Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Funky Buddha! And Prepping for Beer Academy Finals...

Finally! I went to Funky Buddha Brewery! This friend was going to take me, that friend was going to meet me there, this group was going to go. Whatever. I am not a patient woman, so off to Oakland Park I went. I started with a flight, on a cool ass Buddha shaped tray. My samples included: Last Snow, Mocha Porter, Hop Gun IPA, Pineapple Hop Gun IPA, No Crusts, OP Porter and Doc Brown Ale. The highly Instagram'd No Crusts, and Last Snow were my favorites. No Crusts truly tastes like a PB&J, but not overly sweet as I expected. Last Snow has a nice nutty flavor and both, better yet, all of their brews for that matter, are very smooth, flavorful and taste super fresh! I joined the Snifter Club, and can't wait to drink out of my "CraftyCableGal" glass. That's whats up. Let me know when you want to meet up there.

Beer Academy at the Riverside Market is in full swing, wrapping up next Tuesday. If school was as interesting as Beer Academy, I would've had my Masters. Evan Benn, Staff Writer at the Miami Herald, and Online Beer Columnist at, schooled us on IPAs and Pale Ales. We sampled: Oskar Blues Pale Ale, Bells Two Hearted Ale, Stone IPA, Dogfish 60 Minute, Cigar City Jai Alai and Green Flash Imperial IPA. Yeah, that was a great lesson. We learned a good rule of thumb: for every percentage of alcohol, you should estimate about 25 calories. Also, if you take all breweries - craft breweries only make up about 10% of the brewing world; the other 90% are the "big guys". This was amazing to me; look at the abundance of craft breweries, and picture that this is only 10% of the brewery's world. Amazing. Our IPA and Pale Ale guest speaker, Evan Benn, was very knowledgeable, intelligent, and his passion for his craft (no pun intended) is evident.

Since last night would the last Beer Academy fellow classmates, Amanda and Jeff, our table decided we'd bake to share with the class. Does anyone really need a "reason" to bake? Exactly. Amanda brought decadent Brooklyn Brewery Irish Dry Stout Cupcakes with whiskey ganache. Ronnie spoiled us with yummy brownies. I brought Cigar City Maduro Brown Sugar Cookies. I see some extra credit in our future.

The "baking" table at Riverside Market's Beer Academy
The baked goods
Getting smart, and getting photo-bombed by Angry Union
Last night's Beer Academy lesson was....Homebrew Night. How exciting is this?!? We had the pleasure of getting educated by Eric Guerrero of Angry Union Brewing, and Josh Levitt of Invasive Species Brewing Club. Wow, their beers were good! From Angry Union, we had a summer-appropriate Raspberry Hefeweizen, and a perfectly hopped IPA. Invasive Species shared a robust Alt, and a creamy, luxurious and balanced white oaked IPA. Wow, those were good. As we sipped on the goods, all kinds of terms were being taught to us: hot liquor tank, mash tun, 3-way valve, steadmash and the importance of temperature. Who would've thought two degrees could make such a big difference? It sure does. I would love to try homebrewing, but can see how much work is involved, and not ready to maintain all that stuff. For now, I'm going to remain open for "guest brewing". 

My night couldn't have ended any better, than with a smooth, silky taste of Cigar City's Brewers Brunch Stout, courtesy of some dedicated fellow Instagram beer peeps that happened to hang at Riverside Market that night. I never met them in person before! Gotta love when the beer nerds recognize each other from social media beer postings! Cheers! 
Josh Levitt, of Invasive Species showing how it's done

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