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2022 Seeing Through the Haze

Once again the new year will bring many varied changes to the craft beer industry. Throughout 2021 there have been closings and mergers / accusations everywhere. The big style, once again, will be IPA; this year it's the 'Hazy' IPA. Hazy IPAs (also known as New England IPAs due to its origins in the northeast) have been building in popularity for several years and now 'everyone' has one or two of the tap list. There are already different variants of the style; DDH (Double Dry Hopped) Hazy and Double Hazy IPAs; See my 2021 page for more on double IPAs. As usual, Sierra Nevada, leads the way with Hazy Little Thing now their best seller. The 'Hazy' line has been extended with Double, Wheat and Sour versions. There is also a seasonal hazy as well. At most breweries I visited in 2021 had one or more Hazy IPAs. Hazy IPAs are less bitter than 'regular' IPAs. The IBU is lower than traditional IPAs. They also yield more of the citrusy flavors depending on the hops used. This is why they are often referred to as 'Juicy" IPAs. The haze has several sources; the use of wheat or oats for malting leaves a cloudy beer and not filtering leaves it that way. As for closings and mergers the news comes everyday. Locally, Due South Brewing, of Boynton Beach closed their door in mid December 2021. Biscayne Bay Brewing closed their taproom and brewery, in Doral. early last year. They are supposed to reopen but it hasn't happened yet. Both of these were partially due to issues with the landlords of the buildings. it's just not right to double someone's rent during the Covid pandemic. This is pure greed and I hope the buildings stay unrented for a long time. This does show the value of owning your own buildings. That way no one can determine your brewery's future. The closings / changes continue in 2022. The Jupiter Brewfest event 'Beer Under the Bridge', formally The Field of Beers, has been postponed. Supply chain issues they say. The regular festival has moved to a smaller venue but will continue. I believe that this will be reflected all over the industry. The festivals require breweries to participate and provide beer; this is a marketing function. Many smaller brewers probably don't have much of a marketing budget left. It's been a long two years, of Covid, and people are wearing out and it's hard to operate any business with little or no profit. We will see the repercussions of this for the next few years.

In 2021 I experienced over 35 new breweries which are on my 2021 page. It was a fun year and included visits to Atlanta and Wilmington, NC both of which have become great beer towns. My new companion, Maggie, was on most of these visits and instigated many great moments and new breweries to visit. All this for a wine drinker who has discovered that many of these small breweries are the real deal. Authentic folks and venues. This year will continue the adventures. First up is Birmingham, Alabama which also has a thriving beer scene. Reports will be below as it happens. I'm sure we will see through the 'haze' and things will be clearer as the year progresses. See you at a brewery soon!

Cheers, Larry

Hops Artwork for 2022 Page.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Hazy Little Thing Logo Art

Brewery Art
Past reviews 1999 - 2021 Click on each year. Enjoy, Larry
 
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Photos of Copperpoint Brewing: Taps / Out Front
Photos of Copperpoint brewing - Beer Menu / Tanks

Copperpoint Brewing Co. - Boynton Beach, FL

On the way to the Jupiter Festival weekend, I usually try to visit and try some of the local breweries. The last time I visited Due South Brewing which closed recently. Fortunately, there is another brewery, Copperpoint, nearby. I have had some of Copperpoint beers as they have been open since 2014. Copperpoint believes in using local suppliers and top quality brewing ingredients. There is more about these principles on their About page. The large brewing area is just behind the taproom bar and accessable to patrons. My favorite brew is the A-10 Hop Hog Red IPA. i have enjoyed it in cans for years; fresh on tap is even better. It's hoppy but also has a good malt flavor as well. There were 13 on tap that day; I tried about five samples and each was unique and true to the style. High Ridge IPA was a hoppy West Coast IPA. at 6.5% ABV the bitterness stands out and it was tasty. Citricity is a Hazy Double IPA that clocks in at 8.5% ABC. This isn't evident in this easy drinking brew. They also had several special brews. Goaterator was an excellent German Dopplebock with great taste. I would like to have an entire glass of this one as it was special. At 8.0% ABV it really isn't a lunchtime brew! There was a Apple Brandt Bock which was a German Bock aged in apple brand barrels. An interesting mix but the Goaterator was better for me. The A-10 remains my favorite Copperpoint brew but everything they brew is top notch. It would be good to visit with a food truck there and stay nearby. Website: CopperpointBrewingCompany.com

Photos of Stormhouse Brewing Bar Area / Taps

Stormhouse Brewing - North Palm Beach, FL

Stormhouse has a nice selection of brews and good food to go with them. Six IPAs and a decent selection of other styles. The Sweater(ish) Weather Red IPA was excellent and had some malty notes and is brewed with a mix of four hops. Perfect beer name for the day. Cool out but we were able to sit outside. Being the end of 'Dry January' I was looking for 'healthy' food and there are several selections on the menu. I had The "Healthy Fitness Plate" which had grilled chicken, Mahi and Shrimp. (Dry January is suspended for the Jupiter event each year!) Other brews tried were Pressure Drop a NE IPA and Path of Destruction Imperial IPA. It had a good bitterness and 8%ABV. Great find here; I see lunch and brews there again, next year! Website: StormhouseBrewing.com

Skunkworts_Brewing_Photos Bar and Taps / Nearby Area
Skunkworts Brewing IPA at Bar / Outdoor Patio at Night

Skunkworts Brewing Concern. - West Palm Beach, FL

Located in the Northwood neighborhood, near Palm Beach, Skunkworts is named in tribute to Locked Martin's Skunk Works. The original Skunk Works was a secret laboratory / research center where Lockheed worked on advanced aircraft opening in 1943. The focus here is on brewing and enjoying beer with a healthy serving of aircraft / flying history. The walls are covered with 'plans' for old parts, old plane dashboards and turbines hang from the ceiling. There even is an old jet engine on the outdoor patio. The place fits the neighborhood well The area looks much like it did in the 40's and 50's with small single story shops, galleries and restaurants. It has a funky vibe to it as does Skunkworts. It was quiet when I came in; there were seats at the bar. Looking at the beer list, I found several IPA's and a Double IPA. I started with the IFR a Hazy IPA. (Another Hazy!) It was opaque and had a good hoppy taste it. There is great attention to details here; all the glassware was for the style requested. The IPA was served in tulip style glass with the flared top to catch the aromas. As it got later the place started to fill up. I could see that it was popular; by the time I left the bar was full. Next I had the Double IPA, Moose Twister is a West Coast style DIPA and was bitter and hoppy. The 9.0% ABV was hidden well; I enjoyed it and the entire brewery taproom. Skunkworts is a cool place and should be visited if in the area. See the GBLFB Album for more photos of the taproom. Website: Skunkworts.com

Photo of Barrel of Monks booth / Brewmasters Club booth
Photos of Florida Keys Brewing / Stage with music.

Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival

This years 'theme' was "Still The best day of the year so far!". this theme was a throwback to 2008, the second years of the festival. The festival location also was moved back to the original location, in the Abacoa ampthieater. A lot has changed since those original years but the event is always fun and has plenty of great brews. Back in the day the festival would make an effort to get Florida breweries to come to the event. There weren't many but they did come. Most still do as this festival is one of the favorite events of the breweries. Of course much has changed; the industry has grown up and the beer is more varied and 'better' with many new styles now here. The 'Hazy' or New England IPA hadn't been ';invented' yet and IPA wasn't nearly as popular as it is now. As always the weather cooperated and we got a beautiful January day for the event. Upon entry the first booth was Barrel of Monks Brewing of Boca Raton. They brew authentic Belgian ales and have special events at the brewery. (Beer and Bacon etc.) I discovered them at this festival years ago and really appreciate their brewing skills. The pandemic was tough but they made it and continue to make top quality Belgian ales. They had Wizard Wit and a Belgian Quad; both were the real deal. Next were several local home brew clubs; Palm Beach Draughtsmen and Brewmaster's. These guys go all out; there were probably 15 different beers between them. This first group also was 'seeing the Haze' as everybody had a Hazy IPA or two!. The festival now has more breweries from within 50 miles that all the Florida breweries at that 2008 festival. NOBO Brewing, Ookapow Brewing, Skunk-worts Brewing, Steamhorse Brewing, Civil Society and Sailfish Brewing to name a few nearby breweries. The rest of the state is represented with Tampa and Jacksonville area breweries several that I have seen here for years. As the festival continued the 'Silent Disco' was going and music started on the stage. If one area was too busy; the best thing to do is try another. This way more breweries can be tried. There was good food available and pretzel strings that we had brought with us. I have visited Pareidolia Brewing, in Vero, and they had a good selection of brews; As usual, some started to run out of beer which means that the event is almost finished up. I returned to a couple of favorites and ended at Sailfish Brewing Company of Fort Pierce. The music was still going and they still had an IPA available. At the designated time it was over. It was great as usual and my group will return next year. We hope that the Field of Beers event will also be back. See you in 2023! Website: JupiterCraftBrewersFestival.com

Photos of Lost City Brewing Co - Flight / Tank area
Photos of Lost City Brewing Main Brewing Area / Tanks

Lost City Brewing Company. - North Miami, FL

Lost City Brewing is located in a small back road warehouse area in North Miami. The small district has filming / movie making businesses nearby. It is just a coincidence that there is a movie The Lost City that opened recently. The brewery is operated by the owner of the old Abraxas Lounge of South Beach which was one of the first bars to serve craft beer on the beach. The bar here is the original from Abraxas. There are 16 taps all of their house brewed beer. There is a variety of styles available and the place is getting a reputation for unique local brews. My group ordered several flights to try most of the beers. I had Pelican Head IPA and Oleta River IPA to start. Both were good; the difference was in the hops used. The Pelican got my vote with more bitterness and a malty taste in the finish. Holy Scribe Belgian Tripel was authentic to the Belgian Trappist style. Nomi Pale was a modern (Miami) take on the pale ales of the past. It was hoppier with a good malt sweetness. At 6.1 ABV is stronger then the originals. The classic Pacific Northwest hops gave it the citrusy taste expected. The variety here is a tribute to good brewing. Keeper of the Grail was a Quad that packed a punch and had complex flavore throughout. The Dunkerweiss was quite tasty as well. We had arrived before dark and the place filled up as the evening went on. By the time we left the place was full and-the crowd expanded to the front outside the building. this was a young crowd; may arrived on bicycles or wheel-boards. Regarding those boards, I have no idea how the rider stays upright! Overall a fun place and a good 'expedition' for local color and brew. Website: LostCityBrewing.com

NightLifr Brewing Photos Bar / Stage and dance floor

NightLife Brewing Co.- Miami, FL

Things happen at night...how true and NightLife looks like a good start to any night in Miami. This isn't an ordinary brewery; it's a full night club with good beer and drinks. NLB is located by the parking building at the Miami Marlins stadium near downtown Miami. It was early on a Saturday night and the place was already busy. Coming in it looks like a nice night club complete with a dance / stage area with two disco balls! There are ten brews on and it is a good variety of styles. the brewer puts a 'Miami' spin on them and there are cocktails as well. Beer choices included Hefeweizen, Pilsner, Sours, IPAs and a Stout. I liked the IPAs and sampled several others. Outside, a DJ was playing and the crowd was getting started. Truly a great place to "Seize the night". Website: NightLifeBrewingCo.com

 

Photos of Mutation Brewing Tap Area / Out Front

Mutation Brewing Company - Sandy Springs, GA

Mutation Brewing had been open less than a month when I visited. It was close by and I wanted to try it. A big feature here is that they have a separate BBQ place inside the brewery. A real kitchen beats a food truck any day, in my opinion. There were seven beers and one seltzer; I tried the 2 IPAs and a hoppy pale ale. The Double IPA was the best by far. ATL Traffic Elixir would certinaly make the traffic easier to deal with. At 8.0 ABV you might not want to drive after a few! It was hoppy with a malt sweetness and pineapple notes. Something to look forward to after the commute! The in house BBQ rocks as well. My brisket could be cut with a fork and the different sauces all were good. The BBQ is totally separate doom the brewery; probably some old Georgia law made them do it this way. it worked well and I will visit again. Website: MutationBrew.com

 

Photos of Jekyll Brewing Bar / Tanks

Jekyll Brewing - Alpharetta, GA

Jekyll Brewing is in the city center of Alpharetta where there are many venues all around the area. Jekyll has an indoor taproom and an outside seating area as well. There is a good selection of brews and a complete food menu. I sampled thee IPAs sand all were good. Southern Juice IPA was hopped with two hops and hazy as are many 'juicy' IPAs. The flagship, Hop Dang Diggity IPA, is a 'southern' IPA. At 6.7% ABV it has a good malt / hop balance with piney and citrus notes. The Double Dang Double IPA was my choice to go with my lunch. It is more hoppy and piney that the original. At 7.5% ABV it bumps up the tastes without raising the ABV to higher levels. There is a full menu and the fresh shucked oysters were excellent. Best lunch of the week for sure. Jekyll was a good stop and I will return for more geest beer and fresh oysters! Website: JekyllBrewing.com

 

Fron the Earth Brewing Samples Can't Find Your Way Home DIPA / Bar

 

From The Earth Brewing Company - Roswell, GA

I was in the area and found From the Earth while searching for breweries. The results got me close; after some different turns I finally found the place. It is in a large shopping center right in the center with a huge clock above. Nearby is a display 1960's local cop car. I may have found the brewery of the year here in February! The outside is deceiving; walking in they have done an excellent job with modern brewpub decor, greet beer and chef created food. This isn't your typical painted warehouse brewery. I sampled several house brews and enjoyed them. Goin' West IPA is a west coast style with 7.5 ABV. It was hoppy and bitter as it should be. Can't Find Your Way Home DIPA was tops and the 10% ABV isn't evident. That name could be appropriate! The menu is creative and looks great. The pretzel bites were perfect with my beers. There was a pre - fixe menu with choice of filet or grouper for the main course. I imagine they have beer pairings here with chef inspired foods paired with the house brews. This was a highlight of my visit and plans are being made to come and have dinner here. Website: FTEBrewing.com

 

Pontoon Brewing Photos Beer Flight / Tap Area

Pontoon Brewing - Sandy Springs, GA

Pontoon Brewing taproom / brewery is in a large converted warehouse. They are brewing many different styles; all the IPAs were hazy in keeping with this years theme. The place is huge; they are brewing and canning enough beer to distribute to surrounding states. I got a sampler of four brews. Ryes or Die Trying is a NEIPA with spice rye notes and citrusy tastes. At 8.0% ABV this one has a kick to it. Aquatronic is an Imperial IPA. Brewed with three hops gave it good citrus and fruity tastes. This Juicy DIPA is "Juiced" up at 8.0% ABV. But Did You Die? is a Triple NEIPA is a collaboration with New Image Brewing. Brewed with five hops and special 'Cosmic Punch' Yeast allowed for incredible tropical fruit flavors. At 11.0 ABV drinkers can be asked "But did you die?" Pounding' Pecan Pie is an imperial brown ale with 8.0 ABV.. It was brewed with pecans, vanilla and cinnamon. Website: PontoonBrewing.com

 
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