Make us your home page

Bar review: Two Lions Winery and Palm Harbor Brewery — under one roof

I like to think that I'm pretty up to date when it comes to the local brewery scene, but sometimes I'm proved wrong.

For example, I visited Palm Harbor's de Bine Brewing a while back, and I referred to it in my column as that city's third brewery, along with Stilt House and Lagerhaus. A reader pointed out my mistake — in my mental inventory of Palm Harbor breweries, I missed an obvious one: Palm Harbor Brewery.

In my defense, Palm Harbor Brewery is a bit of an odd duck. It's the brewing arm of Two Lions Winery, which opened on Dunedin's Main Street in 2009, relocated to Palm Harbor, and began offering beer in mid 2015. The two businesses combined into a dual-named, single entity.

It's about as low profile as they come, located in a house that would be indistinguishable from an ordinary residence if it weren't for the large, shell-lined patio out front.

Owner Rose Post doesn't fit the description of your typical craft brewer, either. She's a former proprietor of a Chinese restaurant who got into the wine game with husband Kevin Zylstra several years ago, originally tinkering with fruit wines before moving on to grapes, and then beer.

Two Lions Winery & Palm Harbor Brewery feels a fair deal like a hobbyist's home on the inside, too, with various rooms repurposed to accommodate the business.

A small room adjacent to the living room is home to glass carboys containing various soon-to-be wines and beers. A dining room outside of the kitchen is outfitted with bookshelves stocked with Two Lions wine bottles and a dinner table where guests sample wines and beers. The kitchen? It's a bar, with 20 beers on tap — 17 in-house and three local guest taps when I visited — and a wine slushie machine churning nearby.

Post is remarkably prolific, with output on the brewery side alone representing an impressive range of styles. The fact that she also has eight or so wines available at any given time is really something.

I suppose if one is to gauge the quality of a winery's output, a sampling of well-traveled styles such as chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon would be the way to go. I couldn't resist going in the opposite direction and trying a blend of the two wine slushie flavors — red sangria and peach bellini — as well as the holiday red, which was a sweet, fruity wine that boasted bubblegum and maple notes amidst the aroma and flavor of traditional mulling spices. I'm afraid you'll have to try the more traditional offerings yourself if you'd like to know how they stack up.

I've got you covered on the beer, though. Over two shared flights, I tried everything from a double IPA to a raspberry wheat to a helles lager. I'm told that the Bodega porter is a top seller. It's a big, rich and chocolatey brew that hides its 9 percent alcohol by volume quite well. This, and all of the other beers I tried, were quite good and were brewed faithful to style.

Of the beers I tried, my top picks are both hop-centric: Hop Gone Wild and the Mosaic session IPA. The former is on par with big name West Coast examples of the style — big but dry; prominently bitter with a dialed-in combination of grapefruit, pine and resin notes. The session IPA is crisp and fruity, drinking like an IPA in all respects but its 5 percent alcohol by volume, and without the unbalanced, thin body that so many beers in this style suffer from.

Two Lions Winery & Palm Harbor Brewery is easy to miss, so I'm not beating myself up too badly for being late to the party. It's an under-the-radar operation, with Post quietly pumping out a wide variety of true-to-style brews and wines in a cozy home setting in downtown Palm Harbor. Friendly, quaint and very easy to overlook if you're not careful.;


Two lions winery & palm harbor brewery

1022 Georgia Ave., Palm Harbor; (727) 786-8039;

The vibe: A tiny winery and brewery located in a cozy, converted Palm Harbor home.

Booze: Beer and wine. Beer, $4 to $7; wine, $5 to $8 by the glass and $13.95 to $21.95 by the bottle.

Specialty: The wine slushies — red sangria and peach bellini — are a popular draw at Two Lions, but there's also a good variety of classic wines, Florida muscadine wines and seasonals such as the sweet and spice-driven holiday red.

On the Palm Harbor Brewery side of things, you'll find a wide variety of beers brewed faithfully to style. Try the Mosaic session IPA — a bright, tropical pale that struck me as particularly excellent.

Hours: 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday; 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday.

Bar review: Two Lions Winery and Palm Harbor Brewery — under one roof 11/17/16 [Last modified: Thursday, November 17, 2016 8:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Prep meals for a week with tacos, pork tenderloin and rosemary chicken


    Some see a resemblance to Japan's popular bento boxes. Some just call it meal prepping. And some prefer to think of it as bringing lunch to work in Tupperware containers.

    For simple meal prep, you can’t go wrong with this classic: ground beef tacos, black beans and homemade Spanish rice.
  2. 'Swag Surfin' producer: 'It's very weird… they're still playing the song' eight years later

    Music & Concerts


    Kevin Erondu doesn't often go to night clubs. Yet, across America, he drives people to the dance floor. He's 31 years old, but he still has the ear of college students, and while he's no pro athlete, they leap to their feet when he joins them in the gym.

    Originally from Dade City, music producer Kevin Erondu, 31, rose to prominence after creating the beat to Swag Surfin’, a 2009 club hit that still inspires viral videos today.
  3. 5 things to do under $5: Type artists, shuffleboard, toy train show, Wildflower Walk


    1 Letterheads Typefest: The muralists who run Illsol Space, a gallery in Tampa Heights, said their respect for handmade fonts and sign painting techniques moved them to curate this exhibit featuring type-based muralists, hand-style lettering designers, sign painters, letterpress studios and type designers. …

    Colm O’Connor, a Dublin sign writer, is among the 22 artists featured in the Letterheads Typefest exhibit at the Illsol Space gallery.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 23


    The Art of the Brick: An elaborate display of more than 100 pieces of Lego artwork including the life sized sculpture of a man ripping open his chest, a 20-foot-long T. rex skeleton, a giant skull and replicas of famous works including Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night and Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona …

    Nathan Sawaya with a sculpture from his The Art of the Brick exhibition coming to Tampa June 23- Sept. 4. It will be open for free Wednesdays through Sundays,  from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 802 E Whiting Street, Tampa. No tickets are required.[Courtesy  of the Art of the Brick]
  5. I give you a fish, you give me back my man


    The B-52s are a band with such a distinct visual look that you could tell it was them with just a glimpse of a picture. But was it always beehives and bright clothes for the hipsters from Athens? You can find the different looks of the B-52s in their video for the irresistible Give Me Back My Man.