Craft beer adventures and experiences… one pint at a time

Archive for January, 2012

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Beer | Yahoo! Health

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Beer | Yahoo! Health.


Tampa Bay craft breweries see collaboration as the key to success – Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Bay craft breweries see collaboration as the key to success – Tampa Bay Times.


Salt Rock Grill group to open craft beer room, restaurant – Tampa Bay Times

Salt Rock Grill group to open craft beer room, restaurant – Tampa Bay Times.

Banana Bread Beer – Weird or Worthy?

While I’ve seen and heard about the “Banana Bread Beer”, I had never actually tried it before tonight… Imported from England (where Bitters are standard and beer is served “tepid”), I was a bit wary of it – but at happy hour prices, I thought it worth a try.

Made by Wells & Young Brewing and imported by Belukus Marketing, the Banana Bread Ale (ABV 5.2%) is definitively Banana Flavored, but not overwhelmingly so that it requires “cutting” (diluting) with a lesser beer.

I enjoyed the ale on its own, and made the mistake of ordering food (spicy, no less!) without thinking about how poorly any potential flavors might blend with this sweet ale.

*** Note to self:  never, ever order anything besides banana bread to pair with this ale!

If you find yourself out and about in a tropical paradise (like the beach-side resort where I sampled this brew), it is worth a try – it is remarkably banana-ish, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to try it again. (My second try of the night was Avery Brewing‘s White Rascal Ale – a welcome respite for the spicy shrimp dish I ordered!)

Wishing you happy tastings!

The unOfficial Beer Goddess.

Total Wine St. Petersburg – 2012 Craft Beer Education Nights

I joined friends from the Tampa Bay BeerMug meetup group last evening at a Belgian Beer education night at Total Wine in St. Petersburg (Park Street Retail Center, 4880 Park Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33709).

The best part of the evening (at least for me) was not the education, but rather the opportunity to taste and sample over 14 Belgian imported Craft Beers and Domestic Belgian-style offerings for a mere $15.USD! (Each retails at about $6.99-$12.99 USD for a 750 ml bottle.)

Chris was our local Beer Expert from Total Wine who led us through a PowerPoint presentation about the various Belgian beer styles, as we sampled a variety of Craft Brews both imported or domestic – all specifically Belgian in style.  Chris was both knowledgeable and approachable as he led an interactive discussion about our observations as we sampled each brew.

This was my first encounter with the Total Wine’s Beer education nights (the St. Petersburg store seems to feature more classes than other stores!) – and I’ll be back.

It was definitely a worthwhile investment – we had a small group (about 15 people of the maximum 30 class size) and Total Wine provided the beers and a selection of cheeses, breads/crackers, and savory meatballs. These proved to be a good way to begin pairing food and tastes with various beer styles.

I’ve included the St. Petersburg Total Wine education classes calendar excerpt and a link and phone number where you can register for classes at the end of this post.  If you live elsewhere, simply visit and you can see what beer classes are offered in your area.

Beers we Sampled…

Here are some photos of a few of the Belgian and Belgian-style domestic beers we tasted during the January 19, 2012 evening class. All of these were available for purchase at Total Wine in 750ml bottles on the evening of the event:

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Additional beers that were sampled (but not pictured) included:

Upcoming St. Petersburg Total Wine beer classes (2012 Jan – April):

  • Sat. Jan 21,2012 (3-5PM) – Belgian Classics
  • Thurs. Feb 16,2012 (6:30-8:30PM) – Lagers and Ales beyond Pilsners and Pales
  • Sat. Feb 18,2012 (3-5PM) – Lagers and Ales beyond Pilsners and Pales
  • Thurs. Mar 22, 2012 (6:30-8:30PM) – Introduction to Beer: Get Your Suds On!
  • Sat. Mar 24, 2012 (3-5PM) – Introduction to Beer: Get Your Suds On!
  • Sat. Apr 21, 2012 (3-5PM) – Great Breweries Great Beers

To register for these upcoming Beer Classes, reserve your place by calling Total Wine St Petersburg, FL at 727-544-6018.  Each session is $15. payable the day/evening of class.

Have a great weekend!

A Girl who Likes Brews

7venth Sun Brewing – Dunedin FL – latest addition to Tampa’s Burgeoning Craft Brewing

Last Saturday – January 7, 2012 – 7venth Sun Brewing opened its doors for a grand opening benefit (see previous post announcing the event).  Ample pours and interesting brews were on hand along with entertainment and most of the Who’s-Who in Tampa Bay, FL area’s craft brewing industry.

Here’s a few photos from the event (I loved the Overland IPA!) – and if you happen to be in the Tampa Bay area, drop me a line for directions – or google 7venth Sun Brewing-Dunedin for more information.  At the time of this post – their website was not yet up and functional!

It is going to be interesting (and tasty) to watch and sample 7venth Sun Brewing’s offerings over the coming months. Stay tuned…

The Unofficial Beer Goddess.

Sushi and Craft Beer – A Great Combination!

There is so much potential to match and mingle craft beer with food to please and surprise the palate, and the other evening having done just that, I wanted to share the results with you!

One wouldn’t normally think of beer with Sushi, but move over Saki

I started off with a couple of notable craft beers:

together with a couple of Sushi rolls from my local Sushi specialty take-out counter:

  • Crunchy roll – with chili sauce enveloping rice, shrimp, eel, carrots, cucumber and spices, cooked to a crunchy finish
  • Dragon roll – with fresh tuna, avocado, rice and pesto-like sauce

Celebration Ale perfect with Spicy Shrimp…

At first thought, it seemed like an unlikely pairing, but the more robust winter taste of the Celebration Ale aptly complimented the spiciness of the Crunchy roll with the chili sauce.  The mahogany woody essence of the Celebration Ale added a hearty richness to the shrimp and zesty chili flavors.

Celebration Ale fared far better than trying to combine the hoppiness of the Hoptical Illusion with chili flavor, but read on…

Hoptical Illusion enriches the Ahi Tuna

The more muted and less flavorful (but still delicious!) tuna and avocado flavors lent themselves well to the hoppy Hoptical Illusion, which was a nice surprise.  (The Celebration Ale overpowered the Dragon Roll to the extent that the sushi ended up tasting bland…)  Whatever was the sauce on the top of the Dragon Roll mixed and swirled well over the tongue with the Hoptical Illusion providing a light and flavorful burst for the unexpecting palate. A good combination indeed!
What is YOUR experience? 

Please let me know what Sushi and Craft Beer pairings you’ve tried and want to try again and again?  I’ll feature them in this blog and credit you!

Happy and safe imbibing my friends!


The Unofficial Beer Goddess…

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