Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Burgers, Atlanta and Tap and Grinding with the Craft Brewjas!

It was a typically humid South Florida Sunday morning, when a caravan of beer geeks from Orlando's Tap & Grind, arrived at Funky Buddha in Oakland Park. Craft Brewjas' were there to greet them, and kick off the 1st Reverse Tap Takeover! Supporting local places is an important job, and we were happy to do it! After sippin' on some of the great brews like: a blood orange IPA, (think beer mimosa), and No Crusts (PB & J Porter), the crew (without me unfortunately) trekked up to Due South Brewing in Boynton Beach, to take them over next! It was a great show of local support from Orlando's Tap & Grind, and South Florida's Craft Brewjas! I think we should hit the road to Orlando next!

Project Management doesn't stop, so off to Atlanta I went for an extremely quick, yet time-enough-for-a-craft-beer-outing trip! I was literally at the airport to come home, 24 hours after I landed. That's OK! Still time for exploring the craft beer scene! As soon as I knew I was going, I made dinner plans with one of my BFFs who lives there. Her being the sweet friend she is, picked out the perfect spot. Fabulous (she eats nowhere less), with an extensive craft beer selection, (because she knows I'm a beer nerd) and good food (cause a girls gotta eat)! Tap 1180 was the spot. Throw in another fab girlfriend, and ya got a Tuesday night downtown with the ladies. I am so excited to share that I finally tasted a Goose Island Matilda. It was superior and decadent, like Belgian velvet in a glass... No wonder Instagram goes crazy with trades on this. I get it. I couldn't be in a new town, without trying something local! So my next beer was a MNB Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale. I'm a sucka for scotch ales. They're one of my favorite styles. I give this one a B+. It doesn't top Claymore's, or Old Chub's Scotch Ale, but it was close, smooth and delicious. *Notable Hotlanta spot for my next trip: Sweetwater has it's very own pub at Delta's terminal. Yes please! I will be sure to fly Delta when I go back.

Breaking News!! West Broward has a new craft beer spot! They also have bomb ass burgers, and bomb ass mac' and cheese! Let's give a warm Pembroke Pines welcome to...Burger and Beer Joint! 

-Yes, it's the same one as in Miami Beach. 
-Yes, it's not all the way in Miami Beach, or east of 95! It's right here, in my hood.

Did I mention they have 59 taps? They have 59 taps. Pretty good stuff too! In my flights I sampled and sipped (since some I've already 'sampled'): Bells Kalamazoo Stout, Capital Hop Cream, Green Flash IPA, Bell's Two Hearted Ale, Lagunitas IPA and Florida Avenue's Lager and Blueberry. I'm normally not a big fruity beer chic, however, this one had bold flavors so I accept it. Throw in the cool pin-up/retro/red wall with album cover decor, and classic rock playing - you've got a new local place for the beer nerds of the west, and the visiting beer nerds from the north, south and east! I'll see ya there..

Friday, August 9, 2013

Can't Get Enough Funky Buddha, and Hey Ladies!!

Funky Buddha emailed me that my personalized snifter was in. That's all I needed to head back to Oakland Park. After a delicious, not overly sweet Blood Orange IPA, it seemed like a perfect time for a 2PM tour. So, after $5, and a free commemorative pint glass, off to the back we went! The tour guide was awesome. He was super passionate about the history, the beer, and the process. Beer nerds know beer nerds, and this dude knows what's up. I didn't realize how successful their Maple Bacon Coffee Porter was at GABF (Great American Beer Festival), and how it was instrumental in putting them on the map! I also learned that their tanks are named after kids, pets and dead Grandparents; i.e. Popper, Gram and Miles, to name a few. After touring the facility, sampling the goods along the way, and checking out the fridge with the motherload of kegs - we were released back with the common folks. I had a No Crusts, which seriously, is like a PB&J but very drinkable, and then a big ol' growler of Hop Gun IPA for the road. Hop Gun IPA was so fresh, and just delicious. I'm not sure what kind of hops they use, but it really reminded me of Cigar City Jai Alai. Two very different tasting, and yummy IPAs, but, I can see a parallel in there somewhere. Maybe it's the same kind of hops??

Time for a ladies night! Two beer dorks, and three non beer dorks, got glammed up and headed to the Royal Pig in Ft. Lauderdale. I was curious to try their own Royal Pig Red Ale, so I ordered it in a flight along with: Green Flash IPA, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, and Breckenridge Vanilla Porter (all safe choices). I wasn't overly impressed with their Red Ale. It seemed a little watery, but I did enjoy the oaky flavors. Maybe it was the tap. It wasn't good enough to get another one. My next one was an Epcot sized glass, of Rogue Dead Guy. Can't go wrong with that one!

Random shout out! Friday's in Davie has expanded their craft selection, specifically on the local side. I savored a Monk in the Trunk (Inlet Brewing), but had a choice of Tequesta Brewing. Impressive, Fridays! 

As I'm typing and sipping, I have to talk about this Dogfish Positive Contact; the collaboration of apple cider, music and beer, with Dan the Automator. You've got spices, cilantro, light mouth feel, yet 9% ABV. I can't recall a more complex, yet simple brew. Dogfish is known for their random specialty brews, and this is one of the better ones I've had!