Tampa’s Rock Brothers Brewing has a novel approach to collaborative brewing. While it’s not uncommon for breweries to collaborate on special releases, nearly all of Rock Brothers’ brews are collaborations, and not just with breweries, but with musicians, too.
Rock Brothers’ lineup features collaborations with artists such as 311, Hootie & the Blowfish, J.J. Grey & Mofro, Rebelution and the String Cheese Incident, but its most recent release is a second collaboration with Indiana’s Umphrey’s McGee.
Named after a song from the band’s latest album, It’s Not Us, Dark Brush is an imperial stout brewed with the help of fellow Tampa breweries 7venth Sun and Hidden Springs. The 10 percent alcohol by volume powerhouse is viscous and rich, flavored with additions of coffee, chocolate and cherries.
If that sounds a bit like a dessert cordial to you, you’re not far off. Dark Brush leans to the decadent side of the spectrum, though it’s wonderfully drinkable, with each of the added flavors rising in prominence as the beer warms. The base is a velvety, pitch black ale that finishes with a mild roastiness — the perfect backdrop for coffee, chocolate and cherries.
Brewed for Umphrey’s McGee’s headlining performance at February’s Whigfest music festival, Dark Brush is limited to 1,500 22-ounce bottles, available for purchase in Rock Brothers’ Ybor City tasting room for $25 each. You’ll also find Dark Brush on tap at Rock Brothers for the next couple of weeks — it’s $12 a snifter. Get it before it’s gone!
— Justin Grant
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