Link to Good Beer Larry hompage. Link to Good Beer philosophy page. Link to reviews page. Link to beer and food page . Link to craft beer tastings page. Our on line beer tasting review / notes
Link to beer classes information page. Link to events page. Link to the media / archive page Link to the Good Beer Larry contact page. e-mail button for Good Beer Larry

2018 All Breweries is local!

The above statement was originally political: "All politics is local" meaning that what one did for the local area is what mattered most. Today it might not be as true as years ago but in brewing local still matters. The trend of small local breweries continues unabated. These smaller craft breweries have been popping up everywhere. Florida now has over 200 breweries and more open each month. (As of 2016, the latest figures form the Brewers Association.) These breweries provide locals with jobs and patrons with fresh locally produced beer. This model will continue to work for brewers / owners of they remember to take care of the customer and offer a good fun experience in their taprooms. I have watched this growth in south Florida; witnessing our own version of beer history. Places that opened in 2012 are now 5 years old and established. Some have grown more than others. No one ever knows just how the business will evolve so there is some trial and error out there. I say keep making great beer and people will come. Add a cool taproom where they can see the brewing process and relax and enjoy and it will work. A major lesson I have seen is to be inclusive and cater to all groups. A chain of beer themed venues all closed because they only catered to a certain younger demographic. (Millennials) They forgot other people might not want ridiculous blasting music all the time in the sports themed bars. (Some of these folks might have more time and disposable income to spend than the target group.) It's a fine line but most brewery taprooms figure it out. It's been fun watching the craft beer scene here grow up. I also travel and see this everywhere. My beer blast Archives have lots of local history. I was updating them om my website and enjoyed knowing what happened to a place that was new when writing about it. The review pages provide the same insights. A craft beer bar opened in Fort Lauderdale in 2012 and now has 4 locations throughout south Florida. (Tap 42) Several breweries have grown into regional brands with great success. (Funky Buddha / Cigar City) The majority remained local, serving locals and visitors with good beer and good times.

This year I visited Cleveland, Ohio for a weekend of rock and roll and great beer. Cleveland's beer scene has grown exponentially since my last visit in 2008. Later in the summer I visited San Diego, home to over 150 breweries. I then traveled north to the pacific northwest, including Washington, Oregon and N California, This year starts with the Jupiter Festivals and ends at a new Miami Brewery, Tripping Animals with 35 plus in between! Read on to get a taste of new and old breweries. When the year was completed, Rogue Ales in Newport Oregon gets my nod for "brewery of the year". I thought my year was complete with over 40 breweries visited. I didn't know that I would 'find' 4 more is St Pete on my year end visit. When you travel remember to drink local and if we meet let's have a beer...

Cheers, Larry

Mathews Brewing Logo Art
Lincolin's Beard Brewing Artwork
Rogue Ales Logio Art
Past reviews 2006 - 2017 Click on each year. Enjoy, Larry
Barley Belgian Golden Ale Beer with Foam Head Hops Beer and Food Like Larry on Facebook
Follow Larry on Twitter
Mathews Brewing Company Lake Worth

Mathews Brewing - Lake Worth, FL

Mathews Brewing is located in Lake Worth's Artisanal district on the south side of town. The area is a mix as there are auto repair shops across the street and art galleries down the street. Parking is easy; they have neighbors that allow parking in their lots after dark and a dedicated lot just down the street. They have been open for just more-than a month; I tried the beer at the Jupiter brewfest (see below) and I wanted to visit on my way home. Entering the facility you have a complete view of the 10 bbl brewhouse, other brewing tanks, bar and taproom. There is an outside beer garden area where food trucks are available and music will be offered in the future. The brewing team is making some great brews and there are 14 available at any given time. On the wall there is a big menu board with most of the beers they make. Not all are available; there is a beer menu handout for what is on tap. A special feature of Mathews is that they have a cask beer brewing program. There are very few breweries in Florida making cask ales. The Accelerate American IPA is a really tasty one; not overly hoppy with hints of the malts in the background. A very quaffable IPA. The Heavy Metal Double IPA is drier and served in goblet style glasses. There are other IPA's that all sound good but not on tap this day. The White Goblin was a refreshing authentic Belgian witbier and the Rif Raf Porter was good as well. There are many more beers here and I would like to try more on another visit. i was with a group and everyone enjoyed the beers that had. Food was available and the cold water dispenser by the entrance is a nice touch. I recommend Mathews to anyone in the area of Lake Worth; you won't be disappointed. It would be nice to be closer to these guys; the beer recipes are looking good, are authentic and true to style. The brewery had a team of 3 that handle the brewing duties, it looks like they work well together. Looking forward to my next visit. See for more information.

From arund the Jupiter Craft Brewers festival
A beautiful day at the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival
Invasive Species Brewing (FtL) / Devour Brewing (Boynton)
Ookapow Brewing (WPB)  / Bold City Brewing (Jax)

Field of Beers / Craft Brewers Festival - Jupiter, FL

The tenth annual Field of Beers was held Friday January 27th. The event is in Roger Dean Stadium along the baselines and in the dugouts. It is limited to 375 people and has 15 stations where a beer is paired with a special food selection. The event is one of south Florida's best with beer enthusiasts and industry people enjoying the food and beer pairings. It was a beautiful late January night; cool and clear. This festival had been blessed in it's 10 years, to never have weather affect the event. As I entered the right field Swamp Head Brewing had Space Gator a quite tasty New England IPA. They really have managed to pack hoppy tastes into this "Hop Sada" This was paired with Tigers Tears a Cambodian salad mix that was quite spicy. The legend says that this could make a tiger cry! Other memorable parings: Fresh Blue Point oysters on the half shell with smoked driftwood mignonette paired with Victory Wisdom's Hour Barrel - Aged Sour Ale. This was a new idea; the fresh oysters were great. The sour ale was a surprise pairing that worked well. Twisted Trunk New England IPA went well with Split Roasted Taco al Pasto: coal roasted pork with pineapple and local hot sauce "Rincon Heat". This hot sauce is one of my favorites every year. Copperpoint Brewing's "Coxeness Monster" Imperial Stout was paired with Peking Duck Bratwurst inside a scallion pancake was in the right field dugout. Dessert was cider dipped honey mini doughnuts rolling fresh and hot out at second base. The FOB is still one of the best events in south Florida. A few vendors ran out early; they can bring more next year. See you there.

The festival was on Saturday afternoon. This was the 12th 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. A map of breweries is provided so you can find one you are looking for. Continuing with the local theme there were more local and Florida breweries this year. My idea was to try mostly new breweries that I haven't had before. Also look for special brews from all breweries. Upon entering, the first few breweries on the left had long lines so I moved forward to some that weren't as busy. I found Ookapow Brewing a nano brewery from West Palm Beach. I had a good Rye IPA and the rye malts stood out. They also had Coffee Porter and a Tripel. Nearby was Hop Life Brewing from St Lucie West. Calypso Bay Double IPA was my choice and a good one. As the festival goes on it is good to go to different areas; avoiding busy places until they let up later. Barrel of Monks of Boca was next door. They are making some of the best Belgian style brews anywhere. Tampa Bay Brewing was nearby; the Elephant Foot IPA is their beer that is distributed around the state. Swamp Head Brewery of Gainesville had Big Nose IPA and a blueberry wheat. I have known this brewery since it started and was surprised to find out that they are 10 years old and now available statewide. I can't list them all but I did stick to my idea of Florida breweries almost the entire afternoon. One exception was Sierra Nevada Brewing which now has a second brewery in western NC. The beer market has become challenging for the larger brewers but SNB is meeting the challenges. The Hazy little thing called IPA is their NE IPA and was excellent as expected. Other Florida breweries include: Cycle (St Pete), Due South (Boynton Beach), Bold City (Jax), Aardwolf (Also Jax), 26 Degrees and Saltwater. The list is growing to the point that everywhere you visit in Florida there is at least one brewery somewhere nearby. The Jupiter festival is still one of the better run, good vendors and the crowd is local and all having fun. For me is it s good weekend of beer out of town and always finding new brews to try.

Tarpon River Brewing Front Sign / Front View
Tarpon river Brewing Bar / Brewing System

Tarpon River Brewing - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Tarpon River Brewing is located south of the Tarpon River and west of the Broward county government area in downtown Fort Lauderdale. It was easy to find and there is parking all around the area. I was there on a Saturday afternoon and the place was full of people enjoying some good craft beers, along with a food menu that has many items that go well with beer. They have been open for only two weeks and already have become a place to go anytime of the day or night. I went with some friends who enjoy craft beer and like to try all the new breweries locally. The staff and patrons were all friendly and welcoming at all times. Our server, Evan, was great and gave us good service. I think the kitchen got backed up a bit but this didn't hurt our experience at all. The management couldn't have anticipated being this busy after only two weeks! That's a good problem to have. There were six beers on that day from light to dark. Some I already knew from Native Brewing and some were new. Evan said that they will have more brews as they ramp up the business. The Imperial cream ale was one we hadn't had and it was a good job on what is usually a very light beer. Good as Golden Ale was so new it was hand written on the men. My friends liked Morning Express Stout, made with coffee from the coffee house right across the street. Good job with the coffee in the background not dominating like so many. My favorite was Deflated New England IPA. A good example of the style; creamy, big juicy tastes; low bitterness and hazy as Tom Brady's memory. I had the IPA mac & cheese huge burger and now know why seating was full throughout the place. The food will be bringing folks back for sure. The burger was perfect for a mid afternoon solid meal of pub food. Our entire group liked this place and look forward to a return visit. They are already planning a third area of expansion to the rear of the property. With that and some new brews Tarpon Brewery has a bright future. Website:

Invasive Species Brewing Flights
Invasive Species Brewing Photos

Invasive Species Brewing - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

There are several breweries near Tarpon River Brewing. We found Invasive Species Brewing about 2 miles north. The area is an older part of town probably built in the 50's and 60's. It is a mix of residential and light industrial buildings. It is a nice change from the nondescript warehouse districts of today. The buildings were built at different times giving each it's own look on the street. Invasive Species taproom is a cool place. You could call it funky; there are many different local animals on the walls and hunting implements as well. Invasive wants to help people learn about south Florida's ecology and drink some different brews while doing it. The beer list is extensive with everything made there on the 5bbl system. The brewers want to make different beer; they are in charge and can do whatever they want to. You will see unusual ingredients, different styles and interpretations of them. I enjoy IPA and they had several. There were two double IPAs and a hoppy pale and regular IPA. Jessie, our beer tender, told me that the collaboration with 7vnth Sun was supposed to be an IPA but turned into a double as things got going during the collaborative process. That's OK; it was enjoyed as it was. The hoppy pale ale, Squish, was good and hoppy almost an IPA. The Double Stamp house 2xIPA was a unique version of the New England IPAs that are all the rage now. Pina Collaba IPA was another NE style with milk suger and pineapple giving it a sweet taste as the name suggests. My friends liked the dark brews; Conchita oatmeal stout with coffee added and Gypsy Jacks Porter. This is a local hangout; by the time we were leaving it was standing room only. Invasive has good character in both the brews and taproom. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by. You will find many different brews and will have something you haven't had before. Another good feature; there are no TVs here making this a friendly place to interact with your friends and neighbors.

Grove Roots Brewing Co - Winter Haven, FL Logo / Menu
Grove Roots Brewing Tanks / Beer Label Posters

Grove Roots Brewing Co. - Winter Haven, FL

Grove Roots Brewing Company is located in an historic industrial building in Winter Haven Florida. It's opening is part of an effort to revitalize the downtown area. The building houses the brewery, taproom and a newer event space. Outside is the biergarten with a food truck and fun and games for everyone. The taproom is welcoming and friendly to all. I was there on a Saturday afternoon and it was already busy. I had been at the races at Sebring, with friends, and wanted to try Grove Roots on our way to Orlando. Many of the brews are inspired by the long time local citrus industry. Upon sitting at the bar we saw a familiar face. Bethany, formerly of Stone Brewing and other Florida breweries was serving. Most of her craft beer jobs involved lots of travel and many nights away from home. She really likes her job in a familiar industry and close to home. I ordered a Lip Ripper Simcoe IPA which was a tasty example using only Simcoe hops. Honey on the double was a sweet double IPA brewer using local honey. A tasting flight was also ordered and all the beers were enjoyed. Of several dark ales, Sweet Lassie Scotch Ale and 6 AM Pickers, a breakfast stout with coffee and chocolate were memorable. It was St Patrick's day and the place was getting busy. I walked around and took some pictures which can be viewed in an album on the GBL FB page. The building restoration was done well and the biergarten outside looks like fun. I met Joe, the brewer and owner who said that the place has taken off and is loved by many locals. It looks like he has a good plan here; he said that it gets busy like it was today at different times during of the week. I like his beers and thee are other styles that will be brought on when they can. We had to get going so we headed for our next stop. I really like Grove Roots and look forward to visiting next year after the races. Until then: cheers to a good friendly taproom. See you then. Website:

Sanford Brewing Log /Red Ale
Sanford Brewing Sanford, FL Flight / Taps

Sanford Brewing Co. - Sanford, FL

Sanford Brewing Company is located in the historic neighborhood of Georgetown in Sanford Florida. The building it occupies is over 100 years old and has an interesting history of it's own. For more on the location see the building page on their website. Sanford is about an hours drive from Orlando where I was staying with friends after the Sebring races. We visited a few local state parks and went to Sanford Brewing to try the beer and lunch. It was a beautiful day outside and the taproom was open to the outside. We ordered several different flights of beer and were pleased with the quality. My sampler had My Precious a New Zealand pale made with NZ hops. This was a tasty light ale, hoppy and smooth. My favorite brew was Red Otter imperial red. This 7% ABV ale was what I call the new red derived form the original reds from California in the 1990's. Some hoppy tastes, bitter with a nice malty backbone. I also had Route 46 an imperial IPA with lots of hops and a smooth sweet finish. Panty Dropper was an authentic Belgian Triple that waa right on style and the 10% ABV was not evident. There were other beers tried; everything was good and my friends enjoyed several dark beers. Among the memorable dark brews was Killa Vanilla a vanilla porter and DRT a smoked maple bacon porter. Our late lunch was great. SBC has a menu full of comfort food. MYOMAC is a mac & cheese creator where you can select the ingredients for your dish. There are burgers and lots of good bar food here. Something for everyone. Sanford is a bit off the beaten path but well worth the time to get there. That red beer was my best beer of the trip and I will return in the future. The staff was friendly and helpful and took care of every need. There are several photos posted on the GBL FB page. Website: Sanford

Masthead Brewing Cleveland, OH Taps / Flight of 4 brews
Masthead Brewing Co Brewing Area / Canning Area

Masthead Brewing - Cleveland, Ohio

In mid April I visited Cleveland for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Accompanied by my friend Jim, it was a weekend of great beer and music. We arrived on a Thursday and headed right downtown for lunch and beers at Masthead Brewing Co. It was a nice day outside and we parked behind the brewery. In the parking lot we saw big cans of spent grain that probably will go to a local farmer for animal feed. Located in the historic Bryant Building, originally an auto dealership Masthead found the perfect home for their operations. Upon entering, the high ceilinged room with an open layout makes every aspect of the operation visible. Brewing, canning and cooking are all open to the room. A long bar and many tables complete the room We sat at the bar and ordered some tasters and a flight. All the brews were excellent. My flight had Midwest Red IPA a balanced brew with some fruity tastes and good maltiness as well. The Brute Force Double IPA was a very hoppy brew that hid the alcohol level (8.7%) well. The Unbound Principles Belgian Quad was tasty and true to the style. The Hazean Saison was a nice surprise; light and slightly hazy and at 7.8% it might be the highest ABV I have seen in a saison. The BBA Hazelnut imperial stout was quite tasty; aged in bourbon barrels with vanilla beans, cocao nibs, coffee and hazelnuts. These blended together well; one of the better Imperial stouts I have had. The award winning red IPA was my favorite and I had a pint with my lunch; a beer boiled brat sandwich. This is a great place and is huge; it looks like they gets busy on weekends or game nights. It is near everything downtown and should be on the list when visiting Cleveland. A great start to the weekend. Website: The site is informative but don't expect the all of beers listed there to be on as the site isn't kept up to date. No matter; whatever is on will be good. There are more pictures of my visit on the GBL FB page.

Nano Brew Cleveland, OH Coaster Art
Nano Brew Cleveland, Ohio Front view / Menu

Nano Brew - Cleveland, Ohio

Nano Brew, in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, is a friendly local brewpub. The beer list is filled with great brews both local and regional. Nano Brew works together with the nearby Market Garden Brewery as a "feeder" of new or experimental beers. As the name implies, Nano is a small brewery where new and different recipes can be tried. If the response is good the new beer can then be scaled up for full production at Market Garden. There were several brews from Market Garden on the menu. Nano has a few and there were many other choices. I tried Nano El Dorado IPA which used El Dorado hops in an original recipe that used Cirta hops. This was a great beer with tropical tastes and a piney aftertaste. The Nano experimental pale ale was tasty and a 'modern' pale ale that was hoppy. As I looked at the large menu on the wall in front of me I noticed a beer from Deschutes Brewery of Oregon. They aren't in Florida but their reputation is impeccable among craft beer drinkers. The Deschutes Hop Henge Double IPA was excellent. Appropriately the Henge is listed as "experimental" on the Deschutes website. In addition to the great brews there is also some good locally sourced food here. The burgers are are local free range beef and many of the organic vegetables are locally sourced. I ejnoyed the house special chili dogs. This was two pork dogs covered with Namber chili. The chili made these; it was black bean based with chedder cheese and green onions. The dogs were great with the brew and had just a touch of spice. Looking at the menu, I would like to return to try more; both brews and food. Nano is located near many different breweries and great pubs. This area looks like it really rocks on Friday and Saturday nights. There are so many choices and great places to visit. There are more nearby breweries reviewed below. Website:

Forest City Brewing - Cleveland, Ohio Images

Forest City Brewery - Cleveland, Ohio

Forest City Brewery is located just north of the Ohio City breweries above. The building dates to the early 1900's and most everything there is reclaimed or reused from another era. The first thing a visitor would notice is the old time cooler behind the bar. It looks like it was an "icebox" back in the day. There is old time breweriana throughout the place. It was late when I visited so we didn't get to try everything but the beers tried were good. Atlantic Beer Garden, named after the place on this property from 1865 to 1915, was an English pale ale made with Ed Dorado hops. This is a newer hop variety that I have noticed at other local breweries. It gives the beer a good fruity taste and aroma. The Opening Day IPA is a balanced IPA brewed with Mosaic and Citra hops giving fruity notes and bitter aftertaste. This was my favorite; I wish I had more time to try some of the others. Dark beer lovers would really like FCB as several were available. I met the owner who was welcoming and pointed out some of the classic brewery signs he had up. It was a good visit to what I would call a neighborhood micro brewery similar to many I remember from the 1990's. Proudly serving the neighborhood folks and visitors; not trying to make beer for the entire state or region. This makes it different from others; friendly and brewing some good beer for us. As spring comes the outdoor beer garden will open and things will really start to warm up. Website: More pictures on the GBL FB Page.

Great Lakes Brewing Coaster Art
Great Lakes Brewing Co Brewpub Bar / Outdoor Tanks Art

Great Lakes Brewing Co.- Cleveland, Ohio

Great Lakes Brewery Company is celebrating their 30th year of brewing this year. They have come a long way in that 30 years. I first visited in 2008 and enjoyed the beer and food. This year was great and there were a few new beers as well. The brewpub is located in the original brewery and still brews pub exclusive brews on the old syatem. The new and larger brewery is just down the street. The picture to the lower left is the brewpub bar and underneath it is the brewery. (Rollover the inage.) I had a Commador Perry IPA, a hoppy ale with a good maltiness. The IPA is one of the original beers from GLBC and remains good the this day. The Barleywine was pub exclusive and quite tasty and a good example of the style. Served in a snifter glass it went will with the cheese board from the happy hour menu. We wanted to go to an Indians baseball game and our beer tender let us know about the shuttle from the brewery to the ballpark. This is a great service; park nearby, enjoy a fresh beer and get a ride to the game. The shuttle runs all night; if you want to leave early just call and they will come get you. The Friday night game was the only game of the weekend to be played. It was almost a full house and there are all local brews available throughout the stadium. After the game I returned to GLBC and enjoyed a nightcap with several fans. Cleveland is a friendly, fun town and the locals reflect that. GLBC is a local / regional brewery with a rich local history. The brewpubs Tiger Mahogany bar is cool old piece where Elliott Ness drank. There are many more historical facts about the building and other GLBC buildings as well. See the GLBC website for more. There are several breweries within walking distance. The Ohio City area must have 12 or more. GLBC started it all and there must be room for everybody as most places were busy. I attended the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and went to a party afterwards. This was a "pop up" in a hotel lobby. I went to the bar and saw only big 3 beers. Just then a case of GLBC "Dort", a local favorite appeared. This saved the evening and I got to try the Dortmunder Gold Lager. I don't drink many lagers but this was a good one. The "Dort" is GLBC's best seller and I can see why. Light and easy drinking with malts and light hops tastes throughout. I am glad I got to finally try it. GLBC has expanded production and is now available in many markets. This is good to see but there still is nothing like getting it fresh at the brewery in Cleveland.

Market Garden Brewery Restaurant / Production Brewery
Market Garden Brewery NEIPA / Beer Board

Market Garden Brewery - Cleveland, Ohio

Market Garden Brewery is in the same neighborhood as the breweries above. There are actually two locations; the restaurant and a full modern production brewery a block away. Happy hour was just starting when I arrived. By the time I left the place was almost full. Sitting at the bar, I ordered a Triple Helix a New England IPA which was cloudy and quite "juicy" as the style tends to be. With three hop varieties, three wheats and three different hop additions this 6.8% ABV IPA is a treat for the taste buds. I also sampled several other brews and all were very good. I ordered a mushroom flatbread which was good. If it is any indication of the food here, they have a great menu. A group nearby, at the bar, was enjoying happy hour and one of the guys was part of a group that is opening a new brewery in Middleberg which is about ten miles southwest of town. Reading their plans, I think Rivals Brewing will be a success as they have already been brewing beer and it has been well received. My visit was too short; I would have liked to try more brews and see the production facility. As all of the Cleveland breweries the people were great on both sides of the bar. I didn't realize, at the time, that Market Garden distributes all around Ohio. The production brewery is a new building with the latest equipment installed. The new brewery was completed in 2016. This ownership group has several other bars and eateries around the Ohio City neighborhood. Directly across the street is The Bier Markt a Belgian beer bar. Also Bar Centro an Italian eatery. This is an impressive group of holdings and the entire neighborhood of Ohio City has many different venues for eating, drinking and fun going out places. This was on a Friday evening and things were just getting started. My party left to attend an Indians baseball game and when we returned the area was still hopping and everyone was having a good Friday night. For more pictures of Market Garden see the GBL FB page. MGB's website is

Collision Bend Brewing 2x IPA / Irish Red Ale
Collision Bend Brewing Inside and outside photos

Collision Bend Brewing Co.- Cleveland, Ohio

It was a chilly and drizzly Saturday in Cleveland. I was there to attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony that night. I came with a friend and our first stop was the hall of fame to check it out and find his brick in the sidewalk in front. We found it and stopped inside for a few minutes as the rain was picking up. We planned to come back the next day for a full tour. We then headed west on Lakeside Drive which winds around, usually right by Lake Erie. Eventually, we came to an area that looked rebuilt and the street was all brick. We were ready for a beer and something to eat. There was a circle with several places that looked good. (Oyster pub, several restaurants.) There was no parking nearby so we drove out of the circle to a side street where there was street parking. Where we parked was right in front of Collision Bend Brewing. This was a bit of luck and also how it usually works for me and beer. I had Collision Bend on a list of breweries I wanted to visit but didn't know just where it was. From this wet day we walked into a warm and dry large bar / dining room and with a patio area. We found seats at the bar and discovered some really great brews. The food proved excellent as well. We just happened to be there on the brewery's one year anniversary. I had a Clurichaun - an Irish Red ale. I have been enjoying red ales of late and this one didn't disappoint,. My next beer was Blu Lu an American Double IPA which was one of the best beers of this trip. The food is "California Street Food" (whatever that is!) and was welcome for a mid afternoon snack. The Giant Molten Meatball was tasty, stuffed with cheese and covered with marinara sauce. This was not regular 'pub fare' but a creation thought out by a good chef. CBB was voted best brewpub in America in a USA Today readers poll. Follow the link to see the press release and much more about CBB. Cleveland also came in fourth in another USA poll for "Best beer scene". I agree, Cleveland does have a great beer scene and many great beers. As most Cleveland breweries, CBB is in a building with history. The Hausheer Building was built in 1863 and was formally the Watermark restaurant. The bar was fun and we met many friendly people. Two ladies were going to breweries just as we were. Another group, which started small and grew to about 30 people, was celebrating a guys 35th birthday. Happy first birthday CBB, there will be many more! For more pictures see the GBL FB page. Brewery website:

Noble Beast Brewing Co Cleveland, Ohio Coaster / Evil Motives IPA & Taps

Noble Beast Brewing Co. - Cleveland, Ohio

After our tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame we were ready for a beer and lunch. The rains continued and now it was a downpour. In hopes of it slowing down we had a brew in the lobby. They had several local brews; I had a Fatheads IPA. We walked out to the street via a covered walkway and were looking to find a ride to Noble Beast, which was only a few blocks away. A lady pulled up and asked if we worked there and I told her no but asked what was she looking for. She was there to pick up her cousin who happened to be the lady that I paid for my beer earlier. She couldn't call her as the HOF doesn't allow workers on duty to take calls. I went back in to let her know that she had a ride. She would be ready in 15 minutes. This was another friendly Clevelander helping us out. It turns out she was a local musician and had a gig later that evening. Meanwhile Noble Beast was looking good; a warm dry place with fresh beer and good food. It was fairly quiet here as it was late Sunday afternoon. I ordered an Evil Motives IPA which was a west coast style hoppy IPA at 7% ABV. The Cleveland Cavilers were on I didn't sense too much interest from the small crowd there. (Cleveland lost that day!) The entire bar / table area is open along with the kitchen and brewing areas. I ordered the "Mousetrap" a snack tray with local meats and cheeses. The wings were outstanding as we got them "dry rubbed" which made them almost grease free but still tasted great. I can't remember the last time I had wings and didn't have greasy fingers. I also enjoyed their version of a New England IPA. The rain continued so we ordered another beer. It really never quit so we walked back to our hotel through windy rain. However the weather didn't take away form good times and brews at Noble Beast. More pictures at the GBL FB page. The 'beast has a website at

Brew Kettle Strongsville, OH 6 way chili / TBK IPA
Brew Kettle Strongsville, OH Copper Bar / Beer Menu

The Brew Kettle - Strongsville, Ohio

The Brew Kettle is a great combination of brewery, full restaurant and brew on premises. I visited back in 2008 and they are bigger and better in many ways. In 2008 they had one location and were already over ten years old. Now, there are several locations and a production brewery. The Brew Kettle brand is all over the Cleveland area. I enjoyed thier IPA at an Indians game and saw the brews in several other places. The Strongsville location has grown to include most of the storefront building that has several units. There is a new expanded room for parties and overflow from the original bar. As before the bar area is long and narrow and the brewing area in at the back. There was brewing going on when I walked back; people were brewing, transferring to tanks and capping the final product. There is a long waiting list to do your own brewing. They were busy the bar was almost full. I started with a White Rajah a west coast IPA with lots of tropical citrus flavors with a hoppy bitter finish. The food here is excellent; my first item was the 6 way chili. It was spicy and very tasty. It was the perfect thing as it was getting cooler outside. I tried several brews; the El Lupulo Libre which is an imperial IPA brewed with several hop varieties and using Vienna malt which is unusual for an IPA. It did give it a nice smooth finish and the alcohol was not evident. Marion, our beer tender, was helpful with beer choices and gave good friendly service. A meatloaf grinder and 'Rounding Third another local Red ale finished the evening. The Brew Kettle was the last brewery we would visit as the flight out was the next morning. We were presently surprised to find snow on the ground the next morning. Winter lasted longer than normal this year and the snow had no impact on the flight out. I like the Brew Kettle and would return if I am in the area. It is only a few miles from the airport so it would be a good start any Cleveland visit. I posted a few more pictures on the GBL FB page. Website:

Mad Beach Photos - Outside and large bier garden style interior.
Mad Beach Photos - Beer Flight and Interior

Mad Beach Brewing Co.- Madeira Beach, FL

If there ever was a Florida style brewery, Mad Beach is it. The location is so Florida; near the gulf with lots of places for tourists and locals alike. The St Johns inlet / pass is just south of the brewery and there is something for everyone. Mainly a great day at the beach. Coming in to Mad Beach I was amazed at the size. They could serve a couple hundred people at anytime! The place reminds me of the bier gardens / food halls that are popular in Europe. The group ordered several flights of beers to try everything. In addition to craft beer, MBB also makes mead (honey wine), ciders and sangria. My flight had six brews. Amber Ale, Madeira Vice IPA, Hop Box a hoppy plae ale, Pirate's Booty, (Orange Blossom Mead) Oaky Doohcay and Oscuro an Imperial Brown Ale. My favorite was the amber ale which had a good malty taste. The IPA was bitter and good tasting. The imperial brown was good (and strong at 9%ABV) the style isn't common; this one was good. The mead was OK but I think they should stick to beer. The other flight had several of the ciders and sangrias. The overall response was that all these were "too sweet". I sipped a few and agree. I like my beer and leave the sweet stuff for others to enjoy. The menu looks good; we had just come from lunch and didn't order food. The "Gulp Coast" craft brewery passport is a Tampa - St Pete area booklet with over 50 breweries listed. MBB is one of them and I now have the passport and need to visit the rest of the breweries from Tarpon Springs to Sarasota!. It's a rough job but someone has to do it!. I enloyed my visit and left to head to North Carolina for the next month. The website is; the core tap list in there; seasonals are listed at the brewery.I also have a few photos on the GBL FB page.

MadCo Brew House Photos
MadCo Brew House Photos

MadCo Brew House - Marshall, NC

Situated in the small rural town of Marshall, NC,. about 20 miles north of Asheville, MadCo Brew House has brought small batch craft and a cool gathering place to the area. Driving into Marshall, you are taken back in time. The town looks like it did many years ago and has buildings and signage from an earlier era. Gulf, American Motors, Phillips 66 with a Star diner. In front of the diner sits a 50's De Soto car. Most of the buildings look as they always have but are still in use; housing natural food stores, various professional services, a bank and fire department. Next to the fire department is MadCo Brew House. The building was converted for the brewery and taproom keeping it like the rest of Marshall. The front patio has an old Dr Pepper mural that has been there for years. Inside the high ceilinged tap room has bar and seating with the brew area at the back. Climb the stairs on the left to the rear outdoor patio with a great view of the French Broad river right there. Between the patio and river is a railroad line which is only feet away from the building. I was there about 2:00 and J'aime was behind the bar. Out of New York he was right at home here and was friendly with everyone. He got me samples of the house beers. The small batch brew equipment allows for some experimentation and different beers. There were several unusual styles ; Grisette made with Idaho 7 and Comet hops, and a dry hopped farmhouse ale using Simcoe and Comet hops. A Porter, Wheat ale, apricot Hefe and Southern Grit round out the house beers. There are also 10 guest beers available. The farmhouse was the best; refreshing and the hops made it tasty. I had a pint of Farmhouse along with the house specialty bratwurst. The brat was great; well worth the wait and went well with my beer. I looked around and was on the back patio when a train rolled by. This back area could be the best available when it is a bit cooler. Imagine a fall day with all the leaves in colors and sipping a good beer and taking in the view. MadCo is a great local place and well worth leaving the city for a while for a nice laid back day. i have a few pictures on the GBL FB page and MadCo's website is HERE.

Peaks and Creeks Brewing Co Brevard, NC Photos

Peaks and Creeks Brewing Co. - Brevard, NC

Peaks and Creeks Brewing Company is the fourth brewery to open in Brevard, NC. It is amazing that a town of this size can have this many breweries, but these days many small local breweries are popping up everywhere. As long as they have a good and loyal local following these breweries should thrive. Peaks and Creeks looks like they are on the way to success. Located in the old lumberyard facility in the "lumberyard arts district" many people have already found them. I was there on the fourth 'official' day of business and there were already "regulars" there. If I were local, I would be there regularly myself. It was hard to find as there is very little signage. Once I found it I went to the taproom for a sampler flight. There were ten different beers and Jon the brewer and owner was helping at the bar. My sampler was IPA and Amber ales. Both had a regular version and a imperial (stronger) version. The IPA's were both good but the amber stands out. Chunky Gal, named after a mountain in far western NC., is a great malty amber ale. This is how an amber / red ale is supposed to be. The red style was created in California in the 1990's. it was based on the English Amber style but made bigger and better as Americans have done with many other styles as well. The Super Chunk was ever better. I got a crowler to go. Jon told me that he was the brewer / co-owner at Tipping Point Brewing in Waynesville. The partnership broke up and Jon brought the brewing equipment and his brewing skills to Brevard. I enjoyed my visit and met many people on the Friday evening I was there. As Brevard folks usually are, they were friendly and enjoying their newest local brewery. There are some pictures on the GBL FB page. Website is HERE.

Update March 2019: Peaks and Creeks closed on Nov. 15, 2018. Brewer Jon had health issues and the financial strain was also an issue. Upcounrty Brewing has opened a second location here and the beer list looks great!

Fire Forge Brewery Greenville, SC Photos
Fire Forge Brewing Greenville, SC - Opening day photos

Fire Forge Crafted Beer - Greenville, SC

Fire Forge Crafted Brewing had their grand opening June, 28, 2018. I was visiting friends in town so it was good timing. My friends had heard the ads on the radio mentioning that the new brewery would open at 5:00 in downtown Greenville. We arrived just after 5 and it was a quiet start. By 6:30 there was a line to get in. The brewery is located just across from the county courthouse where many new customers will come from, I'm sure. We were greeted by a fitrendly and outgoing staff and ordered samplers at the bar and got a table. FFCB was the last brewery we visited and the most enjoyed. My sampler had four beers and the Spinto Santo IPA was voted the best at our table. Other beers were Sunshine of Your Love Cream Ale which was a nice smooth version of the style. Fires of Helles was a Helles Bock, a style I don't see to much. It was light with some hoppiness n the background. The Summer Solstice was a Saison brewed using local ingredients. The word was out and the crowd was starting to expand. Where we were able to walk up and order was now a line with ten people. I met Nicole who is part owner along with her husband the brewer. She asked how we found out about the new brewery and wondered what we thought. I appreciated the personal touch on such a busy day. This was good in several ways; she meets some of the new customers and gets feedback on how the ads etc. worked. There is plenty of outside seating at tables crafted from old wire reals and regular picnic tables. Inside has several different areas; the bar, short tables near the bar and an area that looks like a living room at your house. Very cool decor with deer antlers and lamps just like home. The taps are each unique using old tools and bones for the handles. I have some pictures on the GBL FB page and the taps are there. FFCB is off to a great start and I look forward to returning this fall to see how things are going. Also to try some new beers as they plan to make many special brews in the future. Overall a great first day. View more photos on the GBL FB page.

Coronado Brewing Images - Coaster / In the brewhouse
Coronado Brewing All IPA Flight (Love that!) / Bar w/ tanks behind

Coronado Brewing - Coronado, Calif.

Coronado Brewing has been one of my favorites since I tried several of their beers in Florida. Those beers, especially Idiot IPA, were enjoyed while I could get them. Unfortunately, Coronado is no longer in Florida. So, a chance to try some of their brews fresh from the brewery was not to be missed. I visited San Diego for a few days and found that there are 153 breweries in the metro area. This is incredible as the area population is similar to south Florida and there are less than 60 here. We have work to do! I took the ferry to Coronado with a local friend who said it would be a good way to get there. This proved to be a great idea. The ride over and back allowed me to see the city around the harbor, local landmarks, as well as Navy ships and many other vessels. After lunch at the Coronado Hotel, a classic old hotel that has hosted presidents and celebrities for years, it was time to get to Coronado Brewing. The Coronado location is a brewpub with a varied menu and over 20 fresh beers on tap. The place has a laid back "island" atmosphere and was busy this mid afternoon. IPA's are big everywhere on the west coast and Coronado didn't disappoint. My sampler of 5 beers were all IPA's!. 22nd anniversary IPA was a double with massive tropical fruits flavors and aromas. It was an easy drinking 8.5% ABV; the alcohol was not evident. (True of all of Coronado's stronger ales.) 92118 XPA is a "session" pale ale brewed for 92118 day on 9/21/18. (Does it only happen once?) A good lighter pale ale that had some malts going and citrus hops with a dry finish. Hello Summer was another double IPA not as bitter as the 22 anniv.; the slight sweetness of the malts helped balance out the bitterness. Island Hopper is the classic West coast IPA with piney tastes and aromas very hoppy and a nice bitter finish. Tiki Sunset IPA was brewed with experimental hops that gave it tropical tastes of coconut and tangerine Rye malts were added to make it sweeter but the tropical tastes were dominant. I was able to talk with some of the brewers who were working in the brewing area right behind the bar. They are brewing some great beers here and I will return one day. The ship was calling and we made the short walk over and headed back to town. A great start to my 3 week trip along the west coast. Many more breweries were tried but Coronado stands out. Website: Coronado More pictures on the GBL FB page.

Eppig Brewing IPA Flight / Wolf on the train

Eppig Brewing - San Diego, Calif - North Park

As I headed up "the 805" my brewery - o -meter started going nuts. I was approaching El Cajon Blvd and realized that there must be a lot of craft breweries in this area. Turns out North Park is home to 15 or more breweries. (The entire San Diego area has over 130 as stated by the San Diego Brewers Guild.) I got off and found Eppig Brewing just a few blocks west. After driving around to find parking, I found Eppig in a building that also is home to Pariah brewing. I knew that Eppig makes several great IPAs so that is where I would taste a few brews and get something to go. Sitting at the bar I saw a list of 4 different IPAs and ordered a flight with them. Each was a west coast style IPA and I liked them all. 10:45 to Denver was a great example of a hop forward west coast IPA. The Wolf Double IPA was very tasty with citrus notes and resiny, Rusty Red IPA was a favorite with some malty tastes to balance the hops. This would be a "drive by" tasting as I needed to keep moving. I noticed they offered crowlers and decided on The Wolf double IPA for later use. As it turns out the sealed can made it to my train ride north on the Coast Starlight train to Seattle a few days later. It was excellent to enjoy the best beer on the train on our way north. There are pictures of my visit on the GBL FB page. Website:

Culture Brewing Encinitas Friday night fun
Culture Brewing Solana Brewing Band / Tasting Room

Culture Brewing Co. - Encinitas / Solana Beach, CA

Culture Brewing has been open since 2013. The original brewery and taproom is in Solana Beach with two smaller satellite tasting rooms further north. I was able to visit the Encinitas taproom and the original location while in the San Diego area. The vibe is a laid back feel featuring local artists creations and an industrial style of design. I went to the Encinitas tasting room an a Friday night where they had a good crowd and the surrounding area was busy. The tasting room was like an art gallery with a small bar attached. Great selection and beer for the small space. I had a Mosaic IPA which was a tasty California IPA with citrus tastes and not too bitter. This would be my go to beer at both locations as I wanted to enjoy IPAs while in San Diego. It wasn't a long stay but I could see that the beers were enjoyed by all, living up to Culture's motto: "Classic styles done beautifully". A good visit, I could see that the downtown Encinitas area is fun on a Friday night. The following day, I visited the brewery in Solana Beach. My local friend's son was playing in the early band at the taproom. We arrived as they were setting up. The band was set up right in front of the fermenting tanks, open to the outside. It was unusually warm that day and I saw that the equipment was basically outside. Apparently, it rarely gets this hot so brewing / processing beer can be done at room temperature around San Diego. The five piece band played well featuring flute for a few songs. The overall laid back SoCal vibe and local artists in abundance really made the evening. The Mosaic IPA still was great and my visit was over too quickly. Special thanks to Rick who showed me both Cultures and gave me the local feel of the area. Website: I wish that they had even half of the beers listed on the site available! A few pictures are on the GBL FB page.

Rip Current Brewing Photos  Menu / Brewing Tanks
Rip Current Brewing Photos  - Surfboard Flight / Full bar and can collection

Rip Current Brewing - San Marcos, CA.

Rip Current Brewing is a classic San Diego brewery. Founded by two avid homebrewers who have brewed almost every style imaginable. They have some really great recipes reflecting all those years of experience. I visited the original brewery along the Hops Highway in San Marcos, CA. RCB has been around since 2012 and the place reflects the local passions. Surfing, laid back atmosphere and good beer. The menu of around 15 to 20 brews has a good variety of styles and everything I tried was excellent. Being in San Diego there were 3 IPAs (of course!) and a nice selection of other styles. I love IPAs but really like to see variety in selection especially in a smaller brewery like RCB. They had several dark brews; a dopplebock, 2 porters and a stout. Lighter beers were also represented as well as some Belgians. I ordered a flight of five which comes on a 'surfboard' holder, a cool idea for the area. It is pictured to the left. My tasters were 3 IPAs, dopplebock and a Belgian Tripel. Of the 3 IPAs Lupulin Lust Double IPA was, by far,my favorite. It was citursy with a piney aroma. Off the Lip IPA and Foggy Nelson IPA both were good; each using different hop combinations. The surprise of the day was the Delaminator Dopplebock. There aren't many dopplebock at craft breweries but this one is a winner. It's a lager and the slight sweetness was unexpected and welcome. The German style can be found in bottles from Germany but this fresh American, San Diego brewed example might show how some of the 6 month to a year old imported beers tasted when fresh on draft. Good job here; I would like to have time to sit and enjoy a pint to really appreciate this brew. The Take Off Tripel had a nice fruit taste followed by a slight spiciness. For more about the brewers and the brews see Some pictures are on the GBL FB page.

Stone Brewing - Escondido, CA.

Stone's World Bistro and Gardens is the perfect lunch spot. It is a beautiful facility; the "holy grail" for many craft beer enthusiasts. The dining area has the brewery on the left and the open garden on the right. A bright place with great food and, of course, Stone's legendary hoppy ales. My 4 IPA flight consisted of Idolatrous IPA, Delicious IPA, Scorpion Bowl IPA and Ruination Double IPA. Served in goblet glasses with room to catch the various aromas of each. Lunch was from a menu of local organic produce and high quality foods. A great stop when in San Diego. Website:

Saint Archer Brewing Co. - Encinitas, CA.

As I traveled down the "Hops Highway" and south on the PCH (US 101) I noticed a small building that was Saint Archer Brewing. Shortly I would return to find a place that had a local art gallery feel with 30 plus brews on tap. (Similar to Culture above.) I was again able to order a flight of all IPA's. This was the first Brut IPA I have tried and it was well done with good hoppiness and a dry finish. There was also a Hazy Idaho 7 (hops) IOPA, a 'regular' IPA. My favorite brew was an Imperial Red Ale which I hunt for on my beer trips. The big surprise for me is that this brewery is owned be MillerCoors. The main brewery is near the San Diego waterfront' this was a satellite taproom. I relay enjoyed the brews which means that MC has left the brewery alone to continue producing great beers. Hope it stays that way! Website:

Karl Strauss' Brewery - LA and San Diego CA.

I noticed Karl Strauss' Brewery in San Diego but didn't get to visit one of the chains 11 stores. But, the trip was only beginning; I drove to LA to take the Coastal Starlight train to Seattle. After a full day in Hollywood and the surrounding area I found the LA location near my hotel by Union Station. It was great to find it, especially on a Sunday night. KSB' LA location is a big place it wast half full on this night. Great pub foods and excellent beers. We got good service and I was able to try most of the brews. The 'hops in a row' flight was 5 hoppy beers my favorite was the Big Barrel Double IPA that was smooth, hoppy and the alcohol wasn't evident. The 'pairing appetizer' was tasty and much more that an appetizer. This was a good ending to my time in southern California. Next up Washington and Oregon. KSB Website:

Optimism Brewing - Seattle, WA.

After a great lunch at Elliott's Oyster House and dropping my brother off at his local destination, the second part of my trip was on. I now joined my friends Jeff and Art Pearl for two weeks in the Pacific northwest. We would get 'back to nature' with many hikes and sightseeing all around Oregon and Washington. Of course breweries were also on the agenda. Within a few blocks we found Optimism Brewing which turned out to be a good choice. This is located in the heart of downtown Seattle. It's a big place with a great beer selection. Several colorful flights were ordered. The B E Juicy was a fruity hoppy bright yellow ale. Dare Devil was a hoppy red ale. Moxie, named for the hops all from Moxie WA was piney and hoppy. Amplify was the double IPA and I got a crowler to go. This place looks like it gets really busy. There are two bars and plenty of seating. A good feature: Optimism includes taxes in the base prices and there is no tipping as they pay their employees a 'living wage' so no tips are required. Cool idea. Website:

Everybody's Brewing - White Salmon, WA.

The Columbia River Gorge is one of the most beautiful places around and has many great breweries. The Gorge Beer Guide has 13 local breweries that joined together to share the areas breweries with visitors. Everybody's is on the north side of the gorge in Salmon Washington. The pub, an open and friendly place, has 12 brews on tap and good food to go with them. I had a flight of 4 brews; Country Boy IPA brewed with 3 'local' hops with a nice bitterness to it. Cryo - Chronic IPA was an 'experimental' IPA. Using a cryogenic process, lupuln is extracted as a concentrated flavor / aroma powder. Everybody's is using this process in several brews and the powder is also offered with pub fare to enhance flavors. A Haze Eh? was a Canadian style hazy IPA which was bright in color and fruity in flavor. Westered Amber was malty with a balanced hop flavor. EB is bottling and canning for 'Everybody' around the pacific northwest.

Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom- Hood River, OR.

Our next stop was Double Mountain in Hood River. The taproom was busy and we were lucky to find seats at the bar. I got a 5 beer taster platter with all hoppy ales. The IRA was a red IPA with NW hops and pilsner malts to give it a malty complex character. Hop Lion had tropical tastes throughout and hints of evergreen in the finish. Hop Lava was hoppier with a good bitter finish. Citra F#ck IPA was light in color, 6.3% ABV and not as bitter as the others. Sweet Jane IPA was my favorite with 7.4% ABV and very bitter this could be a DIPA. I choose it for a full pint after my sampler was finished. My friends had samplers of the other beers and all were good. The place smelled of great pizza and I suggested that we stay for dinner since there was great beer and pizza. Alas, we had to visit an "old friend" nearby.

Big Horse Brew Pub - Hood River, OR.

Way back in 1999, I visited Hood River with my same friends. We had been 'inventing' traveling for beer; planning trips with visits to microbreweries, brew pubs and other venues that served good beer. As we approached Hood River there was one brewery on our list. That was Full Sail brewing with a tasting room directly on the Columbia river. While there someone told us about another place which was Big Horse. We visited and the view was great as was the food and beer. So, we returned this time for beer and dinner. It was dusk so we didn't get that great view but most everything was the same. I had a Pale Rider IPA which was there back in 1999. IPA's were just getting started then but this one has soldiered on all these years. It was enjoyable as was the Glazed Steel Head dinner. It was a great day hitting the 3 area breweries and we were ready to get to the hotel. We will return one day again. Website:

Mt. Hood Brewing - Government Camp, OR.

From Hood River to Mt. Hood is some of the best natural beauty this country has to offer. After a hike and several stops for pictures we found our way to Mt. Hood Brewing for lunch. The brewery is in the middle of an expansion; the construction area was fenced off and work was going on. The brewery has expanded to Portland and now owned by the Timberline Lodge where the beers are also on tap. This was a late lunch and the place was still busy. The beer selection looked good and I was able to try two of them. Timberline Tucker, named for the Tucker Sno - Cat the original snow machines used here (also built in Oregon), was a very drinkable double IPA with fruity tastes along with pine. Cloudcap was a good NW amber ale with a smooth malty finish. My fish and chips was the perfect light lunch on the road. We enjoyed the pub but needed to hit the road to Portland. Website: A few photos from this part of the trip on the GBL FB page

Deschutes Brewing - Portland OR. Public House.

The Road to Portland (US 25) leaves the beauty of the Mt. Hood area behind quickly. Before long you are going through small towns and losing elevation. We headed right to downtown and found Deschutes Public House easily. It is a very cool atmosphere there, decorated in "northwest style" with many wooden carvings all around. For a Sunday evening it was almost full, testament to the great beer and culinary 'art' of creating pub food at a high level. There is a large brewing area, behind the bar area, that produces experimental and seasonal brews for this location only. The core beers are from the main brewery in Bend. The Elk burger was made from Durham Ranch (Wyo.) meats and the beer was Oregon made, of course. Mountain Skyline IIPA was excellent with a good malt sweetness, resinous with citrus and other sweet aromas. What a great visit; I am ready to go back now! Next time several days must be spent in one of the best beer towns anywhere. Website: A few pictures of this cool pub are on my GBL FB page.

Roseburg Station Pub & Brewing - Roseburg, OR.

Part of the McMenamins chain of pubs around the Pacific NW, this location is housed in an old Railroad depot. The trains still run but no longer stop in Roseburg. After a tiring day, the dark and quiet pub was welcome. We were lucky to find an open brewery; Roseburg has several but they all are closed on Monday. The building has been restored to it's original grandeur and the pub is a good fit. Habitat for Hoppiness 2x IPA was a citrusy tropical brew made with 4 types of hops and 2 malts.. At 8% ABV and 63 IBU it pleased this hop lover. The food is good; the smoked turkey dip and soup made a good light late dinner. Website.

Wild River Brewing - Grant's Pass, OR.

Wild River Brewing is a small chain of 5 brewpubs in southern Oregon. The Grant's Pass location is the flagship and brews for several of the oher locations. The brewing area is visible as you enter the large 3 level restaurant. I was visiting a friend and we both enjoyed Jerry's IPA, copper colored with aromas of the 3 hops used. My other friends liked the Nut Brown, which is a style not found everywhere, and the Double Eagle Imperial Stout. For dinner I split a Hog Creek Class 3 pizza with Canadian Bacon and pinapple. Overall a great place to go in remote Oregon and the service, brews and food were all great. If in Grant's Pass it's the place to go! Website:

Rogue Ales - Newport, OR.

Rogue has been brewing great beers since 1988. The World Headquarters in Newport has grown into a major beer brewery along with a distillery. I have enjoyed these fine ales since the 1990's and have never had a bad Rogue! Brewer John Maier has been with Rogue since 1989. This has provided a consistent quality and a huge following - Rogue Nation. I visited Brewer's on the Bay brewpub inside the world headquarters. It has a view of Yaquina Bay and the marina below. There are 40 Rogue ales and lagers on tap along with an eclectic pub menu. It's a cool place and is a 'real' pub with various Rogue memorabilia all around. It definitely has the 'lived in' look. No ferns, Formica surfaces or pretension here. Just great beer and pub fare. My sampler of 4 brews was all IPA: 6 Hop, 7 Hop, 8 Hop and 10 Hop. All were great but the 8 Hop was the best. 6 and 7 are definitely good Rogues, the 10 is simply too strong for me so the 8 was the winner. The buffalo chicken sliders were spicy; perfect for the IPA sampler. My friends enjoyed several of Rogue's dark brews and the pub experience. It would be nice to have a place like this close to home. There are 35+ reviews on this page and Rogue takes my vote for the best. This shouldn't be taken as a slight to the rest; Rogue is just that good. Did i say I have never had a bad Rogue? Website: Photo album on the GBL FB page.

Public Coast Brewing Co.- Cannon Beach, OR.

This was another "drive by" brewery visit. I knew that we were headed to a more remote area that didn't have very many breweries so I wanted to get some fresh beer for stock. Cannon Beach is a touristy area and has much to offer. In fact I have been here on my last trip here. Public Coast is a newer brewery and has many different brews to go. It is also a pub / tasting room where you step up to the ordering area and order everything, then pick it up when you are called. It looked like to good place and the beer was as well. I was going to order a "crowler" of the Imperial IPA and my beer tender told me that they had recently canned it and that was a better deal. This turned out well and I them only opened one of the four cans when it was needed. This beer came it handy later in the trip. Website:

Seaside Brewing Co. - Seaside, OR.

Seaside Brewing is located in the old city jail of Seaside, OR. Restored with locally reclaimed wood and materials the building is now 'the place' to relax and enjoy a few brews and good food. This was a lunch stop that was too short. I had the Sneaker Wave IPA an Oregon (West) Coast IPA that was hopped well with Mosaic hops. Our table also has the "liquid Lunch" taster tray with 4 additional brews to try. All the beers are brewed using the clean local water with Tenacious Sea Vanilla Cream Ale and Laranja Tangerine IPA standing out. My turkey bacon sandwich hit the spot and was filling. The place is decorated with local historical items and pictures. Lot of cool stuff here. Alas, we were done all too soon and had to hit the road north. Website:

Three Magnets Brewing Co. - Olympia, WA.

The trip was coming to an end; we needed a late lunch around Olympia and the GPS found Three Magnets. Just off I-5, in a quaint old downtown area we found 3M. It's quite a place; 2 separate restaurants, bar and outside seating.. The menu has plenty of local fresh seafood which made an appropriate last lunch. OG Little Juice IPA was brewed with 3 hops and was tropical and "juicy" in nature. There were several other interesting brews that will have to wait until the next visit. (A Grisette and Jazz Cabbage Brut IPA.) I had local Hama Hama Oysters and steamer clams. Both were fresh and made a good mid afternoon lunch. Website:

Opening night photos

Tripping Animals Brewing - Doral, FL

On November 17th Miami's newest brewery opened. I was there for this first night and for an unadvertised event it went quite well. When I arrived I was able to get a seat at the bar; shortly that would be hard to do. For the opening they had three of their own ready and many other local breweries brews to fill out the menu. Bad Hombre IPA was the best; using Simcoe and Mosaic Hops in the 5.5% ABV brew. Next was Bandito Pale Ale with Mosaic, a well hopped pale ale. Boys in the Yard was a 'milkshake' IPA, a collaboration with nearby MIA brewing. Most of the selection was served in 5, 12 and 16oz. sized glasses. The five oz. is a good idea as you could try many different brews, choosing what you want to sample. It's a good size and the glass is shaped like an 'eye' the brewery logo. The place has a good vibe and a small band played on and off. Soon the place was packed. The surprise beer was a double IPA from Lincoln's Beard Brewing that was very good. I have never seen it there and it should be a good seller. As we were leaving a group of local beer folks opened a few bottles of Angry Chair stouts and I was able to sample yet another 'local' brewery. Website:

Pour Taproom - St. Petersburg, FL.

On my year end visit to St Pete, I discovered Pour, a small family owned chain. I have heard of a few taprooms like this but never have visited one. Pour St Pete is a fun place to play different games, neet with friends and sample many different craft brews. There are over 50 taps and wine and ciders are also offered. It was early afternoon and fairly quiet on my visit. The 'bar keep' was there to show everyone how the system worked and was helpful. He was a friendly guy and I saw him helping different people in many ways. The taps are controlled by a wristband that keeps track of your orders and you can pour any amount into your glass. I tried a few IPAs and found several that I liked. There are TVs all around, ping pong and board games are also available. This beer by the ounce idea could catch on in today's market with all the new breweries' offerings. Those looking for a different experience will find it here. Website: PourStPete

St Pete Brewing - St. Petersburg, FL.

St Pete Brewing is a small local brewery with a good selection of brews and outdoor seating on the sidewalk / street. I visited with my friend Mitzie and we tried a sampler flight of 6 beers. We both found beers we liked and all were good. St Pete covers many different styles from traditional to newer popular styles. They have brewed Resilience IPA the brew tthat over 1000 breweries nationwide brewed with profits going to help people near Chico CA affected by the "Campfire" of a few months ago. It was a winner, of course. Milos IPA is the house standard a tasty IPA with a good bitter finish. Fitzmagic 2 the return of the Fitz was their double IPA an 8.7% that was smooth and easy drinking. McCracken Scottish Ale was sweet with earthy tones. Blackbeards Revenge was an experimental beer; rum barrel aged black ale with notes of coconut. My favorite was I-275 Imperial Red; it was a good brew with different malts and hops involved. The mix worked well as the alcohol wasn't evident and the hops stood out but didn't dominate. That's the way it should be. Mitzie liked the Grateful Stout and we both enjoyed sitting outside watching the world go by and playing Jenga. (The stacked blocks game) A good local brewery to visit. Website:

Right Around the Corner Brewing Co. - St Petersburg, FL..

This was really a 'walk by tasting' as we had a beer and headed on. RATC is Florida's first arcade brewery; with many classic arcade games all around. Think Nintendo, Pac-Man and pinball games from that era. They only had three of their own brews but also had other good brews available. I got the Blow my Cartridge IPA which was good but not memorable. We stepped out on the back patio met a local guy and noticed the Dog Bar down the street. RATC is dog friendly as are many St Pete places. The Dog Bar goes to another level. We will return another time.

Cage Brewing - St. Petersburg, FL.

A few blocks away, (right around the corner!) was Cage Brewing. Another dog friendly brewery that had some good brews and plenty of things to do. It was after dark so we couldn't really see the outdoor area which has tables and a large grassy area for the dogs. Our sampler flight had several IPAs and Peppermint Patsy, a mint chocolate chip stout. The King Krush Double IPA was my favorite. Krush was tasty and very hoppy; I like a double that is lower in ABV, 7.9% here. I don't really need it much stronger to enjoy the more robust flavors of a DIPA. The beer selection had a wide variety of styles, with 20 total. Growlers to go are available as well as wine. Foosball and other board games, (Fact or Crap and more) provide different things to do while quaffing good local beers. Cage is a good local brewery with something for everyone from good brews to a night out with bands playing regularly. See their FB page for more event information.

Pinellas Ale Works- St. Petersburg, FL.

After a fun afternoon of brews and blues at 3 Daughters Brewing we discovered Pinellas Ale Works. PAW is another dog friendly brewery with a closed in patio so the dogs can run free. PAW has an extensive beer list with many styles. I appreciate this as some places have 6 to 10 and St Pete breweries all seem to have about twice that. This is good; the 'competition' between breweries is friendly and good for us beer drinkers. There will be better quality and more selection when there are so many choices. (St Pete alone has 17 on the local 'ale trail' and the entire Tampa Bay area has well over 50.) By contrast Dade county (Miami) has fewer than 20 for a larger population. PAW is set up for you to order beer and take it to where you want to sit. There is a small bar, nice high tables and the above mentioned patio. We chose the patio where well behaved dogs were having a good time along with their owners. The dog theme continues with many of the beer names. Our flight had Puppy Love, Off the Leash, Thrill Hill and Peppermint Stout. Puppy Love was an NE IPA and Off the Leash was an American IPA. Thrill Hill was a double IPA and the best for me. We enjoyed our time here and so did Tito, Mitzie's Chihuahua dog. He had fun meeting all the bigger dogs and will return again. Overall a good visit, I would like to try some the other brews; there is a decent deletion of dark brews for you dark beer fans. The up to date tap list is on their website: The photo album St Pete brewery sampler can be viewed on the GBL FB page.

Local is great if it is a great local!