Coasters Belgian Beer Fest Week!

This weekend is the annual 3 day Belgian Beer Fest at Coasters Pub & Biergarten in Melbourne Beach Fl.  I believe this is the eighth edition, and I’m lucky to have been to the previous seven. No doubt it’s one of my favorite beer events in Florida. I’ve written about it several times in the past so I won’t bore you with my ramblings.  You can search for them by selecting ‘Beer Festivals’ in the Categories search window on the right side of this page.

It was a bit more challenging getting a hotel room this year, but I think things are all worked out now. I’ll fill in some of those details in a post fest write up.

Scroll down to see the keg list for this years event. As kegs run out, new ones from this list will take their place. So don’t expect to see all of these on tap at any one time.

And please, don’t finish all the good ones on Friday…..

8th Annual Belgian Beer Fest at Coasters Pub & Biergarten Keg List:

Abbey de Rocq Brune

Abbey de Rocq Grand Cru

Alvinne Morpheus Wild Undressed

Bavik Pils

Bink Grand Cru

Brasserie de Bocq 1858 saison

Brasserie de Silly Scotch Barrel

Brouwerij de Halve Maan Brugges Bok

Brouwerij Van Steenberge Triple van de Garre

Brouwerij Verhaeghe Barbe Ruby

Corsendonk Christmas

Cuvee de Trolls

De Glazen Toren Saison Derpe Mere

Delirium Argentum

Delirium Tremens

Gouden Carolus Classic

Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Kaiser

Gulden Draak Brewmaster Reserve

Kasmatten Wipers Times 16

Kasteel Barista

Kerkom Grand Cru

Kwak

La Guillotine

Lindeman’s Framboise

Lucifer Golden Ale

Nice Chouffe

Nostradamus Brown Ale

Ommegang Rosetta

Oud Beersel Stille Lambic 2014

Palm

Petrus 40-40-20

Petrus Sour Quad

Piraat Rum Barrel

Prearis GrandCru 2014

Rince Cochone

Saison Dupont

St Bernardus Triple

St. Bernardus Abt. 12

St. Bernardus Pater 6

St. Bernardus Witbier

St. Bernardus Xmas

Straffe Hendrik Triple

Straffe Hendrix Quad

Straffe Heritige 2014

Struise Black Albert 2015

Struise Blue Monk 2013

Struise Pannepot 2012

Triple Karmeleit

Unibroue La Terrible

Val Dieu Cuvee 800

Val Dieu Winter Ale

Wittekerke Wit

 

Belgian Tuesday: Merry Monks

If I was stranded on a deserted island and could have only  one style of beer with me, it would be a Belgian Tripel.  The only drawback would be that I wouldn’t really care about getting off the island , at least until the beer ran out. This beer, Merry Monks, would be near the top of the list. Merry Monks is made by Weyerbacher Brewing, in Easton, PA.

Merry Monks by Weyerbacher Brewing

From the Weyerbacher website: “Merry Monks, 9.3% ABV, is a Belgian-style Tripel. Pilsner malt combined with an Abbey yeast strain yields a remarkable and complex flavor packed with notes of spice, banana and pear. Nicely balanced, with a moderate to dry finish.

Merry Monks is bottle conditioned which imparts a special effervescence to the beer and a creamier carbonation. The ongoing fermentation inside the bottle will change the character of the beer as it ages and you’ll find it becomes dryer with age. You may want to lay down a few bottles for future evaluation. We suggest storing at cellar temperatures (around 55°F) and away from light.”

Any attempts by me to describe the taste would be a disservice to the beer. Its bright golden color hides the 9.3% ABV within. As with a lot of Belgian style beers, Hopheads may not be a big fan as the IBU is a mere 15. But i could drink this stuff all day. At least until I ‘tripple’ over myself.

In my rating system, Merry Monks is  a strong buy and  is quite worthy  of my beer money. I paid $12.49 for the six pack. 

That’s all for now as I’m headed back to Google Islands to scout out a suitable stranding spot.

Thursday Stout: Sriracha Hot Stout

I was reading an article somewhere that mentioned that stouts were really hot right now. Wow, they weren’t kidding. I offer before you (actually I don’t because I drank it all), Sriracha Hot Stout, made by Rogue Ales Brewing. Yes, stout with Sriracha hot chilli sauce added.  This 22 ounce bottle was a Christmas gift and I have been wanting to try it for a few weeks.

Rogue Sriracha Hot Stout

This beer as an alcohol content of 5.7% ABV and an IBU of 55.

Notes from the bottle (and website):“ROGUE Sriracha Hot Stout Beer, made from Huy Fong original hot chili sauce and sun ripened Rogue Farms ingredients, is ready to drink with soups, sauces, pasta, pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, chow mein, or anything you’d like to wash down with a spicy kick.

Dedicated to the Rooster.”

My first thought when reading that was , wow, John Wayne’s character from True Grit had a beer dedicated to him. Cool.  But then I realized it was the other rooster. The one on the Sriracha hot chilli sauce bottle.   

The beer bottle itself is a great design. Sharing the same colors and type of design as the hot sauce bottle, even down to the green cap. If you saw this in Costco or some other warehouse club you might pick it up thinking you actually had the hot sauce instead of a beer.

Rogue Sriracha Hot Stout Bottle Cap

I know what you are thinking, enough of all this spicy humor, how spicy is the beer? Well, truthfully, it is not that hot. Of course everyone’s hot levels are different but I didn’t get a lot of heat from this. The initial taste is very stoutish and then a bit of a different flavor and  heat comes in on the back end.  As far as a stout goes, it is quite enjoyable. The flavor of the Srirachi sauce is present but just enough to mellow out the hop flavors. It actually reminded me of an oyster stout I had a couple of years ago. Just a flavor lingering under the surface.

The label was government approved in January 2015, so the beer came out sometime after that. Interestingly there appears to have been several other Sriracha named beers in this same time frame. Harpoon Brewing had Barcade Sriracha Blonde, and Flying Dog Brewing had a Srirachi Pale Ale. I guess Srirachi  was hot back then. Insert rimshot sound here.

Conclusion: While I enjoyed the flavors of the beer, it is probably not going to be in my regular buying rotation.  I guess in the framework of my rating system, I would drink this again, but I probably would not buy it. 

Belgian Tuesday: Á Tout Le Monde

When I first thought about which beer to have for my first official Belgian Tuesday, I wasn’t thinking of this beer.  I thought maybe a nice Belgian Tripel, or perhaps a La Fin du Monde or a McChouffe. But then I saw this one bottle looking very lonesome in the back of the fridge. Á Tout le Monde made by Unibroue. From the label it is a Belgian Styled Dry Hopped Saison. The fact that it is a saison explains why there was only one bottle in the fridge. I remembered I had seen this new beer from Unibroue, one of my favorite breweries, but was a bit wary of the saison style. Saisons and me (hmmm…new book title???) aren’t on the same page so I typically stay away from them. So instead of buying the standard four pack I only bought the one 12 ounce bottle ($3.49).

From the brewery website:“ Brewed in honor of the friendship and mutual passions of Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine and Unibroue’s Brewmaster Jerry Vietz, and inspired by the most popular hard rock song to feature a chorus sung entirely in French, À Tout le Monde Ale is dedicated to all the friends of heavy metal music and Belgian Style ales in Québec and throughout the world. The label proudly features a symbol that is synonymous to Megadeth, their well-known mascot Vic Rattlehead”

Beer Notes from Unibroue: Delicately Spiced. Citrusy and Slightly Tart with hints of tropical fruit such as mango and lychee.

The alcohol is 4.5% ABV and the IBU is 22.

My notes on the beer: As a thirst quencher out in the sun I think it would work well. Drinking the beer I found a very dry finish and a taste that didn’t linger long. The taste starts out like a stronger belgian style, but then fades almost immediately to that dry lighter finish with an underlying flavor that I can’t put my finger on. That final flavor is what turns me off of most saisons. Granted, some are way more funky and earthy than this one, but it still doesn’t work for me.

Unibroue is located in Chambly, Quebec, Canada. They have been brewing beers since 1990. I  first discovered their beers in 1994 on a trip to  Quebec. That beer in question was La Fin Du Monde and it still is one of my all time favorite beers. Thankfully it is in good distribution here in Florida so it is on my regular beer drinking rotation.

Á Tout le Monde will not be in my regular rotation. Nothing at all against the beer itself. I’m sure as saisons go, its a good beer. After all, Unibroue made it so has to be a good beer. But the style just isn’t my cup of tea, uh glass of beer.

Thursday Stout: Stern Line Oatmeal Stout

As part of the new posting schedule, Thursdays are now known as Stout Day.  For this first one I’ve selected a Florida beer,  Stern Line Oatmeal Stout by 3 Daughters Brewing. This oatmeal stout has an 5.2% ABV and an IBU=34.

From the brewery website: “Our Stern Line Stout boasts a dense and creamy texture, smooth body and a slightly dry finish. The oatmeal enhances the beer and makes it fuller than a traditional stout and less formidable than an Imperial Stout. With a pleasing blend of dark-roasted coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and lightly toasted oatmeal flakes, the flavors are unfathomably deep.”

This is  an easy drinking stout. I detected coffee as well as  chocolate flavors, but neither one of them were overpowering. I found the bitterness to be lower as well. Probably as much from the coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt as from the hops.  The addition of oatmeal gives it a fuller body feel so that it doesn’t taste too thin. Quite drinkable.

This is one of the 4 core beers from 3 Daughters Brewing  that have fairly wide distribution in the Florida market. You can find them in grocery stores like Publix as well as the usual liquor stores. I paid $10.49 for this six pack. These are only available in cans which I tend to prefer over bottles.

The other 3 core beers are: Rod Bender Red, Bimini Twist IPA, and Beach Blonde Ale. Notice the beachy/watery/fishing theme for the names ? For you non-fishing people out there, Bimini Twist is a type of knot used in fishing and is not a dance craze sweeping the Bahamas.

3 Daughters Brewing is located in St. Petersburg Florida and have been open since late 2013. Government label approval for Stern Line Oatmeal Stout  was in September of 2015 so it was first available in cans sometime after that.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t give out number or letter ratings when I taste beer. That is way too beer geeky even for me. Instead I condense my thoughts down to one thing. Would I buy and drink this beer again. And the answer is YES.  

 

 

A Bit of a Self Challenge

It is quite apparent that I have not done much writing here on Beer Living lately. It is not that I have been of out of the “beer life” or anything like that. I guess I’ve suffered from a very long case of writers bock, uh, block. So in an effort to get over that, I’ve come up with  a plan. To help me with the ever present ‘what the heck should I write about today’ question, I’ve come up with the following schedule of topics. On Tuesdays I will spotlight a Belgian style of beer, and on Thursdays I will spotlight a stout style of beer.  I’ll  try and select Florida or regional offerings, that may not be as well known in places other than Florida. The Belgian beers will include both beers from Belgium, as well as beers brewed around the world in some of the classic Belgian styles.  I do plan on some occasional bonus days as well. Maybe a Seasonal Sunday. Or a Hoppy Friday. How about a Sour Monday.

 
Stay Tuned.

Unveiling a New Posting Schedule

Whoa, look at all the dust around this site. It looks like it has been months since anything new has appeared in this space. Let’s change that.  My new posting schedule is changing from “slightly more frequent to never” to at least every Tuesday and Thursday.  Some weeks may have more than that, but I’m guaranteeing your money back if there isn’t a new post up on Tuesday and Thursday.
Ouch….thats the sound of the gauntlet hitting my shins.

Results of the 2015 Florida Brewery Tour

I Have Failed. The grand goal to visit every brewery in the State of Florida in 2015 was not met.  I barely scratched the surface. I realized back in April 2015 that it was not going to happen. I did manage to visit more than I actually documented on this site, but I knew I was not going to make it to all of them.  Now with the explosion of new breweries opening in Florida, I wouldn’t even dare to make another goal to visit all of them. But perhaps one day, when I no longer have a ‘day job’ and the home improvement projects slow down , I will once again set out to visit them all in one calendar year. But until that day happens it is back to just enjoying life, one beer at a time.

Brewery 12: 3 Daughters Brewing , St. Pete FL

3 Daughters Brewing was my 12th stop on the 2015 Florida Brewery Tour. 3 Daughters Brewing is located near downtown St. Pete and opened in late 2013. 3 Daughters (3D) has done a good job of getting their beers distributed in quite a few locations. Not only in the Tampa Bay area, but even over here in the Orlando area. I’ve even seen one of their beers at Epcot (Channel Marker Red Ale for those inquisitive types). Everything I’ve tasted from 3D has been good so I was excited that I was finally getting to visit the brewery and tasting room.

3 Daughters Brewing

3 Daughters Brewing

Entering in the front door revealed a very nice cozy tasting room. After ordering our beers we explored around a bit and discovered a door that led into the warehouse area where they had a huge sitting and game playing area. Were talking Giant Jenga, Giant Connect 4, checkers, chess, corn hole, darts, ping-pong, foosball, shuffleboard table, and probably a few others that I missed. From the game and seating area in the warehouse you can overlook the tanks that make all this liquid goodness.

Dunkelweizen and an Imperial Stout

Dunkelweizen and an Imperial Stout

My first beer was a dunkelweizen called the Brown Pelican (5.7%). This was the style of beer that I attribute to my beer awakening 30 years ago while on a trip to Germany. This one tasted every bit as good as the one from that  small German village.

Brown Pelican Dunkelweizen

Brown Pelican Dunkelweizen

Since I had a bit of a drive ahead of me, I went with a lower abv for my second beer. Frisky Sour Berliner Weisse (4.5%). Another tasty beer. Tart and refreshing. Perfect for a hot humid Florida afternoon.

While drinking in the back game room I think I finally came up with an explanation for the Tampa Bay Rays attendance problem. 3 Daughters is only about a mile away from Tropicana Field, well within a comfortable walking distance. I bet many fans head to 3D for some pre-game beers and then can never pull themselves away for the walk to the stadium. I know I had a hard time leaving.

3 Daughters Brewing
222 22nd St S
St Petersburg, FL 33712

http://3dbrewing.com/

* And what the heck is up with St. Pete doing this backassward street naming thing. For example, 3D Brewing is located at  222 22nd Street S. ,  22nd Street South??? Why not South 22 Street ?. Must drive dyslexiacs crazy.

Brewery 11: St. Pete Brewing Company, St. Petersburg FL

St. Pete Brewing Company was my 11th stop on the 2015 Florida Brewery Tour. Opening in earlyish 2014, St. Pete Brewing Company is located in the downtown area of St. Pete.  By the way, the city should be referred to as St. Pete, not St. Petersburg. Only tourists and politicians call it St. Petersburg. And as something rather unique to Florida breweries, it is not located in an industrial area. Rather it is mixed in amongst other downtown businesses. The retail space the brewery is now located in once was a skate shop, hence the skateboard layout of the beer menu.

St. Pete Brewing Company

St. Pete Brewing Company

After a tasty brunch at a nearby restaurant, we headed over for a beer. Its just one of the reasons I love Sundays so much. A couple of Cajun Bloody Marys with brunch, move a half mile and have some fresh local craft beer. I guess I should say I love Sundays when I have a designated driver. But back to the beer.

Beer Skateboard Menu

Beer Skateboard Menu

They had about a dozen of their beers on tap, covering quite a range of styles. Like a kid in a candy store I had a hard time deciding what I wanted, but ended up  getting the Scotch Ale (5.9%). I made a good choice as they made a tasty scotch ale. Our table ordered a pretty wide variety of beers and I sampled just about all of them. All were good. Unfortunately we were under a bit of a time crunch to get back to the other side of the bay so we couldn’t stay as long as I wanted, which really means that I didn’t get a chance to have another beer or two.

Scotch Ale

Scotch Ale

The large garage style door makes the brewery and tasting room feel quite open. It felt pretty good on a nice Florida spring day, but I’m not sure how it would feel in the heat and humidity of summer. I guess I’ll have to make another visit later this year to check out the weather. Any excuse to have some more of their beer.

* St. Petersburg was named by one of the main founders of the area in the 1800’s. One was from Detroit, while the other was from St. Petersburg,  Russia. Supposedly they flipped a coin to see who would name the city. Just a heads or tails away from being called sunny Detroit.

St. Pete Brewing Company
544 1st Ave North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
http://stpetebrewingcompany.com/