On Saturday, Tampa's Coppertail Brewing Co. will celebrate its third anniversary with a Florida weisse festival, showcasing densely fruited tart wheat beers from more than a dozen Tampa Bay area breweries including, of course, many of its own brews in this summer-friendly style.
Much of the fun of Florida weisse is in creating unusual flavor combinations. This is something Coppertail has excelled at, from its ever-popular Purple Drink (flavored with boysenberry) to its Great American Beer Festival silver medal-winning Slam Piece (flavored with cucumber).
Recently, Coppertail has played around with a new series of beers inspired by Cuban pastelitos pastries. Guava Pastelitos (flavored with guava, raspberry and vanilla) hit distribution last week, so you'll be able to find that one at your local beer shop or grocery store. But you'll need to step into the tasting room — ideally during Saturday's festivities — to try Cherry Pastelitos, which may very well be the best Florida weisse from Coppertail to date.
Cherry Pastelitos combines cherry, guava and vanilla to create a richly flavored brew that has more layers than the average Florida weisse. The murky pink appearance of the beer telegraphs the initial flavor — guava — as the juicy cherry and sweet vanilla notes slowly emerge from the background as the beer warms. The base is moderately tart, with a chewy wheat finish, perfectly accentuating the unusual fruit combo accompaniment.
Coppertail, at 2601 E Second Ave., is one of the few breweries in the area consistently releasing new Florida weisse on a large scale, and they're pretty darn good at it. Swing by the third-anniversary party for some first-hand examples, or swing by on a different day for a smaller — but always great — selection, including the absolutely wonderful Cherry Pastelitos.
— Justin Grant
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