Friday, June 22, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Beer Week: First day kicks off with good brew, big crowds

Times beer correspondent Justin Grant spent Saturday checking out several events for the first day of Tampa Bay Beer Week. Here's a glimpse of his day:

At noon Saturday, I headed over to Booth's Brewing & Bar Supply in Tampa to check out the Beer Rally. When I arrived, there were a few people sitting around eating bratwurst and drinking homebrew from two portable 5-gallon kegs. I had missed the morning brewing class, which is held every Saturday at 10 a.m., but I was just in time to watch a new brew-in-progress by owner Francis Booth and brewing partner Bobby Every. The brew was a 20-gallon all-grain chocolate cherry stout, giving me a great opportunity to ask a bunch of questions about some of the finer points of homebrewing. Booth's will be the site of an upcoming brewery and taproom called ESB Brewing, which will be neighbored by another upcoming nano-brewery, Zeke's Brewing, located right next door.

Later on, I gathered a small group and headed to The Pub at International Plaza to attend the Flights & Pints with Abita Brewing on Saturday evening. The place was jam-packed, but no one seemed to know much about the Abita event, which was to feature a brewery rep handing out samples and chatting about Abita beer. Instead, it was a simple keep-the-pint night, featuring pints of Abita Turbodog and Purple Haze on draft, served with a take-home Abita Restoration ale frosted pint glass. No problem there, as I enjoyed Turbodog, my girlfriend enjoyed Purple Haze, and now we have two glasses to match the two Turbodog glasses that we have at home.

After leaving The Pub, we headed downtown to Taps Restaurant Bar & Lounge for its Radeberger Brewery Night. A rep was passing out samples of the classic German Pilsner, along with raffle tickets for a Radeberger snowboard. We didn't win, but we did order a few Radebergers, which came with very nice glassware to take home. We didn't stick around long, as we wanted to head over to Safety Harbor to Copperheads Taphouse for the TBBW Kickoff Party. It featured ska band The New Rulers and a promising tap list, including "one of the last known Pinellas County kegs of Hopslam," as well as Southern Tier's Uceta Steam Ale, a beer brewed by the New York-based brewery specifically for Tampa Bay Beer Week.

As was the case with The Pub and Taps, this place was packed. The band was great (they even did a nice cover of The Specials' Ghost Town), and the tap list was even better. I tried the Southern Tier brew and Cain's Dark Mild, a 3.2 percent alcohol beer served on nitro. First time I've seen this stuff on draft anywhere. Whether the dozens of craft beer-guzzling bar patrons were excited for Beer Week, the New Rulers, or simply a Saturday night out in Safety Harbor is hard to say, but I left feeling like the week was off to a strong start.

Comments
Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

By Katie WorkmanIsraeli or Mediterranean couscous are tiny balls of toasted semolina pasta that plump up when cooked into toothsome, slightly less tiny balls of pasta. They make a great base for a side or salad. You can make the couscous according to...
Published: 06/22/18
Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Last year’s St. Pete Pride went smoothly, despite some behind-the-scenes drama involving the decision to relocate the parade to the downtown waterfront, rather than the Grand Central District, where it had traditionally been held. After all, the Gran...
Published: 06/21/18
Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Piña Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Piña Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

"Hooray, it’s summer!" exclaimed no Floridians. But if it’s summer proper and not just the usual year-round weather, you might as well embrace the heat and humidity with a trip to the beach, accompanied by some suitably refreshing beers. While you’r...
Published: 06/21/18
Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

FILIPINO FOOD: WELCOME CHISMISHave you been to the Heights Public Market at the 73,000-square-foot Armature Works yet? It’s the buzzy food market in Tampa Heights with more than a dozen vendors offering up everything from rolled ice cream to Cuban sa...
Published: 06/20/18
Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

It started with jugs of olive oil and cans of tuna, lots of it, which my husband hauled in one day and plunked on the counter. "That’s my lunch!"That was about three months ago, and every day since there has been a new entity in our house to consider...
Published: 06/20/18
Five ideas for rainbow-themed foods to serve at your Pride party

Five ideas for rainbow-themed foods to serve at your Pride party

More than 50,000 people are estimated to attend Pride weekend in St. Petersburg, which runs Friday to Sunday. (June is LGBTQ Pride Month.) Whether you plan to march in the parade or host your own smaller gathering, we’ve selected five rainbow-themed ...
Published: 06/20/18
My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Here’s how he does it.

My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Here’s how he does it.

This week I wrote about something with which I have become very familiar: the ketogenic diet. If you’re like, "Huh?" you are where I was three months ago, before my husband, Phil, embarked on the weight-loss regimen. The keto diet is a high-fat, low-...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
A perfect pick for dessert

A perfect pick for dessert

America’s Test KitchenIt might seem impossible to improve on a perfect peach, but we decided to try. We wanted a simple, warm dessert that amplified the peaches’ flavor. To achieve tender, flavorful peaches with a lightly sweet glaze, we began by tos...
Published: 06/19/18
Everything you need to know about marinating meat

Everything you need to know about marinating meat

For a lot of home cooks, marinating meat is almost as automatic as cooking the meat itself. Douse the meat in some kind of flavored liquid, pop it in the refrigerator overnight and cook it the next day.Seems straightforward enough, but there are reas...
Published: 06/19/18
Restaurant review: Chile Verde is serving up very solid tacos in an unlikely spot

Restaurant review: Chile Verde is serving up very solid tacos in an unlikely spot

ST. PETERSBURGThere are a lot of decommissioned gas stations across the country. Some have been reinvented, cleverly made over as upscale restaurants. There’s Big Star in Chicago, Elaia & Olio in St. Louis, Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton, Va., even Bi...
Published: 06/18/18