Craft Beer Blast April Blast Spring Beer Art

April 2014

From Larry...

  The craft beer industry has been steadily growing for years. Some breweries have become nation - wide and would be difficult to call micro breweries. The definition of the size of craft brewers, by the Brewers Association, was upped from 2 million barrels to 6 million. There was no brewery that size, but several were getting close. There have been other tweaks to that definition over the years. The big brewers of industrial lagers have several locations and want to make the beer the same no matter where it was brewed. This way if you buy a beer in Seattle it will be the same as one bought in Atlanta. Several craft brewers are now experiencing this and are having to flavor match so the brews are consistent wherever brewed. Sierra Nevada is one of these and their new North Carolina brewery is up and running for this type of testing. The biggest issue is the house yeast which has been propagated for 33 years at their Chico plant. They can't just go buy more as it wouldn't have the years of subtle changes that happen as brewers yeast evolves. So, the yeast was brought in from out west and all the ingredients are split between the 2 breweries so the comparisons will be accurate. This is a long and tedious process but will yield the same beer from either location. There is more about the flavor matching and on opening a second brewery on SNB's blog. It is a two part article; it will be interesting when the process is completed and the various beers hit the market. If all goes well, no one will be able to tell which brewery the beer was brewed at. I look forward to trying some of the NC beer sometime soon.      


The "Style of the Month" for April is Imperial or Double India Pale Ale. It's an American interpretation of the IPA style that is bigger, bolder and more flavorful than a regular IPA. The intent of Double IPAs is usually to exhibit fresh hop flavors and aromas. DIPAs should be consumed as fresh as possible; no cellaring for these tasty hoppy, bitter ales.


The Brewery of the Month of April is Cycle Brewing of St. Pete, FL. Cycle is a cool storefront brewery in the up and coming downtown area of St. Pete. They have 12 or more brews available at any time. They also are barrel aging some brews and have them available in limited batches.


All back issues of The Blast are available on the Media / Archive page.


Enjoy the spring seasonal brews that are everywhere and support local breweries whenever possible.





Double IPA Glass                      Style of the Month

         Imperial or Double IPA


DIPAs originated with American west coast brewers. They range from gold to copper / amber in color. The ABV ranges from 7.5% to 10.5% and is evident. Malty flavors are high and hops will reflect high bitterness, flavor and aroma. The hoppiness should be fresh and lively, not harsh. Some DIPAs mask the alcohol well; the drinker needs to know what he is drinking. Many brewers now brew this style; most "hop bombs" are double IPAs. Some are so strong tasting that the names reflect what can happen. "Ruination" or "Palate Wrecker" both do just that to your palate! I like the ABV lower than 9%; anything higher is almost at wine levels.

Brew at Zoo Miami Logo 2014

Brew at the ZooMiami

The fifth annual Brew at the Zoo is on Saturday May 3rd from 7 to 11 PM. Tickets are from $35 pre-sale to $75 for a VIP area that includes more festival time and special brews and spirits. There will be national touring acts on 2 stages. More on the webpage.
Cycle Brewing Logo
  Brewery of the Month
   Cycle Brewing

Cycle Brewing is located in the downtown area of St. Pete. FL. It is one of the newer breweries in the Tampa Bay area. Brewer Doug Dozark originally was at Cigar City brewing, one of Florida's favorite breweries. After learning craft brewing at CCB, Doug started brewing his own recipes at Peg's Cantina in Gulfport. Now he has opened his stand - alone brewery. Cycle Brewing is in an older part of St Pete. where the vintage buildings are all being made into new businesses. The storefront where Cycle is located was a pharmacy; there still is a tiled area at the front door with an inlaid pharmacists symbol. The entire place is all about bikes; from the d?cor to cyclists biking to the bar. There are tables made from bike parts and bike themed items all around. The tap handles are different bike parts. When I visited recently, there were 18 beers on tap; 5 of them were barrel aged. Everyone in my group enjoyed the beers; Doug has a different take on some styles and this was appreciated. There were several original brew styles that day. His background at CCB probably helped out with the barrel aging, as it is one of the newer areas of craft beer. The place is run by a solo bartender who got us samples of most everything. I especially enjoyed one of the IPAs and the Double. Some of the barrel aged stouts were interesting too. If you are near St Pete, Cycle is a great stop; I also would like to try Pegs, where food is available along with several Cycle brews. My review is on my 2014 review page where there are links to the photos taken that day.       



2x Ultra  IPA Titanic's DIPA is back on. Dublin Over Irish Red is still there but will run out soon. Enjoy it while it lasts.  The guest tap list varies; New Belgium Fat Tire and Sixpoint Brewery's Resin DIPA are on.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden presents the Spring Garden Festival on Saturday & Sunday, April 12 & 13. Come out to the annual celebration of spring. See what is growing and enjoy crisp and refreshing spring brews in the beer garden.  
New Breweries

Wynwood Brewery  brews are appearing all around South Florida from Jupiter to Key West. Check the Wynwood Brewery Event Page to see what is going on.   


MIA Brewing Co.; Construction continues and they hope to open Spring 2014. See MIA's Facebook page to follow construction progress on the brewery and where MIA will be pouring beer. On April 8 they are supporting the FIU Law school at an event at Route 9 restaurant.

Florida Brewery Corner
Green Bench Brewing has opened in St. Pete. It is a big place with a large open window in front and a beer garden on one side. I visited with 5 friends and everyone had a great time. The vibe is cool and the beers are interesting. I wonder if Brettanomyces is the house yeast. All of the different beers had that distinctive sour taste of Brett. This wasn't just me, our entire party noticed it. We know about Brett and expect it in sour Belgian styles. See pictures on the GBL FB page.

© Larry Goeser
Miami, Florida
Good Beer Larry