Make us your home page
Instagram

Citrus Park House of Beer brings rare brews, wine drafts to Odessa

Citrus Park House of Beer is the first franchise location for the small chain.

Luis Santana/tbt*

Citrus Park House of Beer is the first franchise location for the small chain.

I would have been hard-pressed a few months ago to tell you anything about the beer scene in Odessa. Part of that is because I live pretty far from there, and the other part is, well, what beer scene in Odessa?

That last quip may have worked a year ago, but with new breweries like Big Storm and Wild Rover on the map, Odessa is unquestionably coming up in a big way. It's appropriate, then, that Odessa's newest beer bar, the Citrus Park House of Beer, holds its grand opening on Friday, right at the tail end of Tampa Bay Beer Week.

Florida has a lot of beer-bar chains, so allow me to clarify the lineage. Citrus Park House of Beer is the first franchise location of the House of Beer chain that started in Dunedin and spawned locations in Palm Harbor and Gainesville. (An aside: The Dunedin location is part of what I like to call the Dunedin Beer Triangle — two breweries, Dunedin and 7venth Sun, and a taproom that are all within a short walk of each other.)

Citrus Park House of Beer follows the HoB formula insofar as there isn't much of a formula at all, just a lot of good, fresh beer. The interior is modest — a relatively small but open space, with brick and terra cotta-colored walls, and wooden tables and benches. The place isn't just new; it looks and smells new.

There are 40 beers on draft, including five nitro taps for stouts, bitters and other Irish- and British-style pub drafts. The range is as diverse as one could hope for, including world-class imports like St. Bernardus Abt12, Cuvée Des Jacobins Rouge and Radeberger; limited-release domestics like Green Flash Hop Odyssey: Double Columbus and Full Sail LTD #4; and lots of locals from Cigar City, Florida Avenue, 3 Daughters, Saint Somewhere (Caroline, a coffee saison, if you can believe that!), and, of course, Big Storm.

Beers are also available in small, 4-ounce tasters (priced from $1.50-$3 each), which gives you the option to make flights of any quantity you'd like, or simply the ability to drink a tiny beer, if that's your thing. Citrus Park HoB also offers 32-ounce and 128-ounce growlers, and presumably will fill 64-ounce growlers as well, once Florida lawmakers inevitably come to their senses. A modest bottle list is also available for on-site or package sales. My pick: The Bruery's Oude Tart, a Flanders-style red ale aged in wine barrels. It's pricy, but it's so good.

Speaking of wine, that's one of the unique features at Citrus Park HoB: Six wines are served on draft. Citrus Park HoB is one of only two local bars that I'm aware of (the other being the Flying Pig Taphouse in St. Pete) that does this. The wine keg system — which was approved in Florida last year — keeps wine fresh long after uncorking, with no oxidation whatsoever.

The final component of this House of Beer is the kitchen, a feature unique to this location. Chef Jeremy Denny is both a chef and a homebrewer, so it's no surprise that his menu experiments with beer-infused ingredients, including beer-boiled peanuts (the version I tried used Green Flash Double Stout) and Innis & Gunn-braised sauerkraut, which is used in the Reuben flatbread.

For Friday's grand opening, Citrus Park House of Beer will feature Rapp Brewing beers on tap, live music and giveaways throughout the day. And an expanded menu and beer classes are in the works for the weeks to follow. Citrus Park HoB will be a great place to stop by for Beer Week if you happen to be in the area, and what better time than that to welcome the latest addition to Odessa's emerging beer scene?

— jg@saintbeat.com

Citrus Park House of Beer

8552 Gunn Highway, Odessa. (813) 920-8889, citrusparkhob.com

The vibe: A simple and comfortable beer bar, with 40 taps, draft wine and beer-infused food.

Food: Appetizers and flatbreads, $3.50-$9.

Booze: Beer, $5.50-$7.50 by the glass and $3.50-$26 by the bottle; wine, $6.40-$8.

Specialty: Forty beers on tap represent selections from around the world, including some unusual finds, such as Brouwerij Bockor's Cuvée Des Jacobins Rouge, a tart, cherrylike Flanders Red from Belgium; or As Follows, a Belgian pale ale from Baltimore's Stillwater Artisanal Ales, a brewery rarely found on tap in the bay area. In addition to a great beer selection, Citrus Park HoB is one of the very few area bars to serve wine on draft, using the recently-approved wine kegs. There are six varieties available, such as Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon, all as fresh as the day the bottle was uncorked, because of draft technology that completely eliminates oxidation.

Hours: 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. The bar closes early on slow nights, so call ahead if you're arriving late.

Citrus Park House of Beer brings rare brews, wine drafts to Odessa 03/05/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 11:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Whiskey wasn't my thing, but then I visited the Teeling Distillery in Ireland

    Travel

    DUBLIN

    If you drink your way through a four-day trip to Ireland, can you make an honest recommendation on anything?

    The focal point of the Teeling Whiskey Distillery in Dublin is the copper pots used in the process.
  2. Great trailers for great movies: 1982's 'The Thing'

    Blogs

    John Carpenter knows how to make a movie. And even way back 35 years ago in 1982, Hollywood knew how to make great trailers for them. Keep in mind this was a rare moment of serendipity during a time when movie trailers were - frankly - just wince-worthy.

  3. Looking Back: Adele and her baby koala come out of hiding (December 27, 1991)

    Attractions

    This story appeared in the pages of the St. Petersburg Times on December 27, 1991. What follows is the text of the original story, interspersed with photos of the event taken by Times staff photographer Tony Lopez.

    BABY KOALA IS NOW OUT OF POCKET

    By Amber Grimes

    Times staff …

    Kunara, Busch Garden's shy baby koala, has been working his way out of his mother Adele's pouch since his birth.

TIMES | Tony Lopez
  4. Taste of Tampa Bay: Pam's Roti Shop and Caribbean Market in St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining

    Pam Prasad, who is originally from Guyana, runs Pam's Roti Shop and Caribbean Market on 38th Avenue N in St. Petersburg with her two sons. Prasad loves to educate her customers about her food, customs and culture. The place is known for its variety of roti combinations, goat dishes and spices.

    Pam Prasad makes roti at Pam's Roti Shop at 2800 38th Ave N. in St. Petersburg. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. Plan your weekend: June 30-July 2: Vans Warped Tour, fireworks, corgi races, Guardian Con, Dan TDM

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Vans Warped Tour: The shirtless and inked-up masses will once again descend upon St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park on Saturday to mosh and thrash to dozens of bands across seven stages. This year brings the likes of Gwar, thrash group Municipal Waste, Southern metal band Valient Thorr, …

    Corgi in the grass; Dog playing the the grass; iStockphoto.com