Riverside Market's inaugural Beer Academy continues to be amazing! We've had guest speakers from Brown Craft Specialty Division, Orange Blossom Beer (Orlando), and Gold Coast Beverage. Topics have included: Beer 101, The Difference of Stouts and Porters (my personal favorite!!), and an in depth discussion on Ales and Lagers. As we learn, we sample various brews. Duh. It's beer school. Recent highlights have included: Southern Tier Porter, Ballast Point Victory at Sea, Pilsner Urquell, Orange Blossom Pilsner (didn't know I liked Pilsners!), Chimay, Ommegang 3 Philosophers, and my favorite so far... a decadent sampling of Brooklyn Black Ops 2012.
Did you know that Chimay is made entirely by monks, and that it's non-profit and it all goes to charity? Did you know that back in the day, in England, beer was taxed based on the amount of alcohol in it? How about this: 90% of what you taste is smell. Here's one more: the strongest version of a porter, is a stout, however, the difference between stouts and porters is all in the brewer's scientific, yet creative hands. It's all about the malt, but regardless: all beers are 50% pale malt, and ALL beers are either an ale, or a lager. You're welcome for me droppin' this beer knowledge on you. If you want more, I highly advise you sign up for the next session! While you're there, you might be lucky enough to have BBQ shrimp and grits on special, along with Florida Beer's Gaspar Porter on draft. I was. Showing up early for dinner before class has it's benefits!
I made it to Tap 42 this week (shocker), and sipped on some Bells Two Hearted Ale. This place never ever, ever disappoints. Food is incredible (especially Sunday brunch), and they have beers for days! Over 50 taps, and plenty bottles. Check out their Facebook page for special events. They are all over it. Cool vibe, great people - always one of my go to spots here in South Florida, and a leader of the pack in the Broward craft beer scene!
A new little gem I stumbled upon was Brickyard restaurant / microbrewery in Boca. Split an Ovila bomber bottle, and had a few Warsteiner Dunkels. In addition to these classy and elegant selections, they have an immense tap and bottle listing.
Yet another gem this week was 595 Tap and Tavern in Davie. Sophisticated, yet casual sports bar / restaurant with sleek and modern decor, along with an impressive tap and bottle selection. Families, dudes and the ladies can all be accommodated here comfortably. The staff was very friendly, and the Tuna Tacos with siracha were absolutely delicious. I will be going back. By the way, I had a Florida Beer Devil's Triangle IPA and a Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale. Yum.
My most meaningful, recent beer journey was to Doral, in which MIA Brewing Company so graciously hosted the Hop Into Action fundraiser for Amelia and Zoe. These girls are newborn twins in which their mother passed away from complications in childbirth. Beer nerds, geeks, brewers, and Craft Brewjas gathered to rally around this great cause. Miami was in the house: Gravity Brewlab, 4th Age Brewing, Beer Snob Ales, Sexy Llama, Wynwood Brewing, and MIA Brewing were all representing, and donated food or beers for the event. Specialty and rare brews were auctioned and raffled off, and over $3,000 was raised!
I told you I had plenty to share! It's been a busy week!