Sunday, December 17, 2017
Bars & Spirits

Local craft beer of the week: Grandpa Jack's Pils, Crooked Thumb Brewery

"Floral and spicy aromas and a subtle malt character," reads the can of Grandpa Jack's Pils, an excellent, authentic German pils from Safety Harbor's Crooked Thumb Brewery.

It's important to make the distinction, as many people don't understand that there's a difference in pilsner styles. Czech, German and the rarely seen classic American pilsner (note: not the same as American macro lager) all have their own unique characteristics, with the commonality of being brewed from pilsner malt (the lightest of the malts, if you're wondering) and being generally refreshing shared amongst them. The rest varies quite a bit.

The German iteration of this style is much more hop-centric than the others. This isn't due to an increase in hop quantity, but rather in a drier beer overall, which allows the hops to stand front and center. Crooked Thumb pulls this balance off perfectly, crafting a beer that's dry without becoming over-bitter, and that contains a nice, subtle graininess from what could easily be an effectively neutral malt base.

In other words, the description on the can says it all. The aroma and flavor from the German noble hops is both floral and spicy, resulting in a very traditional brew that's tough to pull off with this level of authenticity. In a blind taste test, you could put this up with the best that Germany has to offer, no joke.

Pilsners in general have developed a reputation as being lawnmower beers, likely resulting from their long association with mass-produced domestic lagers, but this is an unfair characterization. When done well, as Crooked Thumb demonstrates with Grandpa Jack's, pilsners can be nuanced and extremely satisfying.

Grandpa Jack's is one of three core beers that Crooked Thumb has put into distribution in canned six-packs, along with its Shade Tree IPA and Florida Grapefruit gose. While it's a bit harder to find than the other two, Grandpa Jack's is available in select beer stores across the bay area. A few of these are Shep's in St. Pete, Norman's on St. Pete Beach, Leukens in Dunedin, Jug & Bottle in Tampa and Craft Beer Cellar in Brandon.

Justin Grant, tbt* correspondent

Have a suggestion for the Local Craft Beer of the Week? Brewers, have a limited release coming that we should know about? Email [email protected]

Comments
Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

When Brenda Terry was 16 and living in St. Louis, she was a hostess and food runner at a sports bar where female employees wore cute, little cheerleading skirts. One night, she said, a patron grabbed her crotch. She ran to her management team and the...
Published: 12/15/17
Self-serve beer bar opens Saturday in downtown St. Pete

Self-serve beer bar opens Saturday in downtown St. Pete

Pour Taproom, a craft beer bar with 85 taps that customers pour their own brew from, will open at noon on Saturday, Dec. 16. The nearly 2,300-square-foot bar at 225 Second Ave. N has undergone extensive renovations, including a St. Petersburg-themed...
Published: 12/15/17
Bar review: Spanish flair at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa

Bar review: Spanish flair at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa

Take a second and try to think of a few of the worldís biggest drinking cultures. Ireland is a freebie, but then youíll probably move onto Germany, Russia and possibly even South Korea (yep, South Korea goes hard).How about Spain? No, Iím not just ta...
Published: 12/14/17
Local craft beer of the week: Big Stormís Lightning Twenty Five Craft Lager

Local craft beer of the week: Big Stormís Lightning Twenty Five Craft Lager

The Tampa Bay Lightning is off to its best start in franchise history, racking up NHL highs in wins and points in their 25th anniversary season.That calls for a toast.And Odessaís Big Storm Brewing has just the beer. Turns out, the brewery picked a g...
Published: 12/14/17
Why is eggnog a holiday tradition? Exploring fresh renditions of the classic drink

Why is eggnog a holiday tradition? Exploring fresh renditions of the classic drink

Eggnog dates back to medieval times when the British enjoyed a drink called "posset" that was made with hot milk, ale and spices. Later it became a drink for the wealthy who added expensive brandy or sherry. It was the alcohol that kept the milk from...
Published: 12/14/17
Wine of the week: Georges DuBoeuf 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau

Wine of the week: Georges DuBoeuf 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau

It would hardly be the holidays without Beaujolais nouveau.This French wine made with Gamay grapes appears on American shelves in mid November. Itís a vin de primeur, a wine made from the most recent harvest and fermented only a few weeks ó barely gr...
Published: 12/14/17
Five trendy gift ideas for the cook in your life

Five trendy gift ideas for the cook in your life

Giving the gift of cooking isnít really something you can mess up. Whether gifting a gadget or paying for a class, you can encourage a budding culinary enthusiast or give a seasoned veteran a new toy to play with. Here are five ideas for holiday gi...
Published: 12/13/17
Four ideas for edible gifts you can find throughout Tampa Bay

Four ideas for edible gifts you can find throughout Tampa Bay

Carlynn Crosby, Times correspondent Florida Pure Sea Salt Harvested from Tampa Bay’s waters, these handcrafted salts come in flavors like maple bacon, Sriracha, lemongrass, habanero or black truffle. They retail for $15 a jar online, at flor...
Published: 12/13/17
Six kitchen gadgets that are completely useless

Six kitchen gadgets that are completely useless

If youíre buying me a gift this year, donít get me an Instant Pot. Iím serious. I donít subscribe to the "you can never be too thin or too rich" school of thought, but the "you can never have too much kitchen cabinet space" is dead right in my book. ...
Published: 12/13/17
From the food editor: How to make perfect, hot Crispy Roasted Potatoes

From the food editor: How to make perfect, hot Crispy Roasted Potatoes

Sometimes, you just want a hot, crispy potato.I didnít get home from work the other night craving a full dinner; I arrived at my house with cartoon visions of potatoes in my head, and knew I had to make it happen.I wasnít looking for a fast food fren...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17