiance: If you grew up loving Star Wars and comic books (like I did) then this is the brewery for you. Before walking into the taproom there is a mural of Darth Vader’s helmet on the wall. When walking inside you quickly discover that the taproom isn’t very large. I imagine on Friday and Saturday nights it gets pretty packed in there. The wall on one side of the space is covered in graffiti murals of different scenes from the Star Wars Trilogy. The wall running parallel has a floor to ceiling mural of a fire-breathing dragon painted in more of the fashion of the Far East than in the medieval style. Comic book and Star Wars figurines from Jonathan Wakefield’s own collection adorn the tap area of the bar. The room itself is well-lit by a combination of the natural sunlight pouring in through the windows and the chandeliers overhead. Music from the likes of 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre, and other artists (from when hip-hop was actually worth listening to) played overhead. For what the taproom lacks in size it makes up for in character.

J. Wakefield Brewing

Bar Seating: There are ten seats at the bar, six tables with two chairs apiece, seating along the windows, a large family style table with 12 seats, and seating outside.

Staff: During my visit, I had the pleasure of meeting both Samantha and Andrew. Samantha holds the title of Manager on Duty and has been with Wakefield since day one. Andrew had only been with Wakefield for two months after a stint at the Yard House. Both handled the bar and patrons very well. Even the ones who were just stopping in for bottles on their way to the airport who didn’t quite grasp how things worked. Samantha and Andrew made the Wakefield experience that much better.

J. Wakefield Brewing

Brewing System: J. Wakefield has a 15 barrel Brewhouse consisting of five 15 bbl fermenters, a 30 bbl and 45 bbl fermenter, two 15 bbl brite tanks, and a 45 bbl brite tank.

Merch: T-shirts for $20.00, Polo’s for $30.00, work shirts for $35, and sweatshirts for 45.00. Glasses are also available for $7.00.

Membership offered: No membership is available and there is nothing planned for the future.

Best days or time of year to go: If you’re looking for the smallest crowd possible your safest bet is between 2:00 and 4:00 pm Monday through Thursday.

Regular Hours: Monday: 2:00pm – 8:00pm, Tuesday – Thursday: 2:00pm – 11:00pm, Friday: 12:00pm – 1:00am, Saturday: 12:00pm – 1:00am, and Sunday: 12:00pm – 8:00pm

Happy Hour: Monday through Friday between 5:00 and 7:00 pm receive a dollar off from the majority of the beers.

J. Wakefield Brewing

J. Wakefield Brewing

J. Wakefield Brewing

Fun Facts:

-Every May 4th the brewery celebrates Star Wars Day or as I’ve known it to be called, May the Fourth Be With You. In 2016 The original Trilogy was shown and limited edition t-shirts were available. Patrons were also encouraged to dress the part.

-J. Wakefield Brewing is looking to build a production only brewery in Western Miami-Dade County. The plan is for it to be the largest brewery south of Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing, and twice as large as Oakland Park’s Funky Buddha Brewery. Under the plan, the capacity would be increased to 45,000 – 50,000 barrels a year.

-Jonathan Wakefield raised $112,000, during a crowd-funded campaign, to help raise money to build his brewery.

-Christmas Day of 2005 John’s wife, Natalie, gave him a $50.00 Mr. Beer Homebrew Kit. She unknowingly helped change the future of craft beer in South Florida. We owe it all to her! Thanks, Natalie!

J. Wakefield Brewing

Overall Rating (1-5): This is an easy one. I’m rating J. Wakefield Brewing a 5 out of 5. The brewery, with all of its graffiti and murals, is an interesting place to visit. The staff was about as perfect as they could be when it came to making sure the patrons were taken care of. Last but not least the beer was spot on. After a bump or two, in the beginning, Wakefield has pretty much produced nothing but winners.

J. Wakefield Brewing

What was missing: I guess if I can’t think of anything that’s a good thing right?

In closing, J. Wakefield Brewing is one of those breweries that you have to stop in and experience. I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t be disappointed by your visit.

Is there something else you would like to know about J. Wakefield Brewing? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!

J. Wakefield Brewing

Biscayne Bay Brewing Company

Biscayne Bay Brewing Company

Florida Craft Brewery: Biscayne Bay Brewing Company

Established: The Biscayne Bay Brewing Company has been brewing on-site since 2012 and distributing to South Florida since 2014. The taproom Biscayne Bay Brewing Companyofficially opened its doors on August 16th, 2016.

Location: 8000 NW 25th Street #500, Miami, FL

Known For: Biscayne Bay Brewing’s most popular offerings are their ‘Biscayne Bay Saison’ and ‘Miami Pale Ale’. The Saison was a nice attempt at the style. Unfortunately, the Pale Ale wasn’t available during my visit.

Current Beer Menu: I drove down to Biscayne Bay Brewing for a couple of reasons. First, when I was checking out their website, I saw that they listed having three barrel aged beers on tap. I thought, man this is going to be a great spot because no one has three BA beers on at once. Those beers were ‘El Roble’, a Scotch Ale aged for four months in Stranahan Whiskey barrels, ‘La Salida’, a blend of the ‘Miami Pale Ale’ and ‘Double Nine Double IPA’ aged in Breckenridge Bourbon barrels for 6 months, and ‘Buenas Noches’, their Imperial Stout aged for three months in Stranahan Whiskey barrels. Needless to say, I was looking forward to arriving and trying two of my favorite styles (Imperial Stout and Scotch Ale) and the added bonus of a barrel aged IPA. Secondly, while googling them, I discovered a Groupon for two flights, which you can find here. What could be better, right? When I sat down at the bar to put in my order I was told that not one, not two, but all three of the BA beers weren’t available. Talk about being completely let down. The lesson learned here is to never trust that whoever is in charge of the brewery website is keeping it up to date. Making a phone call should always be in order. I’ve definitely learned my lesson the hard way.

Biscayne Bay Brewing CompanyNow to what was actually available on the menu. First up, was the ‘Kaptain’s Kölsch’ an easy drinker, which is, of course, typical of the Kölsch style. Next up was the ‘Biscayne Bay Saison’. At 6.9% abv, this was a beer at the higher end of the style spectrum, but the alcohol was well hidden. It was good, but not a beer I would go back for seconds on. The ‘McDaddy Scotch Ale’ was pleasant. It was a tad sweeter than I typically look for in the style, but I enjoyed it all the same. I would have really enjoyed seeing where the Stranahan Whiskey barrels would have taken ‘McDaddy’. From the ‘Double Nine (double) IPA’ you will get grapefruit in both the aroma and on the backend when you finally get the hop bite. It was definitely very malt forward, though which I always find odd when it comes to an IPA or DIPA. Interestingly enough my favorite beer of the day was a Dunkelweizen named ‘Wendyweizen’. It was probably the best Dunkel I have had for some time. ‘La Colada’ was the last beer in my flight. It’s an English style Porter brewed with Cuban coffee. I did get a slight roastiness from the coffee but found the beer to be very light with not much body to it. If you’re going to brew with Cuban coffee the beer should pretty much jump up and bite you. ‘McDaddy’ and ‘La Colada’ were also on Nitro, but I didn’t try either one. The guest tap list, unfortunately, overpowered anything Biscayne Bay brewed in-house. With beers like Dogfish Head ‘Olde School’, Civil Society ‘Fresh’, Lagunitas ‘Brown Shugga’, Lagunitas ‘High West-ified Coffee Imperial Stout’, and M.I.A. Brew Company’s Tourist Trappe Tripel and Ultra Mix DIPA the taproom felt more like a craft beer bar than a brewery. I get the feeling Biscayne is targeting the Miami crowd who are virgins in the craft beer scene, which is why their beers seem to be a bit more on the tame side. In saying that, my opinion might have been a bit different had I been able to try one of their barrel aged offerings.Biscayne Bay Brewing Company

On a side note, they also offer three different craft cocktails. The first was a mix between ‘La Colada’ and Lindemans ‘Framboise’ called Black Forest Cake. The second was ‘La Colada’ mixed with ‘Angry Orchard Apple Cider’ called Black Velvet. Lastly, the Saison Shandy was a mix between the ‘Biscayne Bay Saison’ and ‘Angry Orchard Apple Cider’.

Price Range: When not using the Groupon a flight of four 4oz pours of their core beers will run you $8.00. Biscayne Bay’s beer ranges in price from $5.00 to $8.00 while the guest taps are between $7.00 and $10.00. The craft cocktails range in price between $6.50 and $7.00. Growlers are also available. Prefilled a 32oz and 64oz growler glass will run you $6.00 and $8.00. The fill for the 32oz is $8.00 for the core beers and $13.00 for the DIPA while a 64oz growler costs $13.00 for the core beers and $24.00 for the DIPA.

Wine Menu: Both red and white wines are available in 6oz pours for $8.00.

Food Menu/Food Trucks: Biscayne Bay invites food trucks for special events, but on normal days they offer a limited menu of items like Guacamole and chips, large pretzels, sliders, nachos, and a fancy grilled cheese. Brunch is offered both Saturday and Sunday, between the hours of 12:00 and 3:00.

Biscayne Bay Brewing CompanyAmbiance: When walking into Biscayne Bay Brewing, one of the first things you see is their emblem neatly emblazoned in silver on the wall. The 3,400 sqft taproom is very nicely put together in a nautical theme with tunes from the 90’s playing overhead. The bar is 60 feet long and inviting with the tap list rotating on a screen in front of you. There is a large chalkboard for patrons to inscribe their alcohol infused ramblings or possibly even their ‘Port of Call’. In one corner you will find arcade games while in another a domino table and Giant Jenga. There are also three tv’s for your sporting pleasure. All in all the taproom is a welcoming place to have a beer with friends.

Bar Seating: The bar holds 28 seats, six tables of varying shapes and sizes, and two separate leather seating areas. The tables use barrels as legs, which is certainly a nice touch.Biscayne Bay Brewing Company

Staff: I was greeted by Albert or Tico as he is lovingly referred to by his coworkers. After preparing my flight and after the last of the lunch crowd left Albert took me to the Brewhouse and the temperature controlled barrel room to snap a few pics. He told me a bit about the beer and the brewery and enticed my senses with a whiff of what ‘El Roble’ was releasing from the barrel. Bar Manager and Supervisor, Nick, spent a good hour or so talking about everything craft beer with myself and another patron. Including everything from where he first made his discovery of craft to his beloved Florida cellar. Biscayne Bay Brewing couldn’t ask for a better couple of guys as the face of their taproom.

Biscayne Bay Brewing CompanyBrewing System: Biscayne Bay’s Brewhouse consists of five 30 bbl fermenters (three of which can also be used as brite tanks), one 15 bbl fermenter, and one 30 bbl brite tank.

Merch: Both men’s and women’s shirts and hats are $25.00 apiece.

Membership offered: The Sons of Neptune Growler Society entitles you to a limited edition 64oz steel growler, a taproom only pub glass to use at home, an official Sons of Neptune t-shirt, which looks pretty darn cool, one growler fill per month of any core beer, 10% off all purchases in the taproom, and first access to and reservation of any new limited release beer and bottle release. All of this can be yours for the pretty decent price of $125.00 a year.

Best days or time of year to go: Tuesday and Wednesday Biscayne Bay Brewing Companyafternoon and night would be your best option if you aren’t looking for a crowded venue. Thursday night is busy for karaoke and Friday night by 8:30 is packed. I arrived at 2:00 on Friday and headed home at 4:30. The crowd was minuscule at this time and just starting to arrive as I was leaving. Be forewarned though you do not want to be on Miami’s roads heading out-of-town around 4:30.

Regular Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 3:00pm – 11:00pm, Friday – Saturday: 12:00pm – 1:00am, & Sunday: 12:00pm – 10:00pm

Happy Hour: Happy hour allows for 50% off all core beers and is available throughout the week from 3:00pm to 7:00pm.

Biscayne Bay Brewing CompanyFun Facts:

The ‘Double Nine DIPA’ is named after the double nine domino chips. It is the biggest and boldest move one can make when playing Dominoes.

Co-owner, Jose Mallea, first found his love for craft beer in Washington D.C. while working in the political arena. He later brought his new-found love for craft beer home to Miami with a dream of opening a brewery.

-The original location was going to be near Biscayne Bay, hence the name, but it did not have the available space needed for the eventual expansion. With the logo already in place, it made more sense to keep the name when the City of Doral became home.

-‘Since MDXIII’ is part of Biscayne Bay Brewing’s logo. The Roman numerals translate to the year 1513, which is when Ponce de Leon discovered Biscayne Bay.

Overall Rating (1-5): The Taproom was immaculate, attractively designed, and quite welcoming. Both Albert and Nick couldn’t have been nicer guys to interact with. Going in I had high hopes. Unfortunately, none of the core offerings really stood out (other than the ‘Wendyweizen’) and a few of them fell flat for me. I’m rating Biscayne Bay Brewing Company a 3.75.Biscayne Bay Brewing Company

What was missing: I really would have liked a chance to try the Imperial Stout since it seems to be the highest rated of their base beers. Not to beat a dead horse, but having the BA beers listed on the website and not having them available on tap also hurt. Each of them had a relatively higher rating than what was offered. Of course, one man’s rating of four is another man’s rating of three.

In closing, if you’re in the Miami area and new to craft beer gather your friends and give the Biscayne Brewing Company a shot. I think they make a great gateway brewery. I will definitely be revisiting them down the line to see how they have moved forward and to finally get my hands on the BA beers I missed out on.

Biscayne Bay Brewing CompanyIs there something else you would like to know about the Biscayne Bay Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!

Coppertail Brewing Company

The Coppertail Brewing Company

Florida Craft Brewery: Coppertail Brewing Company 

Established: August 20th, 2014Coppertail Brewing Company

Location: 2601 East 2nd Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33605

Known For: The Coppertail Brewing Company tends to brew their beers on the drier side. They brew a lot of, and some of the finer, Berliner Weiss in the state. They also focus on darker beers like porters and stouts more often than other styles. In 2015 they brewed a Dunkel (German style dark lager), which was the official beer for Tamp Bay’s Oktoberfest. It was a great representation of the style!

Current Beer Menu: My first flight consisted of Coppertail’s four core beers, which are all bottled. First up was an American style Trippel called ‘Unholy’. It was easily the hoppiest Trippel I’ve ever tried and I loved it. The ‘Free Dive’ IPA was filled with dank hops giving a lovely pine and citrus aroma. Following the hop parade was ‘Wheat Stroke’, a hoppy wheat ale meant for the hot and humid Florida summer. The 4th core beer was ‘Night Swim’, a porter boasting dark chocolate and roasted coffee. It was a nice way to end the hop fest I had just sampled. The ‘Passion Fruit HRIS’ is a Belgian style rice beer with the addition of passion fruit. This beer was all about the passion fruit for me. It came through marvelously. Hris is an Old English surname that means brushwood, which eventually became Rice over time. ‘Allusion’ was yet another deliciously hopped beer. It’s an unfiltered Pale Ale with both Amarillo and Victoria Secret hops. The only Berliner Weiss on tap was brewed with Kumquats and named ‘Quats Up’. Coppertail Brewing CompanyThe Kumquats came through effectively finishing with a very light tartness. ‘La Chasse’ is a generously hoppy Farmhouse Ale. The hops actually almost overpowered the feel of the Saison, but I was still a big fan of it. ‘Double Barrel Unholy’ takes the base Trippel and ages it separately in both rum and white wine barrels. The two are then blended together to form a blasphemous blessing for your taste buds. The white wine and rum went together surprisingly well. ‘Sometimes You Don’t’ is a Porter brewed with coconut, cacoa nibs, and vanilla. This was a Mounds liquefied into a flight glass. It was my favorite of the day alongside the ‘DB Unholy’. ‘Silver Bar’ is a hoppy Pilsner. Pilsners are definitely not a go-to for me, but this one stepped up its game. I thoroughly enjoyed it! ‘Seasonal Relief’ is a Baltic Porter brewed with both Elderberries and Goji Berries. Both berries are known anti-inflammatories so this beer must be good for you. I enjoyed the hint of berries that came through. ‘Captain Jack’s Stone Crab Stout’ is brewed with three hundred pounds of Key West caught Stone Crab claws, which are added to the brewing process in the last 15 minutes. Those few minutes are just long enough to add a bit of a salty brine to the brew. Coppertail hosts a Stone Crab dinner using part of the day’s catch that didn’t go into the brew. The Shift Manager, Jeff, mentioned the claws were absolutely delicious after being removed from the beer. That’s a beer pairing I would love to have been privy to.

Price Range: Flights are offered in four 4oz glasses. The large majority of offerings are $2.00 per, but a limited release such as the ‘Double Barrel Unholy’ will run you $3.00. A 12oz pour will range between $4.00 and $7.00. A 16oz pour available for the bulk of Coppertail’s offerings will run you $5.00. Growlers in both 32oz and 64oz are available. The growler pre-pour will cost you $4.00 and $6.00 respectably. On my visit, the pour for a 32oz ranged between $7.00 and $8.00 while a 64oz was between $13.00 and $15.00. Six packs of ‘Free Dive’ ($11.00), ‘Unholy’ ($11.00), ‘Night Swim’ ($9.00) and ‘Wheat Stroke’ ($9.00) are available along with 750ml bottles of both ‘Seasonal Relief’ ($12.00) and ‘Captain Jacks’ ($13.00). The rotation on 750ml bottles changes as their seasonal bottle offerings change.Coppertail Brewing Company

Wine Menu: Wine is only offered during private events in the upstairs loft/event space.

Food Menu/Food Trucks: Coppertail allows patrons to bring food from home or food to be delivered. They also have food trucks Tuesday through Friday from 5:00 – 10:00pm as well as Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 – 5:00pm. Coppertail has also partnered with local favorite Stein & Vine to open their second location within a 1,000 sqft space in the brewery to be called S&V Kitchen at Coppertail. The opening is tentatively scheduled for Spring 2017.

Ambiance: When pulling into the parking lot a hulking two-story 34,000 sqft building gazes back at you. There is outdoor seating on both the ground and second floors (private events only) and a mural containing two of their beer labels. Coppertail Brewing CompanyA welcoming feeling washes over you when you walk inside. I’m not sure if it’s the red brick or the natural light that was pouring in through the windows, but the warm feeling is certainly there. I’ve always loved when the time is taken to refurbish a building while still keeping the history intact. There are a number of pieces of art on the walls that were created by the same artist who designs the bottle labels. The old-time style pieces help to bring the building to life. It has certainly become one of my favorite taprooms.

Bar Seating: The bar area held 18 seats while the main floor consisted of 15 tables of various styles and seating as well as a very comfy looking L-shaped leather couch.

Staff: The Shift Manager, Jeff, handled the bartending duties while I was in-house. He has been with Coppertail for two and a half years. He was a pleasure to chat with and definitely knew what he was talking about when it came to the brewery. Bartender/Tour Guide, James, gave me a quick tour of the brewery, which gave me a chance to snap a few pictures.Coppertail Brewing Company

Brewing System: Coppertail brews on a four vessel 50 bbl Brewhouse, which was fabricated by the German company Rolec. It consists of two 50 bbl fermenters, four 100 bbl fermenters, one 50 bbl brite tank, and one 100 bbl brite tank.

Merch: Men’s and women’s t-shirts are available for between $20.00 and $22.00. Hats range between $20.00 and $25.00. They also offer a number of other products from beer soap to beanies. All of which can be seen here.

Membership offered: Nothing is offered at this time.

Coppertail Brewing CompanyBest days or time of year to go: If you’re looking for a quieter experience earlier in the week before the work crowd begins to file in for the evening should be your plan of attack.

Regular Hours: Monday – Thursday: 12:00pm – 11:00pm, Friday – Saturday: 12:00pm – 12:00am, & Sunday: 12:00pm – 7:00pm

Happy Hour: Happy hour is not offered, but for those in the biz, both Sunday and Monday nights will garner you a 20% off discount.

Coppertail Brewing CompanyFun Facts:

-President, Kent Bailey, credits his then five-year-old daughter Sophia for coming up with the Coppertail name. In conversation one evening she had mentioned a Coppertail sea monster that lived in Tampa Bay. The name stuck in his head and the rest is history.

-Head Brewer, Casey Hughes, worked with the now shuttered Key West Brewing on their bottling line while working his way up to a brewing position before the age of 21. He then moved to New Jersey to take the head brewing position at the Flying Fish Brewery where he won a number of Great American Beer Festival (GABF) medals. Eventually, the sunshine and Coppertail’s head brewer position lured him back to the great state of Florida where he belongs.

-Coppertail’s building was once home to Hellman’s Mayonnaise, an olive cannery, and a refrigeration repair shop.

The confessional located in the taproom is a play on ‘Unholy’, a seriously hopped up Trippel that would make a Trappist monk lose sleep. It’s so sacrilegious you’ll need to confess your sins after drinking one.

Coppertail Brewing CompanyOverall Rating (1-5): I have been looking forward to visiting Coppertail for a long time. Everything I tried from them before my visit from a bar or beer festival was spot on and I’m happy to say they did not let me down. The beer, staff, and atmosphere of the taproom were delightful. I’m happily rating them a 4.75.

What was missing: Coppertail had the majority of beer styles on tap with literally something for everyone. If I had to get nitpicky though they didn’t have a Barleywine or a Scotch Ale available, which are two of my favorite styles. Of course in saying that I’m just being greedy. It’s not my fault, though. It’s the ‘Unholy Trippel’!

In closing, with so many breweries to choose from in Tampa and the surrounding areas, the Coppertail Brewing Company certainly stands out. It will be hard not to stop by when I’m in town for another brewery review.

Is there something else you would like to know about the Coppertail Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!