Sunday, December 17, 2017
Bars & Spirits

Local craft beer of the week: Two Henrys Belleview-Biltmore Blueberry Vanilla Wheat

Two Henrys Brewing Company is a unique entity in the Tampa Bay brewing scene, due to both its status as the only brewery in Plant City, as well as its location on a 27-acre working farm, which also includes a winery.

The farm grows a lot of blueberries. So many blueberries that two of Two Henrys' core beers are driven by the fruit, including the Roasted Jalapeño Blueberry Porter (it sounds weird, but it's actually delicious) and the Belleview-Biltmore Blueberry Vanilla Wheat ale, which is available in cans most anywhere you can buy craft beer locally. Try Total Wine and Spirits, Publix or Rally.

Named after the hotel opened by Henry B. Plant — one of the Two Henrys in question, and the man after which Plant City itself was named — in 1897, the Belleview-Biltmore Blueberry Vanilla Wheat is a warm weather treat, with dense blueberry flavors sweetened with bourbon barrel-aged vanilla beans, all balanced atop a smooth wheat base.

Blueberry is a flavor that's pretty difficult to make pop in beer. You have to add a heck of a lot of it, and even then the flavor has a tendency to fade into the background very quickly. The addition of vanilla here works less as a standalone flavor and more as a support, enhancing the blueberry flavor in the way that a little salt can bring out extra flavor in food. There's no mistaking the blueberry flavor in this beer, and it's even better that the fruit comes from the brewery's own farm.

While the beer is unquestionably on the sweeter side, it's not at all excessive — far more semi-sweet than cloying. A little extra carbonation would really put this beer over the top, but as is, this is a wonderful and easy-drinking brew that blueberry fans will really enjoy.

— 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] Follow @WordsWithJG.

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