Growler Collection
Craft Beer Blast
May 2015
Florida Growler Edition
From Larry...


Well, they finally got it done. The dysfunctional Florida legislature, after three years, finally legalized 64 oz. growlers for take - home beer. Popular at craft breweries nationwide, growlers were not legal in Florida for a number of reasons. When the outdated bottle size law was changed in 2006, certain sized growlers became quasi - legal. This didn't include the most used size of 64 oz., used nationwide. There have been arguments for and against for years. Existing large brewers and distributors were against, and the new craft breweries and associated businesses were for it. Everything came to a head this spring when a large brewers distributor group (read: Budweiser) sued the state, claiming that the small breweries' taprooms themselves weren't really legal and wanted "clarification". It's all clear now as the bill hit the governors' desk last week. Unless the bad guys can find a way to infiltrate his, office the growler bill will go into effect July1st.

Craft beer continues to be celebrated with beer weeks, festivals and almost daily events at local breweries. American Craft Beer Week is May 11-17 with events at many small and large breweries nationwide. Asheville, aka Beer City USA, has their Beer Week May 22 - 30 with many local events. In Miami, Brew at the Zoo has it's sixth year on May 9th. That's just a few; check locally for events near you.     

The "Style of the Month" is Maibock, a German Lager style. Maibocks have a unique history and are used in May celebrations around the world. American craft brewers are discovering the style and brewing their take on this classic. 


Summer 2015 is getting close; get ready for a summer of great beer events..



Half Gallon Growler

Typical half gallon growler








           Growlers to Go 


With the growler bill passing in Florida, a few questions might come to mind. What is a growler? Where did they come from and why have them. Back in the 1880's galvanized pails were used to carry beer from the local pub to home. The beer sloshing around releasing CO2 gas, made a sound like a low growl, thus the name "growler". As packaging and laws changed, take home beer was much more available, so growlers fell from use. Modern craft brewery use began at Otto Brothers brewery in Idaho. The father and son team was looking for a way for customers to take beer home. Dad remembered taking beer to his father in growlers back in the day. With a little American ingenuity the modern half gallon growler was invented. Now people could have fresh draft beer at home. The growler could be reused and filled with different brews after cleaning. Growlers caught on and now most breweries offer some of their brews to go.

          Style of the Month



Maibock is a beer brewed for release in April and drunk at May celebrations (a German tradition). Maibocks are beers that are usually lighter in color and have more assertive hop aromatics and bitterness than other Bock beers. Bock beers originated in the Northern German city of Einbeck. In the 1600s, the Bavarians wanted to make something like these beers. Thus Bock ("Billy Goat") beers were made and became quite popular. Why? Power and finesse; Bocks are strong and malty with a smoothness developed over months of aging. Maibocks also have a noticeable maltiness and viscosity, because even though Maibocks are lighter in color, the good ones still retain the higher alcohol content of the original Bock beers. Maibocks are very similar to another strong lager style called Hellesbock, which basically means "pale" or "blond" bock.

Beer Weeks
American Craft Beer Week is May 11th - 15th. Celebrate craft brewers large and small with events all around the country. Get ideas and some great beery info at
Asheville Beer Week is May 22nd to 30th. Many events are being planned with the Beer City Festival wrapping up the week May 30th.  
Florida Breweries
Twisted Trunk Brewery is Palm Beach Gardens newest brewery. Named for a famed local tree, Twisted Truck has an extensive beer list with s good choice of styles. Owned by two locals with years of craft beer brewing experience it's sure to become a local favorite. Blast guest reviewer Jeff Pearl stopped by and got a few photos and enjoyed the brews.
Pair o' Dice Brewing is a new brewery in Clearwater, FL. I visited earlier this year. Serving hop forward brews and popular with local craft beer foks my visit was fun. Trying several IPAs and Reds I found a new favorite in the Tampa Bay area. See my review on the GBL 2015 review page. There are some photos HERE.



© Larry Goeser
Miami, Florida