Friday, July 30, 2010

Beer School @ Broken Barrel Tavern

**I won't be able to make it as I am working, but all things goodly and beerly (can't have one without the other imnsho) need to be properly pimped. It pains me that I almost forgot about this awesome inaugural meeting off the beerly minded...but it's never too late because today is only Friday. Tomorrow...tomorrow is Saturday July 31st 2010 so if you can then by all means be there, learn some, taste some, and have a GOOD time. Tell em Kristyn sent ya.**

This coming Saturday, July 31st 2010 is the first meeting of beer school for customers. There will be both a chance to learn more about different beer styles as well as samples several examples. The price will be $10 per person, and this is just to cover expenses. Beer school will meet monthly, and will cover different styles and regions as well as some brewing basics and history. It is open to all persons twenty-one years of age and older, and registration will be available at The Broken Barrel Tavern. This is a great way to experiment with different styles and learn more about the World’s favorite beverage!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hurricane's Summer Kick-Off Weekend *update*

**A bit late but still a blast from a kick-bootie weekend which in reality was only a month or so ago. I have added the slide-show to my write-up to be found HERE, but since it has been a wee bit of a while, also wanted to feature it prominently right here and now. So, without further ado, enjoy...**

Dogfish Head My Antonia

**Respectfully borrowed from DFH and South Florida Beer Blog. It would seem that yet another trip to Total Wine of Palm Beach is in order. Sheesh! It's not like this wallet o' mine is made of money; that's beer AND gas, yknow. The woes of a beer ambassador extraordinaire, I tellya...**

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

3rd Annual TCBF *pimping*

3rd Annual Treasure Coast Beer Fest

The official calender listing on DRAFT Magazine's homepage.
Keep an eye open for one to appear on All About Beer soon and hopefully Beer Connoisseur. Working on getting it listed on both the RB and BA event calenders.
I will update accordingly, of course.

If there is anyone out there who can assist in attaining the physical address for the downtown Fort Pierce City Hall parking garage, that would be superfantastic. Please and thank you!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Take One Down and Pass It Around...

In the latest and greatest issue from All About Beer, Julie Johnson dives headlong into the world of beer coveting and white whales. Seeing as this particular issue delves into the world of enjoying beers and rating beers as both conundrum and bedfellow, I figured what the heck! Might as well make note of which of the 99 Bottles of Beer have crossed these grateful lips so far.

And so without further ado...
  1. Allagash Curieux (need to revisit this particular beer)
  2. Ayinger Alt-Bayerisch Dunkel
  3. Baladin Xyauyu Copper
  4. Bear Republic Racer 5 American IPA
  5. Bells Expedition Stout
  6. Boon Rawd Singha
  7. Boulevard Saison-Brett
  8. Brooklyn Local 1
  9. Bruery Autumn Maple
  10. Cascade Brewing The Vine
  11. Cigar City Huhnapu's Imperial Stout (yeah!!! go Florida!!)
  12. Deschutes The Abyss
  13. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (a personal work-in-progress in terms of agreeing with my palate)
  14. Duvel
  15. Founders Kentucky Bourbon Breakfast
  16. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
  17. Great Divide Yeti Series (Imperial Stout)
  18. Great Divide Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
  19. Hair of the Dog Dave
  20. Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout
  21. Aucht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weiss
  22. Gouden Carolus
  23. Left Hand Imperial Stout
  24. Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme
  25. Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch
  26. Thomas Hardy's Ale
  27. Ommegang Three Philosophers
  28. Orval
  29. Samuel Smith Yorkshire Stingo
  30. St. Bernardus Abt. 12
  31. Three Floyds Dark Lord
  32. Traquair House Ale
  33. Trader Joe's Vintage Ale (brewed by Unibroue)
  34. Zywiec Porter
(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

gotta love it

Stone Mishmash: Meatless Mondays, Zane Lamprey &...Women ONLY! from stonebrew on Vimeo.

magazine mash

Just any FYI for those beer peeps and peepettes who like to stay informed as to the goings-ons in our lovely wide world of real beer both in the USofA and abroad: the newest issues of DRAFT and All About Beer are in at the Vero Beach Book Center. Be sure to get your copy while you can.

Also, I am looking into seeing if they can get in and will carry the newest entry in the beery world of magazines which passes the Kristyn, Beer Ambassador Extraordinaire test: The Beer Connoisseur.

If so, just keep an eye on here and/or my FB page for further updates. The VB Book Center is also where I order all my books on beer, single-malts, and other such spirited matters. Be sure to browse their "drinks" section and if you don't see what you are looking for, ask. Someone will be more than glad to help you.

Seeing as I have been shopping here since I was but a wee lass, I can say without a doubt that they are truly a local family institution. One I am proud to call home.

Beerworks Charitable Foundation

Sometimes all it takes is a few community minded gents and a few tasty beers to make a difference in the lives of those who need help. For the last three years, that is exactly what the Beerworks Charitable Foundation has done for multiple beneficiaries amongst our sunny Treasure Coast family. In the first two years recipients included Learn to Read of St. Lucie County and Kate’s Hope. This year Beerworks is looking to help Dogs and Cats Forever (our four legged friends deserve help too), Alzheimer’s Association’s Memory Walk, Michael’s Message, and Harvest Food Outreach. A civil affair, fun reigns and charity benefits all under a sense of responsibility as hundreds descend upon the downtown Fort Pierce City Hall Parking Garage from as far away as Miami and beyond. Closer to home, I too can make a difference in someone’s life and so can you simply by savoring beers as rich in diversity as the women and men attending this year’s 3rd Annual Treasure Coast Beer Fest ( More than just a fest; it is passion incarnate thanks to Marc Boland, Mark Carbone, Greg Heller, Eric Halberg, Will Roberts, and Joe Greenwald who never fail to put anything less than the entirety of their being into making TCBF great. This year’s event will be especially poignant as we celebrate on September 11th 2010 from 1pm to 5pm the life and freedom of America which makes events such as this possible. I consider it a privilege and honor to share in this wonderful example of human hospitality and charity through the practically perfect venue of good beers. From my heart to yours, cheers, thanks, and see you there.

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

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Reading Mash

It's been a long read...far longer than it normally would have been not because the read was dull and boorish but because I endured ill-health for a good 3/4 of the month. Blech! Even my writing fell behind. A smidge. Now that I am healthy reading is back in swing and so too is writing, not least of which is my beer reviews. Expect many great entries sooner than later, and it is with great relish that I just now finished Last Call by Daniel Okrent.

Next in line:
Brewing Up A Business by Sam Calagione

French Quarter Beer Dinner *Date Change*

An important FYI for the next upcoming French Quarter Beer Dinner. Do to some unforseen conflicts, we (French Quarter and I) have reschedule it for Sunday, August 15th.

Mark your calenders and Make Note because I want to see YOU there!!!!

The menu has not changed, just the date.
And so to further tempt the tastebuds with more than enough time for everyone to RSVP:
Date: August 15th, 2010
Time: 5pm – 9pm
Location: French Quarter in downtown Vero Beach
RSVP: yes please!!! 772-770-4870
Cost: $29.99 per person
Menu du Jour:
  • Manila clams steamed in a Belgian-style wit with garlic, butter, and scallions. Beer: Avery White Rascal.
  • Braised Angus short ribs with bacon mushroom bread pudding, glazed carrots, and frizzled looks. Beer: Oskar Blues Old Chub
  • Dark chocolate pate with fresh berries and vanilla bean ice cream. Beer: Lindeman’s Framboise.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Menu ~ French Quarter Beer Dinner *update*

Well folks, I have here in my hot little hands the official menu for our second, count em, second beer dinner at the fabulous French Quarter. Featuring the culinary talents of Ed, hostess with the mostest Debra, entrepreneur extraordinaire Spencer, their capably eclectic staff, and your beer ambassador truly, Kristyn Lier, it will be a night to remember. And so without further ado, the titillating details if you please:

Date: July 28th, 2010
Time: 5pm – 9pm
Location: French Quarter in downtown Vero Beach
RSVP: yes please!!! 772-770-4870
Cost: $29.99 per person
Menu du Jour:
  • Manila clams steamed in a Belgian-style wit with garlic, butter, and scallions. Beer: Avery White Rascal.
  • Braised Angus short ribs with bacon mushroom bread pudding, glazed carrots, and frizzled looks. Beer: Oskar Blues Old Chub
  • Dark chocolate pate with fresh berries and vanilla bean ice cream. Beer: Lindeman’s Framboise.

So make sure to call ASAP to make your reservations. See you there!!!

The End of History

**not quite sure what I think of this latest venture...**

The End of History from BrewDog on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Local Matters

These aren’t the easiest of times that we are facing but then again, what’s easy and what is not is still a rather debatable debacle I’d rather not get into at the moment. Why? Because whether times are easy or hard, smooth or rough, the simple fact is that local always matters. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, local is as local does and there is a pride, a purpose, a joy to be found in one’s home that cannot be duplicated or replaced elsewhere.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my hometown, Vero Beach, and relish as a whole the splendor that is Florida. This wasn’t always the case but years of soul-searching outside the familial nest cleared the adolescent clutter and opened wizened doors. And so I found my way back home where time enjoys a quirky flux of stillness and change.

Just as there is so much we cannot effect, there is so much we can. It begins in the place we call home and for Kristyn Lier that is Vero Beach. As human beings it is somehow in our discordant nature to claim an acceptance for change and yet, when reality strikes we cling in very desperate fear to that which has always been as we sacrifice the very change we had previously played lip-service. Right now (as in any other day) we stand on the cusp of change with fears inadmissible, leaving the rest up to the individual, you and me, how we adapt and grow with it.

But what does all this have to do with local?

Because my friends it is now when our town needs us the most. Our community professional and personal offer you and I a place and time found nowhere else but in Vero Beach. And yet I am seeing doors close, often forever, while a morbid gloom of abandonment hangs in the air. Adversity is not an enemy. Adversity is simply a chance to adapt, to grow, to learn, to change, and to thrive. We all shop at the big name stores, but by no means are they the only choice we have to make with our person and our wallets. More and more the sad tale of another local establishment gone for good reaches these forlorn ears; some with prior notice and some with abandoned silence. While not all can claim decades of my joyous purveyance, they are nonetheless a heartfelt loss.

On the flipside, I see new businesses poised to breathe life into a tired scene desperately seeking a little ingenuity…even if they don’t know it yet. I see established businesses previously stalwart in their long-standing traditions of my way or the highway listening to the hum and drum while taking to heart this new wave in the life of Vero Beach. A quirky and quaint beachside town not even 100 years old yet (but getting there – one more decade to go), Vero is still quite the babe in the worldly scheme of things for whatever that is worth.

What makes Vero unique is not the saturation of corporate conglomerate sameness nor are these bloated giants of empty excess ever going to truly nourish, cherish, and appreciate what makes us home. I am not a statistic or a market. I am me. Vero Beach is Vero Beach. I don’t want streets upon streets of the same boring businesses selling the same boring shtick I can find on any street anywhere in the USofA. Equally close to the heart, I don’t want to be stuck drinking the same old boring light lagers and quasi-craft wanna-be brews just as I don’t want to be stuck drinking the same old boring pre-mixed sugar-laden cocktails of mediocrity to go along with my monotonous assembly-line platter of similarly inedible largesse.

Flavor of diversity and diversity of flavor. A tastefully simple concept and yet so hard to find. But this simple precept was and is what makes Vero so great in that I can actually fulfill these humble desires both sustained and enjoyed in our local abodes rich with heart and soul.

And to be fair/play devil’s advocate, you decide...

There are local businesses that did not rise to meet the challenge of change that maybe possessed the ability to do so. That’s not saying all could have if they tried, but… Though I will always advocate local, it is a bitter pill to swallow when a local turns up dead by ignoring change and dismissing chance due largely to irrational abhorrence and misplaced obstinacy. Chance is something that happens unpredictably with an opportunity for purpose. What that opportunity and purpose could be is left up to me and you. That is the human factor in life, the one thing which we do have control over to a reasonable degree: ourselves.

So yes, local matters. A lot.

I am Vero Beach as much as I am Kristyn Lier and vice-versa. Change, chance, opportunity…all are pieces I embrace (try to at least) as equally as my hometown. Everywhere I share smiling faces and an open wallet, I am heartened by yet another day of enjoyment found here and only here. It can be a lot. It can be a little. It can be somewhere inbetween. Local matters right here, right now, so that I can be here tomorrow sharing in our unique family. Please and thank you.

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

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

we've come a long way, baby

**Oh yes, indeed, and we keep on going, too. Rockin!**
**fyi...I was graduating high school in 1996 :P **

Sunday, July 18, 2010

3rd Annual Treasure Coast Beer Fest *update*

**Dig it! We have logos!! For further details and/or to purchase your tickets, click HERE!!!**



Saturday, July 17, 2010

Celebrate Feestdag ~ Belgium National Day

**Like our version of Independence Day...but with better beer!**


Cigar City Brew News

Tasting Room is now open on Mondays!

The tasting room is now open on Mondays from 11am until 9pm. We figured that we have so much fun filling your growlers and pouring pints the other days we're open so why not do it on everyone's least favorite day of the week! From now on when you're having a case of the "Mondays" you know where to seek refuge and gear up for the rest of the week, even take some fresh tasty beer with you to help you get through those other days that seem to make the weekends so short..

This week on Monday we will tap a keg of Peach IPA.. It's a very yummy treat, and there is not much of it so if you are close (or even if you're not) stop in for a pint.


Friday, July 16, 2010

BEERflections ~ French Quarter Beer Dinner

A big sloppy sappy shout-out to my main man, the passionate accountant with a heart full of beer, the one, the only, John Bumgarner. If it wasn’t for the magical mysterious combination of his love for French Cajun and good beers, the very first beer dinner at the superfantastic French Quarter of downtown Vero Beach, FL would never have been. So to you John, thank you very much.

And to Spence, Ed, Debra, and everyone at French Quarter, thank you for the opportunity to share the world of tasty beers and tasty foods amongst yourselves and your fabulous patrons. From the very beginning it has been a true pleasure which has enriched and blessed both my person and my spirit. You are good people. I know this. John knows this. And if they didn’t already, Vero Beach will know this… maybe even the world. The only limit to dreams and fantasies are only the ones we impose on them ourselves. So without further ado, let’s talk good beer, good food, and the burgundian bliss that is their natural bedfellow.

Left to limitless beery machinations, it was my mission to pick out the beers for our up-and-coming inaugural dinner on June 16th, 2010. With the fine fare of French Quarter in mind and the likely mix of virginal and tested beer dinner palates, I eventually landed on a triumphant trio:
  • Bells Oberon – appetizer
  • The Bruery Saison Rue – main course
  • Young’s Double Chocolate Stout – dessert

My modus operandi behind these indomitable beers was simple yet savory, thoughtful yet breezy. Bells Oberon is the classic American wheat beer as far as I am concerned. Bright orange with a chance for clouds along with freshly squeezed essence of oranges, Oberon is a Florida summer afternoon. Saison Rue from The Bruery offers up a dry, musty, earthen nose while her palate offers a different perspective of rye and spice, peach and apricot skins, and a rustic, caramelized finish. Bringing to mind the wild side of New Orleans alongside the down to earth atmosphere of her people, Saison Rue was quite at home in our own little French quarter. For dessert, there could be only Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. A savior to the name of stout, what’s not to love about her silky smooth melted milk chocolates and cream with a sprig of vanilla bean married with toasted malts redolent with black chocolate covered espresso and cacao beans? Absolutely nothing, that’s what. Fear not the darkness for within one will find tasteful enlightenment.

Decision firm, I deposited the chosen beers unto the highly qualified and uber-talented hands of chef-extraordinaire, Ed Fialkowski. A veteran of the Vero Beach culinary scene, Ed has been there, done it, and I am sure in some instances, invented it. Comfortably at home in the cozy kitchen of French Quarter with reigns free and fabulous, Ed set to once more weave his maestro magic into a beer dinner extraordinary.

The short two weeks inbetween beer drop-off and dinner premiere were so fast as to be unaccountable. Before I knew it, the day was time and the evening was nigh. A normal day off, I spent the first half relaxing at home before primping, prepping, and dressing up. Jeans, a casual button down shirt, and flip-flops is dressed up for Kristyn Lier, Vero Beach native of relaxed designs. Equally casual and pleasantly relaxing was our beer dinner. From 5pm-9pm, the whole of the dining hours was dedicated to both beer dinner attendees and regular diners. Beerly-minded patrons were asked to RSVP their preferred dining time while the rest was left to congenial relaxation and mutual good times. A refreshing twist to a seemingly untwistable burgundian odyssey deserves a firm ‘Well done.”

Rolling in early as I am want to do when both time and circumstance align, I debuted in a giddy flash with menus in hand. The three courses that those lucky RSVPers (and potential dining candidates unbeknownst to the beer dinner festivities at hand) had to drool about were:
  • Oberon steamed mussels with garlic, herbs, diced tomato, and a touch of cream. Beer: Bells Oberon.
  • Braised led of duck and scallop served alongside creamy garlic mash, green beans, and raspberry jus. Beer: The Bruery Saison Rue.
  • Warm chocolate walnut pound cake alongside cappuccino ice-cream and mango sauce. Beer: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.

Like I said: Ed is a genius. As evidenced by the smacking lips and congenial cadence of tasteful appreciation, tis fair to say that I was not the only one who thought so.

All the fine guys and dolls in casual dress with Cajun flare who keep the heart of French Quarter beating were equally jiving with honest enthusiasm and curiosity from start to finish. Lingering long after closing time, we all savored the fruits of Ed’s laborious love. From my heart to yours; from our first beer dinner to our second, cheers and yum!

But let’s focus on the dinner at hand.

A mix of personable peeps and peepettes, John and Patty included of course, other well-known attendees that night included Rob, Cathie, Mary, Mike, and Paula along with a few new faces I grew to know, some better than others. In particular, I truly cherished the many conversations with Paul and Fran, a lovely couple of fine standing and engaging history. A bottomless wealth of personality and humor, they brightened my evening immensely, a large feat given how bright the evening was to begin with.

As peeps mosied in and mosied out, I held off on savoring my beer dinner adventure until John and Patty arrived. I wouldn’t have been there if it hadn’t been for John’s enthusiastic introduction, and so I wanted to share that first moment of burgundianvana with my main man. In the meantime, I parlayed with the beer dining patrons inbetween lounging at the bar, being the fashionable fly of a beer ambassador that I am. Not that long after my other posse of peeps had left John and Patty arrived and from one good group of friends to another, it was an endless rollercoaster of laughter and memories.

Whilst schmoozing and lounging, I supped on a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale paired with a plate of their toasty nutty garlicky breads dipped in an accompanying plate of freshly poured virgin olive oil. Btw, easiest unintential food pairing ever. Further on, I found faith with a little bit of Grimbergen Double. Yes, the monks have landed and filled my wine glass, vessel of fermented beauty, with their blessed tidings of barley, hops, yeast, water, and inspired tastefulness. Belgium and her inimitable bounty of beer bliss is largely responsible for the passionate jump start in my beerly blessed life and to Belgium and her inimitable bounty of beer bliss I shall always have a special penchant for. Grimbergen Double duly savored, it wasn’t but a few moments later that my dear duo rolled in and our own little beer dinner expose began.

It should be noted that every day now French Quarter offers up a minimum of 4 tasty beers to righteously match their equally flavorful dishes. Along with the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Grimbergen Double mentioned above, they also currently offer Yuengling and a rotating selection from Abita of Covington, Louisiana.

And now back to our dinner at hand.

Beer ambassador bar-fly extraordinaire that I am, so too are John and Patty. Scootching up close to the counter and the fabulous Debra, we set out for our first course: fresh mussels steamed in equally fresh Bells Oberon for which an accompanying glass awaited our supping patience. Ah… yet another classic Burgundian pairing. Forget the white wine. Take any zippy zesty orangey hefy witty beer and steam those mussels to your heart’s content. Trust. Bobbing contentedly amongst the Oberon and steamed mussel juices were herbs, diced tomatoes, and a dash of cream while garlic danced about. The mussels were plump and meaty in all the right ways, leaving behind the only vision worthy of their journey: a mountain of empty shells. Equally tastetastic was the ocean of juices in which they swam, an ocean lavishly soaked up with the accompanying toasty nutty garlicky bread thingies. Fantastique! A beautiful beginning if I do say so myself.

With a few moments inbetween the appetizer and the main course, our topic du jour ranged from beers to the classic movie series, The Thin Man. Ever a diggable duo of deductively digressions and burgundian hijinks, I do love my Nick and Nora and their little dog, too. Bantering away, it was with unbeknownst flourish and aplomb our main course graced the countertop before us. A hush descended as our eyes soaked in the decadent visage of braised leg of duck dressed in a raspberry jus and kept company by uber creamy and uber garlicky mash with the crispest green beans to ever cross these lips. The other best morsel to cross these lips in that timeless moment of foodvana was the braised leg of duck.
Pinch me all you want for this is no dream.
This is real.
This is melt in the mouth fall off the bone tender succulence the likes of which ravaged these tastebuds of mine in flavortastic synergy.
Duck can be a foul fowl but not in the hands of Ed. Oh no. Duck such as this is found on fine china in the classiest of restaurants and in the royalist of castles. Lucky for us though and unlucky for them is that no fine china or regal castles are needed to enjoy the best damn duck in Florida and quite yin the USofA. Toss in garlic mash dotted with whole cloves of roasted garlic that equally melt in the mouth and green beans delightful in their snappy simplicity, I was hovering in a burgundian high of cloud-topping proportions.

Judging by John, Patty, and previous dinner compatriots before us, I was not the only one. As much as I could eat Ed’s braised leg of duck with raspberry jus that literally took him 8 hours to prepare, dessert and her companion darkly awaited. Taking a breather, I eventually meandered my way back to the bar. But first a pause, a moment…

And a beer. More importantly, the beer with which this fabulous duck fantasia was paired. Enter the one and only Saison Rue from The Bruery out of Placentia, California. A bottle-conditioned (as all Bruery beers are) saison, her earthy musty nose brings forth the farm and her ducky inhabitants frolicking in fields asplender while her palate matched the unfolding flavors of her sweet and meaty insides with precision. Plump, meaty, spicy, and just a tad fruity, a marvelous marriage indeed.

Beery justice done and starting to feel pleasantly sated, dessert descended in decadent company; Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Yes! A personal treat, she is always a classic and always good. Being one to buck the trend, I rather enjoy her naturally bottled self versus the newly introduced widget can. With dark dreams lurking about, a shake and a focus later, it was all about one of my favorite childhood desserts: coffee ice cream. In the case of Ed and French Quarter, it was a cappuccino ice cream with the very real pound cake of chocolate and walnut proportions. Know why pound cake is called pound cake?
Think about it for a minute and get back to me.
Pounds aside, nothing was going to keep me from the plate of decadence and a new favorite adult dessert: stouts. Specifically Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. With a dab of fresh mango salsa which saw her way into my belly all by her mangoey lonesome via spoonly transportation, it was about halfway through each that I called it a night. Wall touched yet not breached, I was now sated and full. Indulgence is bliss. Excess is pain. There is a difference, though many often forget.

Enter the kitty bag.

Dessert duly stashed, I simply basked in the warmth of good company. Closed for the evening, her staff slowly wound down while Ed snuck out of the kitchen to visit for a few minutes. Not one to outstay my time, farewells were eventually bid and to my car and home I tread.

I love my hometown of Vero Beach. I’ve sought out her sheen and her rust in many places but none were ever Her. In being home, I have found a freedom to spread my wings both within and without. No matter where I am, home is where the heart is and the heart is always home. The French Quarter is a part of that home; for many unforeseen months and years ahead, I anticipate many tasty adventures together.

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

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WOB Viera News

Feestdag Day!
What’s not to love about a country that has a national holiday called “Party Day?” Belgium, world famous for its beer and chocolate, celebrates “Feestdag” on Wednesday, July 21, which translates into “Party Day” and PALM is bringing that party to WOB. How did Feestdag start? After the Belgian Revolution in 1830 that led to Belgian independence, the National Congress decided to make Belgium a kingdom. This holiday commemorates the date the first Belgian king, Leopold I, took his oath before the Belgian parliament in the King’s Square in Brussels in 1831. In honor of Feestdag, we will have special pricing on select Belgium drafts. So stop in and help us revive this old tradition.

WOB University!
Hey, all students and faculty you are eligible to enroll in WOB U. All you need to do is have a student or faculty ID that can prove it. WOB U is completely free, so there is no need to take out another student loan. All you need to do is ask your server for an application and complete it. Then allow for us to send you our weekly email newsletter. The reward you ask? You will receive half off all of our drafts from 9 pm to close every Wednesday at any WOB location. Click here for flyer. (This offer includes Brevard County teachers!)

Terrapin Brewery Night!
Come hang with the turtle on Tuesday July 27th. It is Terrapin Brewery Night. All day we will be featuring an extensive draft line up that includes Boomshakalager, Hop Karma India Brown Ale, Hopsecutioner, Rye, Side Project #9: Dark Side and Sunray Wheat. A representative from the brewery will be here in the evening to answer all your questions about the beer and brewery. For more information click here.

Thank you!
A big thank you to Executive Chef Loni Boulet, Executive Chef Jeff Coco and Drew Thaller for the successful Magic Hat food Pairing last night. It was a lot of hard work and planning. But we all had fun and the food was excellent. If you missed it, we will have another food pairing soon. Keep reading your newsletters every week for these special events!

New Bottles
  • B.B. Burgerbrau, 4.7% (Czech Republic)
  • BrewDog 5 am Saint, 5% (Scotland)
  • Czech Rebel, 4.4% (Czech Republic)
  • Foster's Premium Ale, 5% (Australia)
  • Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere, 4.5% (Michigan)
  • Jolly Pumpkin ES Bam, 4.7% (Michigan)
  • La Trappe Isid'dor, 7.5% (Netherlands)
  • Left Hand 400 lb Monkey, 6.7% (Colorado)
  • Magic Hat Blind Faith, 6.2% (Vermont)
  • Magic Hat Odd Notion, 6.6% (Vermont)
  • Scaldis Blonde, 10.5% (Belgium)
  • Sierra Nevada 30th: Charlie, Fred & Ken's, 8.3% (California)
  • Smuttynose Big A IPA, 9.6% (California)
  • St. Loius Framboise, 4.5% (Belgium)
  • Vuuve, 5% (Belgium)

New Drafts
  • La Trappe Quad, 10% (Netherlands)
  • Narragansett, 5.1% (New Hampshire)

Live Music This Week
  • Thursday - Wilcor
  • Friday - C-Lane & Beav
  • Saturday - Billy Chapman

Cigar City Brew News

Marshal Zhukov's and "Double" Barrel Aged Marshal Zhukov's Release July 24th @ Noon

At long last we are ready to say definitively that Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout and the slightly more anticipated "Double" Barrel-Aged Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout is ready to be sold at the Tasting Room. We contemplated waiting until the first weekend of August for the release but people were generally opposed to waiting until then, an attitude we were able to divine through subtle clues they dropped via phrases like, That sucks," and "Screw that mess".

So the release will be on July 24th @ Noon.

Due to the numerous requests we have had about the Barrel-aged version of Marshal Zhukov's it will be sold on a first come first serve basis at a strict limit of 2 per customer. $20 per 750ml bottle. The Tasting Room opens at 11 AM and tickets will be given out 1 per person as they arrive. The Barrel Aged version will go on sale promptly at Noon. There are 18 cases (216 bottles). If they do not sell out the first run through of numbers, tickets will be recalled starting from the first number called.

Naturally, the non-barrel-aged Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout will also be on sale. $13 per 750 ML bottle. No bottle limit. Guava Grove bottles will also be available as well as a few brews on draft pulled out of the cellar just for the special occasion.

The CCB Staff

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Maui Brew News

True Hawaiian Breweries Take Top Honors at U.S. Beer Open

Truly Local, Truly No Ka Oi (Lahaina, Maui, HI) - Maui Brewing Co. (MBC) of Hawaii is elated to have been honored with nine wins and named Grand National Champion at the 2010 U.S. Open Beer Championship. Two gold, five silver, and two bronze medals were awarded on July 4, 2010. This is the first competition to include both professional brewers and award-winning home brewers. More than 700 beers in 50 categories were judged. The judges also named a "Judge's Award" for the top five "most creative names" and "most creative flavors." Among their favorites was Lucifer's Angel by Maui Brewing Co.

Gold medals went to Double Overhead IPA in the Imperial IPA Category and to Black Pearl in the Wood/Barrel-Aged Beer Category. Silver medals were awarded to Pau Hana Pils in the Bohemian Pilsener Category, Shipwreck Stout in the Oatmeal Stout Category, Bikini Blonde Lager in the Munchner Helles Category, SmokeStack Lager in the Smoked/Rauch Beer Category and CoCoNut PorTer in the Herb and Spice Beer Category. Heaven & Hell won bronze in the Wood/Barrel-Aged Strong Beer Category and Lucifer's Angel won bronze in the Barley Wine Category.

"We entered ten different beers, and placed with nine. This is a tremendous achievement given the fierce competition," comments Garrett Marrero. These medals further solidify the fact that Maui Brewing Co. is officially Hawaii's #1 craft brewery." Our goal has always been to make the best beers we can make. We are Hawaii's #1 craft beer and with this year's expansion we have become the largest!" adds Garrett. "I'd also like to add that our friends at Hawaii Nui Brewing in Hilo, HI were awarded a gold medal in the American Brown Ale category for their Hapa Brown Ale, which was also a silver medal winner at the World Beer Cup earlier this year and in the American Pale Ale category won with their Mehana Mauna Kea Pale Ale. We are proud to see Hawaii Nui Brewing receive recognition and join us as a brewery producing, packaging and bringing to market authentic Hawaiian products."

Maui Brewing Co. is the only brewer and canner of craft beer in Hawaii as 100% of the beers are brewed and canned on Maui. Additionally, Maui Brewing Co. microbrews are officially Hawaii's #1 craft beer. With a strong commitment to the local economy, and deep concern for the environment, MBC microbrews are packaged with the most eco-friendly materials. Although cans and bottles are both recyclable, bottles still break and may pose a risk at beaches. The cans are manufactured on Oahu and designed by local Maui artists; they have the added bonus of protecting the beer in the best possible manner, protecting the product from both light and oxygen damage which can seriously compromise the taste. Plastic rings are dangerous to marine life and therefore, a unique, recyclable plastic carrying device is used to hold the products. The spent grain from beer production is donated to local ranchers for cattle feed and composting; and any cans damaged in production are donated to the Maui Humane Society. MBC purchased equipment from Maui Land & Pineapple, preserving a piece of Hawaii's canning history.

Founder Garrett Marrero and his wife, Melanie, run a 7-barrel brewpub at the Kahana location as well as the 25-barrel full production brewery and canning facility in Lahaina. Maui Brewing Co. is a truly local beer as 100% of their products are made in Hawaii as opposed to other "Hawaiian" beers.

Contact for interviews, additional information, or media questions.
To order for your retail/restaurant/resort establishment, contact

Monday, July 12, 2010

Broken Barrel Tavern *update*

**Got the list for the Summer in July for and starting on the weekend of the 23rd of July, a Friday. See you there!!**

The beer list for Christmas in July!
  • Delerium Noel 2009
  • Gouden carolous 2009
  • St Feuillen Noel 2008, 2009
  • Corsendonk Christmas 2008
  • St Bernardus Christmas 2009
  • Scaldis noel 2008, 2009
  • Brooklyn BCS 2009- always drink it this time of year, so why not included it.

Also added in bc they’re perfect for that Jolly feeling...
  • Sinebrychoff Porter ’09
  • Terrapin Darkside ’09 ~ by default, bc that’s when they brewed it. i’m keeping one more of these to go long with in the cellar, so we’ll see in a few weeks what 7 months did for this beer and how long I think it can go.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Beer Dinner @ The French Quarter

Alrighty-o! I have the official date for the next beer dinner at The French Quarter in Vero Beach, FL. It is going to be Wednesday July 28. Time is 5pm to 9pm, with RSVP requested please. I do not know the courses, yet, but when I do will update accordingly. In the meantime, I can at least fill you in on the beers:
Appetizer: Avery White Rascal
Main Course: Oskar Blues Old Chub
Dessert: Lindemans Kriek

Unless something comes up, yours truly will be there just as I was last month as the Beer Ambassador extraordinaire. Tis a lovely relaxed fun affair so come one, come all, and enjoy the best Cajun French cuisine in town.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Hurricanes VB *tonight*

At 8pm Howard and his posse o peeps will be tapping 2 brand new kegs at Hurricane Grille & Wings of Vero Beach, FL. Be there sharp for the unveiling of:
  • Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian-style IPA
  • Avery Maharaja Imperial IPA

Also, seeing as it is Friday night, you will enjoy $2 you call it pints from 8pm to close, 10pm. Yup. You read it right. So what are you waiting for...

Broken Barrel Tavern *update*

**Nice! I'll definitely be able to make it for Friday, and I may consider Saturday depending on what I can arrange with work. Nothing like a lil bit o Christmas cheer in July, not at all. Will update accordingly if more information becomes available.**

Two big announcements for the month of July.
  • The weekend of July 23rd will be our Christmas in July celebration, in which we will be tapping several Belgian and American Christmas & Winter Seasonal Brews. Details to come for the beer line up, but there will be at least half a dozen different beers to choose from with the potential of as many as 10, we’ll see what kind of a mood we’re in! Starting Friday July 23rd and running as long as these beers last!
  • The second big announcement is the first meeting of beer school for customers, Saturday, July 31st at 3pm. There will be both a chance to learn more about different beer styles as well as samples several examples. The price will be $10 per person, and this is just to cover expenses. Beer school will meet monthly, and will cover different styles and regions as well as some brewing basics and history. It is open to all persons twenty-one years of age and older, and registration will be available at The Broken Barrel Tavern. This is a great way to experiment with different styles and learn more about the World’s favorite beverage!


The Vine ~ Cascade Brewery

**Seeing as I haven't cracked open my bottle yet...color me a little jealous, though pleased Rob enjoyed it as much as he did. We sour-heads gotta stick together!**


CCB Marshal Zhukov g00dness

**Ohmy. Brings a tear to the eye and a skip to the beat. Beautiful. Coming soon to a store near me and you.**


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Hoggie's Latest & Greatest

**Very good stuff, indeed. I have yet to taste the 2nd release in the 30th Anniversary series, but with 3 bottles in my stash the time will be soon.**

Town Crier Pub Brewmaster Dinner *update*

The Southern Tier Brewmaster Dinner at Town Crier Pub in Tradition of Stuart is officially full. I just got the live update from Dave da Man just a few mere moments ago. For those of you who are going, see you there in just...4 days. Woot!



Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Orlando Brewing Brew News

Travel Channel Coming to the Brewery:
Rachel Lucas, a web video travel journalist for the Travel Channel will be at the Brewery on Saturday Night, July 10th at 5:30 PM to film Orlando Brewing as one of the "local secrets" in Orlando.

Please come out to support your Brewery and possibly be on national TV. This is a wonderful opportunity for Orlando Brewing to gain national exposure.

WOB Viera News

World Cup Final!
We are down to the final game! Want to see who's in the lead for the Pick'Em Challenge? Click here to check the leader board.
  • 3rd Place - Sat. Jul 10 (Semi Finals local high scorers collect prizes in-store at this time. Local contest ends.)
  • Finals - Sun. Jul 11

Customer Appreciation!
This Sunday, July 11th starting at 2 pm, we are having another customer appreciation. Come hang out with us, drink great beer, grab some food and enjoy the World Cup final. Click here for more information.

WOB University!
If you are currently enrolled in (or are a faculty member of) a college or university, and you have a student or faculty ID that can prove it, then you are eligible to enroll in WOB U. WOB U is completely free, so there is no need to take out another student loan. All you need to do is ask your server for an application and complete it. Then allow for us to send you our weekly email newsletter. The reward you ask? You will receive half off all of our drafts from 9 pm to close every Wednesday at any WOB location. Click here for flyer. (This offer includes Brevard County teachers!)

Magic Hat Food Pairing!
Come join us this Tuesday, July 13th as we pair the pours of Magic Hat Brewery. We have spent the better half of the month to perfect this pairing. Meals will include ginger boiled shrimp over infused rice, marinated pork with apricot chutney and a bread pudding that will make you rethink what you thought you knew about beer and food pairing. $10 gets you servings of each (beer sold separately). But don't hesitate, it's a first come, first served event with an opportunity to chat with both the chef and a representative from Magic Hat. Bon appetit!

Terrapin Brewery Night!
Tuesday July 27th, is Terrapin Brewery Night. All day we will be featuring a great draft line up of Terrapin beer. A representative will be here. It will be a great night to hang with the turtle. Stay tuned for more information.

New Bottles
  • B.B. Burgerbrau, 4.7% (Czech Republic)
  • Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted, 4.2% (Scotland)
  • La Trappe Quad, 10% (Netherlands)
  • Narrangansett, 5.1% (New Hampshire)
  • St. Loius Peche, 3.5% (Belgium)

New Drafts
  • Old Thumper, 5.9% (Maine)
  • La Trappe Dubbel, 7% (Netherlands)
  • Lion Stout, 8% (Sri Lanka)
  • Sprecher Black Bavarian, 5.8% (Wisconsin)

Live Music This Week
  • Thursday - Micah Reed
  • Friday - Christian Wilson Duo
  • Saturday - Dave Townsley

Strictly Business

First, let us take a look at the generally understood definition of business:
Purposeful activity; role, function; a usually commercial or mercantile activity engaged in as a means of livelihood; a commercial or sometimes industrial enterprise; dealings or transactions especially of an economic nature

There are a few more but in relation to the topic directly at hand and the overall mental association of the word business to the world of economics, marketing, enterprise, etc, the above serves a more than complete purpose. So, just what is this topic which brings me to start my quandary du jour? To quote a certain industrial giant of corporate conglomeration:
“Making friends is our business.”

Which brings me to the definition of friend:
One attached to another by affection or esteem; one that is not hostile, one that is of the same nation, party, or group; one that favors or promotes something; a favored companion

For many, myself included, friendship is as sacred as family, a deeply ingrained trust which cannot be bought, sold, won, connived, bribed, blackmailed, or marketed. Friendship is earned equally and shared equally and when in need, selflessly and selfishly. Friendship is a bond, a union of honesty and respect. For myself and I am sure innumerable others, friendship has no price. Friendship is most certainly not a business.

And so I would like to ask of Anheuser Busch/InBev just how is that “making friends is our business?” It can’t. It won’t. It shouldn’t. It isn’t. Friendship isn’t business; friendship is human social interaction without a commercial or mercantile activity to provide a monetary livelihood (for one). Maybe that is why in the world of Anheuser Busch/InBev, business and cold hard cash is the only friendship they care about. You and I? We’re just statistics to be analyzed, catalogued, and if deemed profitable in their self-interests, even if only for a while, a friendship worth their business. You could easily substitute the word friendship in this case with the much more applicable word: pawn.

I do not know if/when/ever “making friends is our business” will change, for that would mean a philosophical change at the very tippytop down to the very bottom, a change that would leave no corner, nook, cranny, and deep dark dank secret of their business world untouched and unaired. Somehow, I don’t see this happening, and so those silly boys and girls on high will continue to live in their Escher-esque world of fuckwittery, a delusion so grand to have become, at least in their own sad little lonely world, reality.

Or is it even sadder that everyday normal rational (hopefully) human beings of decent intelligence have so woefully chosen to neglect their little gray cells, instead offering them up willingly to these grand jesters of fuckwittery so as to sacrifice our independence of thought and pride of self-reliance.

At least in my own little world, significant or insignificant it may be, friends are friends and the little gray cells are exercised regularly.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)
(thanks to Merriam-Webster for the use of their online dictionary)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

new beer review design

In case y'all missed it, I've changed my beer review format. Me Like.
(for example)

Fort 7/9/2007 ~ Dogfish Head
  • Appearance: bright pink like dark rose petals. Viscous pour with little to no apparent carbonation. A few bubbles cling desperately to the sides of my glass, but that’s it. In looks alone I know her to be a big brew.
  • Nose: rich raspberry concentrate with their fleshy juicy and slightly tart meats hitting solidly in the back. Powdered sugar sweetness wafts by along with a touch of blackberry. Mingling with the tart side of raspberry is fresh picked whole cranberries for a burst of tart, sweet, and tannic, then it’s right back to a gentle dusting of powdered sugar and raspberry.
  • Palate: interesting. Not as heavy as nose implied, raspberries nonetheless dominate my tongue along with immediate warmth thanks to her generous ABV. Warm raspberry tart, anyone, soft pie crust included of course. Tart lemons tickle underneath to offset the weight of her body which doesn’t stop her from being surprisingly easy drinking. Cranberries weave in and out of the raspberries while blackberries and blueberries skitter about. Tis a berry conference atop my tongue. My chest is aglow and though it took me two hours, I finished the whole bottle myself.
  • Final Thoughts: next time, I’m sharing the bottle with someone. Other than that, an amazing interpretation of just what a fruit beer can be. I personally have no problem with good fruit beers, but for some tis a blasphemous thing I speak of. Meh. Just means more for me.

All my beer reviews can be found on my livejournal.

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



BEERflections ~ Hurricane Summer Kick Off Weekend

I’ve never been one to be put in a box, smothered in labels, and reduced to a faceless statistic. I am me; Kristyn Lier, daughter of Peter and Julie Lier. Florida native. Animal lover. Writer. Dreamer. Environmentalist. Thinker. Lesbian. Burgundian. Geek. Fisherwoman… to name a few.
So wait a minute. Those are all labels.
Yes, and labels are all they are: me and not me at the same time. Through whimsy and chance with a dash of mood, sprinkling of fate, and tour du jour, my life is my own for good and good. After all, even the bad can be good; it’s all in perspective. Judge not. Passion is purpose which I’ll take with a dollop of wisdom cynical, please and thank you.

So what does all this have to do with the Summer Kick-Off Weekend at Hurricanes? Everything and nothing of course. Silly you, silly me. With UFC fights featured on Saturday and family fun highlighted on Sunday, I knew to tighten my bloomers for a whirlwind of a weekend fraught with playful debauchery.

I worked Saturday as per the norm, beer tasting and all, before drifting home to workout, freshen up, then track way to UFC central, otherwise known as Hurricane Grille & Wings of Vero Beach, FL. While the beers and wings are familiar stomping grounds, the world of UFC and mixed martial arts was virgin territory indeed. I can get down and dirty as well as any of the guys, so it was with raunch and flair I embraced my inner testosterone. Complimenting the fighting skills on display that night were tasty wings and beers of thirst-quenching flavor-stimulating proportions for me to slam down.

Ok, maybe not slam down but I was definitely there to share in the fights, fun, food, and my peeps of beery persuasion who joined our milling throng and throng there was. Outside was especially packed despite the relative humidity (love it or leave it) as the air buzzed with enthralled UFC fans. Adding to the evening’s excitement was the attendance by two of our very own UFC fighters: Mike Brown and Dean Thomas. There had been two separate and previous events during the day which were well attended from what I heard thanks to my reputable sources. Though not in person, I would like to think I was there in spirit.

Parking was…a challenge but also surprisingly easy since Vero Beachans seem to forget the plethora of space along US1 and the building formerly known as Dennys. Parked and raring, I found Howard running to and fro outside while rugrats played with his tap toss, a sneak preview of but one of the next day’s exciting activities. But I wasn’t here to play tap toss, I was here to snarf wings, sup beer, and find much to my unamazement that UFC matches are awesome good stuff.

Separate from the weekend festivities though just as exciting, I finally met the one and only Mr. and Mrs. Steinberg, otherwise known as Howard's Dad and Mom. The pleasure is all mine, assuredly.

Before the main fight between Liddell and Franklin, a series of preliminary matches were shown. Each one built the excitement inside and out to roof blowing levels, an excitement yours truly was happily victim to. One eye glued to the TV while the other roamed freely, I savored my salt and vinegar wings with immense gusto while pairing them with the roasty toasty smoky and slightly salty Anchor Porter. There may not have been any raw oysters involved, but the combination was no less outstanding. When next you are in Hurricanes of Vero Beach, do give this tastetacular pairing a try.

A special Howard concoction I also enjoyed that night was the one and only Anchor-Nation, a blend of Anchor Porter and Stone Ruination. Blasphemy! You say. Au contraire! I say. Ever heard of the Bodacious Black & Tan from Hoppin Frog Brewery? Then you know how bodaciously beervanic the above beer blend was. As far as beer blends in general are concerned, tis certainly nothing new. Brewers and beer drinkers alike have been blending beers for pretty much as long as brewers have been brewing and beer drinkers have been drinking.

Further dappling in the blending arts, later that evening I tried to treat a fellow friend of beer and coincidentally birthday boy to an Anchor-Nation when tragedy blew in the form of her keg. As inspiration struck, the Mad-Nation was born and so from one great taste revelation was spawned another. A blend of Cigar City Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale and Stone Ruination, a beery orgy of sintastic proportions was released unto our willing tasebuds. Delish! A regular blend now at Hurricanes, don’t expect to see it listed anywhere. You have to ask for it. Tell them Kristyn told you to.

Now where was I…

Ah yes, the fight at hand. Many floor-pounding nail-biting preliminary fights later, the main event was about to begin. Amidst a hush quickly followed by the din of cheers and jeers, two men entered the ring for the ultimate showdown. As anticipation continued to build unencumbered, the two professionals faced off in a flurry of jabs, ducks, kicks, swerves, grapples, and ultimately a K-O. With Liddell down and out before the first round knelled, Franklin was pronounced the up and coming undisputed champion.

For every climax there must be a release and so began the inevitable slow trickle of merry-goers heading home after an evening well spent. Yours beerly hung around the bar, chatting with Howard and some beer tasting regulars, the jovial trio of Chris, Chris, and Dave. Eventually their ladies-in-charge arrived just in time to watch me down my pint of Southern Tier Iniquity, an imperial black ale of hoppy proportions and tasteful designs. Yum!

Calling it officially over for the night, I mosied over to the car and home for sleepies. After all, I had a busy Sunday ahead, a day devoid of work and full of summer sunshine, brews, and friends. Enter the Hurricane Summer Kick-Off Weekend, day two.

The sun has risen and so too must I, though with great protest and the prerequisite two cups of coffee. Mornings and I have an understanding see. Neither enemies nor comrades, it takes only an amiable jolt of coffee to keep us together and beholden to the day’s promise ahead. For myself and hundreds of others this particular Sunday was a day for summery festivities at the beertopic Hurricane Grille & Wings. Coffee, cleaning, a workout, and some Mr. D snuggles under the belt for a busy yet relaxed morning, I made my way on down to the old Publix plaza on the corner of US1 and 15th, also known as “where was that again?” Not exactly the best location, Hurricane's booming success and current growth is due in large part to Howard and his fine staff who believe in those who embrace the fine philosophy of burgundism. If you brew it, or in this case pour it, we will come. We will tell friends who will tell friends who will tell friends who will tell their neighbor’s squirrel.

But I digress.

Already shaping up to be a blistering day, I found a parking spot and worked my way to the inner sanctum for a beer with a side of Howard. I was able to grab his attention in enough time to find where my beer tasting table was going to be located, and then set out to find my Ronny-poo who was handling the draft truck. On pour were the Brooklyner Hefeweizen, Brooklyn Lager, Yuengling, and Miller Lite. Over at my table across the street and through the woods… Ok, maybe not but still fun to say. In reality I was next to the outdoor tiki seating area were six different craft beers were being tasted. Specifically:
  • Stone Arrogant Bastard & Pale Ale
  • Brooklyn Brown Ale & Local 2
  • Bells Oberon & Kalamazoo

We were only able to work together for a couple hours, but as always, it was a pleasure, Rich. Loves ya!!

To my right was the tap toss, an ingenious twist on a classic featuring Hurricane flair and beery booty. Putting together a 4’x4’ wood table then painted midnight black and the top with their signature nautical marking in blood red, it surely caught the eye of anyone passing by. Fastened and screwed on top was a variety of tap handles that either represented beers currently on draft, specific breweries, or a little bit of both. After all, a smidge of rotation never hurt anybody not to mention the health and wealth benefits wherever specialty beers are a focus. I even took a stab at the tap toss, though I declined to accept any winning vouchers. Work and play are what I do out of passion and heart. Rewards need not apply.

To my left was the band, Sekond Nature, who has been the recipient of quite the buzz around town far and wide. Their set-up required two tents, so with my eye on the pitiful “some assembly required” tents that lay strewn apart like a wreck beyond progress, I utilized my lifeline and called the Dadster. Why? To borrow our folding tent which paired with the only other folding tent there was just the right breadth. It’s amazing what I a little bit of shade can do to make a gorgeous summer day complete. With three full sets of jamming classics and modern funk, Sekond Nature performed well above and beyond their calling for which I was grooving and jiving.

Joining in the outdoor festivities was a dunk tank where guests and staff alike could take a toss at their favorite (or not) Hurricane employee. I tried my share of throws but obviously those years of softball in high school didn’t stick around. Let’s just say I could have benefited from a much larger strike zone. It’s a conspiracy I tell you, a conspiracy.

Equally fun-inspired if not even more so was the addition of a gigantic bounce house a-la slide a-la chaos. Definitely a no holds barred hit with the kids, even the adults were getting into it, albeit it with a bit less finesse. Ah maturity, it changes our thirst for reckless abandon though ultimately it’s all about balance and fun, bounce houses included.

For all the active hustle and bustle, there were more than a few spectacles in which to unwind, relax, sip a beer, and hit the open road. Now before you any of you get your panties in a snit, let me explain. This isn’t the advocacy of drinking and driving. This is the advocacy of drinks with drives. Much like a personal favorite television show sharing the triple Ds, this was an equally diverific stroll amidst classic roadsters, beer in hand, gleam in the eye, and smile on the face. Each car was a personal point of pride and possession, the Florida sun glinting and gleaming along their well polished curves.

Not too far away from the Renegade Cruiser porn was the Mozaic Mobile Kitchen dispensing soda and water, wings, and other tasty grub to satisfy the cacophony of rumbling stomachs. Wherever there is fun in the sun with beers and bands, hunger is never too far behind. I saved my wing indulgence for after the event. A wind-down in the air-conditioned sanctuary of Hurricanes was going to be just what I needed…and I was right. Festive duties done, I soaked in the A/C while they prepped my wings to finger-licking nummyness. If I remember correctly, my sauce of choice was an old standby, the Bourbon Apple Glaze. Joining Paula and her sister, Jenny, I literally collapsed into my chair. As much as I love the outdoors and beer, after a while the constant frenzied adrenaline rush wears off and the realization of baked exhaustion rears its ugly self. Wet towel draped over my head, it was a long while before my body rediscovered its normal temperature. Shortly after Paula and Jenny left, I bid kisses farewell to Howard, his staff, Ron, my posse of peeps, and bid welcome to Mr. D and my bed. As pillow and head met, sleep moved in and I stirred not until the new day’s sun had already risen.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. I’m not done yet. Heck, Hurricanes Summer Kick-Off Weekend isn’t done yet. There’s still the wing eating contest, but first I must delve into the orange and blue. Gator territory. The Swamp. UF. However you want to call it, Vero Beach is thankfully a Gator town, and both my sister and her husband are Gator alumni with Josh especially fervent. As much as I enjoy the chomp, so too do I enjoy individual artistry and the wood. Wood? Off the Chain Carving had set up shop on the grassy sidewalk in front of Hurricanes, both displaying and selling their skillful wares. Having seen their work in person, varnish me impressed. The main showpiece was a wood bench engraved in Gator regalia and just screaming Josh’s name. No sale was made, but for anyone looking for a personalized piece of wood artistry, give Off the Chain Carving a call. You won’t be disappointed. Craftsmanship is an art sorely in need and unfortunately neglected these superficial days.

Food for thought: just how convenient is convenience, really?

Never least and never last was the wing eating contest which was dominated by one Mr. Jeremy Park. Look out Vero Beach because I have it on good authority that we may be looking at a future competitive eating pro. The prize for his wingly skills was 10 free wings once a week for a full year along with having his name engraved on the Lord of Wings trophy. Sweet!

Wings duly conquered, we can now fast-forward to the inner sanctuary of Hurricane Grille & Wings. Belly full with tasty beers and wings, I took my perfectly baked self home for the conclusion to a fabulously fun weekend. For at least one more day, my burgundian purpose was complete.

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

it's all in the yeast

**Interesting. Definitely an intriguing venture and given the recent dallying with single hop varietal brews, a venture long overdue. Yeast is beer's silent partner which has more influence on a brews outcome than many realize. Tis why some yeast strains are highly guarded by the brewers who rely on them for that extra special something.**

Monday, July 05, 2010

Holy Mackerel Brew News

Hey Fellow Craft Beer Drinkers,

Tonight at 7pm is the Launch of Holy Mackerel "Panic Attack" at Hurricane Grill and Wings in Plantation. It is a 10% Belgian Amber that crossed too many lines to really narrow down to any specific style. Look for another Launch at Red Lite Red Light In Orlando on July 31, 2010. It will be available in bottles in August.

Good day,
Bobby G
Holy Mackerel Beers

Friday, July 02, 2010

Cigar City Brew News

White Oak IPA

There is only about 5 gallons of this tasty treat remaining so if you have yet to indulge, today would be the day. Some quick tasting notes from my palate follow...
  • Aroma: Coconut, vanilla, tropical fruit
  • Flavor: Coconut, light vanilla, tropical fruit, mild dill in the finish leading into the finishing hop bitterness
  • Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy, light carbonation reminiscent of cask ale.


a Cigar City plea

You Can Change The Face Of Craft Beer In Florida

Craft breweries in Florida do not have friends looking down on them from the lofty perches of state government. That is a fact. As dispiriting as that might be, it is just a reality that must be accepted. Florida's florist industry likely has more political clout than its small breweries. Craft beer just doesn't register on Florida's elected official's radar; most of whom think of craft beer in pretty much the same fashion as Alabama's Alvin Holmes.

When you are small, young and worse do not have a record as a political campaign donor (and craft beer in Florida doesn't) you don't tend to hear from politicians interested in your plight. For better or worse our state government runs on money and our native breweries don't have excesses of that most essential commodity.

That is why I was shocked (and I am not exaggerating) when State Senator Dave Aronberg sponsored the regrettably failed effort spearheaded by the Florida Brewer's Guild to overturn Florida's antiquated growler and brewpub packaging laws. Yes, I knew that any reasonable person would be in favor of the legislation if the case for it were laid out before them, but then "reasonable person" leaves a depressing amount of wiggle room. I didn't expect a sponsor.

But we got one. Senator Dave Aronberg was the only state elected state official to step up and sponsor the much need growler reform bill. And while it didn't pass, the Senator, whose college roommate was a home brewer (which explains a lot), demonstrated that he understood that craft beer in Florida would benefit from being on the same legal footing as most of the rest of the country. When Senator Aronberg sponsored the bill I hadn't yet met him. But I wanted to.

I have since met with Dave Aronberg. I shared a meal and a beer with him at Tampa Bay Brewing Company. You can tell a lot about a person by not just what they say about themselves, but by the questions they ask of you. Dave Aronberg asked great questions. He wanted to know about the brewing process, the challenges small brewers face, why the current laws were such a hinderance to craft beer growth and perhaps most important the reasons behind our passion for brewing. He was engaged. Interested.

Dave Aronberg is now running for Florida Attorney General, the post current gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum is vacating. Which brings me to the reason I am typing this post. If you have received this missive, you are a fan of Florida's native craft beer scene. You support it with your time, passion and most importantly your limited dollars. I deeply appreciate that support because I and the CCB staff wouldn't be making beer today if not for you. All of us at CCB owe you a debt that we can only hope to repay by continuing to make beers you enjoy drinking.

As much as I appreciate your support and your friendship of CCB, I never the less find it necessary to impose on your good graces, because I think it is necessary. We have until July 14th to donate to the campaign of Dave Aronberg and I want Florida's craft beer fans to not only vote for Dave, but to support him financially to the best of their ability. Craft beer in Florida has literally one supporter in state government and that is Dave. So what I am asking of everyone in this state (even our snowbirds) who loves craft beer and especially locally produced craft beer is to spend a weeks worth of your normal beer buying on donations to Dave Aronberg. Think of it as "sixers for Dave" Florida craft beer's only friend in government. I've already put my money where my mouth is and donated the max. I hope that you will follow my lead.

I understand times are hard for some so if you can't donate at least consider voting for Dave. I also understand that politics are a deeply personal thing and you only signed up to this blog to get beer news. Still I feel like most people would find this important enough to want to know about it. And if Dave's status as Florida's champion of Craft Beer isn't enough for you, I implore you to take a look at his record because I'm certain you'll agree with me that he is that rare man that shows foresight, wisdom and who truly does transcend partisan politics. I don't generally get into my personal politics on this forum, so I'll just say I don't share political parties with Dave, who is a Democrat, but having met him and researched his history, I do deeply respect him.

We have the opportunity to change the face of craft beer in Florida by getting Dave Aronberg elected. For the first time in Florida's history (and I say that taking the long view as a student of Florida's brewing history) small breweries have a chance to elect someone interested in putting Florida's beer laws on par with the rest of the country. Take the time to research Dave Aronberg. Visit his sight. Leave comments. Donate. Vote. The future of Florida's Craft Beer scene is what you make it and at long last you have the chance to make something of it!

Joey Redner

Thursday, July 01, 2010

label pimping

**some label teasers for those who like to be in the know as i do. thx to for the label pics**

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Oregon Homebrewing In Danger

It's good to read that the community of homebrewers in Oregon is already working to get this moronic travesty of archaic laws and modern bureaucracy reversed. The downside is that the committee doesn't reconvene until 2011. The upside is that I have faith when the committee does reconvene in 2011 the problems will be resolved. If you do want to express your concerns to those in charge in Oregon, please do so in a mature, polite, and sensible way. Blithering blustering idiots only appear as blithering blustering idiots and in no way do any good to the community of homebrewers in Oregon (and elsewhere) in reversing this decision.

I also encourage others to look at their own states and keep in mind their own horrible patchwork quilt of post-prohibition beer laws and that this could just as well be your homestate next. In a day and age where quality beer is blooming everywhere, creating a personal and professional atmosphere of community which, quite frankly, we need now more than ever. Instead of taking steps backwards, I would love to see more steps taken forward to create a more level playing field and more opportunity while eradicating many of the silly stupid archaic beer laws.

To read more about the specific concern and article, click HERE.

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

WOB Viera News

Soccer Pick'em Challenge Update!
We are down to the Quarter Finals and Semi Finals! We have just over a week until the final game is played and the World Cup Champion is awarded. Have you made your picks yet? Go head to head with your local competition to win in-store local prizes for each round of the knock out stage. When you login to make your picks for the knock out stage (available as soon as teams are announced), confirm your favorite WOB location so we know where you want to compete. Whoever make the most correct picks from that location in the Quarter Finals, and Semi Finals will be able to come in during the next round to instantly receive their local prize, and of course, bragging rights for the week! If there is a tie for the round, the prize will be awarded to the three tied contestants with the highest overall scores. Click here for more information about the Pick'em Challenge and your chance to win $200 in gift cards.
  • Quarter Finals - Fri. Jul 2 - Sat. Jul 3 (Rd of 16 local high scorers collect prizes in-store on these dates.)
  • Semi Finals - Tue. Jul 6 - Wed. Jul 7 (Qtr Finals local high scorers collect prizes in-store on these dates.)
  • 3rd Place - Sat. Jul 10 (Semi Finals local high scorers collect prizes in-store at this time. Local contest ends.)
  • Finals - Sun. Jul 11

July 4th Weekend!
We want to remind everyone that we will be open all weekend! Stop by for great beer and great music.

Another Customer Appreciation?!
Yes, we are having another customer appreciation. We just can't help ourselves. It will be on Sunday, July 11th starting at 2 pm till the food is gone. Stay tuned for more information next week.

Magic Hat Food Pairing!
Come join us on Tuesday, July 13th as we pair the pours of Magic Hat Brewery. We will be featuring their Summer Scene Variety Pack which will include the #9 (pale Ale) Odd Notion (Ginger Ale), Blind Faith (India Pale Ale) and Wacko (Beet Ale). Each beer will be specifically paired with recipes inspired by Magic Hat Brewery all prepaired by an executive Chef. Look for next week's newsletter for more details!

Thank You!
We wanted to say a big thank you to Ron and Paula Sup for taking time to demonstrate how to make mead last night. They were also kind to bring in thier own special collection to share. We had great participation. If you missed the class, we will be doing it again soon.

New Bottles
  • Dogfish Head Sah'Tea, 9% (Delaware)
  • Palm, 5.4% (Belgium)
  • Southampton Double White, 6.6% (New York)

New Drafts
  • Dogfish Head Sah'Tea, 9% (Delaware)
  • Great Divide Titan, 6.8% (Colorado)

Live Music This Week
  • Thursday - Matt Adkins & Jay DiBella
  • Friday - C-Lane & Beav
  • Saturday - Iris