From the South Florida craft beer scene, a flurry of news

The Beer in Florida news feed recently received a slew of reports from South Florida craft breweries in the past few days, so let’s get to it.

Due South

Mike Halker

Mike Halker

Due South Brewing Co., the brewery that opened in 2012 in a warehouse park in Boynton Beach has announced that it has acquired the space next to its current location, allowing an expansion that nearly doubles its square footage. Here’s that announcement:

Due South Brewing Co. has announced an expansion of its current facility, annexing 12,000 additional square feet of the adjacent bay.  Combined, Due South will total more than 27,000 square feet.

Open to the public since 2012, Due South has always had a production focus.  The current tap room continues to shrink as the need for more brewing space grows.  This expansion will allow for growth in both areas.

“We knew we would need more space; it just wasn’t available” states Mike Halker, founder and president of Due South.  “Finally the opportunity presented itself and we were able to acquire the bay next to us.  We’re certainly excited about continuing our relationship with the folks in Boynton and eventually expanding our brewing operations enough that we can supply all of Florida.  We’ve got some thirsty friends on the west coast we haven’t been able to take care of yet.”

The new space will be used for an indoor beer garden, a large air conditioned tap room, a dedicated area for barrel aging and additional offices.  There will also be a separate area for expansion of the new “Due South Sour Project.”

The architects are currently working on the layout and the new facility is expected to be open in early fall.

Saltwater Brewery

Saltwater Sea Cow 3From Saltwater Brewery, which a team of native Floridians opened in Delray Beach in December 2013, comes news of growth in its distribution footprint, as well as the release of another of its core brands to retail distribution in cans:

Saltwater Brewery, a microbrewery with tasting room, today announced partnerships with Florida Distributing Company and J.J. Taylor Companies, Inc., expanding distribution to Tampa, Orlando and the surrounding areas, as well as the market launch of its second canned product, Sea Cow Milk Stout.

Look for Saltwater Brewery beer on tap and in cans in the following counties:

FDC: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole

J.J. Taylor: Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Henry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Okeechobee, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota

Brown Distributing: Broward, Dade, Indian River, Martin, Monroe, Palm Beach, St. Lucie

“FDC and J.J. Taylor have great reputations in the distribution arena and are well respected in the beer community,” said Bo Eaton, head of sales and co-founder of Saltwater Brewery. “Their enthusiasm for our brand has made us very excited to partner with them.”

The company also released its second canned beer, Sea Cow Milk Stout, following the launch of its Screamin’ Reels IPA in August 2015. One of the only Milk Stouts in the market available in a can, Sea Cow is characterized as dark, roasty and sweet, with 6% Alcohol By Volume and 38 IBUs.

Saltwater Brewery’s brand and lifestyle revolves around the ocean, which extends to its charitable giving.

“We look forward to working with locally based charity chapters such as The Ocean Foundation and Surfrider Foundation in the Orlando and Tampa areas,” said Chris Gove, president and co-founder.

Sea Cow Milk Stout will be available throughout Saltwater Brewery’s new and current distribution territory. The team is planning to continue expansion later this year, and will also can additional styles such as Locale, Wheat Wave and limited releases.

Funky Buddha

Funky Buddha logoAnd in the better-late-than-never category, Funky Buddha Brewery, which has its main production brewery in Oakland Park, has made public its 2016 release schedule. Judging from my Facebook feeds, the brewery’s Last Snow Coffee & Coconut Porter, which saw a release last month, excites a lot of Funky Buddha fans. Those who covet this brew might want to take a look at the “Little Buddha” series release for October.

Goodness abounds!

Funky Buddha Brewery, based in Oakland Park, has announced its 2016 release schedule. This long-awaited lineup will include a new year-round beer to add to the brewery’s portfolio of boundary-pushing craft brews, in addition to a whole year’s worth of entries in the “Little Buddha Small Batch” series.

Hop Stimulator Double IPA will join Hop Gun IPA and Floridian Hefeweizen as the third of Funky Buddha’s flagship beers. Generously hopped with Amarillo, Centennial, Citra, and Cascade hops, Hop Stimulator boasts intense passionfruit, grapefruit, orange peel, and pineapple aromas with a crisp, balanced malt body. This monstrously-hopped double (9.5%) India pale ale will make its debut on draft and in four-pack, 12 oz. bottles this April 19th with an MSRP of $11.99 per four-pack.

2016 will also see Funky Buddha grow its “Little Buddha Small Batch” series of beers. This culinary-inspired line of brews will feature such coveted and anxiously awaited beers such as Wide Awake It’s Morning (Imperial Maple Bacon Coffee Porter), Muy Bonita Apple Pie Double Brown Ale, and Don’t Tell Reece Peanut Butter Cup Ale. Available in 22oz bombers and on draft, these beers will see release in Funky Buddha’s tap room and in distribution across the state of Florida.

 

Funky Buddha RELEASE-CALENDAR_V2_20160215

 

These breweries – and many more – will be pouring this Saturday at the annual Florida Brewers Guild Craft Beer Festival, the official kickoff festival to Tampa Bay Beer Week 2016.

Brewery map south florida crop

Florida Brewery Map

 

 

Beer in Florida’s mission is to chronicle and support the thriving Florida craft beer community, but as a reminder, especially as the excesses of the holiday season lie before us: Drink responsibly. Designated drivers, hotel rooms, Uber, Lyft, and taxis are all great ideas. In fact, if you haven’t used Uber yet, you can get your first ride free (up to $15) by using the code uberBeerInFlorida when you sign up for the ride-share service.

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Motorworks Brewery lands two medals in Draft Magazine contest

Motorworks logoMotorworks Brewing in Bradenton announced today that it has won two medals in the annual Draft Magazine Best of Craft Beer Awards competition.

The magazine bestowed a silver medal on the brewery in the Spiced Beer category for its Midnight Espresso Coffee Porter, and a gold medal for V Twin Vienna Lager in that style category.

Motorworks is the only Florida brewery to have been awarded medals in this year’s competition.

The V-Twin won a bronze medal in the Vienna Lager category at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival.

As a medal-winner, Motorworks Brewing will be included in a promotional advertisement in Draft Magazine’s Craft Brewers Conference issue and will be promoted on Best of Craft Beer Award’s social media outlets, in addition to being granted automatic acceptance into next year’s contest.

For a full list of the winners, click here.

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Tampa Bay Beer Week events begin to trickle in

FBG logo Tampa Bay Beer Week 2016Announcements of Tampa Bay Beer Week 2016 events (March 5-15) are beginning to bubble to the surface.

The official kickoff each year is the Florida Brewers Guild Craft Beer Festival, which has been held on the waterfront in Tampa the past few years. Many of the state’s breweries will represent, and brewery owners, brewers and other staff will be behind the booths to pour beer and talk about their businesses.

If you can attend only one event – and you weren’t fortunate enough to land a Hunahpu’s Day ticket – this is the one.

Tickets are available now.

Here’s the official press release:

CELEBRATE THE SUCCESS OF CRAFT BEER THROUGHOUT FLORIDA

Brewers and Enthusiasts Unite to Support Florida’s Growing Industry

Tampa, FL – On Saturday, March 5, 2016, join more than 50 Florida brewers for the kick-off of Tampa Bay Beer Week at the annual FBG Craft Beer Festival. The event will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 PM at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park in downtown Tampa and serves as a fundraiser for the Florida Brewers Guild, the nonprofit organization committed to ensuring the growth and protection of the craft brewing industry throughout the

Last year, nearly 1,500 beer lovers enjoyed unlimited samples of more than 200 hand-crafted brews poured by the brewery owners, not volunteers. Whether a novice consumer or dedicated beer geek, this event offers attendees the opportunity to meet the small business owners committed to creating the perfect pint. “The annual festival in Tampa has been my favorite since I started Due South”, says Mike Halker, president of the Florida Brewers Guild. “In addition to all of the great beer being poured, it’s an event where the brewers and the  consumers get to connect. Many craft beer events have great beer, this one also has the folks that make the great beer. Most brewers in Florida wouldn’t think of missing the FBG Fest in March.”

Participating breweries include (list will be updated as breweries are confirmed): Alligator Brewing Co., Angry Chair Brewing, Barrel of Monks Brewing, Big Storm Brewing Co., Brew Bus Brewing, Bugnutty Brewing Company, Central 28 Beer Co., Cigar City Brewing, Concrete Beach Brewery, Coppertail Brewing Co., Crooked Can Brewing Co., Crooked Thumb Brewery, Darwin Brewing Co., Due South Brewing Co., Engine 15 Brewing Co., Florida Avenue Brewing Company, Florida Beer Company, Funky Buddha Brewery, Green Bench Brewing Co., Intuition Ale Works, Madman Ciders, Motorworks Brewing, Pair O’ Dice Brewing, Pensacola Bay Brewery, Proof Brewing Co., Rapp Brewing Company, Red Cypress Brewery, Saint Somewhere Brewing Co., Six Ten Brewing, Swamp Head Brewery, Tampa Bay Brewing Co., Tampa Beer Works, The Waterfront Brewery, Two Henry’s Brewing and Wynwood Brewing Company.

For more information please visit floridabrewersguild.org/events.

The day before the FBG, fest, Tampa Bay Beer Week will hold The Ultimate Brewer contest finals at Rapp Brewing in Seminole. Fourteen brewers from the area gathered at St. Petersburg Brewing Company on Jan. 7 to brew beers from a pre-gathered list of ingredients – some of which are pretty exotic. (Horseradish or oysters and hot sauce anyone?). Read more here.

 

 

Beer in Florida’s mission is to chronicle and support the thriving Florida craft beer community, but as a reminder, especially as the excesses of the holiday season lie before us: Drink responsibly. Designated drivers, hotel rooms, Uber, Lyft, and taxis are all great ideas. In fact, if you haven’t used Uber yet, you can get your first ride free (up to $15) by using the code uberBeerInFlorida when you sign up for the ride-share service.

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Florida Craft Beer Bites: Churning for you, and welcome to 2016

cage brewingNow that 2016 has had a few days to get acclimated to being a new year, it’s time to return to the weekly news updates. I sincerely hope that everyone had a great holiday season and that this new year is more fruitful and happy for all of you.

The waning weeks of 2015 continued with the churn that began earlier in December. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • R Bar, the Treasure Island beach bar/restaurant with a nano-brewing system in the back, no longer is making beer there. Instead, all operations have been moved to their new operation, dubbed Cage Brewing, in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District. The move represents a huge step-up in brewing capacity – from a 20-gallon system to a 7-barrel brewhouse. The grand opening should be soon; follow their Facebook page to stay current. UPDATE: A soft opening has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 9).
  • Peg’s Cantina and Brew Pub, the restaurant/brew pub in Gulfport where Doug Dozark started in 2009 the venture that became Cycle Brewing, has closed. Cycle continues to operate from its downtown St. Petersburg location. A Cycle “side project” dubbed Orange Belt Brewing and specializing in Berliner weisse, barrel-aged sours and farmhouse ales had operated from Peg’s. Read more here.
  • Mad Beach Brewing in Madeira Beach announced that it is now a full-fledged brewpub, serving food from a new menu.

Florida Brewery news

In the rapidly growing Florida craft beer scene, it’s sometimes easy to overlook those “veteran” breweries that opened in the Double-Zero years after the turn of the century. Swamp Head Brewery in Gainesville will bring back a taste of those heady years on Jan. 23 as it celebrates its eighth anniversary in its still relatively new brewing facility. Expect throw-back pricing and special tappings of some of its classic beers that have been hanging out in the cellar. More details here.

It wouldn’t be Hunahpu’s Day without a problem. Tickets for the annual bottle release of Cigar City Brewing’s coveted imperial stout and beer festival, scheduled for March 12, went on sale at 6 p.m. Monday, and another overwhelmed online ticket vendor couldn’t handle the traffic. The Tampa brewery’s Facebook page soon became flooded with complaints, alternated with work-around tips from the more technically savvy beer geeks. Enough people got through, though, that a sell-out was announced in less than 24 hours. Though I haven’t yet talked with anyone there, I know that this had to be disheartening for the Cigar City crew, and I’m confident they are doing everything possible to fix any problems.

Brewery openings

Sanford Brewing elevationOwners of the Sanford Brewing Company recently announced the beginning of construction to transform an 85-year-old property on the Central Florida town’s recently renovated Sanford Avenue into a new, 4,500 square-foot craft beer brewery and taproom. Plans call for it to include a 15-barrel primary brewing system, a 3-barrel pilot brewing system, and a 100-plus seat taproom with food service. The owners hope to begin brewing and serving the public before the second quarter of 2016. Read more here.

Beer festivals

Key Largo Brew on the Bay, Saturday, 1 to 5:30 p.m., Key Largo. More info here.

Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Day, Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m., Oakland Park. More info here.

 

That’s it for this week.

If you find this website useful, feel free to drop a little money into our tip jar on up there on the right rail. If you’re planning your beer journeys in the Sunshine State, check out our Florida Brewery Map & List, which I’m currently in the process of updating.

Cheers!

Gerard

 

Beer in Florida’s mission is to chronicle and support the thriving Florida craft beer community, but as a reminder: Drink responsibly. Designated drivers, hotel rooms, Uber, Lyft, and taxis are all great ideas. In fact, if you haven’t used Uber yet, you can get your first ride free (up to $15) by using the code uberBeerInFlorida when you sign up for the ride-share service.

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