Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Holiday brews: 6 merry pours, and a Scrooge

Winter beers are always worth looking forward to, since there’s nothing nicer during the holidays than drinking a festive spiced beer with friends and family. The ever-changing selection of beers brewed for the season means that you’ll always have something new to try. Here are six to try this winter, as well as a bonus contrarian brew for the "bah, humbug" crowd.

Sierra Nevada Wintertide

Sierra Nevada’s winter warmer is a departure from the brewery’s typically hop-forward brews. Spiced with coriander, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon, Wintertide is nutty, rich and full of holiday cheer, with additional subtle notes of molasses and licorice. Find it as part of Sierra Nevada’s Snowpack, a 12-pack sampler that includes Wintertide, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Coffee Stout and another winter seasonal, Holiday Haze IPA.

Mikkeller Red/White Christmas

Danish "gypsy brewer" Mikkeller is always a reliable winter pick, with a handful of new holiday brews hitting its lineup each year. Red/White Christmas takes the toasty, malt-driven flavor of an imperial red ale and balances it with the tangy wheat and citrus notes of a witbier. The finished beer is briskly hopped, adding notes of pine and spruce.

Weyerbacher 22

Released in the summer, Weyerbacher’s 22nd anniversary can’t truly be considered a winter beer, but you wouldn’t know it at first taste. This 11.1% alcohol by volume strong ale drinks like a boozed-up holiday cocktail, featuring additions of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and orange peel that play wonderfully with notes of brown sugar and caramel.

Brew Hub Triptych

For good measure, here’s another not-technically-a-winter-beer entry that’s also an anniversary beer. Lakeland’s Brew Hub celebrated its third anniversary in October with this beer, a blend of three heavy hitters (think smoked Baltic porter and imperial stout) aged 16 months in Caribbean rum and Woodford Reserve barrels coated in a reduction of maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. This incredibly decadent winter cordial is available in waxed bombers at the Brew Hub tasting room, 3900 Frontage Road South in Lakeland.

Southern Lights Holiday Porter

Southern Lights’ first year brewing in Clearwater wouldn’t be complete without a proper winter seasonal. This robust porter is spiced with whole cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and vanilla beans — the quintessential winter beer combo. More good news: It’s available for purchase in growlers at the tasting room at 2045d Gulf to Bay Blvd. in Clearwater.

Tampa Bay Brewing Company Gingy Imperial Porter

Named after head brewer and redhead John Rankin, Gingy is a hefty imperial porter, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. It smells like egg nog and tastes like a gingerbread cookie, and it’s available on draft and in 16 oz. cans throughout the entire Tampa Bay area, which is something worth celebrating.

Grindhaus Brew Lab Get Scrooged

Not feeling particularly festive? You can still sneak in some subtle holiday spirit without admitting it at Clearwater Grindhaus Brew Lab at 1650 N Hercules Ave Unit I. Get Scrooged is a berliner weisse — perhaps the exact opposite of a winter seasonal — flavored with ginger and cranberry. Does that qualify it as a winter seasonal? Sure, but it’ll be our secret.

     
Comments
These restaurants are slated for the outdoor dining space at Sparkman Wharf

These restaurants are slated for the outdoor dining space at Sparkman Wharf

TAMPA -- The lineup is set for the outdoor dining space at Sparkman Wharf, where developers have assembled a Who’s Who of inventive Tampa chefs for what will be an open-air food hall on the waterfront. The last to be announced is the chef who ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Curry is a quick way to get something flavorful on the table for dinner

Curry is a quick way to get something flavorful on the table for dinner

Curry dishes are one of my favorite go-tos for a quick and flavorful home-cooked meal. The spice combinations lend a depth that’s hard to come by in a 20-minute dinner, and the sauciness ties a dish of whatever-is-left-in-the-fridge components togeth...
Published: 08/21/18
Bar review: A trip to Saigon Blonde in St. Petersburg is an immersive experience

Bar review: A trip to Saigon Blonde in St. Petersburg is an immersive experience

The space at 265 Central Ave. in downtown St. Petersburg has always seemed out of place. Surrounded by a cigar lounge, restaurants and cocktail bars, its most recent dance-club incarnations never quite meshed with the block’s entertainment scene. So ...
Published: 08/20/18
Restaurant review: Haveli Indian Kitchen brings a solid, well-priced Indian buffet to Carrollwood

Restaurant review: Haveli Indian Kitchen brings a solid, well-priced Indian buffet to Carrollwood

CARROLLWOODI was curious. I looked up "haveli." It’s an Indian word that means mansion, usually one with historical and architectural significance. Huh. That doesn’t exactly describe the building in a shopping center off Dale Mabry Highway in which H...
Published: 08/20/18
Taste test: hazelnut coffee pods

Taste test: hazelnut coffee pods

While I was enjoying a croissant at a local French cafe this summer, a family from Wales walked in and asked for a strong cup of coffee. Luckily, the bakery sold a bold, locally roasted blend that hit the mark. They reminded me of the coffee drinkers...
Published: 08/20/18
Tampa gets its own Bodega in Seminole Heights

Tampa gets its own Bodega in Seminole Heights

St. Petersburg eatery Bodega has built a reputation for its Latin street food and now the fast-casual concept has expanded to a second location in Seminole Heights.Its name Bodega, which means grocery in Spanish, represents the owners, George and Deb...
Published: 08/16/18
Local Craft Beer of the Week: The Falcon Brett IPA, Flying Boat Brewing Co.

Local Craft Beer of the Week: The Falcon Brett IPA, Flying Boat Brewing Co.

Just in time for its first anniversary on Saturday, St. Pete’s Flying Boat Brewing Co. has tapped a beer that pushes the envelope by combining two trends — New England-style IPA and Brett IPA — into one unique brew: The Falcon IPA.By now, you probabl...
Published: 08/16/18
South Tampa’s Village Inn features a family affair

South Tampa’s Village Inn features a family affair

How Emma Walker spent her summer vacation:Visited Chicago.Gymnastics.Went to the beach.And, by taking a summer job as a hostess at the Village Inn at 215 N Dale Mabry Highway, carried on a decades-long family tradition."I just wanted to make money," ...
Published: 08/15/18
Updated: 08/19/18
Dining events: Bolts Brew Fest, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

Dining events: Bolts Brew Fest, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

BOLTS: BREW FESTI was going to list all the craft brewers whose wares will be on offer at 7 p.m. Friday at this year’s Bolts Brew Fest, a Tampa Bay Lightning benefit for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. But with 50 local breweries alone, and another ...
Published: 08/15/18
Updated: 08/16/18
Expert advice on baking classic French tarts: recipes, tips and tools

Expert advice on baking classic French tarts: recipes, tips and tools

BELLEAIR BLUFFSTim Brown was dead right. It was time for tough love, right at the beginning of class: Most of us entertain, most of us can get our act together with some hors d’oeuvres, an appetizer and an entree with appropriate side dishes. But whe...
Published: 08/15/18