Saturday, August 23, 2014

South Florida Local Love!

Have you been to Tucker Duke's Lunchbox in Deerfield Beach? If you enjoy enormous burgers, decadent Southern comfort food, and great craft beer (big local choices), then I advise you go ASAP! 

I'm a beer blogger, but, macaroni and cheese has a special place in my heart, so it made the cut for the blog. I had the JalapeƱo Bacon Mac and Cheese. It's rich, comforting and hit the spot after an afternoon of taking my kids to SkyZone (Cool moms jump, so I was starving). I'm a fan of spicy and hot; this isn't that hot - so you don't have to worry if you're not a spicy fan. 

I paired it Wynwood Brewing's La Rubia Blond Ale. La Rubia (Blonde in Spanish), is the lightest beer from Wynwood Brewing, but it's full on flavor! I normally don't seek out "Blonde Ales", but give me Wynwood's and I'll take it anytime! It's refreshing, full flavored, complex with hints of sweetness, fruit, and a rich mouth feel. 

Speaking of a Wynwood Brewing (Miami's first craft production brewery), Happy First Anniversary! I first met the family behind Wynwood Brewing last year, before they opened. I crossed paths, and got to know the owner, family, brewer, and different staff members, via various beer events. Everyone from Wynwood Brewing has always been so kind, welcoming, and fun to be around! So when the opportunity arose to volunteer at their 1st Year Anniversary Block Party, (which included their first ever bottle release) - I signed up right away! 

I took the early shift, from 11am - 3pm, helping out with ticket distribution. 
Wristbands for days.. But they went in hours!

Congrats on the first bottle!!!! You know I got mine!

Our tent also had the bottle sales at 2pm for Wynwood Brewing's El Infante, a barrel aged Wheat Wine, that's been aging for 7 months in French Oak Petite Sirah barrels. It's part of their Shipwreck Series. Without looking at my watch, I could tell when 2pm hit. The line instantly grew down the block! I'm really looking forward to tasting El Infante, after it ages a bit more, and I'm really excited for their future bottle releases!

Irish Breakfast Imperial Stout, on top of the tap list

While I was there, you know beer sampling was involved! I had the Irish Breakfast Imperial Stout, with coffee, vanilla and whiskey. This was amazing. It was so smooth, with hints of everything I mentioned, prominently featured. 

The Gallagher! Watermelon Wheat Ale

I also had The Gallagher! Watermelon Wheat Ale. Their Beat the Meat, American Pale Wheat Ale is the foundation, and smashed watermelon is used during second fermentation stages. And get it, Gallagher the comedian smashed watermelon??? I love that there's thoughtfulness into the names as well. And, the beer was great! Thirst quenching, wheat presence, with watermelon notes; I could sip this poolside all afternoon! It hit the spot after hours of passing out tickets to fellow Wynwood Brewing enthusiasts!

I sample beers from all over - my palate does not discriminate based on geography. However, Cigar City Jai Alai (Tampa) is one of the best IPAs I've tried. It's highly sought out for trades, and is a great IPA. I love the sticky caramelness it has, and enjoy looking for the freshest dates on the bottom of the can. 

Cigar City's Invasion Pale Ale reminds me of a maltier, toned down hops version of Jai Alai. This is a fantastic choice for the beach, pool, boat - as well as Jai Alai, or any cans of good craft beer! 

Another great can I've sampled lately is Due South's Caramel Cream Ale. It's creamy, with equal hints of vanilla and caramel, without being overly sweet, and a tad bit earthy with some malty flavor. Due South Brewing, (Boynton Beach) gets it right with every beer I've tried. They're another core brewery of South Florida, that is contributing to the solid reputation of the South Florida craft beer scene. 

I love my local breweries! Until next time, cheers!