June 2013 Beer Blast

Summer Beer Glasses           

Craft Beer Blast

June, 2013

From Larry...

It's not every day that there is a brewery opening here in South Florida. Funky Buddha Brewing is having it's grand opening on June 1st in Oakland Park. An offshoot of the original Funky Buddha Lounge, this will be a full scale brewery. Wynwood Brewing is getting close to opening and Most Wanted Brewery will open in Doral sometime this September.


In this month's Florida Brewery Corner I visit Pinglehead Brewery in Orange Park, FL. I found a really cool place serving great pizza and pouring some good beers. 


The "Style of the Month" for May is Extra Special Bitter or ESB, a classic English style made by many American craft brewers. ESB's are the highest gravity (ABV%) of a brewery's bitter offerings. They are malty with some hop character but nothing overpowering. The key with an ESB is balance.


The Brewery of the Month for June is New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, CO and (soon) Asheville, NC. New Belgium started in the early 1990's in a small storefront and now is the 8th largest brewery in the US. By 2015, they will have their new east coast production brewery up and running in Asheville, NC.


The festivals and beer events continue: The 5th annual Dunedin Brewery IPA festival is June 1st and I will be there. This festival is small and features bitter hoppy beers. Some other local breweries will be explored as well. On my recent trip to North Carolina I was able to visit Oskar Blues Brewing in Brevard, NC. The last time I was there it was a big empty building. It is now a full production brewery producing OBB's beer for the east coast. View the before and after webpages to see the progress they have made.  



 Funky Buddha Grand Opening           

     Funky Buddha Brewery Opening June 1, 2013

The original Funky Buddha Lounge, in Boca, is a cool place that makes some interesting good beers. They are small but have a big reputation. They are known for some unusual styles and flavors of beer. In addition to several traditional styles there is always something different on tap. Beer that tastes like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Bacon Maple Porter or Berliner Weiss, an almost extinct style. Always something different. The brewing proved so successful, that they decided to open a production brewery. This way they can brew more beer and distribute it regionally. The original lounge will remain open and they will continue to brew small batches of trial beers that could, someday, be produced in volume at the brewery. I visited the lounge last year; my review can be viewed on the 2012 review page. Funky Buddha Brewery will be different; they still want to provide a meeting place for friends to enjoy a few brews together. It has taken almost two years and now they are ready to open. I will visit the new place soon and have a report after. It should be a great place to visit and try some of the beer and get some to go as well. Look for Funky Buddha products at a pub or store near you soon. 

ESB Pint Glass

  Style of the Month 

 Extra Special Bitter - ESB

An English style, ESB is the highest gravity offering of a brewery's 'bitters'. Ordinary Bitter (4.0%) Special Bitter (4.5%) or Extra Special / Strong Bitter (above 4.8% ABV) are the three styles. ESB's are amber to copper in color. The aroma should be of hops and fruity sweetness. Taste is bitter but not as bitter as many have become used to in some American craft beers. Overall the malts are pronounced; usually toasty and fruity with mild carbonation. The style has been rediscovered in recent years by American brewers. In England, bitters have become synonymous with pale ale in labeling. ESB's are well balanced which is one of their finest qualities.




New Belgium Brewing Logo   Brewery of the Month - 
 New Belgium Brewing 

In 1989, Jeff Lebesch took a bike tour through parts of Europe. Many villages he visited on his bike with "Fat Tires" were famous for beer. While on that trip and back home in Fort Collins, CO. he began to get ideas. He started to brew Belgian - inspired brews in his basement. One of those beers was a Belgian Amber that he called "Fat Tire" after the fat tires on the bike he drove on that trip. In 1991 he and his wife, Kim Jordan, decided to take the basement brewery commercial. Jeff and Kim were encouraged by the response to their beers from neighbors and friends. With Jeff brewing and Kim bottling, selling, distributing and anything else that needed to be done to get the beer into the market, New Belgium Brewing was born. This was the first US brewery to brew Belgian style beers. In 1996, Belgian Brewmaster Peter Bouckaert was hired; he has had considerable influence on the beers and styles produced at NBB ever since. Today, Jeff is completely out of the business and Kim continues as CEO of a 500 employee brewery. Fat Tire is one of the best selling craft beers and NBB is the 8th largest brewery in the US. The company has a list of core values that they still live by today. Every employee is also an owner which gives everyone a stake in their company and leads to new ideas and efficiencies. In 1997, I visited Fort Collins and NBB wasn't even in the book we had to find breweries and brewpubs. When I returned in 2006 they had just completed a brand new brewery with a tap room, and offices for the business side. I was able to try some brewery - only beer and was impressed by a company where everyone likes working there. Last October, I visited the future brewery site where the old Carolina Stockyards were. See the 2012 review page for the article. When they are finished it will be a beautiful site on the river in the west Asheville Arts District. NBB beers will be in Florida by September 2013 and the new brewery will open in 2015. Website: NewBelgium.com

This Month
Dubbel Trouble Ale, a Belgian Dubbel style ale and American Wildflower Honey Wheat made with local wildflower honey and honey malts are on now. Southern Tier 2X IPA, Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and several different guest beers are now on tap. Stop by to see what's up!
Whole Foods Coral Gables: Cheers to Dad a father's day beer class. Not sure what to give dad? Taste your way to the perfect present in this new class. Wednesday June 12 at 7:00 in the Lifestyle center.Call 305-421- 9421 to reserve a spot. Free
New Breweries

Wynwood Brewery brewmaster Naga is making some one - off test beers for the brewery opening. They have signed a distributor so the beer can be sold all around South Florida. The latest opening date now is late June. Knock on wood!


Most Wanted Brewery has been around at several beer events to showcase their beers. The brewery will open in September in Doral.


4th Age Brewing is another brewery with plans to open in South Florida. Click on the link to read an interview with the owners.


Saltwater Brewery is the latest new brewery to announce their opening in South Florida. They promise to explore the "Depths of Beer" and will have a tasting room and beer garden. No further details are available; They will open in 2013. 

Florida Brewery Corner
Pinglehead Brewing Co has been brewing "Beers with Attitude" since early 2011. Located in Orange Park, FL they have a reputation for Big Beers. I visited a few weeks ago and really enjoyed the beers and pizza. Brewers Pizza is the pizza place inside the brewery. The pizza alone is worth the visit. If you are in the Jacksonville area be sure to stop by. Enjoy a fresh made pizza and brewery fresh beer too. Growlers of beer are available to go. See my 2013 review page for more.

© Larry Goeser
Miami, Florida
Good Beer Larry