Make us your home page

Beer Week: Cheers to the best of the wurst   

It wasn't even close to fall but Rapp Brewing Co. in Seminole definitely had an oom-pah-pah Oktoberfest feeling on Friday night. The jovial crowd spilled from the tiny tasting room into an adjacent storage area and then to the parking lot where artisan sausages were browning on a grill.

Brewmeister Greg Rapp worked the room like the consummate host, apologizing for long lines and announcing which of his 20 beers on tap were out and how long it would be until they would start flowing again.  Two lines of at least 15 people flanked the bar, where glasses of all shapes and sizes were piling up.

The wait for Rapp's Chocolate Hazelnut Porter was well worth 15 minutes of anticipation and people-watching.  "Like drinking a candy bar," someone said.  And it was. Another favorite was the Roggenbier, a Bavarian specialty made partly of rye malt, had a silky mouthfeel and a sweet spiciness that cut through the fatty, richness of the sausages.

Brothers Travis and Lane Justen of Great Bay Distributors in Largo grilled three varieties of their specialty sausages: hand-cut smoked pork with what seemed like chunks of ham in each piece, mild Bavarian weisswurst and a Thai curry laden with coconut milk accompanied by a nice bit of heat. Distributing beer is the Justens' business but making sausages is their passion, and as soon as the links came off the grate and were sliced, they were gone. The wait for those was worth it, too.

Which of Rapp's beers went best with the meaty links? "All of them," said Travis Justen. Who were we to argue?

Beer Week: Cheers to the best of the wurst    03/09/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 9, 2013 1:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 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.
  2. 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]
  3. 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.

  4. Joss Whedon's ex-wife accuses him of cheating, being 'hypocrite preaching feminist ideals'


    Joss Whedon made his name directing cult television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and big-budget action movies, which often featured women in empowering roles. Many applauded him for being a champion of women, a feminist in an industry accused of misogyny and sexism.

    Joss Whedon at the screening of "Much Ado About Nothing" in 2014. Whedon's ex-wife Kai Cole alleged in an essay published by The Wrap on Sunday that Whedon had multiple affairs during their 16-year marriage. (Associated Press)
  5. For James Blunt, life is still 'Beautiful,' especially on tour with Ed Sheeran

    Music & Concerts

    Here's how much You're Beautiful still weighs on James Blunt: He specifically references his biggest hit twice on his new album, The Afterlove.

    ISCHGL, AUSTRIA - NOVEMBER 29:  James Blunt performs live on stage during the ‘Top Of The Mountain Concert’ on November 29, 2014 in Ischgl, Austria.  (Photo by Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images)