Make us your home page
Instagram

Beer Week: From wine grapes to aged brew to homebrew

I got a relatively early start to Beer Week on day five and took the long trek to B-21 Wine Company in Tarpon Springs to check out one of the several interesting beer tastings they've had throughout the week. This one was a sampling of two wheat ales from Blue Moon that are brewed with wine grapes for an interesting, hybrid end product. The first, Impulse, is a semi-sweet beer brewed with a wheat base and fortified by cabernet sauvignon grapes. The second, Proximity, is more dry and white wine-like, made with an addition of sauvignon blanc grapes.

I grabbed a bottle of Impulse to go and headed to the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks for lunch (I love the gigandes at Costa's). I headed over to the Nook at Dunedin Brewery for the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Vertical Tasting. A flight of five versions of Bigfoot was available — the 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012 and whiskey barrel-aged release of the 2011/2012 blend — enabling fans of the beer to compare the batches side by side.

The vertical tasting was quite eye-opening, lending insight into just what happens to a beer after it's had one, five, seven or even eight years to mellow. My personal favorites were the 2005 version (the bittering hops were still present, unbelievably, but the finish was much smoother and caramel-y) and the fantastic barrel-aged blend.

Next, I stopped by Tampa's Cold Storage Brewery for the Special Hoperations Night, a homebrew clinic and sampling hosted by the Tampa-based homebrew club. Unfortunately, the brewing demonstration didn't happen as planned (no one brought the gear!), but there was live music, a free pint of any of Cold Storage's beers (three of which just won gold in the Best Florida Beer Championship), a tour of the brewery and unlimited samples of six homebrews. I learned a few homebrewing tips from the Special Hops guys while sampling some really good stuff, like a phenomenal dry-hopped Black IPA and a well-executed traditional Hefeweizen.

Beer Week: From wine grapes to aged brew to homebrew 03/07/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 7, 2013 1:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91

    Obituaries

    LOS ANGELES — Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, has died. He was …

    In this Sept. 2, 1990, file photo, entertainer Jerry Lewis makes his opening remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon fundraiser in Los Angeles. Lewis, the comedian whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died according to his publicist. [Associated Press]
  2. If you miss out on Retro Futura tour, you'll be needing a little 'Tenderness'

    Blogs

    Closing out Retro Futura Week is a little bit of a cheat. We started the week with the English Beat and we end it with an offshoot of the Beat, the band General Public and their hit …

  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 20

    Events

    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 …

    Eliana Goldberg, 5, of Wesley Chapel looks at a Lego sculpture called "Everlasting" at The Art of the Brick exhibit, which opened Friday in Tampa and runs through Sept. 4. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 19

    Events

    Monster Jam Triple Threat Series: Come early for the Pit Party ($15 or free at local Ford dealers) to meet the drivers and get pictures with the trucks. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $15-$80. (813) 301-2500.

    A crew member from the El Toro Loco monster truck, installs a truck tire, Thursday, 8/17/17 in preparation for Saturday's  Monster Jam Triple Threat Series at Amalie Arena, Tampa. The event will be held Saturday at 1pm and 7 pm.