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2019 Storm's a Brewing?

2018 brought change to the craft beer industry and 2019 will bring more. From new and different styles, different trends, business issues and more 2019 promises to be interesting to say the least. The year should show slower growth but still some, but not like 5 years ago. Overall beer sales were down sightly but craft increased by 5%.( in 2017) 2019 should continue this trend; smaller growth at the expense of the big national brewers. Local will still matter; most smaller breweries have taprooms where they can sell directly to consumers and this will continue. Taprooms are a major source of money for many. There were closings and scaling back of growth plans in 2018. Green Flash is a good example of "biting off more than you can chew". The company was foreclosed and the east coast brewery was sold. Mystery Brewing (NC), open since 2012 closed on October 31st due to lack of working capital. Still the industry chugs on...there are now over 7000 breweries nationwide. Most people live within 10 miles of a brewery. This is a huge change from just 10 years ago. Growth will now come from new customers from different groups than the past. Making the brewery taproom a fun place with different things to do will drive solid growth. The competition, even when friendly, will give us beer drinkers better quality beer and more choices. 2018 was the year of the Hazy IPA or New England IPA. These brews explode with juicy tastes and are less bitter than the traditional IPA. Almost everywhere I visited last year had a version. This years IPA will be the Brut IPA very 'dry' drinking and another evolution of the venerable IPA. The 'dryness' is accomplished using a brewers enzyme, AMG. The result is a light bodied beer with lots of hop flavor and alcohol sweetness. IPA is still the most popular style but new different styles are coming up. Pilsner and other light brews have come to craft. They were associated with the big brewers but all lager styles have now become popular in small craft breweries. The sour beer category will expand on the 'American Wild Ale' style. American brewers will change and adapt the traditionally Belgian sour styles for the new world.

In 2018 I experienced over 40 breweries which are on my 2018 page. This was a banner year and I got to see many of the above trends live. I don't have plans yet but hope to make a journey to many new breweries no matter where they are. Florida has 250 as of 2017 and I'll bet it's over 300 when the yearly stats come out from the Brewers Association. So, you don't have to go far to experience good craft breweries. To kickoff the year I hit the Jupiter festivals, as I have for many years. This year I made a pit stop at Due South Brewing in Boynton Beach. Opened in 2012 they have come a long way. Jupiter was great, even with some rain. Vero Beach is now on the craft beer map and New England plans are in the works. As I make plans and visit breweries they will be on this page. Watch this space...

Cheers, Larry

Hop Artwork
Brut IPA Artwork
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Due South Brewing Directions / Tanks

Due South Brewing - Boynton Beach, Florida

On Friday January 25th I headed to Jupiter for the weekend festivals. Along the way I stopped by Due South as I haven't been there for a while. Back in 2012 I was there for the grand opening. I have been by several times since and they have come a long way. Each time I visit there are changes and improvements that any growing business would have. The taproom has been expanded as has the entire brewery. Due South is now one of the older established breweries in south Florida; I see their brews in cans and on tap all around the area. Not only is the facility improved the beer selection and quality is up as well. There were almost 20 brews available this day; many speciality brews along with the regulars. It was early in the day so samplers were ordered. There are several IPAs which always pleases me as well as some of the Mariana Trench imperial stout from the festival the weekend before. There are several variants; mint chocolate, aged and the original. My favorite IPA was the Nun with a Chainsaw which is brewed with Amarillo, Azacca, and Idaho 7 Hops. This is a good one and also available in cans to go. The different Mariana brews all were enjoyed and some were available to go. It was good to 'catch up' with DSB and the staff was friendly and helpful to everyone. This is one of the better south Florida breweries and a must stop when traveling on I-95 as it is only 2 blocks form the highway at the Gateway road exit. Stop in for a quick brew or an entire evening; looks like fun with great beers to go with it. Website:

Field of Beers 11th inning stretch/ Fun at the festival
Photos: Got Beer? / Ready for the fest..still dry!

Field of Beers / Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival

The Field of beers was in it's "eleventh inning stretch" and the festival in it's thirteenth year. Both went well with some rain at the festival for the first time in thirteen years! The rain didn't hurt anything; people made the best of it and still had a good time. At the FOB there were 15 stations with small bites of food paired with a special beer form each brewery. There were several memorable pairings. Kurobuta Pork Sliders paired with Funky Buddha Stick Nuts, a peanut infused blonde ale that tastes like peanut butter. Nearby was festival regular Rincon Heat a local hot sauce with fresh sucked oysters. New West Palm Beach brewery, Steam Horse had a "double play" with 2 beers; a light lager and a black lager. They were paired with Bauernwurst and Grainy Mustard German potato salad. Double the pleasure... Last but not least was the "Doughnut Forget" dessert and beer pairing all the way out the third base line. As always this was one of the best festivals; it's a tough ticket but well worth the effort to attend.

The Saturday festival had new brewers and is practically all Florida beers as there are so many. In year one there were probably five; now they are the majority of breweries in attendance. Some highlights. Copperpoint Brewing had six beers and the best was A-10 Hop Hog a red IPA. That is now available in a store near you. Gulfstream Brewing of Ft Lauderdale makes best new brewery this year and one of the best. I met the owner, McKay who is from Oregon and is bringing quality Oregon brewing methods and thinking to the south Florida beer scene. I visited later (see below) and really like the taproom and top notch beers from a brewery only open for months! Quality regulars include: Cigar City, 26 degree, Salt Water, Devour, NOBO and Intercoastal of Melbourne. These all are Florida brewers of different sizes and markets. Remember the names. The band was great for the rainy day; they continued to play many familiar covers and were fun to watch. A lady taught me and Mitzie to do the "Lambada" in the pouring rain! All in good fun and the singer played different roles well. A great afternoon of good craft brews, music and fun. See you next year! Website:

Front entrance and side mural
Gulfstream Brewing Flight / Brewing Tanks

Gulfstream Brewing Company - Fort Lauderdale, FL.

At the-Jupiter festival (above) I met the owner of Gulfstream, McKay. I didn't get to try many beers as they had run out of some. This was no surprise as I would find out later. McKay is from Oregon and has brought his beer industry experience to south Florida. I appreciate his background and attitude about brewing and the business. Oregon is way ahead of us here in south Florida, beer wise. There are many details that less experienced people don't know or forget. An example is is the water at Gulfstream. They get city water from Fort Lauderdale and it isn't great for brewing. McKay and his group spent a long time just getting the water right for brewing. (An important, if not the most important element of brewing.) With this attention to detail and the background Gulfstream is brewing some of the best beer in south Florida. There are twenty brews on tap at any given time. There is something for everyone. There was a good pilsner and a hefeweizen. For me there were 4 IPA's and a red. For dark beer fans there were several porters and a sour beer as well. If you can't find something here, you probably don't like beer! My sampler has Rated R IPA, Departed Red IPA, Graphic Hazy IPA and Holograms Double IPA. The Graphic is an outstanding hazy; not too bitter, juicy (not overdone) and plenty of hops. The place has a laid back vibe and a fun crowd. Locals were friendly and everyone was having a good time. The building is an older place with a high ceiling. All of the brewing equipment is in sight and adds to the atmosphere. I have now visited twice and everyone I have brought along loved the place and we all wish it was closer to home! When is Fort Lauderdale, don't miss this one! Website:

Khoffner Brewing Taps and Brewing Area pgotos

Khoffner Brewing - Fort Lauderdale, FL

The owners of Khoffner Brewing have had "beer in their blood" since 1933! The current owner is the third generation of brewers going back to Germany and Turkey. This brewery is the third of the family's locations. Many of the beers are German styles brewed following the Reinheitsgebot, the German beer purity law. There are also some interesting ales of English organ. Located in an old industrial area of Fort Lauderdale; I almost missed it driving by. The brewery / taproom has a funky feel and there is old brewing related equipment all around. The long bar area looks right into the brewing equipment, with a small room with tables off one side. Tasters were ordered and the styles are varied. I found a hoppy ale that was tasty and my dank beer loving friends had a good selection. Several stouts were enjoyed as well as a Dunkel style dark brew. The pumpkin rye ale was out; too bad it sounds tasty. Khoffner has a local following; most of the folks we spoke to were regulars. This was later at night; they get busier just after work as many nearby workers like to come in for an after work brew or two. Overall a good visit and a decent selection of beers. No food that we could see. Website:

'Propeller' sampler tray / Brewing area Photos

LauderAle Brewing - Fort Lauderdale, FL

LauderAle Brewing can be hard to find. After going in circles it was finally spotted from the nearby street. The nearby Port Everglades and the owners marine background make the seafaring theme of the brewery appropriate. Beer names, decor; even the sampler trays look like propellers. The place looks like a lot of fun; indoor and outdoors with many events happening all the time. We were closing the place down so it was fairly quiet on this visit. There is an outdoor stage for music and other entertainment. The next day the brewery was having a super bowl party with a big screen outdoors, food trucks and specials all day. We got the last few spots on the "squares" as we left. (To no avail!) I got a sampler 'prop' with 4 brews. Monkey Road Red Ale was a hoppy red ale with good malts in the background. Hop Mess is a hoppy pale ale - a modern interpretation; almost an IPA. Immigration IPA was a New England IPA with lots of citrus tastes and aromas. This was my favorite of the night. Foxy Christmas Monkey was a dark spicy Christmas ale clocking in at 10.5% ABV. Another good Fort Lauderdale brewery with a big selection of beers all the time. An afternoon or evening here will be fun. The website ( has an updated beer list and an events page with upcoming events and food trucks.

Orchid Island Brewing Images - Outside / Sampler

Orchid Island Brewing - Vero Beach, FL

I first tried Orchid Island Brewing (OIB) back in 2013 at the Jupiter brewfest. They were just starting and trying the idea of making their beers reflect where they are from. Orchid Island was famous for the citrus grown there and that the weather favored it in not freezing ever. So, the idea was to put a bit of Orchid Island in the beers. That first year they put way too much grapefruit in an ale I tried. By the 2014 festival, the beer was greatly improved and I told them so. The people at the booth were good folks and learning the business. The brewery taproom would open later that year. Fast forward to 2019 and I (finally) made it to Orchid Island to try the beer and food. The idea of terroir is relatively new in the world of beer. OIB has nuanced it well and most beers have a bit of the island in them. The Grove to Glass project has produced some unique and tasty brews. OIB also has Farm to Table foods with local top quality food available along with the beers. I had a four beer sampler and tasted all six. The citrus is subtle and adds to the beers. My favorite was the Monster Hole Pale Ale and Star Ruby Imperial IPA brewed with ruby red grapefruit. The venue is a cool place with a fairly laid back crowd; Everyone was friendly and I met several locals who really like the place. OIB should be on any visitors list as the food and beers are great together. it's a bit off the beaten path and will worth visiting. See for menus and hours.

Pics of sampler tray and beer menu

American Icon Brewery - Vero Beach, FL

American Icon Brewery is housed in an iconic, historical building im downtown Vero Beach. Built in 1926, it was used as a diesel run power plant until the 1960's when it was replaced by a stream powered unit. The building and contents would sit for forty years including the generators. One of those generators remains as the centerpiece for the brewery taproom. It too is iconic in that it is American made and representative of a bygone era when huge industrial manufacturing dominated the country. Other icons are all around you; Elvis, Jim Morrison and several others are pictured in various areas of the brewery. AIB is a very cool place the the beer and food didn't disappoint. There is a good selection of brews of many styles. Icon IPA is the flagship and a good one. There also was Juice Box, a 'juicy' NE IPA and my favorite Island Hopper DIPA. Ticker Tape is an authentic Belgian Tripel and Hot Shot is a barrel aged Imperial stout. Of interest was Dragon's Glass a chocolate caramel lager which was copper in color, sweet and light drinking. This was different and probably quite popular. The gastropub food menu had something for everyone and went well with the beers. I appreciate the in house quality food' this makes for a better experience. AIB is a food destination too! Recently AIB has opened a satellite taproom in Ft. Lauderdale.. Website:

Pareidolia Brewing Bar / Tasting Flight Photos
Mash Monkeys Brewingr / Pareidolia Brewing Photos
Walking Tree Brewery Photos
Walking Tree Brewery Vero Beach Photos

St Patrick's Day Trifecta - 3 Brewery Tour

What better day to take a three brewery tour than St Pat's day? Having come to the Vero Beach area, after the Sebring races, two breweries were visited on the first night. (See above) There are five breweries between Vero and Sebastian so that left three for St Pat's day. Just a few years ago the area had very little to no craft beer presence. In 2019 there are now five breweries; all making good beer, most with excellent food and friendly great service all around. Sunday March 17, 2019 was a beautiful spring day; perfect for a walk / drive along the Indian River Lagoon and visiting local breweries for lunch and tasters. I was accompanied by two beer loving friends and we headed to Pareidolia Brewing Co. in Sebastian. Pareidolia was easy to find and not too busy in the ear;y afternoon. Located in an old post office building; the taproom has a 'funky' feel about it with breweriana everywhere. The bar was almost full so we took a high table facing the bar. The beer list had 12 house beers. I found four IPA's and my friends got some darker beers. My favorite was 32958 Hazy IPA which was hoppy and not too bitter. Got 12 bucks DIPA and Divot Maker IPA both were good as well. The session IPA didn't do much for me. On the dark side the appropriate Irish Stout and two porters were enjoyed. I met Lynn, one of the owners, and learned about the background of Pareidolia. She and husband Pete have lived in San Diego and the Pacific northwest and their craft beer knowledge and experience shows. A good selection of styles and pub grub that works well with everything. Try the panini grilled sandwiches; mine was great; they found panini in the northwest. A few blocks north is Mash Monkeys Brewing Company. By now, the St Pat's celebrations were in full swing. MM has a loyal local following; the brewery makes a variety of styles. Some styles are unusual but all are true to the style and the locals like it that way. Everyone had green on, the bar was full and pool tables were busy. The sampler went from light and clear to dark and opaque brews. My favorite was Barfight Irish Red and Acqua Pazza IPA. Old man's Vienna Lager was popular with several locals nearby and my friends liked the foreign extra stout. We tried every beer and the crowd was friendly. It was Sunday and many of these folks had work in the morning. The place started to clear out and we had one more brewery to get to. Back in Vero Beach is Walking Tree Brewery, located in a large old warehouse near the airport. St St Pat's day was winding down and the brewery closes at 8 on Sundays. WTB is a great brewery and has one of the coolest taprooms / buildings. Old and new work together here. Just take the wood. The rafters are original old Florida wood and the new tables are cut and polished in long swooping shaped. Nothing square or cut off. Scattered around is interesting artworks and other cool stuff. The beer list has over 25 different brews. There is something for everyone. our sample tray was an old muffin pan with five brews and a glass with crackers. Nice touch. i liked all five but the Buttonwood Hazy Imperial IPA was excellent and the St. Mulways Vitro Scotch Ale was delicious. We tried small samples of many of the beers; most were really good. I even got a 22oz to go of the Aged barnacled manatee Barleywine 2017 to go. WTB is a cool place and I would like to return with more time. It was time to head on for dinner to end a fun St. Patrick's day! Erin go bragh! See the GBL FB Album for pictures.

Backyard Brewery Images: Flight / Brewing Area
Backyard Brewery Images Bar and Area near bar

Backyard Brewery - Manchester, NH.

Backyard Brewery is a huge place. When I pulled up to the large barn like structure I walked up to where I thought the taproom was and found the brewing area. Brewer Paul was busy at work when I came in. This isn't the entrance for the lounge so I found my way around the the other side of the building. This side has a large patio area and the correct entrance. Upon entering I could see the brewery, behind glass and one on the many dining areas. I was directed back to the lounge area. This is a large area with a full bar and dining area behind. The next room also has another complete bar / dining area. Later, I spoke with a manager who told me that the place gets very busy at night. It was quiet on this Thursday afternoon. I ordered a flight of four beers. Curious Kiwi IPA was made with all New Zealand hops. We don't get too much NZ hops on the east coast and this was quite tasty. Rocket S.H.IPA is part of their single hop IPA series. This one was made with hops sourced from Gorham, Maine. It was different, but good to taste something really local. The Lazy Daze IPA is a hazy NE IPA with pineapple and other citrusy notes. Monkee Bars was a Belgian Dubbel with authentic tastes and flavor. I got a taste of Solstice; a dry hopped Saison which I enjoyed the most. I had a pint with my lunch. Backyard has a full menu and it looks good. The Haddock Chowder was excellent. It was filling and full of haddock meat. Backyard is a top notch brewery and restaurant and the facility is top quality as well. I would like a place like this near home as there is so much variety I would never get tired of it. It is only about ten minutes to the Manchester airport so it would be a great stop if waiting for a flight. A first class operation; I recommend it to anyone in that area. I finished up and headed to the airport to pick up someone and head to my family reunion about 50 miles away. Website: There are a few pictures on the GBL photo album page.

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