Thursday, September 20, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Bar review: Dissent Craft Brewing Company is off the beaten path in St. Pete

One peripheral benefit of a supposed brewery oversaturation is the crawl of new breweries away from bustling downtown areas and hip neighborhoods and into underserved parts of town previously stuck with no more than an occasional dive bar or family chain restaurant.

Downtown St. Petersburg, for example, is not in need of any more breweries. A couple of years ago, it was practically the only option for a local brew. Now, Tyrone area residents have the Pesky Pelican, and folks in the Kenwood, Old Northeast and Euclid neighborhoods can stroll over to Flying Boat for their hometown brews.

St. Peteís latest is Dissent Craft Brewing Company, a Lealman-area nanobrewery that brings a solid roster of interesting brews to an area that could surely use some.

It doesnít look like much from the street ó indeed, none of the units in this Haines Road strip mall boast much curb appealóbut itís very cozy inside, if somewhat minimal.

Thatís by design. Owners Chris Price and Dale Miller have placed their focus primarily on building their brand for future distribution, rather than decking out their taproom and trying to make it a destination bar, which is probably wise, given the location.

Near the entrance is a large, circular wood panel with the breweryís logo: a silhouette of an anonymous corporate drone, mouth crossed out. A splash of color comes by way of a blue, loosened tie, symbolizing freedom from the corporate world.

Around the border is the breweryís mission statement: "We brew beer not to meet sales quotas. We brew beer because we love beer. The people that drink our beer are not targets or consumers, they are beer lovers. From grain to glass, beer is our passion."

Price and Miller havenít fully escaped from the corporate world yet, but Dissent is already growing nicely, hopefully hastening the process. In mid March, after Tampa Bay Beer Week ends, Dissent will take over the neighboring unit, expand its hours of operation (which have already been expanded since its soft opening in late December), debut a Helles lager and a series of kettle-soured brews and get started on a barrel-aging program. Thereís lots in the works.

That doesnít mean that the breweryís current output is limited. To the contrary: the taproom currently features 10 house brews and two guest taps, with a lineup of beers thatís surprisingly ambitious given Dissentís short time in business.

At first glance, the menu is conspicuously IPA-heavy, but thatís not the full story. The Dissenter IPA, for example, uses a Belgian yeast strain to add subtle fruity, spicy notes to the brew, while Forbidden double IPA includes a hefty guava addition for a tropical balance to the beerís smooth bitterness.

Then thereís Hazy Mangover, which packs both mango and habanero peppers into a hazy IPA base. A SMaSH ó Single Malt and Single Hop ó brew showcases the flavor of Munich malt and the Falconerís Flight hop blend (admittedly stretching the rules of SMaSH beers just a bit), while the íMerica pale ale is double dry-hopped with the same hop blend for a massive burst of citrus-y goodness on top of a crisp, refreshing pale ale base.

Not an IPA fan? Thereís a pretty decent stout on tap, along with two uniquely flavored brews. Ginja Gaiden pairs a pale wheat ale base with ginger, while Honeybush Brown combines a mildly roasty brown ale with rooibos tea.

Dissent isnít designed as a destination brewery, but with such a variety of unique options, I wouldnít be surprised if some people made the trek from other parts of town. Heck, the day after I visited, legendary pro wrestler Chris Jericho popped in for a brewery tour and samples. Wordís getting out.

I expect more good things in the future from the Dissent folks. They may be located in a weird part of town for a brewery, but I consider that a positive in todayís brewery environment. Keep tasting rooms small, spread out and hyper-local; thatís the future. When the beer hits distribution, fine, but for now, Dissent is doing great as the closest and best local beer option for a pretty big chunk of town.

Contact Justin Grant at [email protected] Follow @WordsWithJG.

Dissent Craft Brewing Company

5518 Haines Road N, St. Petersburg; (727) 342-0255; facebook.com/dissentcraftbeer

The vibe: A no-nonsense taproom for St. Peteís latest and most unusually located brewery.

Booze: Beer, $5.

Specialty: IPAs are the starting point for many of Dissentís brews, but thatís where the similarity ends for most of them. Thereís a SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) IPA brewed with Munich malt and Falconerís Flight hops, an IPA brewed with Belgian yeast, an IPA brewed with guava and another brewed with mango and habanero peppers. Non-pale ale options include a stout, a brown ale flavored with rooibos tea and an American wheat flavored with ginger.

Hours: 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday; noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday through Wednesday.

Comments
Bar review: Punk meets Pilsner at Antibrewery in Dunedin

Bar review: Punk meets Pilsner at Antibrewery in Dunedin

I’ve had readers jokingly complain that I’ve exposed their off-the-radar watering holes that already are a carful away from becoming overcrowded. It’s like watching your favorite indie band achieve mainstream success: It’s good for them, but now you’re forced to share them with the Johnny-come-latelys.
Updated: 5 hours ago
New restaurants: Olivia from Chris Ponte, Crabby Billís Off the Hook

New restaurants: Olivia from Chris Ponte, Crabby Billís Off the Hook

COMING SOON: OLIVIAChris Ponte, right, has been a steady and notable culinary leader in our area for more than a decade with his flagship restaurant Cafe Ponte in Clearwater. A couple of years ago he mixed things up a bit by debuting On Swann in Hyde...
Published: 09/19/18
Swizzle it: The tool bartenders turn to for a certain kind of cocktail

Swizzle it: The tool bartenders turn to for a certain kind of cocktail

TAMPA It’s a long stick with an irregular claw at the end, something a little macabre, like a skeletal monkey arm or a ritual tool made out of a chicken foot. It is crafted from the wood of the Quararibea turbinata tree, an aromatic and perenn...
Published: 09/19/18
Five ideas for date-night dinners at home

Five ideas for date-night dinners at home

For your next date night with your significant other, try staying in and cooking together. Meals eaten with your loved one are always sweeter. Literally."When we are in love Ö food tastes better," said Rachel Herz, an adjunct professor of psychiatry ...
Published: 09/19/18
What’s that bug gunk on your car? There’s an app for that

What’s that bug gunk on your car? There’s an app for that

Florida is rich in biomass. It’s got a lot of bugs. You’re driving down the highway, and all of a sudden — splat — a bug smacks your windshield, leaving a gooey glob on the glass. That’s the end of it from the bug’...
Published: 09/18/18
Pumpkin spice haters, back off: It’s okay to crave the seasonal flavor

Pumpkin spice haters, back off: It’s okay to crave the seasonal flavor

All right, okay, enough, I get it: You all hate pumpkin spice. But I’ve got one request as we head into fall: Can you just let us have this? There are many things on which to heap anger and despair right now, but please, that thing does not n...
Published: 09/18/18
A brown rice salad with asparagus thatís a hearty side dish

A brown rice salad with asparagus thatís a hearty side dish

This fresh, hearty side dish will stand out among its richer, creamier counterparts when the holidays roll around. We achieved perfectly cooked brown rice by boiling it in abundant water. Sprinkling the rice with bright lemon juice while it was still...
Published: 09/18/18
Restaurant review: The Local doesn't stand out enough above its Tampa neighbors to make an impact

Restaurant review: The Local doesn't stand out enough above its Tampa neighbors to make an impact

TAMPA Do you have this debate? "Florida is not in the South." "Um, look at a map." I guess I am in the former camp: It seems Florida gets more Southern the more north and west you go, accents only creeping in as reliably as boiled peanuts up on the ...
Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/18/18
Tampa Bay chefs get fresh platform at Bucs home games

Tampa Bay chefs get fresh platform at Bucs home games

TAMPA ó It was almost like a sitcom spit take. People in Buccaneers-red and Eagles-midnight green would walk up to the makeshift kitchen in the West Stadium Club, look at the huge poster of chef/restaurateur John Rivers, then glance at the guy in the...
Published: 09/17/18
Taste test: Frozen Italian meatballs

Taste test: Frozen Italian meatballs

In keeping with our objective of trying to make family meals a little easier this back-to-school season, our judges figured premade meatballs could serve as a basis for a variety of meals. This week, we sampled 10 brands of frozen Italian meatballs f...
Published: 09/17/18