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Weekly News Briefs

June 10, 2016



J.J. Taylor - June 8, 2016

One of the original craft brewers in the United States, the Brooklyn Brewery has been under the leadership of Brewmaster, Garrett Oliver since 1994. Oliver took the reins of Brooklyn’s premiere brewery ten years after he brewed his first batch of beer. Since then Garrett has added the titles of Author (The Brewmaster’s Tableand The Oxford Companion to Beer) and 2014 James Beard Award Winner to his resume, he is a jovial and affable soul ready to recount many points and lessons from then until now.

Brewery Visit – Cage Brewing @cagebrewing

Florida Beer Blog - June 9, 2016

In the shadow of Tropicana Field, a few blocks away from 3 Daughters Brewing (literally), is the corner of 1st Avenue South and 20th Street South. On the southeast corner is the brand new Pinellas Ale Works. Directly across, on the northwest corner, is the relatively new Cage Brewing. Look for the octopus and you can’t miss it.

#FloridaBeerFriday: Anniversary Duo From Funky Buddha Brewery

Broward Palm Beach New Times - June 10, 2016

As many of you beer aficionados may know, this Saturday, June 11 is Funky Buddha Brewery's third year anniversary festival taking place at Jaco Pastorius Park in downtown Oakland Park from 2 to 10 p.m. During this time, they will be releasing a couple of new beers that will interest any lover of the craft. First up is the Three Years & Brewing Anniversary IPA, an India pale ale brewed with Mosaic and Vic Secret hops, a dosing of real mango, and fermented with Champagne yeast. This is a beer in which the hops and mango play a starring role. It's yellow in color, with a stark white head.

Brew Review – Beach Permit Blonde Ale by Grayton Beer Co. @graytonbeer

Florida Beer Blog - June 6, 2016

Located just off US-98 (State Rd. 30A) halfway between Panama City Beach and Destin in the panhandle of Florida, Grayton Beer Co. was started in 2011 by Jamey and Candace Price and their brewmaster Shank (Seriously. It even says Shank in the promotional materials). They took one of their beers, 30A Blonde Ale, and canned it for beach consumption. But they decided to rebrand the beer as Beach Permit Blonde Ale (Blonde Ale, 4.6% ABV, 13 IBU). And the image on the can, that I am totally digging, is the actual $140-per-year permit to take 4×4 trucks onto Walton County beaches.

Beer Garden: A Beer Guy's learning is never done

Pensacola News Journal - June 7, 2016

Abita went one step farther and aged their special-release Alt in Bourbon casks for eight weeks. The result is a nice mahogany color with a fluffy head that settles to a milky cap with sticky, spotty lacing. Big-yet-mellow scents of raisin, carob, caramel and whiskey abound while a smooth body delivers even smoother notes of toffee, oak, a little butterscotch and rum cake.

Drink of the Week: beer cocktails for summer

Tampa Bay Times - June 6, 2016

Between the drinkability of cheap beer and the insurgence of flavorful craft brews, the beverage is as varied as it is delicious. So varied, in fact, that it can add a surprising boost of flavor to some of summer's most traditional drinks. Here are three ways to incorporate cheap, or craft, hops into your cookout cocktails.



House Passes Bill to Help Ease Puerto Rico's Debt

ABC News - June 9, 2016

The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a rescue package for debt-stricken Puerto Rico, clearing a major hurdle in the ongoing effort to bring relief to the U.S. territory of 3.5 million Americans. The strong bipartisan vote was 297-127 for the legislation that would create a financial control board and allow restructuring of some of Puerto Rico's $70 billion debt. The measure now heads to the Senate, just three weeks before the territory must make a $2 billion payment.

June 3, 2016


Craft Beer Company Looks to Make Fish-Friendly Packaging

NBC News - June 1, 2016

A small craft beer company in South Florida is trying to make a big impact on oceanic pollution with biodegradable, edible packaging in an ecofriendly twist to protect marine life.The edible rings are made from wheat and barley used during the brewing process. The spent grains, normally sold off as cattle feed, are treated with additives and pressed to form the rings. The molding process, says Gove, is proprietary and the company has filed for patents.

'Beer Mile' tour hits Orlando this weekend

Orlando Sentinel - June 1, 2016

Now runners of any level can take part and see how fast they can drink a beer, run a quarter-mile, and repeat three times. Four beers and four laps (or quarter-miles) gets you to the beer mile and all the love on Instagram - #beermile. The "National Beer Mile" tour rolls into the Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando on Saturday, June 4.

Funky Buddha Brewery Turns Three June 11, Takes Over Jaco Pastorius Park

Broward Palm Beach New Times - June 2, 2016

Funky Buddha Brewery has been growing like a teenager since they opened the doors to their Oakland Park production facility in 2013, and the time has come for another birthday celebration. The South Florida brewery, most famously known for their highly rated and coveted Maple Bacon Coffee Porter (which won a Gold Medal in Specialty Beer at the coveted 2016 World Beer Cup), will be hosting an eight hour festival event at Jaco Pastorius Park across from the tap room from 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday June 11.

Grayton Beer Company releases cans of 30A Beach Blonde

Florida Beer News - May 31, 2016

Grayton Beer Company recently announced that the beer currently packaged as 30A Beach Blonde Ale is now available in 12 oz. cans as Beach Permit Blonde Ale. Appropriately named, the new aluminum packaging allows the popular local brew to be iced down and taken to the beach. The shiny new packaging of the blonde ale will be an obvious choice for beachgoers heading to the glass-free beaches.

Drink Up: Burger 21 Opens Store with Full-Service Bar

QSR - June 3, 2016

Burger 21, an award-winning, “beyond the better burger” fast-casual franchise, recently unveiled its first free-standing restaurant with a full-service bar and outdoor patio. “We’re thrilled to have unveiled our long-awaited first restaurant with a full-service bar, and knew Ocala was a great market to launch the brand’s specialty cocktails and shaketails,” says Mark Johnston, Burger 21 founder and president.

Beer sales at Howser prohibited for regional

Tallahassee Democrat - June 2, 2016

By all accounts, beer sales during Florida State baseball games at Howser Stadium this season was a success. However, fans attending this weekend’s NCAA Tallahassee Regional won’t be able to enjoy a cold beer during games under NCAA rules. The longtime policy prohibits the sale of alcohol to the general public in conjunction with the 2016 NCA Division I Baseball Championship at the regional and super regional levels.



Donald Trump to meet with Florida Gov. Rick Scott

CNN Politics - June 2, 2016

Donald Trump is set to meet with Florida Gov. Rick Scott at Trump Tower on Monday. The Scott and Trump camps on Thursday confirmed the meeting, which comes as speculation mounts about who Trump might choose as his running mate. But a Scott aide said the sitdown would center on Trump's general election campaign in Florida, a perennial battleground state. "Governor Scott looks forward to meeting with Mr. Trump to discuss his campaigns in Florida and how he thinks Mr. Trump will have a big win in the state in November," Melissa Stone said.


May 27, 2016



J.J. Taylor - May 23, 2016

The largest craft beer celebration returns, Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America kicks off it’s 6 city cross-country tour in Tampa on June 4th! Launched in 2014, the first Beer Camp featured seven beer festivals and a 12-pack of collaboration beers. Beer Camp was capped off by a tour bus traveling to each festival, filled with Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman and his son Brian, who manages the brand’s Mills River, North Carolina, brewery, along with their closest beer friends. This year Beer Camp returns with a collaboration with 30 of the country’s best craft brewers.

Funky Buddha to celebrate 3rd Anniversary with party and bottle release

Florida Beer News - May 24, 2016

For three years now, Funky Buddha Brewery has been feeding South Florida’s thirst with innovative brews, great food, and can’t miss events. The much-lauded brewery is one of South Florida’s biggest, and now one of the state’s as well. And the brewery plans to celebrate that on June 11th from 2-10pm at the Three Years & Brewing Anniversary Festival, held in Jaco Pastorius Park adjacent to the tap room. This epic, day-long brouhaha will feature groovy live music, a dozen of the best food trucks in South Florida, nearly 100 beers on tap, and an exclusive release of two new bottled beers.

Brew Review – Cerveza La Tropical by Concrete Beach Brewing @concretebeachfl @latropicalbeer

Florida Beer Blog - May 24, 2016

On Sunday, March 22nd, Concrete Beach Brewing premiered their oldest new beer, Cerveza La Tropical. This beer was the first brewed in Cuba, and comprised up to 60% of Cuban beer sales before it became a victim of Castro’s regime. The recipe and trademarks are now owned by Manny Portuondo (whose great-great-grandfather sold the land upon which the original La Tropical brewery had been built). “It took 17 years to retrieve all of the rights to the Cerveza La Tropical,” Portuondo told me. “But it’s all back in family hands.”

#FloridaBeerFriday: Salty Buddha, A Collaboration Between Funky Buddha and Saltwater Breweries

Broward Palm Beach New Times - May 27, 2016

Salty Buddha pours relatively clear, with a slight amount of haze. It's gorgeously summer-like yellow-orange, with a thin head of foam that drops off quickly and leaves nothing behind. The aroma is lemon-forward with tart, lactic acid character (a sourness introduced by bacteria). Upon drinking, it's like biting into a lemon. At only 3.4% alcohol by volume, it's a beer you can drink a lot of, if you enjoy that sort of thing.

High Heel Brewing Launches Craft Beer for Women

Miami New Times - May 25, 2016

Kristi McGuire thinks it's time for real beers that target the female demographic. The master brewer, who began her career at Alaskan Brewing Company and held high-level positions at Anheuser-Busch, believes that with all the craft beers out there, there's a gap when it comes to marketing to women. In the past, there have been some attempts at brewing beer specifically for women, such as Chick Beer and Three Cordilleras Rose from Colombia. McGuire, however, is not looking to make watered-down Barbie beer for the ladies. "I want to celebrate women and create more women beer lovers."

Beer Garden: Cast a line for Coastal Empire's Inshore Slam

Pensacola News Journal - May 24, 2016

This is a beauty of an IPA! Shimmery orange-gold with a thin, tight cap that leaves rings of lacing, Inshore Slam has bold scents of fresh grapefruit, spruce, honey-biscuit malt and orange marmalade. Everything I just said about scent goes double for the flavors just add a little papaya, caramel and unsweetened tea. Very nicely balanced between sweet and bitter, this crisp, dry beer has a nice, long finish.



Trump: 'Run, Marco!'

Politico - May 26, 2016

Donald Trump has endorsed ... Marco Rubio? Just after 10 p.m. on Thursday, Trump joined the chorus of Republican senators and party leaders who want Rubio to run for reelection to his U.S. Senate seat in Florida, which he pledged to leave after his presidential campaign this year. Trump was pulled into the effort by allies and consultants connected to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who earlier Thursday asked GOP caucus members to hold up their hands if they wanted Rubio to stay. Every hand went up. But Rubio, on a plane back to Miami when Trump sent his tweet, spent the day downplaying his interest in running for reelection, saying “nothing has changed” and that it was “unlikely” he would reverse course and try to stay in Washington.

May 13, 2016


Big Storm Brewing boasts new Odessa taproom — and a trophy for best beer

Tampa Bay Times - May 11, 2016

Big Storm has won numerous awards for its beers, and this year won the Best Beer in Florida trophy at the 2016 Best Florida Beer Championship for its Oktoberfest Marzen Lager. "We're pretty excited about it," Bishop said. Since Big Storm began, its growth and success have led to the opening of two new taprooms. In January, a taproom opened in Clearwater, and a new Pasco taproom opened April 16. "The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we're getting new customers every day," CEO Jonathan Golden said. The Pasco taproom is at 2330 Success Drive in Odessa and is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Brew News for 5-13-16 @craftathon

Florida Beer Blog - May 13, 2016

Delray Beach’s 5th annual Craft Beer Fest is tonight at Old School Square in downtown Delray Beach! Over 100 beers from around the country will be featured. The signature beer for the event, brewed by presenting sponsor Saltwater Brewery, is 1-800-CALL-LEE Sip and Fall Ale! Doors open at 6:30 PM for VIP ticket holders, and 7:30 PM for all others. Unlimited beer samples will be provided, plus wines and pub bites are available for purchase.

Where to Celebrate American Craft Beer Week 2016 in South Florida

Broward Palm Beach New Times - May 12, 2016

When ACBW kicks off next week from May 16 through 22, there will be more than 15 breweries in operation across the tri-county area — many of which are production facilities, in addition to dozens more beer-focused bars and restaurants. Currently, there are over 4,000 small and independent craft breweries operating nationwide. This is why the Brewers Association, the national nonprofit and publisher of, organized ACBW each May as a way for beer-lovers to celebrate the culture and community of craft beer while giving breweries and beer businesses the opportunity to connect with their fans.

Explore the world of craft beer at these 3 pint nights

Pensacola News Journal - May 13, 2016

Pint Nights are a craft beer fan's paradise when it comes to trying new craft beer, meeting reps from the breweries and of course getting to keep some swag. Each pint night varies by location but you can usually count on a complimentary pint glass with the breweries logo along with some discount drink special tied to the beer that night.

Cuba’s oldest beer, La Tropical, brought back to life in Miami

Miami Herald - May 13, 2016

Lovers of craft beer and all things Cuba will get that chance. Portuondo worked with Wynwood’s Concrete Beach Brewery to re-create the original recipe and will release La Tropical at an event at the brewery on May 22. The event will cap American Craft Beer Week, which begins Monday with events around town. The beer will be sold only at the brewery for now. But both Portuondo and Blanco Herrera, who own the world rights to the beer, and Concrete Beach, a subsidiary of the Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), have their sights set on widespread distribution.

#FloridaBeerFriday: Citra IPA From Khoffner Brewery USA

Broward Palm Beach New Times - May 13, 2016

This week I traveled into the heart of one of Fort Lauderdale's industrial areas to visit Khoffner Brewery USA and try out their Citra IPA. An IPA made with Citra hops may not be very new, but the fact that it's coming from a self-described traditionalist is. Rauf Khoffner opened his brewery at the tail end of 2015 just north of Sunrise Boulevard and began focusing on traditional European beer styles.



Florida senators unite on demand for emergency Zika funding

McClatchy DC - May 12, 2016

Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio put aside their partisan differences Thursday to introduce legislation that would provide the full $1.9 billion in supplemental appropriations sought by President Barack Obama to combat Zika. Nelson, an Orlando Democrat, and Rubio, a Miami Republican, worked in concert to try to stop a compromise measure moving through the Senate that would authorize just $1.1 billion to treat the deadly virus, fund preventative vaccine research and pay for stepped-up mosquito control. Republicans who control Congress have refused to consider the emergency funding request Obama sent lawmakers in February.


May 6, 2016


WaZoo roars into Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo this weekend

Florida Beer News - May 5, 2016

The 21st annual WaZoo BeerFest, presented by J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida, Inc., is springing forward to May 7 with new twists on tap for this favorite fundraiser. All-inclusive tickets are now on sale at or at the Zoo’s ticket windows during regular business hours. WaZoo features 250+ beers and beverages from 70 breweries worldwide, a variety of savory pub fare, live entertainment and free daytime admission to return in May.

Brew at the Zoo is taking place this weekend to support Zoo Miami

Florida Beer News - May 5, 2016

New Times’ Brew at the Zoo, the seventh-annual celebration of suds, returns to Zoo Miami Saturday, May 7, with more beer, more food, and more entertainment than ever before. Miami’s largest beer festival (and the only one that features guest appearances by zoo creatures), offers unlimited samplings of more than 100 of the best local and international beers. More than 4,000 beer lovers from across South Florida are expected to attend the festivities, which run from 8 to 11 p.m.

Rebelution, Rock Brothers Brewing to debut new craft beer at St. Petersburg festival

Tampa Bay Times - May 5, 2016

One afternoon last August, on a day off from touring with their band Rebelution, drummerWesley Finley and keyboardist Rory Carey stopped by Tampa's Cigar City Brewing for some drinks. This was no ordinary tasting. Cigar City owner Joey Redner and his brewers were on hand, as wereKevin Lilly and Tony Casoria from Tampa's Rock Brothers Brewing. They were there to help brew the reggae-rock band its very own signature beer. On the table were an array of brews in cups, bottles, cans and growlers -- Stone, Unita, Ballast Point, Lagunitas -- as well as plenty of samples from Cigar City.

South Florida Food and Drink Events This Weekend: Mother's Day, Derby Parties, and Sushi Making Class

Broward Palm Beach New Times - May 6, 2016

Bailey Contemporary Arts (41 NE First St., Pompano Beach) will host Pompano Beach’s very first craft brew and arts festival, Old Town Untapped. There will be free craft beer samples from Pompano breweries, art, food trucks, live music, art and more. This event is from 6 to 9 p.m. Visit

Beer Garden: Try a Santo for Cinco de Mayo

Pensacola News Journal - May 3, 2016

The Reinheitsgebot sort of led to Germany being dominated by lager. Santo is, technically, a Kölsch style whose ale origins in Cologne survived the “lager-ization” of the country. Further thumbing its nose at tradition, Santo is a Black Kölsch. The barley was malted prior to roasting — instead of using un-malted grain — providing more unrefined starch to be caramelized for extra flavor.

Events – Mass Confusion 2 (with Don’t Get Confused treatments) at SaltWater Brewery

Florida Beer Blog - May 3, 2016

One of the South Florida beer festivals that is rapidly starting to become one of my favorites is SaltWater Brewery’s Mass Confusion, a celebration of their Belgian Tripel Don’t Get Confused. Over 20 different treatments of DGC are released, as well as treatments, collaborations, and guest tapping of other beers. It’s a good time, and doesn’t turn into the craziness you get at some of the bigger beer festivals in the area.



Rep. Gwen Graham makes surprise Mother’s Day visit to Afghanistan

Tallahassee Democrat - May 3, 2016

Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Tallahassee, joined a bipartisan congressional delegation visit to Afghanistan to meet with deployed mothers in uniform and Afghan women fighting for equal rights and working to rebuild their country. “It’s difficult for anyone in our military to leave their family and serve overseas – and it can be especially hard on mothers serving in warzones,” Rep. Graham said. “It was an honor for me to meet with these brave mothers serving in Afghanistan. They deserve our respect, admiration and support.”


April 29, 2016


Hard sodas including root beer and ginger ale riding nostalgia wave

The Post and Courier - April 27, 2016

In 2015 Small Town Brewery launched Not Your Father’s Root Beer and saw sales of 2.4 million cases that year — a surprise to the beer industry. The sales of the hard soda outpaced supply.  Its success in the near-beer segment saw competitors launch Henry’s Hard Soda (Miller-Coors).

Sarasota Craft Beer Summit rescheduled

Herald Tribune - April 28, 2016

Craft beer industry members will converge on Sarasota this summer for the first Florida Craft Beer Summit. The event, which is hosted by local brewer JDub's Brewing Co., will be Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 at the Hyatt Regency on the bayfront.

#FloridaBeerFriday: Free Dive IPA From Coppertail Brewing Co.

Broward Palm Beach New Times - April 29, 2016

This week I'm taking a look at one of the core distributed offerings from Coppertail Brewing Company, their Free Dive IPA. I've previously highlighted beers from them, including Night Swim porter and Wheat Stroke.

Temple Terrace prepares for Craft BrewFest

The Tampa Tribune - April 27, 2016

The city is small but appeared to score big among the crowd of people it drew to last year’s inaugural Temple Terrace Craft BrewFest.  Organizers say first-time visitors to the town were in awe of the beauty and welcoming spirit of the community.

More Details on Terrapin's Sound Czech

Pensacola News Journal - April 26, 2016

It’ll become apparent why there are so many musical references in today’s column in just a quick minute. In the meantime, as Marvin Gaye said, “What’s goin’ on?”  Craft Pilsner in America isn’t selling like it should. This needs to not be. For some strange reason, no matter the brewery, Pilsner barely moves.

Latest News on Canopy Road Brewing in Tallahassee - April 2, 2016

Locals may recognize the name — Canopy Roads Brewing — in the world of home beer brewers.  For two years, owners Ben Ralys, Phil Homann and George Henning have been pounding the craft beer circuit and poured their locally inspired blends at various events, including the Tallahassee Brew Fest and Pints for Paws.



Gwen Graham to leave House, considers run for governor

Orlando Sentinel - April 21, 2016

TALLAHASSEE — The daughter of former senator and governor Bob Graham will leave Congress next year and consider trying to follow her father's footsteps into the Governor's Mansion.  Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Tallahassee, said Thursday she wouldn't run for re-election — a move that's been widely predicted since her congressional district was redrawn, splitting her home county in half. Her district is now firmly Republican.


April 22, 2016


Beer Knights: Warm weather means beer fests are plentiful in Tampa Bay area

The Tampa Tribune - April 21, 2016

With two big beer events this weekend and the annual Wazoo beer fest, benefiting Lowry Park Zoo, being moved up to May 7, the Beer Knights are keeping busy this spring — not to mention the chance to savor a few Mexican pours during Cinco De Mayo. But first, we raise our glasses to toast the new “Terminal,” the tasting room in Seminole Heights where The Brew Bus crew is now based. The annual Big Tampa Beerfest opens tonight and continues Saturday at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa. More than 100 breweries are participating so there are more than 200 different craft beers available.

Brew Review – Hunahpu Imperial Stout by Cigar City Brewing

Florida Beer Blog - April 19, 2016

Hunahpu's Imperial Stout by Cigar City Brewing, for starters, it’s dark. And thick. Think motor oil thick. There’s a frothy head and the aroma is so heavy with extremely dark, roasted malts that it comes off smelling, well, like soy sauce.  The rest of the beer is focused on an excessively dark and bold malt experience, rich with dark molasses, coffee, and some plum notes. It’s this brooding malt bill that the rest of the adjuncts tend to have to overcome to be noticed. Hunahpu has two kinds of chilies, Pasilla and Ancho, and they’re not completely noticeable except for a little tingle on the back of your tongue when the beer is going down.


Bar review: Make it about the beer at International Beer Garten in Lutz

Tampa Bay Times - April 20, 2016

I was chatting beer with an old friend who now lives in the Land O'Lakes area, and he mentioned that Lutz and Land O'Lakes were somewhat devoid of good beer bars. The only place close to him is the International Beer Garten, a beer bar established in 2008. A bay area beer bar that has been open for more than eight years that I've never visited? Unthinkable! It turns out he was right. Unless you want to hop over to Wesley Chapel, IBG is the beer bar for Lutz and Land O'Lakes. And it's a hit with area residents, as evidenced by its eight-year tenure.

#FloridaBeerFriday: Hop Stimulator Double IPA From Funky Buddha Brewery

Tampa Bay Times - April 20, 2016

This week, I picked up a four-pack of Funky Buddha Brewery's latest year-round core beer, Hop Stimulator, a 9.5% ABV, 88 IBU double IPA. All I know is that now, Hop Stimulator will be available all the time, and it comes loaded with hops, including Cascade, Centennial, Citra, and Amarillo; some of the most famous and sought after hops in the industry. The beer pops open with a hiss and pours a brilliantly clear orange producing a decent sized slightly off-white cap of foam. The aromas are a bit subdued from what I was expecting right off the bat, but they are full of candied tangerine, starfruit, and hints of mango.

The Brew Bus grows and changes, as does the bay area beer scene

Tampa Bay Times - April 20, 2016

As of 2014, Brew Bus has produced its beers at Lakeland's Brew Hub facility, where it also produces Florida Avenue Ale and Florida Avenue IPA. Two Florida Avenue brewers, Kevin Butler and Brett Griffiths, joined the Brew Bus staff. To finalize the integration, Brew Bus held its grand opening in its new "Terminal & Brewery" in Florida Avenue's former brewery and tasting room. The tasting room remodel is the first step in a rebrand for the Brew Bus and Florida Avenue brands that is expected this summer. There are 20 beers on draft, featuring seven Brew Bus and Florida Avenue core brands, along with fantastically creative treatments of each.

Beer Garden: Don't make a face at sour beer

Pensacola News Journal - April 19, 2016

Most folks will shoot you a funny look if you were to ask if they’d like to try a sour beer. Sour is a word that carries a negative connotation. For most people, it’s something unpleasant, acidic or ill-tempered. Even making sour beer is an endeavor. Due to the vagaries of the microscopic bacteria and yeast essential to sour beer, it can take months instead of weeks to ferment and up to five years to mature and perfect. So again, why would anyone want their beer to be sour? Sour beer is a palate-awakening refresher of a style. It jolts your taste buds back into existence, reminds your tongue that it’s alive!  It exercises taste sensations you forgot you even had.



GOP, meeting in South Florida, rejects rules change that aids Trump

My Palm Beach Post - April 21, 2016

National Republicans, meeting in South Florida, voted Thursday to reject a rules change its sponsor said would make it more difficult for party elites to bring in a different candidate than Donald Trump at the GOP convention in July. The part-time Palm Beacher is expected to go to Cleveland with the most delegates, but short of the 1,237 needed to be nominated on the first ballot. But Thursday’s rejection at a rules committee meeting reflects that, with Trump’s big win in Tuesday’s New York primary, the die is cast, Bill Paterson, chair of St. Lucie County’s Republican Executive Committee and a Trump supporter, said after the vote.

April 15, 2016


Brew Bus ready to christen its Seminole Heights Terminal

The Tampa Tribune - April 14, 2016

The Brew Bus has a new home in Seminole Heights, and the public is invited to the grand opening Saturday. The celebration, Move That Bus, will kick off at 1:30 p.m. and will go into the evening at the new Terminal. It’s at 4101 N. Florida Ave. The Terminal houses a 20-barrel craft brewery, tasting room and corporate offices for the Brew Bus, which offers pub tours in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and South Florida. Founder Anthony Derby says having a home base where he can brew his own label is a dream come true. For five years, the Brew Bus has operated out of Cigar City Brewing in Tampa. The new home is the former location of the Florida Avenue Brewing Co., which closed in December. Derby bought the 15,000-square-foot facility and completely renovated it.

Dining planner: Safety Harbor Beer and Burger Showdown and some of our favorites

Tampa Bay Times - April 13, 2016

Back for a second helping, the Safety Harbor Beer and Burger Throwdownreturns Saturday to challenge local brewers and restaurants to get in our bellies. Last year's winner from Tampa's Eats American Grill was a double cheeseburger with pulled pork and bacon, so they take this challenge seriously. You can get samplings from local craft brewers in the Microbrewery Beer Garden, plus restaurants will be cooking up their top burgers ($3 or less each) for local celebrity judges to pick the Best Burger of the Bay. The 2-8 p.m. Saturday party also includes country music by Indiana, arts and craft vendors, photo opportunities with NASCAR's Cody Lane and interactive games in the kids zone at Safety Harbor City Marina, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane. $5, 11 and younger free. (727) 674-1464.

Sea Dog Brewing has four new beers for the month of April

Florida Beer News - April 13, 2016

Sea Dog Brewing Company of Clearwater is pouring four new beers for the month of April. The newly released Shipyard Blood Orange Belgian Wit (5.1 % ABV) is a refreshing citrus brew with a traditional cloudy appearance. Beer connoisseurs will detect light notes of coriander, and the tang of blood orange. “50 Leaves of Grey ” Strong Belgian Ale (8.35% ABV) is a beautiful red-brown color, similar to hot tea. The brew has small notes of a traditional Belgian, but with a twist of bergamot added to the boil of the beer. Peach & Ginger American Blonde Ale (4.9% ABV) is a light bodied ale that will refresh you on a warm spring day. The brew itself is light, crisp and fruity with a refreshing zing of ginger that works in tandem with the peach. White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Porter (6.9% ABV) is a full bodied porter that is essentially dessert in a glass. Up front, you will taste rich roasted chocolate notes followed by savory Macadamia nuts.

What in the name of Falstaff is Shakesbeer?

Tallahassee Democrat - April 13, 2016

You don’t need to be an English major to know that the Bard of Avon enjoyed quaffing the occasional ale. So it only makes sense that for the annual Shakespeare in the park Festival this weekend at Cascades Park, there will indeed be beer. Make that Shakesbeer. It gets better. We’re not talking (Sir John) Falstaff, a nasty brew that somehow survived until 2005. No, we’re talking about local beer, a one-of-a-kind creation from GrassLands Brewing Co., a mere half-mile away from the festival. GrassLands owner Gabe Grass and his growing team of brewers have taken one of their flagship beers, the ever-accessible G-Street Kolsch, and infused it with wormwood to produce what is being called Shakesbeer. “It sounds horrible, but people who are familiar with wormwood know it’s an earthy spice with floral notes,” Grass told me. “It’s used a lot in Europe. Wormwood adds dynamics to the profile.”

Brew Review – Twisted Streams by SaltWater Brewery and Sailfish Brewing

Florida Beer Blog - April 14, 2016

Unfortunately, this beer is all gone, kicked to the great tap room in the sky. It could be revived in the future, maybe, I dunno. But we can reminisce about it together, the time SaltWater Brewery and Sailfish Brewing collaborated on a dry-hopped saison. It’s not their first beer together, though. Last year, around the holidays, they did a peppermint milk stout called Santa Fish (I missed that one and I’m still kicking myself for it). Their head brewers, Dustin and Al, are pretty close. Santa Fish was brewed at Sailfish’s Ft. Pierce brewery, so it was decided that this collaboration would be done at SaltWater’s facility in Delray Beach. Lo and behold, these two fishing-mad breweries came up with Twisted Streams (Saison, 5.3% ABV, 20 IBU).

Brewer's attempt to ease beer laws has opponents foaming

The Tampa Tribune - April 13, 2016

A small Rhode Island brewery is angering some retailers with its push to change the state's beer laws. Proclamation Ale Company is urging lawmakers to remove the limit on the amount breweries can sell to visitors on site for consumption off premises. Rhode Island allows for 72 ounces per visitor.



Battery Charge Against Corey Lewandowski, Trump Campaign Manager, Is Dropped

The New York Times - April 14, 2016

Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager for Donald J. Trump, will not be prosecuted on a battery charge, the Palm Beach County state attorney said Thursday. Mr. Lewandowski had been charged by the police with a single count of misdemeanor battery, stemming from an incident last month in which he was accused of forcibly grabbing Michelle Fields, then a reporter for Breitbart News, as she approached Mr. Trump with a question after a news conference at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla. The prosecutor, Dave Aronberg, explaining his decision not to move ahead with a prosecution, said the burden for his office to proceed with a case was higher than for the police.


April 8, 2016



J.J. Taylor - April 5, 2016

Saltwater Brewery of Delray Beach, FL has made a splash throughout south Florida, and now they’re sailing into distribution with J.J. Taylor. The fine folks from Saltwater are launching their brews this week in Tampa Bay and are excited to pour them during several special events! In typical J.J. fashion, when Saltwater launches, there will be a series of great parties to go with it! Saltwater Brewery will launch in both package and draft formats, but they’re also bringing some special goodies to share with you as well. Saltwater’s two core beers, Screamin’ Reels IPA and Sea Cow Milk Stout are now available on draft and in 12oz cans.

Brew Review – Vanilla Coffee Sea Cow by SaltWater Brewery

Florida Beer Blog - April 6, 2016

When it comes to beer, few things really make me happier than a solid milk stout. Once brewers start to pile on top of that beer as a base, wonderful things can happen. One of my favorite milk stouts, and one that is now being distributed throughout Central and South Florida in cans, is SaltWater Brewery’s Sea Cow. They’ve done a few treatments with the beer before, and only a few weeks ago did they release their next one: Vanilla Coffee Sea Cow (Milk Stout, 6% ABV). It’s so delicious. They do a great job when it comes to blending their milk stout with locally roasted coffee. Sea Cow features a light, smooth roasted malt quality that is peppered with light notes of toasted bread and molasses.

Canopy Roads Brewing Company signs lease, looks forward

Florida Beer News - April 6, 2016

Canopy Roads Brewing announces its lease signing with the Centre of Tallahassee (formerly the Tallahassee Mall). CRB will set up shop in a 5500’ space in the heart of the Centre’s Music Alley and will be flanked by The Pavilion (the Centre’s arena), Dreamland BBQ and the Urban Food Market (an Italian food experience). An early August opening is anticipated for The Taproom at CRB. CRB will initially open as a craft beer bar while awaiting various permits. The Taproom at CRB will feature great craft beers from across the state of Florida (and beyond) and generate an awareness of the CRB brand and location. The Taproom at CRB will be an inviting spot for a pint and, once the brew house is functional, will offer a complete sensory brew experience. The CRB brew house should be operational between late 2016 and early 2017 (depending upon our friends in federal government).

Beer Garden: Watermelon brews are a tasty sign of spring

Pensacola News Journal - April 5, 2016

So, this brewery that just showed up. We’re incredibly pleased to announce that 21st Amendment rolled out with us at Hopjacks yesterday. Among the six kegs I picked up for the launch party was a beer I first found in Atlanta which is probably one of my favorite warm-weather brews, Hell Or High Watermelon. Now, everything I’ve ever had from this San Francisco brewery has been fantastic, and the beer geek community holds them in high regard. But this one… More than just a clever name, this wheat-based ale is pale straw-yellow, light, juicy and soft-bodied with lively carbonation. Talk about straight-up, natural watermelon flavor! With just a hint of sweet lemon by way of the wheat malt, Hell Or High Watermelon is simply agua fresca with a slight alcohol kick and a dose of CO2. Thoroughly crushable!

Brewery looks to shine in Seminole Heights

The Tampa Tribune - March 5, 2016

With every month that goes by, Tampa Bay becomes more and more synonymous with the words “craft beer.” 7venth Sun Brewing, a 4-year-old brewery based out of downtown Dunedin, will soon be the newest spot in Seminole Heights, where locals and tourists alike can enjoy some cold ones. According to owners Devon Kreps and Justin Stange, the brewery’s success in Dunedin allowed them to expand to their new location in Central Tampa. The original 7venth Sun, with its snug 1,000 square-foot storefront, can only handle a few customers in its tap room, but it has a solid reputation around town for its “farmhouse brewing” techniques. Barrel aged beers, Belgian ales and fruity saisons are some of their more popular beers.

Brew Review – Iron and Barleywine by Funky Buddha

Florida Beer Blog - March 4, 2016

Funky Buddha has become quite close and cozy with grape must. Must is freshly-pressed grape juice, with all of the skins, seeds, twigs, and other stuff still there. Those solids (called pumice) are kept in the juice as a flavoring, then filtered out and pasteurized to make grape juice, or fermented to become wine. A few months ago, I tried Undefeated Saison which featured, among other ingredients, Concord grape must. Quite delicious, and provided a great sweetness to the beer. Of course I was excited to see that grape must was an important ingredient to their new bottle release, Iron and Barleywine (English Barleywine, 10.5% ABV, 30 IBU). Barleywines tend to be incredibly strong, in both ABV and taste. They are usually syrupy as all get out, a slurry of alcohol and malt. Iron and Barleywine, on the other hand, is a lot lighter feeling and more refreshing than that. To be sure, there’s a strong, deep, molasses-esque malt character that carries with it additional hints of burnt caramel and pumpernickel.



Office of Congressional Ethics Cites Possible Violations by Alan Grayson

The New York Times - April 5, 2016

Representative Alan Grayson, Democrat of Florida, may have improperly used his House office and staff to handle personal financial matters involving a family-run hedge fund as well as political activities related to his bid for the United States Senate, the Office of Congressional Ethics concluded in a 986-page investigation released Tuesday. The report, which found as many as a half dozen violations of House rules, provoked an angry response from Mr. Grayson, who accused the quasi-independent agency of conspiring with his Democratic opponent for the Senate seat. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” Mr. Grayson said repeatedly in a telephone news conference after the report was released.


April 1, 2016


Carnival will brew aboard cruise ship based in Florida

Beer in Florida - March 28, 2016

Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line announced this morning that it will join with Concrete Beach Brewery, a subsidiary of Boston Beer Company’s Alchemy & Science Division, to launch the first brewery on board a cruise ship. When guests on Carnival Cruise Line’s newest, largest and most innovative ship, Carnival Vista, raise a pint in the RedFrog Pub & Brewery, they will have a choice of three distinctly flavored hand-crafted beers brewed right on board in the first brewery at sea in North America. Carnival Vista’s RedFrog Pub & Brewery is the result of a unique collaboration between Carnival and Miami-based Concrete Beach Brewery.

Beer Garden: Finally, a good gluten - reduced beer

Pensacola News Journal - March 29, 2016

So who has a gluten-reduced beer that doesn’t suck? There are a couple of breweries, but I’m leaning towards Glütiny Pale Ale from New Belgium. A special enzyme was added to the beer that breaks down the gluten into almost nothing. And where most American pale ale is more floral with muted citrus notes, Glütiny showcases a big, dynamic flavor profile. Polished brass with a good head of foam, the scents come out with mango, grapefruit, honey and pineapple. More about hop flavor than bitterness, Glütiny showcases melon, green tea, citrus peel and grass with the sweet malt base one expects from a barley-based beer. The protein removal does thin the body out just a tad, but the flavor and drinkability more than make up for it.

New Rays concessions include local flavors, craft beer

The Tampa Tribune - March 30, 2016

When the Tampa Bay Rays open their 2016 season on Sunday, Matteo Casini is looking forward to fans experiencing all of the new food. “Baseball games is kind of one of those days you would let your guard down and pretty much eat like you’ve never eaten before,” said Casini, executive chef for Centerplate, the team’s hospitality partner. “We’re just trying to tack onto that, basically giving you some things from the region that you would see in Ybor City and down here by the beach.” The Rays and Centerplate unveiled renovations, new menus and exclusive craft beer on Tuesday. “We’re going for more of a local theme this year,” Casini said. “You’ll see a lot more Cuban-style food, a lot of fresh fish, seafood — grouper primarily. We also have fresh produce from the region… We’re trying to be more local and sustainable.”

Tips for Pairing Beer and Chocolate: 26 Degree Brewing and JP's Chocolate Shoppe Show You How

Broward Palm Beach New Times - March 30, 2016

Beer and food is a match made in heaven, especially when you have the expertise to match them properly. With the wide range of styles — from delicately spiced saisons and boldly hopped IPAs to strong stouts and barley wines — it makes perfect sense to find foods that can help you appreciate each brew's unique characteristics. And one of the best pairings out there is chocolate, which runs the spectrum from smooth to bitter, dark to bright, and malty to acidic. If you want to learn more — and try some actual beer and chocolate pairings in action — head over to Pompano Beach-based 26 Degree Brewing on April 13 as it teams up with JP's Chocolate Shoppe in Fort Lauderdale. This first-time gourmet pairing will feature an assortment of JP's decadent, handmade chocolate treats alongside 26 Degree's craft beers.

American Social to open a 'pour your own beer' restaurant in Tampa

Tampa Bay Times - March 31, 2016

An upscale sports bar and farm-to-table restaurant chain from Miami that lets customers pour beers for themselves will open its next restaurant in Tampa. It will have nearly 400 seats for patrons, three full-service bars and two private booths that have their own four-tap self-serve beer. There's also a self-serve communal beer wall with six taps. American Social began on Las Olas Boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale three years ago. The restaurant chain expanded to Miami's Brickell riverfront next. It's a popular concept in South Florida with young professionals and is known for its lively happy hour atmosphere. The Tampa location will be the chain's flagship restaurant on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Brew Review – Eastbound and Down by J. Wakefield & Evil Twin

Florida Beer Blog - March 30, 2016

It looks like he took a little swing down through Miami, and hooked up with John at J. Wakefield Brewing to brew one of the most inventive brews I’ve tasted in a long time, Eastbound and Down (Berliner Weisse, 7% ABV, 4 IBU). You need to listen to this because I didn’t completely believe it when I read about it myself. So, for starters, it’s an Imperial Berliner, clocking in at an unheard of 7%. Berliners rarely go above 3.5%. It’s got a nicely sharp tang to it, with a mouthwateringly great bite. From there, coffee and cocoa nibs were added. Coffee. And coca nibs. In a Berliner. Miracle of miracles, it was a great blend. The coffee bitterness blends really, really well with the tartness from the Berliner, adding a murky meatiness that balances well on top of the fruity high notes from the yeast. It’s flavorful and bright.



Roger Stone: I'd run Trump campaign 'more smoothly'

Politico - March 31, 2016

Roger Stone says if he were in charge of Donald Trump’s campaign, things wouldn’t be so rocky. “If I were running the campaign it would be going more smoothly,” the veteran political consultant and former Trump adviser said in an interview with WIOD Radio in Miami broadcast Thursday. Stone, who has not been affiliated with Trump’s presidential bid since August 2015, took issue with recent controversies that have threatened to derail the real estate mogul's campaign, such as his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski being charged with battery of a female reporter. “Any time the consultant or the pollster becomes a bigger story than the candidate, that is a problem,” he said, calling the video in which Lewandowski allegedly yanks former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields by the arm “inconclusive.”


March 25, 2016


MillerCoors works to keep Leinenkugel, Blue Moon rising

Chicago Tribune - March 22, 2016

Dick Leinenkugel has logged countless hours in Texas and Southern California lately, spreading the gospel of shandies in locales with abundant sunshine and underdeveloped craft beer markets. "I think we're poised for a very big year," said Leinenkugel, 58, president of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company.


J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida, Inc. - January 28, 2016

Cycle Brewing has been gaining a great deal of attention in the small span of time since opening in August of 2013 and much of that is attached to the brewing talent of Mr. Doug Dozark, Cycle’s owner and head brewer. Doug has much to say about Tampa Bay’s craft beer scene, Cycle’s place in that beer scene, and the future of Cycle Brewing. We recently sat down to meet Doug and talk beer, brewing, and Cycle, but like many things having to do with Cycle, there is always a new surprise around the corner.

Sabatini crafts unique batch of beer at Sierra Nevada suds school

Times Leader - March 24, 2016

It’s called Beer Camp, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. The three-day experience at Sierra Nevada’s North Carolina brewery has all the makings of a hophead’s dream: A loaded tour of the bicoastal craft brewing company’s sprawling facility, beer classes, visits to the local farms and malt houses who provide the brewery’s raw materials and plenty of free food and drink — all culminating in the hands-on creation of a one-of-a-kind batch of beer.

Terrapin Sound Czech Pils ships

Beer Street Journal - March 24, 2016

Terrapin Sound Czech Pils was last seen in 2010 as a part of the brewery’s Georgia Theatre Series. The Athens, Georgia music landmark was gutted by a fire in 2009. Terrapin Beer Co., the music loving bunch of folks they are, released four beers in the series, celebrating the theatre, while helping raise money to restore the venue. The third release was Terrapin Sound Czech Pils, named for obvious reasons.

Florida one of the biggest states for craft beer growth

Jacksonville Business Journal - March 24, 2016

Craft beer is continuing to grow in market share and volume, even as larger companies are starting to buy up some craft beer brands– and Florida represented one of the fastest-growing states for the industry. Independent craft breweries now represent 12 percent market share of the beer industry as a whole, according to data released this week by craft beer advocacy group the Brewers Association.

Born in a dream, look for Bell’s Quinannan Falls Special Lager coming in June

Florida Beer News - March 22, 2016

Bell’s Brewery is proud to announce a new addition to our specialty packaging lineup this year. Bell’s Quinannan Falls Special Lager Beer (6.3% ABV) will debut in 12 oz. cans, packaged in six-packs, this June. “Quinannan Falls” pronounced “҆Kwi-ni-naan,” or Q-Falls as it affectionately known at our pub, has been an Eccentric Café favorite since 2009.




Florida Politics - March 25, 2016

Florida’s unemployment rate is at its lowest point in eight years. The state’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in February, down from 5.6 percent a year earlier. That’s significantly down from December 2010, when the state’s unemployment rate was 10.7 percent. In a statement Friday, Gov. Rick Scott said the “unemployment rate is at the lowest it has been in eight years at 4.9 percent.”

March 18, 2016


Searching for better beer, UF researchers to try growing hops in Florida

Tampa Bay Times - March 17, 2016

After making his own beer for a few months, Brian Pearson wanted fresher hops. Good hops, he realized, were key to good beer, since they shape its flavor and aroma. But fresh hops were nowhere to be found in Florida. Most of North America's crop is grown in the Pacific Northwest, and conventional wisdom suggested it would not do well so far south. But Pearson, a University of Florida researcher, wondered if anyone had tried. A horticulturist by training, he checked scientific journals and found nothing. A few online forums suggested it could be done, so he bought a few plants and gave it a try. His small-scale tests seemed to work. "As a horticulturist, I thought, 'Wow, I need to look into this more,'" Pearson said. Now, he's getting a chance to. Pearson is part of a group of UF researchers that plans to test how well hops grow in Florida with a two-year study in Hillsborough and Orange counties.

Beer events in Orlando and Central Florida: Things to do in March

Orlando Sentinel - March 16, 2016

"Spring" in Florida can seem a lot like summer, but on those milder days before the real heat of the summer kicks in, grab a beer and enjoy the outdoors and maybe bring your pup along. Here are some beer events are headed our way as spring starts in Central Florida. Two beers and dogs events are happening in March. The first on March 6 is at a pet charity fundraiser at Orlando Brewing. And then on March 19 head to Sanford for the Pints n' Paws Craft Beer Festival at the West End Trading Company. The annual event will include craft beers by more than 70 breweries, best dog trick and costume contests, and other vendors. Proceeds from this event will benefit Dolly's Foundation and Pet Rescue by Judy.

Victory Brewing is re-releasing two fan favorites

Florida Beer News - March 14, 2016

Victory Brewing Company (Victory) announces the long-awaited return of Kirsch Gose, their refreshingly imaginative cherry fruit session ale and Sour Monkey, their sharp twist on their Belgian-style Tripel, Golden Monkey. Sweet, tart, salty and refreshing, Kirsch Gose incorporates natural tart cherry juice with a classic German-style gose while Sour Monkey incorporates multiple fermentations via three different yeasts to create an exhilarating flavor combination. The introductions of Kirsch Gose and Sour Monkey last year made waves in the craft beer world when both existing sour beer lovers and newcomers to the style embraced the new seasonals. The new brews quickly became sought after, in demand warm weather beverages.

Spring Beer Fling moves location due to threat of rain

The Tampa Tribune - March 16, 2017

You already knew that this year’s Spring Beer Fling is taking place in St. Petersburg instead of Tampa, but now there’s another location change. Because of the possibility of inclement weather on Saturday, organizers announced in a press release Wednesday that they are moving the event from Vinoy Park to the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N. The new venue will provide indoor and outdoor space for the participating breweries, food vendors and live entertainment, which all remain unchanged. “Giant inflatables will be reduced, however a few of the most popular games will still be available at the Coliseum,” the release states. Because the Coliseum has a smaller capacity, VIP tickets are considered sold out, and only a limited amount of general admission tickets remain. General admission is $17 in advance and $20 at the door, if available.

Behind Cigar City's sale: An irreverent craft beer brewery grows up

Tampa Bay Times - March 18, 2016

It's fun to create tasty local beers with funky names like, in Cigar City's case, Florida Cracker or A Beer Named Sue. Other craft breweries boast even wackier beer names like Son of a Peach, Naked Pig and Polygamy Porter. Only 25 years ago there were fewer than 300 craft breweries in the country. Now that number is edging past 4,000. That's an average of 80 per state. That's a heck of a lot of brewery product to sustain. Consolidation is coming. Cigar City founder Joey Redner is learning what all start-ups must come to terms with — if they are as talented and as lucky as he has proved to be just to make it to the next step. Growing a business can be expensive and eventually demands serious money to pay for the next stage. Managing a bigger company can be very different from starting a company, often requiring different skills and often times different people to make it work.

Get paid to drink and travel all summer with this 'beer opportunity of a lifetime'

WHIO - March 18, 2016

Are you a social media-savvy beer lover who hopes to spend summer traveling and drinking extensively? If so, a Florida-based bar chain may be willing to pay you to share your stories. Until March 26, World of Beer will accept applications for three open internship positions described as the “beer opportunity of a lifetime.” “Adventure seekers and storytellers, beer experts or novices, brewery nerds and foodie fans all open to apply,” the company wrote on its website. In an official job description for the company's Drink It internship program, World of Beer said it's looking for three interns to share their experiences while traveling the globe to visit breweries and World of Beer taverns. To be considered for the internship, beer lovers must share a one-minute video explaining his or her “passion and interest for the position.”



Marco Rubio says he's not running for governor and won't be VP candidate

Tampa Bay Times - March 17, 2016

Sen. Marco Rubio on Thursday ruled out running for governor in 2018, ending speculation he would jump at the next big opportunity. "I'm not running for governor of Florida," Rubio said in Washington, returning for work after ending his presidential campaign following a huge Florida primary loss to Donald Trump. He also said, "I'm not interested in being vice president." Rubio would not speculate beyond that. He said he'll finish his Senate term "and then I'll be a private citizen in January." There was widespread talk Rubio would eye a return to Tallahassee, but it also seemed unlikely. For starters, it would emphasize Rubio jumping from one thing to the next.

March 11, 2016


Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference

Tampa Bay Update - March 9, 2016

The 2016 Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference takes    place July 8 – 10 in Tampa Bay, Florida at the Marriot Waterside. Approximately 150 Beer Media from around the US and even a few from abroad will attend the sixth annual event. The event offers great networking, educational and marketing opportunities for Florida breweries, among other things. Conference content will include, information related to beer marketing making this an important event for anyone at the brewery who represents marketing decisions. The event is structured to allow plenty of time to network with the attendees. Click here to learn more about registering as an attendee of this event. The conference also offers several excellent opportunities for breweries to share and market their brews. Click here to see a complete list of the remaining marketing options for breweries. Marketing packages usually include a full-conference registration. Breweries should reach out directly to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call him at 800-758-8687 x:704  with any questions about the event and/or the marketing options it offers your brewery.

Panama City Beach bans alcohol on beach during spring break 2016

KWTX News 10 - March 8, 2016

Local college campuses are nearly deserted this week for spring break. While Florida State, Florida A&M and Tallahassee Community College students aren't on campus, that doesn't mean that they've traveled a few hours west to the beach, either. This time of year in Panama City Beach has a different look to it than it has in the past. A quick look in a trash can on the beach reveals mostly water bottles and potato chip bags, not empty beer cans that may have been present in the past. That's because there have been several changes the popular spring break destination over the past year, including an alcohol ban once your feet touch the sand. Panama City Beach locals seem to have mixed reaction when it comes to the new rules. Some say they like it and some say they are worried about the ramifications it could have.

House approves beer-at-Bragg bill

Tallahassee Democrat - March 8, 2016

The Florida House approved Monday a measure allowing beer to be sold at Florida A&M University sporting events. The proposal by Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, extends a downtown district where temporary alcohol licenses are available to Wannish Way, where Bragg Memorial Stadium and the Lawson Center are. The bill would allow caterers and vendors working with not-for-profit groups like boosters and the Urban League to offer beer and liquor at events. The move could be worth as much as $50,000 to Rattlers' football boosters, according to a House analysis from last year. Williams said the bill  revises a 2008 law that permits three-day alcohol licenses for a designated part of the downtown district. That district currently starts at Park Avenue and stretches south to Orange Avenue but bypasses Bragg Stadium and the Lawson Center, home of the FAMU basketball team.

Fort Myers Brewing Co. named best brewery in Florida

News Press - March 7, 2016

The win, at first, didn’t register. Rob Whyte and Jen Gratz knew they’d done well. Their Fort Myers Brewing Co. crew had nabbed five medals for their beers at the Best Florida Beer Championships’ Brewers Ball in Tampa Sunday, including golds for the Chocolate Stout and theIncognito, an American-style black ale. But when time came for the big honor, Best Large Brewer in Florida, a title awarded in past years to such heavy hitters as Southern Brewing in Tampa, Whyte and Gratz never dreamed it could be theirs. Until it was. “I’m not sure, even now, if it’s completely sunk in,” Gratz said while driving from Tampa to Fort Myers Monday, medals and trophies in tow. “It doesn’t get any better. It’s truly an incredible feeling.” Fort Myers Brewing’s win capped a huge day for Lee County craft brewers.

Craft beer boom spurs demand for close-to-home barley malt

The Tampa Tribune - March 6, 2016

Dennis Nesel converts barley to malt the way it was done hundreds of years ago, spreading the water-soaked grain on his malt house floor and turning it with a shovel as it germinates to release the sugar needed for fermentation. "This is old-school heritage malting," says Nesel, whose "micro malt house" uses barley from a nearby farm and returns some of it as malt to the farm's craft brewing operation, which turns out small batches of beer sold at farmer's markets and local pubs. Nesel's Hudson Valley Malt, 100 miles north of New York City, is one of dozens of small malting businesses that have sprung up around the country over the past few years to serve a growing thirst for locally crafted beer and whiskey that reflect a region's climate and soils. "Wine people call it terroir," Nesel said. "We call it flavor of the field."

Miami's first craft beer brewery is looking for a second location

South Florida Business Journal - March 8, 2016

Wynwood Brewing Co., Miami's first craft beer production company, has outgrown its 7,200-square-foot space in Miami, and the owners want to expand the business at a second location, the Business Journal has learned. Founder Luis G. Brignoni and his father and co-founder Luis "Pops" Brignoni say they're looking for suitable sites in Miami-Dade County for an additional 30,000 square feet of space where they can open up another taproom and produce more beer to meet the demand."More people want our beer and, unfortunately, we have to turn them away,"Luis G. Brignoni said. "We hate doing that." Wynwood Brewing is on track to produce about 5,000 barrels of craft beer this year, with heightening demand for local craft beer and strong partnerships with big businesses such as Norwegian Cruise Line. With the new facility, the duo says they can produce more than 30,000 barrels.



Political Prediction Market: Marco Rubio drops to 1%

CNN Politics - March 8, 2016

Marco Rubio is now down to a one-in-a-hundred shot to win the Republican nomination, according to CNN's Political Prediction Market. Informed by a combination of polling and forecasts from more than 100,000 users, the live probabilities generated by Pivit have the Florida senator's odds of prevailing in the GOP race at 1% -- down from a high point of 56% on February 5. Rubio is at 11% to win his home state, which votes on March 15. Pivit is an online prediction market that tracks polls and other factors and will change as the public weighs in on the increasing or decreasing chance that a candidate or party wins an election. The company has a partnership with CNN for users to play and predict the outcome of the 2016 election. The market is bullish on Donald Trump, the winner in Michigan and Mississippi, taking him up to 70% from 63% to claim the nomination.


March 4, 2016


Funky Buddha Brewery releases their 2016 calendar

Florida Beer News - March 2, 2016

Funky Buddha Brewery, based in Oakland Park, Florida has announced its 2016 release schedule. This long-awaited lineup will include a new year-round beer to add to the brewery’s portfolio of boundary-pushing craft brews, in addition to a whole year’s worth of entries in the “Little Buddha Small Batch” series.Hop Stimulator Double IPA will join Hop Gun IPA and Floridian Hefeweizen as the third of Funky Buddha’s flagship beers. Generously hopped with Amarillo, Centennial, Citra, and Cascade hops, Hop Stimulator boasts intense passionfruit, grapefruit, orange peel, and pineapple aromas with a crisp, balanced malt body.

Florida to sell alcohol at football, men's basketball games

The Tampa Tribune - March 2, 2016

Florida is the latest school to start selling alcohol at sporting events. The University Athletic Association, the school's fundraising arm for athletics, announced Wednesday it will offer beer and wine sales in premium seating at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and at men's basketball games in the O'Connell Center beginning this fall. Like other programs around the country, the Gators are looking to create a new revenue stream at a time when costs are on the rise as schools pay athletes a monthly stipend. Alcohol sales have become common on college campuses. At least 34 schools sell beer at football games.


J.J. Taylor - March 2, 2016

Southwest Florida is one of Florida’s up-and-coming craft beer communities, with tourists and locals thirsty for fresh, local beer. For too long, the city of Cape Coral had smelled the barley cooking from other communities, but could not get hopping as it lacked a brewery of its own. No longer. As of September 2015, Cape Coral Brewing Company has been pouring beer in their tap room for thirsty friends. Now, the craft brewery has taken the next step and signed a distribution deal with J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida, Inc. Cape Coral Brewing Company makes beer in the Waterfront Wonderland of their hometown on it’s 7-barrel, American-made brewhouse. All available beers are poured in the brewery’s 155-seat tasting room. The tap room features weekly events and is located in the ‘South Cape’ at 839 Miramar St, Cape Coral, 33904.

Beer, sun and fun in Naples

J.J. Taylor - March 2, 2016

It's time for beer, sun and fun at this weekend's Naples Craft Beer Fest. The 5th annual celebration will take place Saturday at Bayfront in Naples and is a charity fundraiser for the Naples North Rotary Club. More than 120 beers will be offered, including eight breweries new to the festival. Brewers include Shock Top, Kona Brewing Co., Magic Hat, Orlando Brewing and Fat Point Brewing. Craft beers will be paired with food offerings from local restaurants and chefs. "It's all about the food and the beer and how it works together," explained co-director Heather Milner. The Naples Craft Beer Fest runs from noon to 4 p.m. at Bayfront (436 Bayfront Place, Naples).


J.J. Taylor - March 1, 2016

It was a sad day for Florida beer circa 2010-2011, Avery Brewing Company realized that they needed to pull their beer out of the Sunshine State. The brewery had “capacity constraints,” and was forced to make some tough decisions. It has been a while since Avery left, but with a new brewing facility that has been online for a year now in place, Avery decided it was time to make their glorious return. Plans were put into motion, trucks were loaded, beer was brewed, and dates were set. And finally, after years of longing, Avery Brewing is returning to Florida. Avery will once again be available in the Sunshine State beginning this week and they are excitedly bringing out some of their best and brightest new beers from their new brewery to coincide with the relaunch.

Irish pubs and clubs serve up traditional grub for St. Patrick’s Day

The Tampa Tribune - March 2, 2016

Where will you and the family be on St. Patrick’s Day? Whether enjoying Irish pub grub at one of several Irish sports bars or dining on corned beef and cabbage at home, people in the Brandon area celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with family and friends. Hector Pescio, one of the managing partners for O’Brien’s Irish Pub, 701 W. Lumsden Road, said the restaurant has its largest lineup of bands and entertainment for this St. Patrick’s Day since opening 15 years ago. Pescio said the fun begins March 5 with a kilt party featuring the New World Celts. “Wear your kilts and cheer on Conor McGregor as he defends his UFC Title,” Pescio said. He said the St. Patrick’s Day events continue March 13 from 3 to 7 p.m. with “St. Puppy’s Day,” which benefits the Second Chance Boxer Rescue and Four Lucky Dogs Pet Rescue. He encourages families to bring their puppies and compete for best dressed female/male pet, best owner/pet look alike, best of show. Event includes live music, vendors, and pet adoptions.



It's Florida or bust for Marco Rubio

Miami Herald - March 1, 2016

It’s Florida or bust for Marco Rubio. He hadn’t won a single primary or caucus, at least not yet, Super Tuesday. And so his Election Night speech focused instead of the big, looming primary in two weeks. “Florida, I know you’re ready,” he told several thousand supporters gathered at Miami’s Tropical Park. “The pundits say we’re underdogs. I’ll accept that. We’ve all been underdogs. This is a community of underdogs. This is a state of underdogs. This is a country of underdogs. But we will win. And when we do — and when we do, we will do what needs to be done.” The raucous crowd, perhaps unaware of all the results, cheered excitedly. Rubio stood next to his photogenic wife, Jeanette, and their four children. “Stop Insanity — Vote Rubio” read a large sign nearby.

February 26, 2015


Tampa Bay Beer Week means tastings, dinners, special brews, pub crawls and more

The Tampa Tribune - February 25, 2016

Get your taste buds ready. The biggest annual craft beer event in Florida is almost here. Tampa Bay Beer Week 2016, from March 5 to 12, will feature a cornucopia of beer-related happenings throughout the area. There will be beer tastings, beer dinners, special brews, tap takeovers, pub crawls, music, food, mini-festivals, barbecue eating contests, meet-and-greets with brewers, beer bingo game nights, trivia nights, much partying and more at breweries and beer pubs throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.This Super Bowl of Beer also involves just about every brewer in the state because it coincides with the annual Florida Brewers Guild Craft Beer Festival on March 5 and the annual Brewers Ball on March 6, two outdoor, open-to-the-public events that bring thousands of beer fans to town. TBBW, the Mardi Gras of Brew, ends on March 12 with the annual Hunahpu Day festival at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa.


J.J. Taylor - February 23, 2016

Cigar City Brewing’s reputation for barrel-aged beers has grown significantly over the span of six years.Hurst has recently entrusted Cigar City Brewing with a tequila barrel in which to ply their trade. This collaboration beer will be one that combines the brewing prowess of CCB with the pallet and spirit selection of Hurst. The result will pour forth at Haven during this year’s Tampa Bay Beer Week festivities.The only place to try this beer is on draft at Haven, and the restaurant will have an extremely limited supply. The first keg will be tapped during Tampa Bay Beer Week at one of Haven’s two Cigar City Craft Beer Pairing Dinners held on Monday, March 7th and Tuesday, March 8th.

Tampa in running for ‘Best Beer Scene’ in America award

The Tampa Tribune - February 23, 2016

Tampa’s beers and breweries continue to get national attention as some of the best in the country, with another nod from USA Today. A panel of beer writers, critics and business people have again selected Tampa as one of 20 contending for the annual Best Beer Scene award (formerly the Best Beer Town award) in the 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards, promoted by USA Today. Tampa is up against big-time beer cities such as Denver, Portland, Philadelphia, Boston and Cleveland as readers vote for the vote on the award at As of this writing, Tampa is ranked No. 4 on the list.

Beer sales a success at Howser Stadium

The Tallahassee Democrat - February 22, 2016

It was a successful opening weekend for the Florida State baseball team. The Seminoles swept the series over visiting Rhode Island; more than 14,000 fans attended the three-games; and beer sales for the first time at Howser Stadium went smoothly. Rob Wilson, Associate Director of Athletics for Communications at FSU, said that vendor Aramark reported sales of just over 2,000 cans of beer over the three-game opening weekend baseball series. Aramark reported no issues related to beer sales, and FSU Police confirmed to athletics that it had no alcohol-related incidents over the three game series as well.

7venth Sun announces another Hunahpu Hangover Day

Florida Beer News - February 23, 2016

This year, the annual day-after-Hunahpu Day celebration, dubbed Hunahpu Hangover Day, will have a brother.This year for Hangover Day, we thought we would christen our new location with a lot party in honor of you. Since we are still in the process of building out for the new facility, the parking lot will host the event. And because Dunedin is where it all started and what you made possible, we are also going to continue the tradition of Dunedin Hangover Day, too. Hunahpu Hangover Day will take place at the 7venth Sun Seminole Heights and 7venth Sun Dunedin locations on Sunday, March 13th 2016.

Drink of the Week: 21st Amendment Sneak Attack Saison beer

The Tampa Bay Times - February 22, 2016

Saisons aren't generally considered winter beers, but that doesn't matter to California's 21st Amendment Brewery, creators of Sneak Attack, its January-March winter seasonal. Further challenging convention, Sneak Attack is available in cans, an unusual packaging option for this rustic Belgian style. A canned saison seems like a home run in, say, the middle of August. But, even in February, it's surprisingly great. In fact, it's perfect timing for 21st Amendment, which rolled out distribution in the bay area last month. It may not be the optimal cold weather beer, but for a mild Florida February, it could be just the thing.



Trump crushes Rubio in Florida

Politico - February 25, 2016

Marco Rubio is getting clobbered by Donald Trump in home state of Florida, where a Quinnipiac University poll shows the frontrunner is polling at an all-time high in the Republican race for president.  Trump's 44-28 percent lead over Rubio reflects the momentum of the New York billionaire’s string of first-place finishes in the last three early state races, and it blunts the Florida senator's argument that he's the only candidate who can defeat the frontrunner in a one-on-one race.  However, later Thursday, the Associated Industries of Florida -- which produces some of the most-reliable surveys in Florida politics -- released a poll showing Trump with a far-lower lead over Rubio, 7 percentage points.

February 12, 2015


Tampa Bay Brewing Company has a different chocolate for Valentine’s Day

Florida Beer News - February 12, 2016

Tampa Bay Brewing Company (TBBC) knows that chocolate is a traditional Valentine’s Day gift. This year, the Tampa Bay craft brewery has decided to put a different spin on traditional chocolate, specifically the kind in a bottle. This special Valentine’s Day version of our Iron Rat Imperial Stout was brewed with cocoa nibs to give it that special something for that special someone – or just enjoy it for yourself! Available at both TBBC locations for a limited time – Happy Valentine’s Day.

FSU baseball, AMC movies and beer

Tallahassee Democrat - February 10, 2016

Beer connoisseurs in Tallahassee know what I’m talking about. This is one of the fastest-growing craft-beer cities in what has to be the fastest-growing craft-beer state in the nation. Two craft breweries opened in Tallahassee in 2015, joining Proof, and more are rumored to be in the works. Which brings me to the movies, specifically AMC Tallahassee 20 at the mall. The theater chain started selling beer and wine and such a couple of years ago, but I only recently decided to inquire about what was on tap. It was what I figured: Eight handles dominated by Big Beer, with a Samuel Adams season added to the mix. It turns out there’s a cooler behind the bar with bottles of Sierra Nevada and Lagunitas ales, just waiting for the discriminating beer drinker to ask for them. A secret stash, so to speak.

Bar review: The Beer Shed, a classic dive on the Alafia River

The Tampa Bay Times - February 10, 2016

One of the more interesting outings I made last year was to the Anclote River Boat Club in Tarpon Springs, an impossibly shabby riverside dive that has been a well-kept secret amongst locals for decades. Imagine my delight when I discovered its Hillsborough counterpart, efficiently named the Beer Shed. Like the Boat Club, the Beer Shed has a longer "official" name: The Alafia River Beer Shed. Naturally, it's located right on said river, which permits traffic by boat. This is unquestionably a locals bar — a neighborhood bar. In fact, it's located in the middle of a neighborhood, right behind a row of trailers, and the view from the river is of sleepy waterfront residential properties.

Beer Garden: Sixpoint's superior cream ale

Pensacola News Journal - February 9, 2016

Case in point is their most recent Cycliquid; C.R.E.A.M. Stylistically speaking, cream ale is usually a very boring beer barely a step up from American macro lager, even among the best out there. Not this one. I can’t tell if it’s the malt base or the addition of coffee that’s making this so silky and smooth! Translucent gold fills the glass while bold scents of fresh-roast coffee and vanilla bean come off the moderate head cap. Without being overloaded with coffee, it definitely steers the rig while buttered biscuit rides shotgun with hazelnut and vanilla hanging out in the back seat. The carbonation balances out the slick texture just right and drinks easy.


Broward Palm Beach New Times - February 10, 2016

This week, Brew Bus, the Tampa-based tour operator who does brewery tours in South Florida, announced that they have purchased Tampa-area’s Florida Avenue Brewing Company and will be converting to space to their own Brew Bus “Terminal” tasting room and brewery. According to the tour operator and 2015 Great American Beer Festival silver medalist, the Brew Bus will continue to produce the brands of Florida Avenue while putting in nearly $250,000 worth of renovations to the space. “2015 was a rough year for them,” Brew Bus president Anthony Derby told New Times. "We want to bring the Florida Avenue brand to a manageable level, and at the end of the year do new recipes, a new brand in the portfolio.” For the past few years, Brew Bus has been brewing beer by contract, first with Cigar City Brewing and now with Brew Hub.

World of Beer to open taverns in China this year, India and the Philippines are next

The Tampa Bay Times - February 11, 2016

World of Beer is about to become an international brand. This year the Tampa-based tavern chain known for its extensive craft beer offerings will open its first overseas bar in Shanghai, CEO Paul Avery said. After that, World of Beer is headed to India and the Philippines. For Avery, a 20-year veteran of the Outback Steakhouse chain, the move to open franchisee-owned taverns overseas is the next logical step for the brand's growth. "I am very confident that World of Beer will do well in international markets," Avery said. "Craft beer is already there. But no one out there offers what we do."



Bush: I've got the 'you-know-what' to go after Trump

Politico - February 11, 2016

Jeb Bush has a message for Republican leaders worried about a circular firing squad in South Carolina: Chill. The former Florida governor is looking to drown John Kasich with Obamacare and is stomping on an already wounded Marco Rubio over his readiness to be president. That won't sit well with a party establishment worried that whoever emerges from that three-man scrum will be too battered to take on a candidate they can't stomach: Donald Trump. But Bush says he has plans aplenty for Trump, too: "I’m the only guy who’s got the you-know-what to go after him," Bush said.


February 5, 2015


Sweetwater Brewing is sending Hash Session IPA to Florida

Florida Beer News - February 3, 2016

Sweetwater Brewing, the Atlanta-based brewery who brought the world Hop Hash DIPA and Hash Brown Ale to the world are hashing another beer into the lineup: Hash Session IPA. "They say Spring is a time for new beginnings. No idea who “they” are, but they’re right about the new part. Get ready to get low with HASH SESSION IPA, a groovy 4.2% ABV session IPA loaded with a gigantic Amarillo hop hash dry hop." Sweetwater says. "Hash Session will be cruising onto shelves February 8th in six packs and the Spring Tackle Box. Prefer aluminum? Look for the Spring CAN Tackle Box featuring this guy and a few friends."

Beer Garden: A perfect beer for Mardi Gras season

Pensacola News Journal - February 2, 2016

Only to be found on tap in exclusive accounts, this strong gold lager version of the popular core brand isn’t quite the shade of purple to augment my previous paragraph, but it is a cool hue of orange-red with a slowly disappearing egg-white head. The barley/wheat combination in the malt bill gives the beer a lemon scent quality with a little bit of hay and fresh bread plus crushed berries. German Perle hops lend a hint of spicy pepper plus floral notes while the raspberry comes off as tart instead of sweet. I’ll be on our balcony enjoying a Triple Haze while the parades roll past this weekend; yet another nice facet of Carnival to enjoy. Getting warmer!

FSU to sell beer at baseball games this season

Tallahassee Democrat - January 30, 2016

For the first time, beer will be sold at Florida State baseball games at Howser Stadium this season. After considering the move the past two years, the decision was approved following joint discussions between the university, vendor Aramark and the Florida State Police Department. Season-ticket holders were alerted of the decision in a letter mailed Friday that explained the “operational improvements” and “new fan amenity” for FSU baseball in 2016. FSU opens its season with a three-game home series against Rhode Island starting Friday, Feb. 19.

Beer forecast: cloudy with the taste of Julius and Northeast IPAS

The Tampa Bay Times - February 3, 2016

So is it all hype, or is there something to this hazy IPA craze? As usual, it's a bit of both. You don't need turbidity to capture some of the vivid, juicy, orange-and-apricot flavors that these beers are prized for, but you also can't quite replicate them without it. If you leave them in the fridge for a month, they'll clear up some, just like any other beer. But they won't taste quite the same. The haze isn't everything, but it's very certainly something. And although you might not be able to get your hands on fresh cans of Heady or Julius, you can always wheel on down to Cycle Brewing in St. Petersburg to try Crank, a Citra hop-based brew that owes much to the current turbid IPA trend in the Northeast. It looks like orange juice and it tastes a bit like it, too.


Broward Palm Beach New Times - February 5, 2016

This week I'm sweeping through Palm Beach County and hitting up Copperpoint Brewing Company, nestled in the Brewery District of Boynton Beach, and checking out their A-10 Hophog, a 7% ABV red IPA.  As a red India Pale Ale, it's a dutifully malt-packed brew, full of Mosaic hops which push forward bright tropical flavors. The style is considered an 'other', one of the emerging sub-categories of IPA according to the Brewer's Association, which states that they will be "brewed at a higher strength and hopped like an IPA. Typically, redder in color than an IPA, with deep ruby hues." It pours a rich crystal clear red that radiates out to a deep orange around the edges. Perhaps the colors of red IPAs is a huge factor in my enjoyment of them.

Orlando area breweries pour forth to celebrate the Bach Festival

Florida Beer News - February 3, 2016

The highly anticipated Branderburger Bock, a limited edition beer from Cask & Larder in collaboration with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, will be released at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, kicking off a festive, music-filled event featuring releases from a chorus of local breweries. Paying homage to famed 18th-century composer Johann Sebastian Bach, a noted beer lover, the second annual release party will treat attendees to live performances by members of the acclaimed Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra and a special German-themed food menu, along with other Bach-inspired beers from Redlight Redlight, ten10, Central 28, Crooked Can and Red Cypress.



Marco Rubio becomes the main target of GOP rivals trying to block his rise

Los Angeles Times - February 4, 2016

With the New Hampshire primary poised to cut down the Republican field, candidates are sharpening their knives in a desperate bid for survival that on Thursday resembled a group attack on Sen. Marco Rubio, the freshman senator from Florida. Ted Cruz, the Texas senator, has been telling crowds that Rubio agrees with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton about giving amnesty to immigrants in the country illegally. Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, gave Rubio a back-handed compliment, calling him a “great speaker” who appears incapable of making a tough decision. Then there is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who seemed to be competing for a prize in aggressiveness, calling Rubio the “boy in the bubble” who is sheltered from tough questions and portraying him as too callow to serve as president. Rubio's side took some shots of their own. In response to Cruz's charges about amnesty, the campaign said in a statement: "Cruz is lying. Marco opposes amnesty."

January 29, 2015


World of Beer to open in Tampa's West Shore business district

The Tampa Bay Times - January 25, 2016

World of Beer, the chain of bars known for its wide selection of craft beer, broke ground Monday on a location in West Shore's Avion Park. The restaurant and bar in Tampa's West Shore district will be the company's sixth tavern to open in the Tampa Bay area when it opens in May. Tampa-based World of Beer operates 80 taverns around the country. Paul Jacobs, World of Beer's joint venture partner, and Paul Avery, World of Beer's CEO and president, joined local officials to celebrate the groundbreaking Monday morning. In recent years, the chain has expanded its menu to include liquor cocktails, and some taverns also serve food.

Riptide Brewing Company brings craft beer flavor to the heart of Naples

Naples Daily News - January 25, 2016

In late November — Black Friday, to be exact — three friends, now business partners, opened Riptide in a converted shop at the corner of Third Avenue North and 10th Street North in Naples. It's the first brewery in the city limits, but at least the ninth to open from Punta Gorda south in the last few years. Naples Beach Brewery opened on Enterprise Avenue in unincorporated Collier County in 2012. The Riptide brewery and taproom have an industrial feel, mixing cool metals with warm woods. The 10-barrel brewing system is located behind the U-shaped bar so customers can watch the brewing process.

Drink of the Week: Yuengling IPL beer

The Tampa Bay Times - January 25, 2016

A new seasonal offering is one of these rare additions. Yuengling IPL is a subtle nod to the company's recognition as a craft brewery. IPL — India Pale Lager — is an emerging style that has picked up steam in recent years, brewed by nanobreweries and large producers like Magic Hat and Boston Beer Company alike. Compared to the American Pale Lager, an IPL is generally a bit stronger and is always more generously hopped. In this case, Yuengling is brewed with a blend of classic and new-school hop varieties — Bravo, Belma, Cascade and Citra — and is also dry-hopped, which adds a pronounced floral aroma to the beer.

Mad Beach Craft Brewing offers family fun and a new menu

The Tampa Tribune - January 28, 2016

Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company opened in October 2014 as a taphouse only, featuring an eclectic selection of house-brewed craft beers, ales, ciders and local wine. In late December 2015, it morphed into full-blown brewpub with the addition of chef Tyson Williams, formerly of the Baystar Restaurant Group. The venue is cavernous, boisterous and industrial-chic, with miles of stainless bars, long communal tables and four-tops. This is not a romantic date-night destination or a place to rendezvous for serious conversation. With its multiple jumbo flat-screen TVs, pool tables, air hockey, dart boards, giant Jenga, live music and more going on, it’s a veritable Chuck E. Cheese for grown-ups where the “littles” are also welcome (a kids menu is available). The menu offers Caribbean- and Southern-inspired pub and comfort food classics — beer-infused whenever it makes sense.

Founders Brewing’s first Backstage Series release of 2016 is…

Florida Beer News - January 26, 2016

Founders announced today that it will release Mango Magnifico con Calor, a fruit beer brewed with mango and a touch of habaneros, as the first Backstage Series beer of 2016. This is the second time Founders has released Mango Magnifico in bottles as part of the Backstage Series, the first being in June of 2013. Mango Magnifico is a high-gravity fruit beer brewed with mango and a touch of habaneros to add just the right amount of heat. The delicate flavors imparted by the sweet richness of the mango are punctuated perfectly from the subtle heat of the habaneros, proving that fruit beers do not have to be one-note.

Wynwood’s The Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill coming to West Palm Beach

Palm Beach Post - January 29, 2016

A hot restaurant from Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood is making its way to downtown West Palm Beach, bringing both a meat market and an eatery to a historic old building. The Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill is opening its second South Florida location this coming September at 209 6th Street, between Olive Avenue and Flagler Drive. Igor Niznik is from Russia, so Fred said the food and beer reflect his Eastern European roots. He called The Butcher Shop a “fusion” of Eastern European and German influences, including the German and Czech beers they to serve. Niznik said he and his father also are big supporters of local breweries, “and we definitely want to incorporate that into our new location.”



Who Won the Republican Debate? Critics Call Ted Cruz Flat but Jeb Bush Better

The New York Times - January 29, 2016

With Donald J. Trump absent from the debate stage, critics had a chance to focus on the rest of the Republican field. While the verdicts varied, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was seen as starting strong but fading late, while Senator Marco Rubio of Florida had his moments but grew testy at times when faced with tough questions. Some thought Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, had one of his most energetic performances, while the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson barely registered.

January 25, 2015


Tampa Bay Beer Week events begin to trickle in

Beer in Florida - January 21, 2016

Announcements of Tampa Bay Beer Week 2016 events (March 5-15) are beginning to bubble to the surface. The official kickoff each year is the Florida Brewers Guild Craft Beer Festival, which has been held on the waterfront in Tampa the past few years. Many of the state’s breweries will represent, and brewery owners, brewers and other staff will be behind the booths to pour beer and talk about their businesses. If you can attend only one event – and you weren’t fortunate enough to land a Hunahpu’s Day ticket – this is the one.

Beer Garden: Saint Arnold's IPA is a real work of art

Pensacola News Journal - January 20, 2016

One such American IPA happens to be Art Car by Saint Arnold Brewing out of Houston, Texas. This beer was inspired by the work of graffiti artist GONZO247 — who hand-painted four cars for the brewery — and brings together old and new hop traits. Art Car’s canvas is a honey-gold body topped with a foamy head of whipped egg white. Columbus and Cascade hops lay down a base coat of pine scents while newer varietals — Simcoe and Mosaic — add depth and perspective through citrus and tropical tones. A trio of malted grain provides a sweet compositional balance to the brightness of spruce, grapefruit, papaya and tangerine.

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou Cider & Mead Festival is pouring soon

Florida Beer News - January 19, 2016

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou is well-known for world-class beer festivals. Festivals at the Cajun Cafe boast short lines for a pour and great company and conversation in addition to outstanding food on the day of the event and beyond. In 2015, Cajun Cafe began a new festival during the fleeting winter weeks of the new year: a cider and mead festival. In typical Cajun Cafe style, owner Paul Unwin has been busy stocking up for festival day and he has racked up an attendance list as well.

Coconut ale, coconut porter, yup, it's the year for coconut beer

Florida Beer News - January 20, 2016

A newer release that's making waves is Oskar Blues Death by Coconut from Colorado. It's an Irish-style porter aged on dried coconut and cocoa. This one's also a limited release (brewed once a year in small batches), but it's not tough to find in four-packs around town. While you're picking up your Death by Coconut, you should also grab the Toasted Coconut Porter from Orlando's Orange Blossom Brewing. This beer used to be contract-brewed in South Carolina at the Thomas Creek Brewery, but as of last year, it's a bona fide local brew, produced at Lakeland's Brew Hub. It's a year-round release, so it should keep your coconut levels up when the rest of the coconut-tinged seasonals disappear.

Green Bench gets bigger and cannier

Florida Beer News - January 21, 2016

Saint Petersburg’s Green Bench Brewing Company has made a name for themselves in “The Burg,” and in their recent newsletter announced that they have made some changes, expansions, bottles, and cans for the beer drinking public in the Tampa Bay area. "At the end of October we completed an expansion of our brewing facility that included the additions of a new glycol chiller, three new 30 BBL fermenters, one 60 BBL brite tank, and most exciting of all one 90 hecotliter oak foeder. This essentially doubles our capacity and will allow us to both brew more of our core brand beers and expand our oak fermented farmhouse brands in both bottle and keg formats."

Florida Orchestra makes music from beer kegs and donkey jawbones

The Tampa Bay Times - January 19, 2016

Grissom and three other longtime percussionists for the Florida Orchestra were practicing Third Construction, a 12-minute piece they will perform this weekend at the orchestra's Mozart and More masterworks concerts. The musicians will make music on everything from animal bones to beer kegs. Dave Coash has painted houses before, but he used the row of paint cans on the table before him for music. Grissom enjoys a good beer now and then, but these kegs were empty when he bought them on eBay.



Bush and Rubio tied for third in New Hampshire, poll shows

The Tampa Bay Times - January 20, 2016

Jeb Bush has climed to third place in New Hampshire, tied with Florida rival Marco Rubio, according to a new poll. The CNN/WMUR poll shows Bush and Rubio with 10 percent of the vote each. That's still far behind leaderDonald Trump, who has 34 perecnt. Ted Cruz is second with 14 percent. Chris Christie has 6 percent, as does John Kasich.


January 8, 2015


Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp is coming to Tampa

Florida Beer News - January 6, 2016

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. will host its second Beer Camp Across America (BCAA) festival tour in June 2016 with stops in Tampa, Fla., Seattle, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles. BCAA festivals will offer craft beer fans the opportunity to sample specialty brews from hundreds of local and regional brewers while interacting with some of the most influential names in craft brewing. Every craft brewery is invited to pour at any of the six festival locations. Each event will also celebrate and serve six limited edition collaboration beers – each one created by a different regional team of five breweries alongside Sierra Nevada.

The Cicerone: Beer server certification makes you a better consumer

The Tampa Bay Times - January 8, 2016

What's a Cicerone? Think sommelier, only for beer. These are people who want to know everything there is about beer: what it's made of and what each ingredients might contribute; what the different styles are and how they relate to each other; how to brew it, store it, serve it, and even pair it with food. The tiers of the Cicerone program range from entry-level server certification, which is intended primarily for professionals working in the beer serving biz, all the way to master — a prestigious title currently held by only 11 individuals.If you're serious about beer, I'd recommend at least pursuing the first level of Cicerone certification; it's well worth the modest cost and time investment, and you don't need to be an industry professional to benefit from it.

Beer Garden: A non-stout stout to start the year

Pensacola News Journal - January 5, 2016

This calls for something completely new. I’d like to turn to Tony Magee and his masters of all things hoppy at Lagunitas Brewing. Their latest One-Hitter Series is a non-stout stout. Okay, that sounds confusing. Here’s the deal: It’s a stout by technique minus the roasted grains, so no dark color and flavors. Non-roasted malted oats were used in place of malted barley to provide the distinctive sweetness while truck-loads of hops bring the bitter balance. The abundance of ultra-sticky hop oil leaves nebula-like lacing while releasing strong, pleasant scents of citrus and tropical fruits. This golden-blonde head-scratcher is a neutron bomb of hops with a creamy dose of oat sweetness. Mango, grapefruit, pine, lime, caramel, pineapple and a faint drop of maple all stand at the X-Y-Z axis of a graph pointing to all things everywhere at once. Bitter Oats’ body belies its appearance; a little slick and chewy with moderate carbonation.

Funky Buddha celebrates Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Saturday

Florida Beer News - January 7, 2016

It’s back! South Florida’s most sought after annual release, Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, returns in bottles on January 9, 2016! Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Day will be an epic celebration and continued enhancement of Funky Buddha’s annual street festival. This year’s fest will take place in spacious Jaco Pastorius Park in Oakland Park, Florida and be limited to 4000 attendees. All ticketed attendees are guaranteed bottles of the once-a-year release of Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, which are picked up upon exit from the festival grounds. There’s no need to wait in line for bottles or purchase them on site – just come out enjoy over 100 unique beers on draft throughout the day, live music by Brotherly Love Productions, field games, the best food trucks in South Florida plus Craft Food Counter & Kitchen, and so much more! Fort Lauderdale’s biggest and baddest beer event is back!

Year of beer: Craft craze means more options in 2016

Tallahassee Democrat - January 6, 2016

Before the recent craft beer renaissance, there weren't a lot of options for Tallahassee consumers looking for something other than a skunked lager. A small band of beer lovers desired more from their malted beverage than mundane, mass-produced, watery suds. They demanded dynamic flavors. Sadly, they couldn't find bold beers in local liquor or grocery stores. When connoisseurs wanted a stout with rich, chocolate flavor or full-bodied IPA, they had to find a bar. Most local bars seemed unwilling to sell craft brews. "It's great to see Tallahassee becoming a craft beer town," Larsen said. "I'm glad we have a hand in the growth." Times have changed since Larsen started brewing at Momo's. Bars like Andrew's, Growler Country, The Brass Tap, Madison Social and Fermentation Lounge have also become destinations for craft beer fans.

Orlando Brewing releases Mo’mo Browne Ale, a tribute to local art

Florida Beer News - January 7, 2016

Orlando’s organic microbrewery will raise a glass to local art with their new Mo’mo-Browne Ale on Saturday, January 9th. For nearly ten years, the Orlando Brewing taproom has been a venue dedicated to showcasing original music. The company will celebrate Central Florida’s vibrant art culture with this limited release artesian ale. Deep malt harmonizes with the smooth hop notes of the 6.8% organic brown ale. The ale’s name tributes local duo, Mo’mo-Browne. Mariah Lynn & Ben Browne discovered a mutual love for blues & beer after meeting at Orlando Brewing in 2012. The pair has been crafting music together since.



Jeb Bush rules out third-party bid if he loses GOP nomination

CBS News - January 7, 2016

Jeb Bush won't run as a third-party candidate in 2016, even if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination. When asked at a New Hampshire campaign stop if Bush would consider an independent bid if the billionaire real estate developer -- who Bush has insisted is a "jerk" -- was named the GOP nominee, the former Florida governor answered in the negative. "No. I'm not going to run as a third-party candidate, no matter who wins the nomination," Bush said late Wednesday. "I've been supporting Republicans since Richard Nixon." Despite his promise to back Trump if the business mogul does end up on the GOP's general election ticket, Bush did not hesitate to continue his criticisms of the current Republican front-runner.