Friday, December 15, 2017
Bars & Spirits

Local Craft Beer of the Week: Oubliette, Hidden Springs Aleworks

Just shy of its two-year anniversary last weekend, Tampa Heights' Hidden Springs Aleworks released a beer that makes a compelling argument for drinking local.

Oubliette is the French word for what we typically describe in English as a dungeon . It's an odd name for a beer, especially one with such a colorfully painted label, featuring passionfruit and blackberries — the fruits used to flavor the beer — against a soft lavender and yellow backdrop.

The beer is a sour blonde ale aged in Sauvignon Blanc barrels, flavored with the aforementioned passion fruit and blackberry. The fruit gives the beer a rosy, opaque appearance, while also providing a dense, juicy fruit aroma that plays well with low-level barnyard funk and black pepper notes.

Like many white wine barrel-aged beers, Oubliette has an underlying creaminess that helps to smooth out its acidity, creating the impression of a moderate tartness, rather than the bracing sourness that you might expect, given the aggressiveness of Hidden Springs' other sour beer offerings. The fruit additions are well-executed and unique, with tart jam flavors from the blackberries and lush tropical nectar from the passionfruit.

Even recently, barrel-aged fruited wild ales were niche items of wildly varying quality, with Belgian lambics setting a high and rarely met standard. Beers like Oubliette rival the complexity of these beers very well, further demonstrating that small-scale, local beers are adjusting to the learning curve surprisingly well. While purists will insist that the Belgians still have a monopoly on these kind of beers, it's not unreasonable to suggest that the little guys like Hidden Springs are getting really good, really quickly.

Find bottles of Oubliette at Hidden Springs' tasting room in Tampa (1631 N Franklin St.), as well as at Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe (2927 Central Ave.) in St. Petersburg.

— Justin Grant

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
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
Downtown St. Pete’s 24-hour diner 2nd & Second is open

Downtown St. Pete’s 24-hour diner 2nd & Second is open

Downtown St. Petersburg’s only 24/7 restaurant has opened and doesn’t plan to close, ever. The 2nd & Second diner at the corner of Second Street and Second Avenue N will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week offering a spot f...
Published: 12/12/17
Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Noel Cruz seemed remarkably chill. As did his partner Kerem Koca. All around them in the Station House building in St. Petersburg, workers pounded the last nails, bartenders unpacked boxes of glassware and jewel-toned bottles of Amari, and the kitche...
Published: 12/12/17