Seventh Sun Brewing Opens to Rave Reviews
“Seventh Sun is going to explode and hit the craft beer scene from out of nowhere.”
“These flavors are ridiculous!”
“They are really raising the bar for Florida craft beer.”
In the span of about an hour, I heard all of these remarks and many more like them at the Seventh Sun release party on Saturday. From the moment I stepped in and tasted the Key Lime Berliner Sublime, I knew something special was happening. Owners Justin Stange and Devon Kreps have taken a tiny space in Dunedin and turned it into what very well could be the Next Big Thing in Florida craft beer. The taplist was impressive:
- Midnight Midnight (Berliner Weiss)
- Overhead IPA (Simcoe & Amarillo Dry Hop)
- FYA (Single Hopped Extra Pale Ale)
- Belgian IPA (American-Euro Hop Hybrid)
- Saison in Paradise (French style with Grains of Paradise)
- Noix de Cocoa (French Saison & herbal coconut)
- Donut Porter (Chocolate Porter with glazed donuts)
- Key Lime Berliner Sublime (Berliner with Key lime herbal blend)
- Kiwi-Cherry Coconut Berliner (pow… right in the kisser)
- Pearvocative FYA (FYA with herbal blend)
Lines to get inside to the bar as well as the one set of outside taps were long, but moved quickly, and there was no shortage of great conversation, much of which centered around the emerging craft beer scene in Tampa Bay. In attendance were representatives from the various “branches” of the craft beer community: fellow brewers, craft beer owners, bloggers and press members, and the beer lovers themselves. Everyone seemed thrilled with the beers they were drinking.
While I would have loved to sample all ten taps, I had to limit myself to two for the afternoon. I chose the Overhead IPA and the Donut Porter, both of which were incredible. The Overhead rivals any of the best IPAs I have had, and the Donut Porter is a sweet chocolate porter with – you guessed it – the flavor of glazed donuts throughout. Ridiculously good. I had a few samples of some of the others as well: the Key Lime Berliner Sublime is tart and delicious, and the FYA is an extremely good hoppy pale. I am very excited to try the rest of their lineup soon.
The first pour was auctioned off on eBay for $202.50, the winner bid going to a trio well known the beer community: Joey Redner and Justin Clarke of Cigar City Brewing as well as Zach Schuster from Brown Distributing. The three toasted with the Donut Porter to kick off the afternoon. Doors opened at 2:00pm, and according to Stange, they had gone through 400 wristbands by 4:00. And while it was standing room only, there was never a feeling of being overly crowded. The music was fun and upbeat, and the food from Wicked Wiches food truck and Olde Bay Cafe got rave reviews.
No word yet on when there might be some distribution of 7venth Sun beers, but if Saturday was any indication of the positive response, I would not be surprised to see demand high in local craft beer establishments.
Kudos to Justin and Devon on a job well done, an outstanding first big event, and most importantly, a truly excellent line of beers.