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2020 The Times They are A-Changin'

The new decade will being many changes to the craft beer industry. The above title, from a Dylan song almost 60 years ago, still rings true for our industry. Every year brings change and more are in store. One lyric says change or get out of the way. (Sink or swim) True but hopefully breweries will retain their character and quality as the changes progress. As my home page says "it's all about beer". I have become more adamant about this as I see breweries make beverages other than beer. Sorry people, beer matters; not FMBs (industry speak for 'flavored malt beverages'), hard seltzer or flavored water. Many of these changes have come due to consumer preferences. This is fine but we need to keep the 'craft beer movement' going with beer! I don't buy the 'healthy' bit for these as they still contain alcohol, just not as much. Some create the drink with sugar being fermented into the final product. How 'healthy' is this? Beer, made with the 4 ingredients is still the mainstay. Adjuncts do seem to have become more acceptable in craft beers. Originally, if an adjunct 'improved'; the product it was OK. This is being stretched to include much more than fruit or vegetable additions. (Think pumpkin ales or coffee stouts) Some of these trends are national and some of the big guys have to answer to shareholders. This doesn't apply to most of the over 8000 breweries now operating in the US. Most are family owned and local. If they brew great beer people will come. If a brewery has a loyal local following they will continue on without resorting to making anything other than beer. So, in the coming year(s) there will be closings and plenty of success stories. The industry looks way different now than in 2010 and we can expect more in the new decade. Who knows what we will see in 10 years but I have a feeling it will be based on top quality, great beer. Currently, IPA is the best selling style in craft. The style is changing as brewers use new ideas and formulas for the style. The New England Hazy IPA is big as are other 'juicy' IPAs. New hops are being introduced all the time. Change happens fast here; Brut IPA's were all the rage a year ago. When is the last time you had one? Changes happening already in 2020: 40 year old Boulder Brewing is closing Jan. 18, 2020. Then there is another article about 10 new breweries that plan to open, in Denver, in 2020. This just in: Bruisin' Ales the 13 year old classic beer store in Asheville, NC is closing in late February! For the latest changes see my Twitter feed.

In 2019 I experienced over 20 new breweries which are on my 2019 page. It was a great year and included visits to several New England breweries and Greenville SC has become a great beer town. Florida and NC both have over 300 breweries. I visited a new brewery in Miami in December. I hear of more coming and the same for western NC. The year will start, once again, in Jupiter with two festivals in one weekend. I am making plans for new brewery visits this year and also will hit some old favorites. The times are a changing' but some things never change! See you at at a brewery soon.

Cheers, Larry

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Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival and Field of Beers Logos
Field of Beers 2020 Photos
Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival 2020 Photos

Field of Beers / Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival

The Field of Beers is rated as number four of the top ten beer festivals in America. I agree and think the idea of food paired with beers should be done more often. Here, the infield and dugouts of Roger Dean Stadium are taken over by 15 breweries. Each has a special beer and food pairing just for the occasion. This isn't your fathers' beer and hot dogs game here! Here are a few of the pairings. Pulled Pork Tostones, Serrano Chili, Cilantro Schmear paired with Cigar City Fancy Papers Juicy IPA. BBQ Duck Breast Lychee & Lotus Skewers with Monk in the Truck Organic Amber Ale. The Rincon Heat guys come out each year and had fresh shucked oysters which were great. (Thanks again for a sample bottle I get each year.) Rincon is the best hot sauce I have found anywhere. Bold City (Jax) had their 100th batch Centennial Barleywine paired with "Sander Clegane's" Roasted Chicken. The 'perfect pairing' "Best in Show" goes to Barrel of Monks 2019 Organic Red Ale paired with "Hunters" Chili made with a variety of meat including elk and wild boar. Dessert was Caramel Brownie Trifle paired with Copperpoint Don't Tell Reese peanut butter brown ale. of course no FOB would be complete without Cider Mini Doughnuts right next door to Copperpoint. The 12th FOB was great as they always are. The weather cooperated and so did the brewers and chefs! See you next year.

This years Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival could also be called the Hazy / NE IPA festival as most every brewery had some versions of it. I like the style and tried that if the brewery had one. Most breweries have from two to five different beers at the festival. This year was one of the best as the weather was perfect, the crowd was reasonable and the beers were great. The crowd size made it easier to get to different booths without any really long lines. As I entered first up was NOBO Brewing of Boynton Beach. Next Sailfish Brewing had Scurvy Serum Hazy IPA which worked as I didn't get scurvy! Around the corner was Hell 'n Bl;azes of Melbourne with MLB Born Hazy IPA. This one was very tasty and I would like to visit the brewery one day. The Palm Beach Draughtsmen had quite a variety of mostly Belgian styles. The Instant Trump Tripel was good and 9.5% ABV. (The joke was that you had to wash your mouth out with soap after feeling the effects!) Next Hop Life Brewing of nearby St Lucie had Zero Viz NE IPA and a Double IPA as well. I enjoyed these from a brewer that started out home-brewing and now has a taproom that I need to visit. Bone Hook Brewing of Naples was in the back corner serving a great IPA. Nearby Coppertail had Hop Skull IPA which was a good one like most of their brews. I like the old looking copper buckets they use for serving. Next was Tequesta Brewing and their two sister breweries with a hops covered table and several good brews. Honey,I got Stuck at the Bridge Hazy IPA was a good one and gets the best name of the day! Proof had Lala Land IPA and Bold City had some good beers available. Pareidolia Brewing had Rocket Sled to Buzzville IPA which had three hops and six malts which combined for a West Coast IPA. Reve Brewing of Atlantic City had It Could be an Illusion DIPA which could be true. By this time some places were running low of completely out of beer. The crowd was enjoying the day and band. Victory and Southern Tier had a big truck out in the middle which was a good spot to enjoy the last of the 20/20 festival. The music was fun and there were plenty of booths open nearby to finish the day. This is one of the better beer festivals and I have been there for all 14 of them. See you at the 15th. Website: JCBF.com There are some pictures of this day on the GBL FB page album.

Mastry's Brewing St Pete Beach Image of  Fonrt / Image of Larry, Mitzie and Tito

 

Mastry's Brewing St Pete Beach Tank Image / Taproom Taps Image

 

Mastry's Brewing Co. - St Pete Beach, FL

Mastry's Brewing Co. is in a converted gas station on St Pete Beach. I visited there, with friends on a picture perfect mid February day. The building conversion was done well with plenty of seating inside and out. Most of the former garage area is now the brewing area complete with all of the assorted tanks and storage of a small brewery. Mastry's has a good selection of styles; several that most breweries don't make. Grisette is a 'lost' style that has been rediscovered. It is from the area of Belgium along the French boarder. The style is similar to a Saison a refreshing easy drinking farmhouse ale. Another style, Bière de Garde, is from the same area; it's my Thanksgiving beer as it pairs well with most everything on the table. The Grisette was most popular at our table; My favorite was Spring Cleaning Bière de Garde. Other beers included Pineapple Pandemonium a rum barrel aged ale fermented with pineapple. Total Zero Brut IPA was easy drinking; I have almost forgotten the style as many quit making it for some reason. Boca Ciega Bay was an IPA hopped with Sultana and Idaho 7 hops. Sultana is a newer hop which went well with the Idaho 7. Wailing Winter Wind was a tasty 'autumn' ale with pumpkin and related spices. Not That Heavy Bro is a Wee Heavy Scotch Ale. At 76.4% ABV it lived up to it's name. For a small brewery to have 15 brews available is amazing. These folks have an interesting, different beer menu and it's a great place to visit as well. The menu also has some sours and other Belgian styles; there is something for everyone. Website: MastrysBrewingCo.com
Biscayne Bay Brewing Co Photos of Taps and Building
Biscayne Bay Brewing Photos around the Tap and Barrel Room

 

Biscayne Bay Brewing Co. - Doral, FL

Biscayne Bay Brewing Co is located in Doral, FL., tucked away amongst the areas many warehouses. It's just off the Palmetto expressway and NW 25th Street. After your first visit, you will know how to find it. (Hopefully) Once found the Tap and Barrel room has a wide variety of beers complete with several barrel aged selections. I have enjoyed BBB for several years and never reviewed it. My favorite beer, Siren's Saison is brewed with several types of Malts and dry hopped with French hops. Next up is the Double 9 IPA brewed with Scotch malts and 3 hops. It is the best brew they make but at 9% ABV I don't want to have too many! There are two lighter brews on the core menu; a Kolsch and a Pilsner which are both easy drinking and have more taste and character than any large corporate beers of the same style. Miami Pale Ale and La Colada an English Porter round out the core series. The limited release series have many different barrel aged stouts like Buenas Noches an imperial barrel aged stout a perfect "good night" cap. Recently there was a version of the Saison hopped with Amarillo hops. The taproom has a great happy hour daily and food specials as well. The regular food menu has many different types of bar food each with BBB's take on the item. On Taco Tuesdays BBB has become the unofficial "Mug Club West" with many of Titanic Brewing's retired mug clubbers enjoying an early evening of special tacos and half off core beers. BBB is located west of Titanic therefore the name. BBB is in many venues all over town. The latest is at Marlins Park where they will have a smaller taproom offering great beer to fans instead of the usual overpriced corporate stuff! Website: BiscayneBayBrewing.com
Unbranded Brewing Co Photos
Unbranded Brewing Co Photos

Unbranded Brewing Co. - Hialeah, FL

Unbranded Brewing Copy to come
 
 
 
 
 
 
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