One of the most unique local beers is Green Bench Brewing's Surrealist sour IPA. And right now the St. Petersburg brewery has a spinoff beer that's not quite like anything else on the Tampa Bay market.
Last year, Green Bench teamed up with Point Ybel Brewing from Fort Myers to create Colliding Galaxies, a one-off collaboration brew combining Point Ybel's affinity for heavily hopped beers using Australian Galaxy hops and the souring technique used in Green Bench's lip-puckering sour IPA. It's a bigger beer than Surrealist, clocking in at a double IPA's 8.8 percent alcohol by volume.
Although the beer wasn't meant to be re-brewed, a new batch just hit the tasting room and is expected to last until the end of August.
"We're asked about [Colliding Galaxies] daily, and at the end of the hop calendar year I had some extra Galaxy hops on hand," brewmaster Khris Johnson said.
He describes Colliding Galaxies as "a kettle-soured beer that's hopped like an IPA and heavily dry-hopped with Galaxy hops, then aged on American white oak."
The flavor is very tropical, with mango, papaya and peach notes from the galaxy hops as well as a light herbal quality from the white oak aging. Colliding Galaxies finishes dry, with a balanced tartness that goes well with the up-front fruitiness.
Unless Green Bench has a similar hop surplus next year, this is a beer you shouldn't expect to see again.
Justin Grant, Times correspondent