Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hurricane's Summer Kick-Off Weekend

**I will be at the 10pm fight to munch on wings (will check to see if kitchen is going to be open late), drink good craft beers, and enjoy the festivities. As more details and specifics trickle in regarding all events Saturday June 12th, 2010, I will update accordingly.**

**I will be at this event both as an early attendee and then from 2pm-5pm pouring tasty craft beers. I don't know the specific craft beers being poured yet...but as soon I will update soon with further details regarding the Sunday June 13th, 2010 event.**

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cigar City Brew News

110K+OT Batch #3

Batch #3 goes on sale tomorrow. We will start selling bottles as soon as 11 AM on the 28th, but the cask of 110K+OT Batch #3 will not be tapped till 6PM. At this time there is no limit on bottle purchases, but that might change if some clever boy or girl decides to buy 100 cases. Bottles are $13 each tax included. We do not expect this to sell out on the first day as we bottled 1,800 of these puppies. But in the unlikely event it does we will make growlers available the following week so that no one misses out. Draft of 110K+OT Batch #3 should start hitting accounts in about two weeks.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Samuel Adams *update*

Amen, Hallelujah, and Peanut Butter!!!

The beer geeks have spoken, Samuel Adams has listened, and coming this fall we have Latitude 48 to look forward to. Sweet! Now I don't have to buy a mix 12pack of 9 beers I don't really want or need just so I can try 1.

On the flip side, I'm still waiting for my Noble Pils as a year-round 6pack offering. Pretty please. With hops on top.


Memorial Day Weekend

To all you in remembrance, to all you party-goers, and to all you everywhere and somewhere in-between, have a fun and safe weekend.

Beer Service Announcement for Great Spirits

If the single beer you are looking for is NOT in the cooler up front with a price sticker on it, please do NOT remove a bottle of your own choice from an UNBROKEN 6pack or 4pack from elsewhere in the store.

Please and Thank You.

I cannot get the singles rotating at a good pace again when I keep stumbling across broken packs which were NOT on the future agenda for beer singles. If you have a request I will be more than happy to take it into serious consideration, but please respect my unbroken 4 and 6 packs of beer. You will in turn be respecting me which goes a long way in my book =^.^=

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

WOB Viera News

Stonehenge Event!
This Tuesday, June 1, we will be featuring Stone Brewery from California. We will have a full line up of kegs which include IPA, Ruination IPA, Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, and more. We will also have specialty bottle beers such as Levitation Ale, Cali Belgique, Imperial Russian Stout and more. Click here for a complete list of beers. A representative from the brewery will be here at 5 pm to talk about the brewery. Mark your calendar for this monumental beer tasting event!

The World is coming to South Africa!
The premier international football tournament is two weeks away. It is scheduled to take place between June 11 and July 11, 2010 in South Africa and we are going to broadcast the tournment for you. We are planning on opening early so you can catch every game. We will be having special beer promotions with give aways. Click here for flyer.

First 500 Club Loyalty Member!
Join us next Friday evening, June 4 as David E. reaches 500 points. This is another monutmental event. It's never too late to join our loyalty card program. It's a lot of fun and there are great rewards for reaching certain milestones. For more information about the program, click here. We are so proud!

Southampton Brew Party!
After the Stonehenge Event, mark your calendar for June 15. Southampton Brewery from New York will be here that evening. We will have another great line up of kegs and bottles. Stay tuned for information.

New Bottles
  • Brewdog Paradox Isle of Arran, 10% (Scotland)
  • Orkney Dragonhead Stout, 4% (Scotland)
  • Smuttynose Summer Weizen, 5% (New Hampshire)
  • Terrapin Sunray Wheat, 5.3% (Georgia)
  • Weyerbacher Verboten, 5.9% (Pennsylvania)

New Drafts
  • Gouden Carolus Grand Cru, 11% (Belgium)
  • High and Mighty Beer of the Gods, 4.5% (Massachusetts)
  • Ommegang Abby Ale, 8.5% (New York)
  • Orange Blossom Pilsner Squared, 11% (Florida)
  • Shipyard Wheat, 4.5% (Maine)
  • Weyerbacher Merry Monks, 9.2% (Pennsylvania)

Live Music This Week
  • Thursday - James Johnson
  • Friday - C-Lane & Beav
  • Saturday - Christian Wilson Duo

Orlando Brewing Brew News

This Weekend at Orlando Brewing:

Friday, May 28th @ 9pm:
The Transfers & Bob on Blonde

Saturday, May 29th @ 9pm:
Six String Recovery

Sunday, May 30th: BEER:30
$2 Orlando Brewing Drafts ALL DAY!
Live Music @ 6pm: The Human Condition

Mark Your Calendars:

Tuesday, June 1st @ 7pm: Anisocoria Tasting

Limited Edition Anisocoria "Single Malt" Ale Tasting. It's $10 to join the tasting and you'll receive a FREE Anisocoria Glass.

Monday, June 14th: Flag Day. Veterans Drink for Free!

Saturday, June 19th @ 4pm to midnight:
Orlando Brewing's Brew-N-Groove Music Festival
$8 Tickets In Advance / $12 Tickets Day of Event
Live performances by: Johnny Bulford, Matt Butcher, More than Planes, Hadley's Hope, Jim Seem, and more TBA!
Local Art and Food Vendors will be on-site.
If you're interested in being a vendor at this event, please e-mail

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


**in honor of this upcoming vaunted day, when it arrives, I shall wear a Hawaiian shirt all day long**


the long awaited next installment of the Dank Tank - "The Magnum IP" will arrive in late June. This 100 IBU Imperial Pilsner will be delivering Mustache Rides for everyone!

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout aging beautifully, I must say. Cracked open a bottle of 2008 and a bottle of 2009 side-by-side a few days ago and the difference was mind-blowing, in a good way of course. The same beer but they couldn't taste any more different. The 2008 is aging wonderfully and I am heartened by the knowledge that I still have a few bottles at home. They are going to rest even longer and the 2009 is starting to come into her own but could easily benefit from a couple-three more years under the cap.

Beer cellars rule!

(2008 on left, 2009 on right)

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

How Much Is A Picture Worth?

Props to 3/4 of RateBeer fame for the picturesque collage of a lifetime with an equally appropriate ending.



BEERflections ~ Terrapin Celebration Party @ Vine & Barley

Summer is here which means about all I will see of me humble abode is the bed, my kitty Mr. D, and the exercise bike. I like to drink and I like to eat, so keeping fit is an important factor in the longevity of my burgundian ways. When it is gorgeously sunny out staying indoors is the last thing on my list if it ever makes it. And so it was with week-long anticipation that I awaited the Terrapin Celebration Party at Vine & Barley of St. Lucie, Florida.

Florida may not have a foot friendly pub crawl scene yet, especially along the Treasure Coast, but we are getting there beerly and surely. I remember what my itinerary last year looked like and it was nothing close to my itinerary for this fine year of 2010. While I can count the number of extracurricular beertivities this month versus last year on one hand, very soon I’m going to have to utilize both hands and maybe even the toes. My feet live in flip-flops though so the toes would not be an issue, but I digress.

Speaking of digressing, we don’t engage in this fortuitous inactivity nearly enough as Americans specifically and human beings generally. Relax. Life is to be enjoyed. Be in the moment even if it lasts all day as was my lucky circumstance just last Monday May 17th.

Technically the official kickoff time was 6pm sharp, but just like déjà-vu those in the know with the way showed up early. I arrived a wee bit before 5pm and already there were beer peeps and peepettes lounging around the bar, beers in hand. Typically the brew in hand early on that I witnessed was the classic Terrapin Rye Pale Ale. Going for the hot price of only $2.95 a pint all day long, well, you just can’t beat that. Once inside, it took mere minutes before I was also relaxing, chatting, and laughing with a pint of Rye Pale Ale in my own hand.

As much as we love their Rye Pale Ale, she’s not exactly sufficient cause for a Celebration Party right? Right. The main reason for a kickoff time of 6pm sharp is to gather all around the bar for a tapping of the kegs. Once more Vine & Barley along with Tim Hebeler and JJTaylor Distributing pulled all the stops and brought out the really good brews for a bustling horde of thirsty groupies.

Groupie: a fan of a rock group who usually follows the group around on tours; an admirer of a celebrity who attends as many of his/her public appearances as possible; enthusiast or aficionado of a particular person, place, or thing.
*thanks to Merriam-Webster*

A fine standing if I say so myself and a badge I am proud to wear. We bring the maturity and class back into groupie without the restraining orders. Overzealous arrogant psychopathic stalkers need not apply.

Now where was I? Oh yes, the beers being tapped.

Awaiting our indulgement that evening was the Monk’s Revenge Belgian-style IPA (India Pale Ale) and…wait for it…French Oak Aged Wake & Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout. Be still my beating heart. The original Wake & Bake is a vaunted and highly sought after seasonal release both in bottle and keg, but the Oak Aged version is a rare beast. Draft only, my Vine & Barley got the only keg to grace the Treasure Coast. Happy days are here again, yes indeed.

Tasting book safely tucked away in pockets along with camera and such, I was beyond raring to go. But first, food. Having not eaten yet that day, just the idea of drinking the night away on an empty stomach was enough to induce nausea. West End Grille to the rescue. This time around I went for their chicken cheese quesadillas with guacamole, of course. Stuffed with large chunks of chicken swimming in a generous pool of cheeses, onions, and tomatoes, she was then grilled to golden perfection. Each bite crunched before oozing cheesy chickeny delights. Yum! Tiny belly for food that I have, the rest went home for the perfect midnight munchie.

Rumbling tummy now sated and satisfied, I set about snapping pre-tapping pics inbetween meeting, greeting, and hugging all my wonderful beer geeks who had descended on Vine & Barley that night. As one wise patron said, you definitely know it isn’t amateur night when all the jaded and crusty old timers crawl out of the woodwork. Just kidding…kind of. We may not be jaded and crusty, but the differences are readily apparent when stepping into an ocean of beer geek regulars versus beer newbs. That’s okay, too. Come one, come all. Experience the taste of real beer and the warmth of community.

I was obviously not the only one who enjoys real wood in her real beer but in an unexpected turn of events, Monk’s Revenge was the first Terrapin special draft to flow into empty glasses and eager hands. The Oaked Wake & Bake took a bit longer to propagate thanks to a rather vivacious personality. Once she got her britches in order, thick oily goodness filled innumerable pints with her beautiful black bounty. Inbetween depositing raffle ticket stubs and snapping pictures, a tulip of night made her way into my humbled hands. That’s right; no pint glass for this beer geek, oh no. In the grand scheme of an event like this, pints are the only glass of plenty that makes feasible sense. After the initial mad dash, tulips and chalices were made available for those in the know who politely requested such.

Now about those raffle tickets. For each glass of Terrapin beer purchased you were given a ticket with a chance to win a very special bottle of Terrapin brew. This time around the keg of Oaked Wake & Bake was a full sized barrel so running out before the night finished wasn’t an issue. No, our thirsty groupies were hording those raffle tickets to win a chance at one of twelve bottles of Capt’n Krunkles Black IPA. Part of their Side Project Series, she is the 10th release and can we say limited? Yes, very limited. One thing Mark did differently this time around which I thought to be very fair was not limiting the customers to only one ticket. Each glass of Terrapin earned a ticket thus increasing your odds of winning, but you could only win one bottle and one bottle only. A fair and fun deal, in my opinion.

As always, I knew many a friendly face and got to know many more a friendly face that night. My Tim and Ryan were there of course, along with in no special order: Duncan, Lorraine, Joe, Linda, Randall, Chris, Rodney, Bill, Lou, Stu, and many others whose names I don’t know yet. Near the end of the evening I met a nice young couple, Matt and Cassie, who impressed me with both their passion and sincerity about real beer and Vine & Barley. I know good people when I meet them, and they were good people. Hopefully we will run into each other again and until then, cheers!

I eventually took a break from beerporting to settle in with Duncan, Lorraine, and a couple other gents to smell, sup, savor, and notarize my now pleasantly warmed tulip of Oaked Wake & Bake. I have savored Terrapin’s original Wake & Bake many times, but the oaked was a virgin tasting experience. Always up for a new beer challenge, from her nose to her palate and beyond I was enveloped in beervanic rapture. As a chorus of cherubic angles harped away at my heart strings, each sip was more luxurious than the last. Suffice to say, a deep moan of “ohmygod” traversed these lips almost as often as the beer herself.

After noting all there was to note, it was time to simply kick back and relax. Seeing my tulip wallowing in empty loneliness, I sought solace in Mark’s trustworthy hands and within seconds beervana was in my grasp once more. What to do next? Hm… There was a fatty cigar I had been holding onto especially for this occasion, and so Ryan and I settled onto the patio where we stoked our way through a purple, pink, and orange sunset into the darkness of night. We weren’t by our lonesome though as other friendly faces new and old joined the festive affair both inside and out. It didn’t take long for Marc and Eric to show up and kick the festivities up a notch.

Eventually Ryan had to book it on out for the night, and I don’t blame him. He has to get up at some outrageously early hour in the morning for work. Responsibility is a respectable burden, one I would rather do with than without. Even so, mornings aren’t my cup of coffee. Stogy finished, we bid farewell while I lounged around outside for a while longer to finish mine. I did say it was a fatty, didn’t I and a lovely one at that. Tim snuck out to join us for a while before Mark requested the presence of me and Tim inside for a most urgent matter. Um…okay. Once inside it turns out that the photographer was to be the one being photographed instead. In return I got to snuggle up to my Mark and Tim for a cuddly-wuddly picture of momentous sentimentality. Those three precious pictures are going to be hung proudly for all who visit my humble abode to see and for myself to revisit in fond remembrance. I do what I do because I love it. She is my life, my heart, my soul, my person. To feel the warmth of love and appreciation in that moment from two gentlemen very near and dear…priceless.

Throughout the throng of festivities, ticket numbers with names were called and some lucky winners went home that very night with their bottle of Capt’n Krunkles Black IPA. For those no longer in attendance, their bottles were set aside in a bag with their winning ticket which smartly included their phone number. Twelve bottles may not sound like a lot, but for twelve lucky people it was just enough.

Far be it for me to drink in order all the time so once my first glass of Oaked Wake & Bake goodness was consummately consumed, it was on to whatever I felt like next. In fact, I took a break inbetween my two glasses of said brew with the fruitfully delightful Lindemans Framboise on draft. A wee bit sweet for a Lambic, she was nonetheless the perfect palate cleanser before taking my second glass of oaked goodness and my cigar outside. The Framboise wasn’t my only Lindemans that night either, though my second and my last came from the bottle: Pomme, a playful fruit Lambic of sweet and tart green apples which can bring to mind green apple Now & Laters or Jolly Ranchers.

Ever later in the evening, the stragglers straggled, myself included, while pretty much everyone else had gone home. Rounding out the evening inside, my time of departure eventually arrived. More hugs and kisses were exchanged before I remembered to grab my West End Grille leftovers on the way outside. A lovely Florida summer evening greeted me with a light breeze, gentle humidity, and a crescent moon. Home arrived in good stead for which Mr. D was most pleased. Midnight munchie and a movie later, it was finally time to leave the moment behind as sleep took over.

To Vine & Barley, Tim, JJTaylor, and Terrapin, thank you for all my waking fancies of beery bliss. Until we meet again…

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cigar City Brew News

Jai Alai India Pale Ale Nominated: Best Next Beer has a pretty decent list (heavy on the IPA's) of brews nominated by their panel of experts (and that isn't just a courtesy phrase they actually tapped some beer geeks for this things). Jai Alai is one of them and that is pretty cool because of the beers on the list are from much larger craft breweries with vastly more name recognition.

Currently we are second to last in the standings, ahead of Alesmith ESB but massively behind the front runner New Belgium Fat Tire (it has a loyal following). So I am tasking fans of our beer to at least help us put in a good showing and vote for Jai Alai if you think it is worthy of the title, "America's Next Top Beer".

And if you vote (and leave a comment) is selected one winner to receive a free year membership to the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club. Not bad. So homer it up and stuff the ballot box for Jai Alai!

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

**all I have to say is ME WANT!**

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA Announced from stonebrew on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Beer & Bikes! Booyah!

**well now...I'll have to make sure to catch that episode**

Yuengling Partners with Orange County Choppers
Pottsville, PA, May 2010

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., America’s Oldest Brewery, and Orange County Choppers have partnered this summer to offer consumers the opportunity of a lifetime! From May through August, 2010, throughout the 13 states where Yuengling is sold, Yuengling and OCC fans 21 and older will text‐to‐win a chance to become a semi‐finalist in the program. All eligible semi‐finalists and a guest will be treated to a weekend celebration at OCC Headquarters in Newburgh, NY, in October, 2010. The event will culminate when one lucky semi‐finalist will walk away with a custom Yuengling Chopper, made by OCC.

“ While OCC has partnered with many companies in the past, this is the first time they have built a chopper for a brewery,” stated Lou Romano, Marketing Manager for Yuengling. “One lucky semi‐finalist will literally ride away with a piece of history, but everyone is guaranteed a memorable weekend. In addition, during this program, Yuengling will be donating a portion of company sales to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. The Fund has provided more than $65 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans. “I’m most excited about the charitable aspect of this partnership,” commented Paul Teutul, Sr., President and CEO of OCC. “Yuengling is an iconic, American company, and I’m proud that our association will benefit such a worthwhile cause.”

The promotion will be supported by a Public Service Announcement for responsible drinking featuring Paul Teutul, Sr., local print and radio advertising, promotional activities at retail, and through point‐of‐purchase displays wherever Yuengling is sold.



**Now THAT'S a game of golf I could get into.**

We hate bad beer! from BrewDog on Vimeo.

Cigar City Brew News

Craft Beer Week Happenings
In addition to Jai Alai and Maduro pints for $3.50 all week we'll have the following limited beers this week:

Craft Beer Week Draft Goodies:
(As each one kicks the beer beneath it in the order will replace it)
Brandy Barrel Aged Zhukov's Imperial Stout
2009 Zhukov's Imperial Stout
Bourbon Barrel Aged Hunahpu's Imperial Stout
Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu's Imperial Stout

Also all week we'll have on:
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
Humidor Series: Gruit
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout

We'll have a cask of 110K+OT Batch #3 (The Other West Coast) Double IPA which will be tapped at noon on Saturday. Snifters are $6 per. This is the first opportunity to try this beer before it is released on the 28th.

Guest Taps:
Swamphead Cotton Mouth Wit
Swamphead Midnight Oil Stout

Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu's Imperial Stout Bottles:
Only 84 bottles were produced and only 60 of those will be sold. Since we have so few we are getting them to people thusly: Each day of Craft Beer Week you may obtain one ticket for the drawing of the beer. On Saturday we start drawing tickets at 11 AM and will draw tickets every half hour until all the bottles are accounted for. If your ticket is selected you may buy up to two bottles at $25 per. You MUST be present when your ticket is drawn. With so few bottles to go around we are purposely making it so the people that REALLY want them have the best chance at them and we figure this is the best way to facilitate that.

WOB Viera News

Last Call Wednesday!
Don't forget that today and every Wednesday is Last Call. Half off selected drafts and an extra $1 off last call bottles. Order a beer that finishes a last call keg and win a $10 WOB Gift Card. Click here for details.

Customer Appreciation!
This Sunday, May 23, we will pulling out the grills and barbequing. Starting at 2 pm we will be cooking up hamburgers and hot dogs. So grab a beer and enjoy some barbeque. Spread the word and mark your calendars!

StoneHedge Event!
June 1, we will be featuring Stone Brewery from California. We will have a full line up of kegs and specialty bottle beers. A representative from the brewery will be here in the evening. Stay tuned for more information!

The World is coming to South Africa!
The premier international football tournament is less than a month away. It is scheduled to take place between June 11 and July 11, 2010 in South Africa and we are going to broadcast the tournament for you. We are planning on opening early so you can catch every game. Click here for flyer.

Unibroue Quelque Chose!
The most original of the Unibroue line, Quelque Chose launched in January 1996 and is brewed once every four years. This versatile beer was specifically developed as a winter beer because, when warmed to 70°C (160°F), it can be taken as a hot drink. On the other hand, on the rocks, it is a wonderful aperitif. The cherries are soaked for months in slightly bitter ale before blending into the beer. Stop in and try this great bottle beer!

New Bottles
  • Red Stripe Light, 3.6% (Jamaica)
  • San Mig Light, 5% (Philippines)
  • St. Somewhere Saison Athene, 7.4% (Florida)

New Drafts
  • Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro, 5.8% (Colorado)
  • Shipyard XXXX IPA (Pugsley's Signature Series), 9.3% (Maine)
  • Terrapin Sunray Wheat, 5.3% (Georgia)
  • Weihenstephaner Vitas, 7.7% (Germany)
  • Widmer Drop Top, 4.8% (Oregon)

Live Music This Week
  • Thursday - Wilcor
  • Friday - Dave Townsley
  • Saturday - Brant Christopher

It's all about the pints...

...and this time, I'm not talking about beery pints but bloody pints. I can't speak for anyone else, but I've a few friends who during surgeries and emergencies received the life-affirming gift of donated blood. Without it...tis a horrible thought that they very well may not have survived. Blood doesn't grow on trees and it certainly doesn't just magically appear out of nowhere. Blood needs people and people need blood. I'm more than happy to promote this cause and even better, ALL donated blood stays in Vero Beach.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Declaration of Beer Independence


Hoggie's Latest & Greatest

**...and a darn fine beer she was. Hopefully I can get more**

American Craft Beer Week 2010

Well, I must say that I got the 2010 American Craft Beer Week off to a good start yesterday at Vine & Barley. The event? A Terrapin Special Release Party which featured their classic Rye Pale Ale on draft all day at a sweet special of $2.95 a pint. At 6pm SHARP two kegs were tapped to much fanfare and anticipation:
  • French Oak Aged Wake and Bake
  • Monk's Revenge Belgian-style IPA

I've had their original Wake & Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout many times, but never their French Oak aged variation. I must say that she was lusciously delicious. It's going to be hard going back to the original Wake & Bake...but somehow I think I can manage. I had a few sips of the Monk's Revenge on draft and it was tasty, albeit very similar to the bottles of which I have supped quite a few lately.

More details will be forthcoming in my BEERflection write-up, but suffice to say, a grand way to kick off American Craft Beer Week. With a Rogue tasting at Hurricanes here in Vero this Wednesday, the week continues to look mighty fine.

Cheers! And see you there!


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

BEERflections ~ Sierra Nevada Collaboration Party @ Vine & Barley

I don’t think America, her beer-thirsty publicans, and the world knew exactly how big of an impact Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada Brewing in Chico, California would have when they released their hoppy pale ale. From that moment of beery revelation in 1980 to 2010 and beyond, each glass of bubbly brew I smell, sup, and savor owes a sincere tip of the hat to Mr. Grossman and his dream, Sierra Nevada.

And not just Sierra Nevada, her beer drinking publicans from Florida to Japan have also come a long way. It can be exhausting at times trying to meet our understandably selfish thirst, but meet she does at her own pace and on her own terms: quality, craftsmanship, inspiration, and tradition. Having reached the big 3-0, a landmark I already passed 2 years ago, Ken and his fun-loving crew of ladies and gents decided they absolutely had to do something special. Thus was born the 30th Anniversary Celebration Collaboration series of four different cork-and-cage beers.

First in the series is the Pioneers Stout, aptly named because it took not just one, Ken Grossman, but two pioneers of the craft beer flavor revolution. Who could the other possibly be? Why, Fritz Maytag of the still thriving Anchor Brewery in San Francisco, California. Equal parts traditionalist and innovator, Fritz single-handedly kept steam beer alive and helped kick-start the craft/artisanal spirits revival with his Anchor Distilling venture.

Fritz and Ken’s collaboration, Pioneers Stout, is a dark and stormy brew of tastefully epic proportions. Widely available in bottle with limited draft, she is a once in a lifetime release that when she is all gone…she is all gone. When it came to my attentions that Vine & Barley along with Sierra Nevada and JJ Taylor Distributing were hosting a special release party, the first words out of my mouth were “I’m there!”

Like our forefathers and foremothers of brewing, Ken was a homebrewer. In a sense, he still is a homebrewer. That same creative spirit and passion to brew better, to brew flavor, to brew new, to brew beers he would like to drink hasn’t changed not once. Ken has nurtured Sierra Nevada (with help of course) into a truly home-grown brewery rich with family, passion, and innovation where labor and love are one and the same. Work? Nah, I wouldn’t call it that. Passion yes, with a bit of blood, sweat, and smiles thrown in for good measure.

Going so far as to literally have their own expansive estate of all earthly blessings a brewery needs, Sierra Nevada also recently started hosting a Beer Camp for men and women in the industry. Mark Carbone’s passion for beer is obvious as one enters his mecca, Vine & Barley, but what many may not realize is that he’s also a veteran homebrewer. Talented too, I might add. Another feather in his cap is a little thing called the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) of which he was judged worthy. Rounding it all out is the Treasure Coast Brewmasters club of which Mark is an active member. So yeah, I would say that Mark knows a wee bit about beer which could be why the lucky schmuck was invited to Beer Camp at Sierra Nevada’s Chico Estate in February of 2010. Along with a diverse group of fellow industry professionals, Mark lived an extra special good life for those four fateful days.

And so we come to beer destiny realized: the Sierra Nevada Collaboration Party at Vine & Barley on Monday, April 19th, starting from 6pm and going till…

While there were multiple large kegs of Mark’s beer, Rhymes Wit, to go around, Fritz and Ken’s Pioneers Stout was a different story. Thanks to the ever diligent efforts and consideration of Tim Hebeler and JJ Taylor, Vine & Barley had the only keg to grace our Treasure Coast, rightfully so. Considering the Treasure Coast includes Sebastian, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce/St. Lucie, and on downwards to Martin County, an impressive feat indeed. That’s also a generously large area of thirsty beer geeks (enthusiasts for you sensitive types) who wasted neither time nor beer in draining the 1/6 keg (5.17 gallons) of Fritz and Ken. All in all, it took a mere 21 minutes of frenzied organization to drink her dry.

To hinder utter chaos, the dispensing of Fritz and Ken was smartly handled with a pre-set number of raffle tickets. This kept the festivities from being an all-out tooth and nail first come first serve mess, though as mentioned above there were only so many tickets to fairly match the beer contained within. Unfortunately, some people were going to miss trying her on draft.

The smart and able beer geeks, myself included, arrived early and got our tickets reasonably in advance. I was doubly blessed in that I am always off on Mondays so work wasn’t a hindrance. Even if it had been a work day, changing shifts with my fellow coworker and friend would have been no problem. And so I arrived right around 5pm, a good hour early or just in time depending on perspective. Parked and loaded with camera, tasting book, and pen, I was raring to go. Licking lips wet with anticipation, I pulled open those pearly white doors and walked into paradise.

I was an hour early, but there were already many a beer peep and peepette lounging in the bar area. Rustling my way up, hugs and kisses were generously exchanged. I was most pleased to see Michael of The Dining Guide along with Chris Hudson who were both there to document and celebrate the festivities. Seeing as I also there to document and celebrate, we were a merry trio of beerporting craft beer appreciating Vine & Barley loving geeks ready to enjoy the freak out.

Many of my dear friends within JJTaylor and the Treasure Coast beer community were there in good standing. At the height of Fritz and Ken dispensing festivities, shoulders were rubbing in friendly communion as ears eagerly strained for their number to resonate and a black pint of Pioneer Stout goodness to grace tremulous hands. Everyone was considerate, good-natured, and extremely glad to be right there, right then, a sentiment I wholly shared. My number eventually rang true and it was with thirsty hands I gingerly accepted my pint before setting her nearby as to 1)warm up and 2)continue snapping pictures. My pal Robert from Vero was able to make it down for a bit, and so I utilized my second ticket reserved for that exact occasion. Over the counter and into Robert’s smiling hand she went. We didn’t get to chat much, but we shared some memorable moments together nonetheless.

In partitioning the raffle tickets, Mark had a set number in his head that was in line with the average number of pints a 1/6 keg will hold. Those of us in the beer industry were under no delusions as to how short the keg would last. The average time tossed around ranged from 20 to 30 minutes max, and we were right. Now, an average 1/6 keg will serve 50-60 people that many brimming pints and with that average in mind, Mark dispensed raffle tickets. Once the last ticket was exchanged, it was then onto the clamoring crowd of eager beer aficionados awaiting their chance at Fritz and Ken on draft.

No keg lasts forever and with that tell-tale sputter and splash of crema foam, a chorus of sympathetic cheers filled the air…and then the bottles started to flow. Throughout the evening I witnessed a steady stream of Pioneers Stout both pop their top and meander their merry unopened way home with various beaming individuals. By the end, there was an impressive stack of empty cases behind the bar.

The beer itself? Fanfreakingtastic! Want to know more? You can keep an eye out for my eventual review or, even better yet, seek out a couple bottles for yourself before they are all gone. Why two? All the better to age one, my dear. Not only does she taste fanfreakingtastic fresh, she has the potential to age with graceful aplomb. There is only one way to find out so get to it.

But wait! What about Mark’s beer?
Thought you would never ask!

Let us look once more upon the name of this festive occasion which went down Monday, April 19th at Vine & Barley: Sierra Nevada Collaboration Party. The collaboration is twofold in that we weren’t just celebrating the release of Pioneers Stout but also the release of Mark’s beer brewed at Beer Camp.

  • Name: Rhymes Wit
  • Style: Belgian Wit
  • Stats: German Perle and Czech Saaz hops; pilsner malt with wheat and oat flakes; coriander; Butte County mandarins; love

Technicalities aside, Rhymes Wit is a light, tasty, and vibrant variation on the traditionally classic Belgian Wit (white). Mark sourced fresh locally grown mandarin oranges which were purposefully utilized not once but twice in the brewing process for a fresh mandarin essence complimented by the sharp tang of their outer skins. Her spice is a gentle breeze while the pilsner malt, wheat and oak flakes make for a vision truly soft on the eyes. Just one taste is all it takes to feel spring is here and summer is on the way. A quintessential session ale, I could easily while away a sunny afternoon with a few glasses of Rhymes Wit paired with some nibblies the likes of fresh fruit, broiled fish, seviche, or some creamy cheeses. Brie and bread, anyone? Don’t mind if I do.

It was a large limelight that both Fritz and Ken along with Rhymes Wit shared that night. Along with Tim, my Ryan-poo arrived not long after I did. We eventually found ourselves on the patio, a Cohiba each in hand, and so we slowly stoked our way even later into the evening. It was a gorgeous Florida spring night and once more I was exactly where I wanted to be.

Inside, Marc, Eric, Jason, Donna, and Mike shared in the bounteous Rhymes Wit, Pioneers Stout, and a few bottled goodies Marc generously brought. Randall stopped in for a bit, but obligations brought him back home earlier than the rest of us. At some point a platter of nacho grande topped with grilled chicken accompanied by a side of guacamole arrived to which I hungrily helped myself. Even with a growling stomach in desperate need of grub, any grub, I know good nachos when I taste them. The West End Grille’s nacho grande hit the spot and then some. Thanks Donna and Mike!

Good times were had by all generally and yours truly specifically. Besides my pint of Pioneers Stout and Rhymes Wit, I also supped on a Palm Belgian Amber Ale, Stone Old Guardian, and another which still escapes me. Despite having my tasting book on hand, no notes were taken. That’s okay though because I have multiple bottles of Fritz and Ken goodness at home along with a very recent growler of Rhymes Wit. Sometimes it’s nice to simply forgo the study to focus entirely on having a festive time with friends, and that I did.

As the crowd continued to thin and midnight crept ever closer, hugs and kisses were officially exchanged. Collaboration parties of this magnitude come to the Treasure Coast seldom, but hopefully they will come around quite often. In fact, seeing as Vine & Barley is planning a Terrapin Celebration of sorts this month (tomorrow actually), my life of beer is already looking onwards and upwards.

Day by day. Person by person. Place by place. The Treasure Coast is on a steady journey to a thriving scene of craft beer indulgence rich with community enjoyment. Where will Kristyn Lier be? Right here in the throes of it all as I personally bear witness to (and help) the maturation of my hometown into a beery burgundian paradise of slightly tropical persuasions. We are Florida, after all.

My home. My passion. My good life.
I’ll drink to that.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Weyerbacher Brew News

Merry Monks Takes Bronze!
The World Beer Cup awards ceremony was held last month in Chicago, and Chris, Chris, Bob and I were on hand when Merry Monks was announced as the Bronze Medal Winner in the Belgian-Style Tripel Category. Over 3000 beers were entered from 44 different countries. You can see our excitement at the announcement by going to our website and clicking on the video on the home page. Top 3 Tripel in the world!!!

Completely Revamped Website
Going live in mid-April our spiffy new website is the creation of Josh Lampe of Standing Stone Media and our head brewer Chris Wilson. Content, content, content! We’ve got content! Videos, pics, news, events, blogs from Chris and Dan and more. Be sure to check it out and let us know what you think. We think you’ll love it.

Next month’s release:
Fifteen. Smoked Imperial Stout 11.8% ABV.

The Tapping of the Kegs

**Thanks to Michael, Chris, The Dining Guide, Mark, Tim, Andrew, and everyone who made our festive Collaberation Celebration such a swanky shindig. Till next time. Prosit!**


Magic Hat #9 Freshness *update*

Alright. As of today fresh Magic Hat #9 is back in the store and on the shelves. It has a best-by date of August 2010; keep in mind Magic Hat marks their freshness by the end of the month versus the beginning of the month. I don't plan on letting it sit there unloved until the end of August, but I am glad to see a much wider life-span than my previous (and first) shipment.

The BEER Connoisseur Festival

Beer Lovers Unite!
Celebrate the Start of Summer at the First-Annual Beer Connoisseur Festival

Mark your calendars craft beer fans. A very special extravaganza of world-class brews is coming to Atlanta on June 12th, 2010. Hosted by The Beer Connoisseur® Magazine, Taco Mac, 5 Seasons Brewing Company and restaurants of the The Prado enclave in north Atlanta, the first-ever Beer Connoisseur Festival (a.k.a. Pints at The Prado) will kick-off summer with a celebration of great American beer.

A selection of 150-plus brews hand picked from more than 40 world-class breweries – including big names like Allagash, Avery, Bell’s, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Rogue, Stone and Weihenstephan, as well as local favorites like SweetWater, Terrapin and Atlanta Brewing Company – will be poured, and there will be plenty of rare offerings available at the landmark event.

The festival, which will be covered in the magazine’s fall issue, doesn’t begin and end with just great beer, though. There will be live music, lots of great food, access to TV's inside Taco Mac and 5 Seasons Brewing to catch all the FIFA World Cup action and domestic beer and liquor drinks will be sold at an additonal charge. So don’t wait until the last minute – a limited number of tickets are on sale now, and they won’t last long.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door, available only to those ages 21 and over (no children allowed inside the gates). This event will be held rain or shine; no pets or backpacks allowed. PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Tyranena Brew News

Strange Smells In The Brewery.
You can tell lots about what is going on at the brewery by the sounds and the smells. This past week was a radical departure from the aromas we normally have in the brewery. Fargo Brothers Hefeweizen was fermenting away producing its characteristic clove and banana smells. We also had La Femme Amere actively fermenting at a relatively high temperature with a Belgian yeast strain producing all sorts of aromas that I will not even begin to attempt to characterize. If it had been a normal week at the brewery... these aromas would have meant big trouble. But this week it was just a pleasant reminder that summer in the beer garden is just around the corner.

Last Week For Some Beers.
This is your last chance to get your fill of Cabernet Barrel-Aged Brown Ale (going off tap after Sunday if we do not kill the keg before then) and pretty close to the last chance to get Benji's Smoked Imperial Chipotle Porter (scheduled to go off tap next week Friday).

American Craft Beer Week is May 17 - 23.
Beer lovers, craft brewers, homebrewers, beer distributors and retailers are all making special plans for the annual American Craft Beer Week taking place across the country May 17-23. We will have some special tappings for the celebration including the release of Fargo Brothers Hefeweizen and La Femme Amère . We'll also have a guest tap line for Lakefront Brewery's Eastside Dark. I'm sure Stacey has more details below...

Brewing: A batch of La Femme Amère and two batches of Rocky's Revenge.
**I must say having recently tasted a bottle of Rocky's Revenge, it was rocky road in a glass. tastefully different and very very good**

Bottling: Three Beaches Honey Blonde (Wednesday) and Headless Man Amber Alt (Friday).

WOB Viera News

Last Call Wednesday!
Starting today and every Wednesday is Last Call. Half off selected drafts and an extra $1 off last call bottles. Order a beer that finishes a last call keg and win a $10 WOB Gift Card. Click here for details.

Limited Release!
This Tuesday, May 18, we will have an exclusive release of two beers for Brevard County. Widmer Prickly Pear Braggot and Red Hook 8-4-1 Expedition Ale. You will not find this beer anywhere around here. Spread the word and mark your calendars now for this exclusive event starting at 7 pm!

The World is coming to South Africa!
The premier international football tournament is scheduled to take place between June 11 and July 11, 2010 in South Africa and we are going to broadcast the tournment for you. We are planning on opening early so you can catch every game. Click here for flyer.

This Sunday May 16th, we will be closing early to have maintenance done on the bar. We apologize but it must be done. Our hours on Sunday will be 12 pm to 12 am. Monday we will open at 1 pm. Thanks for your patience.

New Bottles
  • Great Divide Belgica, 7.2% (Colorado)
  • North Coast Old Rasputin, 12% (California)
  • Rochefort 6, 7.4% (Belgium)
  • Rochefort 8, 9.1% (Belgium)
  • Rochefort 10, 11% (Belgium)

New Drafts
  • Anderson Valley Summer Solstice, 5.6% (California)
  • Erie Derailed Ale, 5% (Pennsylvania)
  • Lagunitas IPA, %.7$ (California)
  • North Coast Red Seal, 6% (California)
  • Wychwood Hobgoblin, 5.1% (England)

Live Music This Week
  • Thursday - Matt Adkins & Jay Dibella
  • Friday - Ben Wilson
  • Saturday - The Sunsetters

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flying Fish Brew News

So big, this week requires 10 days to fit in all the events. Lots of new stuff this year. Stay up to date at There's a really cool iPhone app on its way. We'll fill you in on all our events in the next newsletter.

Hard to believe this tasty stuff is now entering its 14th summer. That's good for all of us! Our Farmhouse Summer Ale is on its way out to your favorite retailer and tavern as you read this. The perfect summer beer, Farmhouse Ale is brewed with pale malt, a small percentage of wheat and single-hopped with imported Styrian Golding hops. It's a tribute to the "everyday" Farmhouse beers of Belgium (but it's not a Saison - no fruit, herbs or spices). A sour mash gives this beer its signature dryness and great drinkability. The Farmhouse is also available in 1/6 and 1/2 kegs. If you don't see it, ask your local retailer for it.

If you find any out in the stores, count your blessings and grab it. We have a little bit left we're selling here during tours, but that's it. Next Exit Series premieres in June. Stay tuned.

The June 26 festival will be on the deck of the Battleship New Jersey under a tent where it's nice & dry--and with a great view! Taste the fine and fun offerings from 14 great NJ breweries in a family friendly environment. Easy to get to from public transit or driving. Tickets are $40 (includes tasting glass and self-guided tour of the ship) and can be purchased online. Attendance is limited to 750 lucky people. Live music. Food available for purchase. For more information head to, or

Terrapin Special Release Party @ Vine & Barley

That's right!! On Monday May 17th, Vine & Barley will host not just one but three Terrapin beers on draft. The extra special kegs of OAKED Wake & Bake Imperial Coffee Oatmeal Stout (the ONLY keg to hit the Treasure Coast) along with Monk's Revenge Belgian-style Double IPA will be tapped at 6pm SHARP! Be there! I will be!!!

There will also be a raffle drawing for a very very very limited quantity of Capt'n Krunkles Black IPA. There are 12 individual bottles to be exact. Tickets will go fast and the bottles will go even faster.

For those who plan on getting there early as I am, thirst will be quenched with Terrapin Rye Pale Ale on draft all day long at a sweet price per pint of $2.95!



Reading Mash

Currently reading my way through 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die by Adrian Tierney-Jones. When done I plan to make a list of all the beers contained within that I have tried so far. Of course I'll post said list here; as for those not tasted yet...that's what wish lists and beer trips are for!

In the que:
  • Last Call - The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrant
  • Brewing Up A Business - Adventures in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery by Sam Calagione
  • Malt Whisky Companion - Michael Jackson


**As a cat owner and native Floridian wise to the ways of the wily seagull, this had me in stitches because I can totally see that happening. To anyone, anywhere. LOL!!**

Great Divide Brew News

“I am happy, I cannot be more so, to inform my readers that good cheer is far from being injurious…” - Brillat Savarin

We agree with the 18th century French foodie! And where there’s good cheer there’s always good beer, and we’re not the only ones who think so. Demand for our award-winning beers is at an all-time high and we’re having a hard time keeping up. But don’t worry, we have an expansion project underway that will significantly boost our capacity this summer. Stay tuned for more details and thanks for keeping us backed up.

Belgica is back! Our ode to the best in American and Belgian brewing traditions hit shelves this month. Crafted with Belgian pilsner malt, a generous amount of American and European hops and a special Belgian yeast strain, Belgica is a truly unique and lively beer. It’s perfect for spring in the Rockies and anywhere else in the nation.

We’re honored. On April 10 Hoss Rye Lager earned a bronze medal at the 2010 World Beer Cup in Chicago. Hossome! This big accolade comes on the heels of the beer’s bronze medal at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival. Plaid is officially back in style.

Beer and Food... Because of its wide and unique range of flavors, we think craft beer is the drink of choice with any great meal. These days more people are thinking the same way, and Duo Restaurant is leading the charge in Denver. Join us Tuesday May 25th for a Great Divide Beer Dinner at:
Duo Restaurant
2413 W. 32nd Ave.
Denver, CO
6pm, $39 per person
RSVP to 303-477-4141

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Beer Bash *update*

Formerly known as Better Beers At The Ball Park, this new venture has picked up where Better Beers was abruptly let off. And why was Better Beers so abruptly dropped?

Good question.

I am far from having all the answers and I am sure a large chunk of the reasons will remain lost in the great dark void of beer politics for all time. What I can theorize within fair reason is this:
  • Somehow someway AB/InBev is involved. I can’t give any specifics why because I don’t have any, but my beer geek sense is tingling something fierce.
  • I am sure Beer Bash will be a jolly good shindig with good beer and good people followed with an exciting game of baseball. Tis the season, after all. Originally a craft beer event with breweries the likes of Brooklyn, Samuel Adams, Dogfish Head, Oskar Blues, Flying Dog, Sierra Nevada, and Bells, now I can only guess as to what will be shared at the new Beer Bash 2010.
  • I may not be a friend to corporate America generally and AB/InBev specifically, but I am a friend to craft beer local and abroad. If Beer Bash is now an AB/InBev centric event, then common sense dictates Beer Bash should be popping open some Victory, Southern Tier, Magic Hat, Gordon Biersch, and Starr Hill. Of these five craft breweries, only three would really be worth my while whereas at Better Beers all seven breweries were worth my while.
  • If nothing else, I don’t see why all parties involved couldn’t have joined hands and shared in the festivities. After all, Yuengling, Bass, Brooklyn, Victory, Bud, and Miller (to name a few) all share the regular bottle and draft selection at Digital Domain Stadium (772-871-2115) which is home to the NY Mets major and minor leagues.

But what do I know, right? I’m just a local beer geek who suddenly feels fabulously jilted out of a lovely affair.

For those interested in Beer Bash, the date is still Saturday May 15th though I would contact Digital Domain to confirm the time. After Beer Bash, you are invited to stay and watch the St. Lucie Mets battle it out with the Jupiter Hammerheads. Be sure to hang around after the game for a dazzling display of fireworks before calling it a night and heading safely home.

So…I am left with more questions than answers and a lot of friends who also feel fabulously jilted out of a lovely affair. As stoked as I was for Better Beers, not so much for Beer Bash. I am sure fun will be had by all who attend but for me and others, we shall seek out more beery pastures elsewhere.

And to that I say Cheers! And Good Day!

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Better Beers at the Ball Park *update*

It saddens me greatly to announce that Better Beers At The Ball Park has been cancelled due to unforeseen unfortunate circumstances. To everyone who showed interest and was truly excited about this could-have-been stellar event, my sincerest apologies. Maybe next time!


Victory Freshness *update*

Alright! I am happy to say that Prima Pils is back and looking fresh as can be. Current best-by date is September 8, 2010. A nice long freshness window, not that she will last that long on the shelves. Good stuff, good stuff indeed.

(original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Orlando Brewing Brew News

Friday, May 7th @ 9pm: Actomatics
(Alternative / Roots Music / Soul)

Saturday, May 8th @ 2pm to 6pm:
Orlando Brewing Rummage Sale
Everyone is welcome to purchase a spot and turn their Trash into another's Treasure. Stop by the Tap Room to fill out a Rummage Sale Form and to pay the entry fee of $10.
Any questions e-mail

Saturday, May 8th @ 9pm: Matt "Sax" Campbell
(Pop / Rock / Jazz)

Sunday, May 9th: Happy Mother's Day
Appreciating Moms.... Mom's Drink for FREE!
Old Time Jam Music @ 4:30pm

Samuel Adams Boston Lager @ Waldos

I went to Waldos yesterday to do some stuff online and have a drink...or three. Rustling up to the bar, I greet Molly and look over the bottled beer selection as I always do, draft too. What to my wandering eyes should appear but...

~drum roll~

...Samuel Adams Boston Lager. In bottles. Ok, it's not draft, but I'll drink on a Boston Lager any day of the week. You may be able to find it pretty much all over the USofA, but it's still a darn good beer. I was pleasantly surprised and though I drank it out of what amounts to a plastic soda cup (never from the bottle will I drink...unless I have no other option), it tasted wonderfully.

Summer breeze rustling my hair.
Chatting it up with the locals and the tourists.
Samuel Adams Boston Lager quenching my thirst.
Surfing the web just steps away from the beach.

Life truly was grander than usual yesterday.

I rounded out with a Glengoyne and Long Island Iced Tea, but I hope to see Samuel Adams Boston Lager still lurking behind the bar Friday when I bop on over to drop off a mix 4pack of beers for Rachelle.


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Stoudts Brew News


By the time this newsletter goes out we will most likely be out of our new Springtime beer, Karnival Kolsch. There may be a few cases available in a few stores, but most of our local distributors sold out of this beer very quickly. This beer was a huge success as the new spring seasonal, and we would like to thank everyone for supporting this change, and for all of the positive feedback! Due to the extreme popularity of this new style, we will most likely brew another batch of Kolsch for release sometime during the summer. We will also release this beer a month early next year to extend its availability.

Moving forward to our summertime favorite, Heifer-in-Wheat will be available in all packages from early May through most of the summer. This beer is a traditional South German Hefe-Weizen. It is unfiltered, and offers a refreshingly crisp flavor with hints of banana and clove. I use this beer to make pancakes, and they are to die for! Simply replace up to 100% of the water used to make your pancake batter with Heifer-in-Wheat, and you will be amazed at how delicious they are! This same concept can be used for waffles as well. Once you try this, you won’t feel the same about those boring old pancakes and waffles.

We are currently offering several beers as Brewer's Reserves. The first is a creation by brewer Gary Gagliardi, which is a German-style pale ale called Gemutlichkeit Ale. This beer is available on tap at the bar, as well as in cork finished 750ml bottles. The second Reserve available is our old spring seasonal, the yummy Honey Double Mai Bock. This beer is also available on tap at the bar, and in 750ml bottles for takeout. Also, I believe there are still a couple of cases of the Old Abominable Barleywine available in big bottles. Keep in mind that all of our Brewer’s Reserve beers are extremely limited, so if you want them, you should get them while you can! Keep drinking good beer, support your local brewery, and don't forget to check out all the latest news, brews, and upcoming events on our website.
Brett - Head Brewer

East vs. West exclusive EXOTIC BEER TASTING June 11, 7 to 11pm
This is a one time only opportunity for the true beer enthusiast! Join us and sample some unique brews from coast to coast. Breweries from the East and West have selected limited vintage aged and creative brews to tease your palette. Enjoy music by "The Jazz Katz" while savoring exclusive beers and our chef's savory appetizers. This event will sell out! Get your tickets today. Tickets are $60 a person - must be 21 to attend!

MICROFEST - 19th Annual
June 12 - Afternoon: 12 - 4pm - Hoppin' John Orchestra
June 12 - Evening: 7-11pm - The Skels


Brewery bands compete for the golden keg and the charity of their choice. Great beer, food, tunes and a crazy good time.

WOB Viera News

Cinco de Mayo
Today is Cinco De Mayo. It's time to party! We have $3 drafts for Dos Equis lager and amber beer all day. Also we have t-shirts for $10. Stop by to get yours. Click here for flyer.

The Date is Set!
On May 18, we have been given an exclusive release of two beers for Brevard County. Widmer Prickly Pear Braggot and Red Hook 8-4-1 Expedition Ale. You will not find this beer anywhere around here. So mark your calendars now for this exclusive event!

The World is coming to South Africa!
The premier international football tournament is scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010 in South Africa and we are going to broadcast the tournment for you. We are planning on opening early so you can catch every game. Click here for flyer.

On Sunday May 16th, we will be closing early to have maintenance done on the bar. We apologize but it must be done. Our hours on Sunday will be 12 pm to 12 am. Monday we will open at 1 pm. Thanks for your patience.

New Bottles
  • Bison Honey Basil, 6% (California)
  • Dogfish Head Immort, 11% (Delaware)
  • Magic Hat Wacko, 4.5% (Vermont)
  • Shipyard Summer Ale, 5.1% (Maine)
  • Shipyard XXXX IPA (Pugsley's Signature Series), 9.3% (Maine)

New Drafts
  • Ace Joker Cider, 8% (California)
  • Brooklyn Summer Ale, 4.5% (New York)
  • Dos Equis XX Amber, 5% (Mexico)
  • Erie Ryebender Ale, 6.8% (Pennsylvania)
  • Erie Smokebender, 6.8% (Pennsylvania)
  • Kelly's Raspberry Cider, 5% (Florida)
  • He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A., 10% (New York)

Live Music This Week
  • Thursday - Micah Reed
  • Friday - C-Lane & Beav
  • Saturday - Matt Adkins & Jay Dibella

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Dogfish Head ~ Victory ~ Stone Collaberation

**and they call it: Saison du BUFF**

Dogfish Head / Victory / Stone Saison du BUFF from stonebrew on Vimeo.

Hoggie's Latest & Greatest

**Someone somewhere out there needs to send me a bottle of this. Please. Just one bottle is all I ask.**

Allagash White ~ Get You Some!!!

**I have to say, this beer is fanfreakingtastic. If I could, there would always be a bottle in my fridge ready for drinking whenever I was in the mood...which would be quite often.**

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Magic Hat #9 Freshness *update*

I am pulling my remaining 5 bottles off the shelf. Being May 2nd, they are now officially 2 days past their best-by date. I don't know as to other's stock and freshness status because I don't know when the last shipment to the Treasure Coast specifically and Florida generally was. I also haven't been sniffing around Magic Hat lately as much as I have Victory (and in good cause). But, I am working on finding out. Of course, once a fresh batch is in then Magic Hat #9 will grace the shelves once more.

Will there be a sudden drop off in flavor being a meager 2 days after their best-by, no. But breweries who freshness date their beers do so because they want to ensure that their beer you are drinking is in the best tasting condition possible. Brooklyn Brewery, Summit, and many craft brewers follow this creed, understandably so, because nothing ruins a newbs and a veteran's beer tasting moment than a good beer gone bad.

Will post again as soon as I have more information. And as I did with Victory, I am sure I will have to inform Southern Eagle once more as to the freshness status of a new beer they are carrying and distributing.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Saturday, May 01, 2010

BEERflections ~ Broken Barrel Tavern 1 Year Anniversary Celebration

I live by just a few simple truths in this jolly ol’ life of mine (at least, that I can think of right now). Through time and trial they have remained faithfully true, giving no cause to reconsider, though sometimes to reflect.

Thinking global and drinking local is all well and good, but I have a generously wide definition of local. If I can hop in my car and be at your door in a reasonable frame of time, that’s local enough for me. The siren’s call of good beer and good food is one I do not desire to resist no matter the miles that stand between us which brings me to one of my simple truths: good beer and good food. Within is a jovial commingling of community and family with a dash of friendly competition for added spice. I rejoice in absolute faith that one day Vero will be bustling with good beer and good food on street corners as far as the eye can see and beyond.

So where did my simple truth lead me? Why, to the Broken Barrel Tavern in Palm Bay, a short 30-40 minute jaunt north of my hometown. Local? Absolutely. It’s not the farthest I’ve cruised for good beer and good food and it won’t be the last. This wasn’t just a random road trip either. A momentous occasion had given cause for an equally momentous celebration: their 1 year anniversary.

Holy pocky!

I was a wee bit late in discovering this beery oasis of smoke and barbeque, but a year? Already? Wow and awesome! I’m not surprised in the least by their success, just in the way time flies though I’ve been having a lot of fun lately. All sincerely guiltless and proudly indulgent, of course.

Good times are meant to be shared and though I didn’t see as many of my beer peeps as I had hoped, there were a few. Even more impressive was the jostling crowd of merry-makers both inside and out. A good portion of the parking lot immediately in front of Broken Barrel Tavern was roped and barricaded off. Contained within were a Samuel Adams truck, tent, tables, and a sound stage where bands rocked their way into the evening. It was only around 10pm that the bandstand had to call it quits. Whoever was playing when I arrived around 3pm, to be quite frank, sucked, but overall the eclectic mix of live music was enjoyed by all. I was particularly impressed by the last two performances.

Just because you can’t enjoy live music outside doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy live music inside, and so we did. Of all the bands that day, the indoor house band was my personal favorite by a landslide. They were also the loudest. And so I once more stumble upon my only recurring crux with the Broken Barrel: head-pounding decibels. Indoor music can have a tendency to reverb, and their building both showcases and enhances music sometimes too well. Decibels aside, I unfortunately didn’t get to listen to their whole set but overall there was much toe-tapping in rhythm with their jazzy island funk.

Saturday is normally a full work day, but I pulled out early thanks to my coworker and friend, Sharon. You rock, sister! Thanks! A quick stop home and I was off to good beer and good food destiny. The interstate was my usual route there, but my trip home was along the more scenic US Highway 1. With no discernable difference in trip time, US1 is my newly preferred route. Since there is far more of Broken Barrel’s tasty menu to explore, it’ll be a path well traveled, believe you me.

Obviously good beers were without question, but let’s talk food first.

I’ve never been a big fan of barbeque and smoked fare. Boring and far from anything sensational enough to set these tastebuds aquiver, lips smacking, and heart swooning was how I felt. At least, that was until my first life-altering trip a few months ago. Many places will tout in-house smoking, fresh meat, and a daily routine of loving food preparation. The reality of many establishments is anything but scintillating. Being a Food Network whore, I’ve watched many barbeque and smoked food specials where heart-felt words of love were lavished upon meat so tender, so succulent, you could have died right then and there for heaven had already been found. Rolling indifferent eyes, I figured my life to forever be a barren wasteland devoid of such mouthwatering barbeque and savory smoke.

Enter the Broken Barrel Tavern of Palm Bay, Florida.

Amen, hallelujah, and peanut butter. Consider this poor lost soul found, reformed, and enlightened. It is now my mission to spread the sacred gospel of real smoke and barbeque mastery. Don’t believe me? You will. I won over two converts that night whom I now crown Brother Eric and Brother Randall. We have seen the light and she glows in hot whites and brilliant ambers.

Before my brothers in barbeque arrived, I was long relaxing at my table in the back where WiFi was mooched in good stead. Between Facebooking and posting in my blog, beers were supped and savored with appropriate nibblies inbetween. The irony of posting a BEERflection while soaking in the ambiance and fun for a future BEERflection didn’t escape notice. And so here I sit a few weeks later with napkin in hand for the drool I am certain will ensue in memorandum as the lingering flavors, sights, and sounds of that special evening replay vividly onto paper.

One of my Vero peeps had let me in on a little known tasting secret just in time for the celebratory festivities: smoked buffalo wings. Unsurprisingly, I am also a buffalo wing whore and no more needed saying. Dry-rubbed and smoked to melting perfection, they come in perfect 10s with a choice of 6 dipping sauces. Hah! Not that they needed any dipping. I enjoy the tenderly fried and saucily dressed wings, but these…these have raised wings to epic heights of awesomeness not tasted in my 20+ years of wingly indulgence…until now. Dry-rubbed with a secret mix of spices and then slowly smoked, the outer skin crunches between fingers before a watershed of smoky buffalo wing juices cascade over lips, across tastebuds, and down my throat. What followed was a righteous track of scintillating moans, groans, and finger-licking smacks of pleasure. It was truly an orgy of pecan wood, smoke, spice, crunch, and the tenderest buffalo wing meat ever.


Time was taken, flavors savored, and many a napkin happily soiled by what few precious juices these lips couldn’t rescue. My dip of choice was the bourbon (yum!) barbeque glaze which mingled perfectly with her buffalo brothers. In confession, I did dip here and there, but very few and even farther inbetween.

For an anniversary celebration, Broken Barrel was not really pressed for space. Personally, it helped that I arrived early but with their massively cozy layout and outside festivities, I never once felt crowded. The table where I stooped was meant for a group of people, but never did an evil eye or scornful glare pass my way. After all, a web-surfing note-taking food-snarfing beer-savoring geek needs her space. That and I figured at least a few Vero peeps would show up and I was right. Jim and his wife arrived not too long after with kids in tow; amusing themselves elsewhere, Jim snuck away many times to talk beer with me. Eric and Randall arrived later in the afternoon and lingered the night away at our table.

I’m proud of the good friends good beer has brought into my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Next in line to tantalize our tastebuds were the brisket slider trio which arrived with a huge side of sweet potato fries indulgently covered in powdered sugar and maple syrup, ohmy! They had Mom’s name written all over them. Cleanliness and proper table manners are not an option when indulging in brisket slider nirvana such as the ones we ate in juicy, slurpy, soggy enjoyment. Tenderly smoked and happily swimming in their own succulent meaty juices, the little buns never stood a chance. Shoving the whole slider in my mouth would have been a wee bit uncouth, but it only took a few generous bites before fingers entered mouth in suckling pleasure. Wow and wow.

Inbetween our snarfing and our supping (I’ll be getting to the beers soon. Patience.), raffles were drawn and lucky winners rejoiced. A few of the many items being raffled included: Palm 6packs with glass, Samuel Adams perfect pint glasses, Samuel Adams beer fridge, Florida Beer Company t-shirts, 2009 Samuel Adams Utopias, 42” LCD flat screen TV, and multiple trips in the money machine. Money machine? Yes, those humanoid lost-in-space enclosures where amidst a swirly flurry of bills and a buzzer, we greedily scrabble to collect as much greenery as possible before the buzzer sounds again. Eric the Lucky won both a Palm 6pack with glass and a trip in the money machine for a raucous mix of envy and joviality.

Getting back to the food...

While I continued to toss back water, savor beers, scribble notes, and Facebooke, Eric ordered the pulled pork Cuban with carrot fries. I’ve had the carrot fries before and this batch wasn’t as good. In particular, they hadn’t been fried long enough and were a sliver too thin. Maybe next time. The pulled pork Cuban? I personally didn’t taste any since I was feeling a wee bit full then, but Eric said it was alright. I’ll just have to try it myself sometime and see what this aspiratory burgundians final opinion is.

And then arrived the rack of ribs. Foodvana was restored and all was right in our world.

Eric was MIA when the ribs arrived stretching far past the meager limits of its plate. Black with a thick layer of dry-spiced rub enticement, nothing could hold back the smoky spicy succulence of her being. As Randall pulled a slab off the end, pulled immediately became the wrong word of choice. More like Randall looked at the piece he wanted and it fell willingly into his open hands. Try as I might, resistance was wholly futile and the stomach happily made way for a few mouth-melting ribs of my own. Once more an orgy of juicy smoky meaty delights exploded atop my tastebuds and trickled down my chin. Just thinking about it, I must have them. Again and again and again. It was righteous burgundian paradise we all experienced that night. A perfect last course, we lingered long while savoring the celebratory beers on tap for Broken Barrel’s very special birthday.

Kevin and his partner in burgundian pleasure worked for months with various distributors and breweries to line up a sweet set of beers to toast the evening. In fact, they ultimately settled on three sets of draft beers:
  • Tier 1: Allagash Black; Cigar City Humidor Gruit; Ichetegems Grand Cru; Smuttynose Imp Stout; Stone 13th Anniversary; Terrapin dark Side
  • Tier 2: Allagash Curieux; Dogfish Head Fort; Dogfish Head Red & White; Lagunitas Hop Stoopid; Ommegang Belgian-style Pale Ale
  • Tier 3: Bells Kalamazoo; Highland Brewing Seven Sisters; Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot; Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Pioneers Stout; Tripel Karmeliet

Outside of the beers especially on draft for their anniversary, Broken Barrel Tavern always sports a wonderfully eclectic collection of artisanal beers from America and abroad. They love their beers almost as much as I do and yes, they carry it.

When the three of us finally headed our separate ways home, the bar was still on Tier 1. I unfortunately haven’t been back since but would imagine they have slowly tapped their way through the other Tiers. The majority of beers I wanted to taste and notarize were in Tier 1 so the night still worked in my favor. A few remained untasted, but there are plenty of other beers out there with which to get my flavor on.

I started my evening of beery goodness with the newly indomitable Florida brewery, Cigar City out of Tampa. The beer in question was the Humidor Gruit. Historically speaking, gruit was an herb mixture used to bitter, flavor, and preserve beer for centuries long before hops were discovered and eventually accepted. How close Cigar City came to the original gruit is up for undeterminable debate, but I found her deliciously of the earth, proudly sporting a perfume of herbs, flower petals, pollen, roots, and cedar. Beery inspiration I was more than happy to drink from. She was eventually followed by an Ichetegems Grand Cru, Terrapin Dark Side, and Allagash Black. Of the four, Cigar City and Terrapin were the most personally pleasing. The Terrapin Dark Side was a Belgian-style stout with a tart lactic twist. A sharp sour twang in the back teased and tickled the sides of my cheeks with each playful quaff. She reminded me of the Madrugada Obscura from Jolly Pumpkin, another Belgian-style stout with a tart lactic twist. Yum on both counts.

Like a good little beer tasting geek, I interspersed each glass of beer with an equally full glass of water. Eventually we just kept a full pitcher of water on hand to fill our glasses with hydration righteousness. When drinking long and a lot, relatively speaking, water is key to rehydration while food is key to absorption. Of course, if I am drinking long and a lot, whatever passes these lips better be of tasteful designs or the above matters little and linger long I will not. There are other oases out there, after all.

Since Tier 2 still wasn’t tapped and the evening’s end was in view, my curtain call was a 12oz (versus 750ml) bottle of the unapologetically sourful complexity of the Cantillon 100% Pure Kriek. I craved SOUR and Cantillon delivered with tasteful aplomb as they always do. Tired and sated, we captured our waitress’ attention before wandering into the warm night air. Breathing deep, we slowly moseyed our way to vehicular transportation. A wonderful birthday celebration, I look forward to celebrating many more with the Broken Barrel Tavern of Palm Bay, Florida along with as many random visits inbetween as possible. After all, if you have good beer and good food, I will be there.

Thank you and good night

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)