St Patrick's Day Beers Art       

Craft Beer Blast

March, 2013

From Larry...

Beer Festivals are popping up all over Florida. They have become a popular way for breweries to let folks sample their brews, and the people have great fun. Our local festival, Grovetoberfest, now has a sister festival:Sprung!  Sprung promises to have spring and summer brews and bar games. In the last month, there were two other festivals in the Miami area alone. Everyone is getting in on the action; next month the Brew on the Bay  craft beer and homebrew competition will be held in Key Largo. (April 4 - 6)


The "Style of the Month" for March is Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Saisons can vary depending on the brewer. They can be tart and have different herbs and spice flavor. This is another example of a style that had almost disappeared but was revived by craft brewers.


The Brewery of the Month for March is Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, CA. Known as the Holy Grail to craft beer enthusiasts, Russian River is a must visit on any trip to the Sonoma Valley. All their beers are brewery fresh and taste great. The motto at RRB is Keep Cold, Drink Fresh, Do Not Age. Hoppy beers are meant to be drunk right away. I agree and have lived by this idea for years.


The craft beer category continues to grow. New breweries are opening or being planned all over Florida. It's hard to keep track of all the new openings. A new name pops up in a blog, for example; Green Bench Brewing. Then look for the web site and another new brewery has been discovered! This one is in St Pete and has a countdown to opening on the site. A friend visited another new brewery in Odessa, Big Storm Brewery. His comments are in the Florida Brewery Corner. The 'Blast's" first guest writer! The growth continues: New Belgium Brewing is coming to Florida in July. More next month.




 Sprung Festival Poster Art       

     Sprung - Spring Beer  Fest in the Grove.

Coming March 9th to Peacock Park in Coconut Grove, Sprung is Miami's spring time beer festival. Brought to you by the same organizers as the popular Grovetoberfest, the festival will offer over 150 beers and food to enjoy with it. There will be a bar game area complete with TVs to watch the UM vs Clemson basketball game. (Who would have thought that 3 months ago?) There are different ticket levels; see the website for more details. Sprung promises to be fun; to get an idea of how it will be see my review of Grovetoberfest from last October. See you there...


Saison Ale Glass


Style of the Month 

Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Saisons are complex ales that traditionally were brewed in the winter for consumption in the summer. It is now a year 'round style and there are a variety of versions available. Originally made in Belgium and parts of France, Saisons are now made worldwide, with American brewers making many new examples of the style. A Saison will vary  from golden to deep amber in color. They are light to medium in body and malty aroma is low. There should be earthy yeast notes and a mild tartness. Herb and spice flavors are common but may not be evident. Fruitiness from fermentation can also be part of a Saison. These are interesting beers and each brewer has a different idea. Ommegang Hennepin is an American Farmhouse ale with some sweetness in character. Saison Dupont is a Belgian - brewed example. See Beer Advocate's Saison page for more listings and ratings of Saisons.


Russian River Brewing Logo
Brewery of the Month - Russian River Brewing  

Russian River Brewing, in Santa Rosa CA, is known for high quality, fresh, hoppy beers of many styles. Originally part of the Korbel Russian River winery, the brewing operation was sold to Vinnie Cilurzo and his wife Natalie in 2003. This proved to be fortuitous, as Vinnie had been involved in wine making and brewing for years. Before RRB, Vinnie brewed at the Blind Pig, an early microbrewery. Even then, his beers won awards. On the day of my visit, there were 18 different beers available. Pliny the Elder, the flagship Double IPA was enjoyed on tap as well as others. On the first Friday in February, Pliny the Younger, a triple IPA, is offered. Enthusiasts make the trek to Sonoma County to get a taste of this once a year beer. My review is on the 2012 review page. If you are in the area, plan a night at the brewpub; it's crowded but fun.

This Month
The Black Star B.I.P.A is now on tap. Steve's Dublin Over Irish Red should be on tap late next week. After that, 2X Ultra IPA should go on near the middle of March. The specialty beers continue...cask conditioned Irish Red is on now; stop by for a pint before it's gone.
Whole Foods Coral Gables  Cheers to Irish Beers! Peter will be pouring samples of Irish brews that you will want at your St Pat's party. Irish snacks will also be paired with each beer. $5. donation to the Whole Planet Foundation reserves your seat. Donations will also be accepted at the door; if space is available.
More Beer Stuff..

Wynwood Brewery brewmaster Naga is making some great beers. They are dealing with the usual red tape to get the brewery open. Follow their progress on the Facebook page. They hope to be open in late spring. 


World of Beer Dadeland turns 1 year old on March 2. there will be specials all day.

On March 19th it's Cigar City Brewing night with many CCB beers on tap


WOB Kendall will have Pilsner Urquell free glass night on Tuesday March 5th.

On March 23rd it's Brooklyn Beer night with specials on Brooklyn beers all night. 

Florida Brewery Corner
Guest Writer Jeff Pearl visited this new brewery on his trip to Dunedin Brewing's Stout festival. Big Storm is almost a year old. The brewery has a few local accounts and will grow with the addition of new equipment. Read Jeff's entire review on the 2013 review page. 

© Larry Goeser
Miami, Florida
Good Beer Larry