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2016: Red is the new Black!

Red beers were created in Northern California in the early 1990s. This was the early days of the craft beer movement. As years went by 'everyone' had to have a red in their beer selection. As I traveled around I noticed that most brew pubs and micro breweries had a red. The style is now called American-Style Amber / Red Ale. Over the years reds declined in popularity, replaced by the ubiquitous IPA which became the "must have" for all breweries and pubs. This is still true but reds have made a great comeback in the past few years. I have always enjoyed red brews and wanted to see more of them. These new reds are 'not your fathers reds'. As Americans are prone to do the style have been made bigger and better. The original reds were a moderate beer with great malt tastes and lighter hops. Now they are stronger both in taste and ABV %. The resulting brews are tastier and many new variations have come out. Some Red IPA's have come out which is fine but these aren't reds in the traditional sense. The new reds are still malty with hops but not dominated by the hops. (As in IPA's) The new wave of reds has been expanded to include Red Ryes (using Rye malts) and imperial reds of various strengths. Many recently opened breweries now have a red in the lineup. This is great to see and as it should be. More variety and different flavors is what craft beer is all about.
The craft beer industry continues to grow and 2016 will be no different. There are now over 4000 breweries in the US with more coming. Most new breweries are local in nature and provide fresh beer for a local audience. This is a fundamental shift, going back to when breweries were mainly local and were neighborhood pubs or restaurants. This is great news as it will increase experiencing new and different breweries when traveling throughout the country. I will enjoy trying each brewers Red Ale or IPA. Each will be unique and as the style definitions are loose enough that each person interpreting them will come up with something different. If we meet out there....let's have a beer!

Cheers, Larry

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Past reviews 2006 - 2015 Click on each year. Enjoy, Larry
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10th Annual Jupiter Craft brewers Festival Logo
Field_of_Beers / Swamphead_Brewery
26_Degree_Brewing / Barley_Mow_Brewing

Field of Beers / Craft Brewers Festival - Jupiter, FL

One of South Florida's premier beer events, the eight annual Field of Beers was held Friday January 29th. The event is limited to 375 people and has 15 stations where a beer is paired with a special food selection. The event is in the dugouts and infield at Roger Dean Stadium. Some memorable pairings: Reindeer Chili with Blue spruce Cream Aigre paired with Brewzzi Sour Red ale. Nam Sod, (Thai Pork Salad) paired with Due South's Saigon Blonde which is infused with cucumber, line and jalapeño peppers.The dessert station, out by second base, had Fresh Cider doughnuts paired with Bold City Bourbon Barrel aged Stout and a Pumpkin Ale. The Field of Beers is a culinary delight and it's great to reconnect with many industry people and make new friends as well. The event quickly sold out on-line; in less than five minutes. I missed the on-line ticket nut was able to secure one just before the event. If you wish to attnd next year,check the website in mid December. See you there!

The festival was on Saturday afternoon. This was the 10h annual and the organizers really have everything down. After entering the stadium there is a wide variety of food available. The festival area is set up with tents around the perimeter and a few in the center. The number of people was right as I rarely felt crowded or had to wait too long in line. If there is a line go somewhere else and come back later. As I have done in the past, the idea was to only drink beer that I had not had before. The brewery could be one I know but try only different brews. This worked out well as the brewers try to bring different special releases and there were many new Florida breweries. Barley Mow was in it's customary spot at the entrance; love that red! 26 ° was next; they just opened in Pompano Beach. Another new Florida Brewery Pareidolia Brewing of Sebastian, FL had some good brews. Copperpoint now open in Boynton Beach had a good selection of their brews. They are making all the beer that can to keep up with emend. The day ended at New Belgium Brewing where the Citradelic Tangerine IPA was tried and enjoyed. Nice new brew from NBB, good job. The local rep was continuing a NBB tradition of mailing out coaster postcards anywhere the visitor addressed it to. Mine arrived at work about a week later. As the festival wrapped up we tried several other brews and got some as the festival was closing up. I look forward to visiting the new NBB brewery in Asheville, NC in the spring. Make your palns soon, the 12th annual festivalt will be here before you know it!

Cigar City Brewing / Founders Brewing
7venth Sun / Pareidolia Brewing

Beer Camp Across America - Tampa, Florida

With summer arriving thoughts turn to "What are we going to do this year"? This year the answer was: "Go to Camp". Not just any camp...Beer Camp! Sierra Nevada Brewing has had a version of beer camp for several years. They have decided to take it nationwide with a 'rolling festival' that would have 6 stops. In 2014 they hosted something similar and as brewers will do, it came back "bigger and better". There are 6 collaboration brews this year one from each section of the country. Participating brewers met with other brewers from the same area and came together on what unique beer they would brew for the festival and nationwide distribution. For more on the brews click HERE. I attended the Tampa festival, in Curtis Hixon Park, which went well. The planning that went in this endeavor is amazing. No long lines anywhere, plenty of great beers with emphasis on Florida and southeastern brews. There was even an app for your smartphone where you could list brews you wanted to try and review them as well. The festival was broken up into 3 main tents and the collaboration tent which had the 6 beers mentioned above and a few other special brews. I got a great start at Big Storm Brewery with a Belgian triple tasty and authentic. Right on down the line was Cigar City with their famous Hunahpu Imperial Stout an excellent Imperial Stout which I haven't had in years. Many in the first tent were Florida breweries. There are an incredible number of new breweries so plenty of new versions of many styles were had. I enjoyed Bury me Brewing, Pareidolia Brewing Company and many more. Founders Brewing had Devil Dancer triple IPA which was tasty and running out. Food trucks were at one end of the event and there was something for everyone. The event space left plenty of room for people to relax and sit down if they wanted. My final tent was the collaboration brew tent where all 6 were on tap. My favorite became the Moxee Moron Imperial Session IPA. The sunset was good to see as it cooled things off a bit. After a few more samples it was time to go. The exit was the same as the entrance; easy and fast. Thanks to all who made it happen as it was a great event enjoyed by all in my party. We also like the hotel within walking distance with shuttle if needed. View event photos.