Friday, November 17, 2017
Bars & Spirits

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

RECOMMENDED READING


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
How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

Perfect your crust. Try new filling recipes. Learn some decorating tricks. And prepare for the biggest pie day of the year: Thanksgiving.   From apple to thyme You’ve got the crust down. Now it’s time to choose a filling for your holid...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

From appetizers to pies and everything in between, we’re here to help you put together a low-stress Thanksgiving spread. Ideas for sidesThese recipes go beyond the traditional, with a corn casserole, Brussels sprout salad and moreSee what our food ed...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

There are probably a handful of essentials, things you must have on the Thanksgiving table lest some family members begin to riot. But I find there are often a couple of slots open for new things, chances to get weird or creative or, gasp, healthy. ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
How to make solid turkey gravy before Thanksgiving Day

How to make solid turkey gravy before Thanksgiving Day

As far as we’re concerned, anything you can make in advance of actual Thanksgiving Day is a good thing, and this make-ahead gravy fits the bill. Plus, Tucker Shaw of America’s Test Kitchen says it tastes just as good as if you made it wi...
Published: 11/17/17
How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

Planning a really good menu is the stealth approach to being a really good cook. Here are some tips from the experts. New York Times Put some thought into the menu What leaves an impression is not only the dishes you can make, but also how they t...
Published: 11/17/17
Everything you need to know to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey

Everything you need to know to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey

The turkey is the unquestioned star of the Thanksgiving meal. It can be the most daunting part as well. But with a little planning and care, it doesn’t have to be.   Before you start • A decent roasting pan, one heavy enough that it wo...
Published: 11/16/17
Taste test: prepared mashed sweet potatoes

Taste test: prepared mashed sweet potatoes

If you want to spend more time with your family and friends this holiday season and less time in the kitchen, our judges suggest serving Hormel’s mashed sweet potatoes. No need to wash, peel and heat potatoes. Just pop the container in the microwave ...
Published: 11/16/17
From the food editor: An expert weighs in on how to stay calm this Thanksgiving

From the food editor: An expert weighs in on how to stay calm this Thanksgiving

I can tell right away that Tucker Shaw has thought about Thanksgiving a lot, and not just as a home cook. As the editor in chief of Cook’s Country, a member of America’s Test Kitchen and the former dining critic and food editor at the Denver Post, Sh...
Published: 11/16/17
Bar review: The swank CW’s Gin Joint in downtown Tampa

Bar review: The swank CW’s Gin Joint in downtown Tampa

I was thinking a bit about the ubiquitous speakeasy trend and it occurred to me that the nucleus of the thing isn’t flapper dresses, moustaches or suspenders, but rather the suggestion of exclusivity — of being cool, in-the-know and invited to the se...
Published: 11/16/17
Local craft beer of the week: Pep in Yo Step Double IPA, Infusion Brewing Co.

Local craft beer of the week: Pep in Yo Step Double IPA, Infusion Brewing Co.

Pepper beers walk a fine line. The best ones, as is the case with most spicy endeavors, are as much about flavor as they are heat.Some, like Twisted Pine’s Ghost Face Killah, exist almost solely to push the boundaries of what one person can consume (...
Published: 11/16/17