Bitter-face, Pucker Up, Father’s Day, and the Worst Show on the Web…
Do you remember those old ads by one of the macro-brewers, attacking the emerging microbrews? Trying to convince consumers that beer should not have bitterness? I suppose that is what they needed to do when using negligible amounts of hops. Luckily, there are plenty of us who love the enamel-peeling, palate-wrecking lupulin-coma-inducing beers. And no place was this more evident than at Dunedin Brewery’s 4th Annuual IPA Festival. Backed by the awesome jams of Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, hop-heads rejoiced in the wide variety of offerings. From collaborations to special dry-hopped batches, and a great selection of homebrews, there was something for everyone. Once again, Dunedin put on an excellent event and I look forward to their Anniversary party!
Some of my favorites:
- Vortex on the Bay – The collaboration with Ft. George Brewing of Astoria, Oregon.
- Stone Double Dry-Hopped Ruination (Galaxy & Centennial)
- Seventh Sun Intergalactic Pale Ale
As always, the crowd was great, the atmosphere was excellent, and the vibe was rockin’. Well, done!
On the other end of the spectrum, but no less awesome, was the Inaugural Sour and Lambic Festival at the always-awesome Cajun Cafe on the Bayou. I will be the first to admit that I am not a huge fan of the cheek-imploding, eye-rolling styles for the most part. But – like anything – when you bring out the best of the best, it can change your mind. With an incredible list of offerings laid out for us, sour-seekers were hard pressed to choose a favorite. With a spectrum of beers that went from the super-tart to the super-funkadelic to light and crisp and easy, there was – once again – something for everyone. I definitely find myself on the tart (as opposed to funky) side of things. Some of the standouts in my opinion were the copious number of Berlinerweiss beers being poured. Rapp Brewing, Wakefield Brewing, and Funky Buddha Brewing were probably tops of day, but some of the homebrews from the Special Hoperations Homebrew Club were exceptional as well. I look forward to seeing more of these styles from the Florida breweries for sure.
Yesterday was Father’s Day, as you are fully aware, I am sure. Mine started early (Saturday evening) with pizza from a favorite local place (Valentino’s Little Italy) and some awesome beer-gifts from my family. A new, big, stainless steel brew pot and a personalized flip-top growler! Awesomeness! The actual day was spent watching my oldest son do his first “openwater” dive at Weeki Wachee Springs while I snorkeled with the younger son. Very proud of them both and it was a great father-sons day all in all.
Finally, tonight I am honored(?) to be a guest on a web radio show discussing beer and beer-related things. The Worst Show on the Web is… well… a bunch of guys talking about whatever they hell they feel like! One of those guys is an old friend of mine from Southern California, Jon Watts. While our history is shrouded in mystery and subject to verification by our parents (who remain friends to this day), we recently reconnected via the magic of the interwebs and he invited me to “appear” on the show. We will ostensibly discuss beer, but I make no promises about staying on-topic, or even staying “safe for work”. So you have been warned.