There’s good reason to be impressed by Tampa’s latest brewery, Bay Cannon Beer Co. For one, it’s the first brewery to open in West Tampa since DeSoto Brewing closed 83 years ago. And it opened with an almost dangerously eclectic draft list of 16 diverse brews (including two non-alcoholic options), featuring everything from a foeder-aged saison to a smoked black-tea stout to frozen beer slushies.
The most impressive part, however, is simply how good the beers are, considering Bay Cannon opened just over a month ago. As it turns out, head brewer and co-owner Joe Simmons is no stranger to the biz, having brewed for both Swamp Head and First Magnitude in Gainesville.
While you should absolutely sample Bay Cannon’s ultra-refreshing dry-hopped blonde and its tart hibiscus rosé sour, the beer that really seals the deal is the Belgian dubbel, a remarkably authentic rendition of the traditional Trappist ale style.
This dubbel pours a deep ruby, with a thin white head. Caramel and plum notes dominate the nose, followed by peppery spice and stone fruit flavors up front and a touch of brown sugar in the finish. Caramelized malts contribute to a malt-forward, chewy mouthfeel, but residual sugar is low, resulting in a satisfyingly dry finish.
There’s a lot going on in this beer, but it all comes together seamlessly into a complex yet cohesive brew — the signature of a quality dubbel, which is not as common as one might hope.
This is an underrepresented style in the craft community, so it’s no surprise that excellent takes on the Belgian dubbel are few and far between. Bay Cannon has absolutely nailed the style.
Belgian ale lovers would be wise to visit Bay Cannon’s tasting room at 2106 W Main St. in Tampa to try this one on tap; depending on when you go, the currently-finishing Belgian tripel may be available too.
Justin Grant is a tbt* correspondent.
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