Craft Beer Blast Spring Beer Glasses Art

May 2014

From Larry...

There is an old saying in Florida that goes like this: "No one is safe when the legislature is in session". The craft brewers of the state are finding this out in 2014. There is a bill, SB-1714 in the Senate, that would hurt the smallest of the state's new craft breweries. What it does is make the brewers sell their own beer at the brewery only after it has gone through a distributor. Currently, the craft brewers can sell on premises without using a distributor. This bill will increase costs and hurt the smaller guys who need that extra revenue, especially in the early start - up stages of their business. This is about on site sales only; the brewers already use a distributor for sales outside the brewery. The bill is up for a final vote this week in the Senate. There is no companion bill in the House, but this is the final week of the session where many deals are struck. The Senate president is on record as voting for "What my friend the Budweiser distributor wants me to do." This was publically stated, and the larger distributors have increased their donations in Tallahassee over the last few years. In light of this situation, I urge everyone to call their Senator's office to ask that they vote against the bill. Find out who your Senator or House Representative is HERE. It is imperative that craft beer people let their opinion be known. At this point the best we can do is kill the bill and try for a clean growler bill next year. Let your representatives in the capital know where you stand on this issue. The craft beer growth we are seeing has been phenomenal, and the new small breweries are popping up all over Florida. I look forward to the day where there is at least one brewery in every county in Florida. That probably won't happen if the big distributors of industrial lagers buy their way in Tallahassee. Update: SB 1714 passed the Senate on Tuesday. Luckily, there is no companion bill in the House. Several House members have said that the bill has no chance this late, as the session ends tonight (May 2nd) at midnight. Keep your fingers crossed! 


The "Style of the Month" for April is Belgian Blonde Ale. Belgian Blonds are the perfect spring ale; light in color and taste, a refreshing ale for the new spring days. New Belgium Brewing makes a classic example of the style. Their Spring Blonde drinks malty and sweet with a lightly bitter finish.   


The Brewery of the Month of April is Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, California and Mills River, NC. SNB was the first brewery of the month way back in October 2012. The reason they are back is a very special event they are planning for this summer. The Beer Camp across America is a rolling beer festival with 7 stops. Every craft brewer is invited and special beers will abound. I plan to attend the final event in Mills River at the new SNB brewery. So, get ready for the best summer camp you ever went to...Beer Camp!



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.






Belgian Blonde Beer Glass                      Style of the Month

              Belgian Blonde


Belgian Blonde Ale was developed before WW2 as an answer to the emerging popularity of Pilsners. Most Belgian breweries now have a Blonde ale which was derived from the original Belgian Strong Ale. The new lighter ales still retain some Belgian complexity and are higher in ABV than Pilsner. Blondes are pale to light amber with low malt aroma and flavor. European Noble hops are used, resulting in low hop aroma and flavor. It is a balanced light sweet ale, spiced with fruity esters with a low to medium body. ABV ranges from 5% to 6.2%.

American Craft beer Week Banner American Craft Beer Week
is from May 12th through the 18th. ACBW is the national celebration of America's small and independent brewers. Celebrate craft beer's impact on American culture and the enjoyment craft beer enthusiasts have for their favorite beverage. There are events all around the country; many are listed on Locally, the World of Beer locations all have something. WOB Kendall has a brewery night or special release every night of the week. See their Event Calendar for which breweries are featured. A local craft beer distributor has an event calendar for all of South Florida. It is updated with new events daily. Check to see what's happening near you. Hoist a pint of your favorite craft beer to celebrate. Cheers!
 Beer Camp Across America

In early April, Sierra Nevada Brewing announced that they had invited all the craft brewers in America (over 2800) to participate in a 7 stop travelling beer festival this summer. This celebration will be for the entire craft beer community, bringing brewers and their fans together."We're about to open a second brewery in North Carolina, and while that's exciting for us, it's an even greater reason to celebrate the future of craft brewers everywhere," explained Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada's founder. "We've watched and learned from each other for decades, and together we've seen tastes change and craft's momentum snowball. Beer Camp Across America is our way of reflecting on this-with thousands of brewers, fans and great beers. It should be pretty fun." Beer Camp Across America will feature seven stops-in cities with thriving craft beer cultures-moving geographically west to east, much like the craft movement has historically spread. Each tour stop will feature that city's local and surrounding regional brewers. The festivals will appropriately begin and end at Sierra Nevada's two brewing locations, kicking off in Chico where it took root in 1980, and culminating in Mills River, NC for the grand opening of its East Coast brewery. There will be updated and more information in The Blast up until the festival. Meanwhile, for information and tickets to any of the 7 locations see the SNB BCAA site. See you in Mills River!

2x Ultra  IPA Titanic's DIPA is back on.  The guest tap list varies; New Belgium Fat Tire and Funky Buddha Hop Gun IPA are on. 
Total Wine celebrates American Craft Beer Week with Cigar City Brewing Live, hosted by Brewmaster Wayne Wambles. Join us to sample all Cigar City Brewing core beers plus a special bonus limited release beer that will vary by store. We will also sample some Brew Bus beers that are brewed at Cigar City. This will take place at all the Florida locations on Wednesday May 14 from 7 - 9 PM. Brewer Wayne will join everyone via a live feed. He will tour the brewery and questions can be submitted during the broadcast. Cost is $15 and the tickets are limited to 28 per store. For tickets for the Kendall store or Pinecrest click on the appropriate link.  Snacks will be served.
New Breweries

Wynwood Brewery  brews are appearing all around South Florida from Jupiter to Key West. Pop and the crew will be at the Beer Camp event at Mills River this summer, representing Florida craft brewers.  It will be great to see them there!  


MIA Brewing Co.; Construction continues and they hope to open Summer 2014. See MIA's Facebook page to follow construction progress on the brewery and where MIA will be pouring beer.

Floridean Lunch and Learn Event
 Beer at a nursing home? A local rehab center The Floridean likes to do something different for it's patients. In April I did a Spring Beer pairing with a talk about brewing. The patients all loved it and the staff really came through making a dish to pair with each beer presented. Photos on the GBL FB Page.  

© Larry Goeser
Miami, Florida
Good Beer Larry