Hidden Springs Ale Works
Revitalization is the word that usually comes to mind when I hear Tampa Heights. From the Rialto Theatre to the newly opened Armature Works, developers have poured money, energy, and time revitalizing the historic landmark neighborhood next to Tampa’s urban core. One business that is now considered a pioneer in the area is two-year old Hidden Springs Ale Works. Located in the middle of “yellow brick row” on Franklin Street, the minimal warehouse building has become my favorite neighborhood pub before Tampa Bay Lightning games. With ample parking outside, the industrial tasting room is sparse (in a good way) with plenty of seating inside. I elected to grab a seat at the bar and ordered their American IPA, a core pour. A favorite, the hoppy, citrus-forward beer has become a regular in my rotation of local beers. Another recommendation, Deja Moo, is a milk stout brewed with smoked chipotle peppers and cocoa nibs. Co-founders Joshua Garman and Austin Good took a chance on a neighborhood that had seen better times. I couldn’t be happier to see them and the heights thriving.
The Ivanhoe Village Experience
One of the main goals of Florida Pours is to feature the growing Florida craft beverage industry, because let’s face it, Florida is starting to rival some of the other better known states. Our primary focus has been on the establishments that are brewing right in the state. But recently after being stood-up a couple times (ahem, you know who you are) to have what I was going to call my Tampa Skip Day, I had to settle for exploring the Ivanhoe neighborhood of Orlando. Instead of hitting only brewed in-house establishments, we hit several local bars, and I’m glad we did. Ivanhoe Village. Located just north of downtown Orlando, Ivanhoe Village is an eclectic mix of independent shops, restaurants and bars. One of the best things about Ivanhoe Village is that it’s all walkable. For this visit, we started our walk on Orange Avenue and then made our way down Virgina Drive. The Highlights. The Hammered Lamb. Serving great eats such as Gyro’s and French Dips and a pretty expansive beer and cocktail list, the Hammered Lamb is the perfect start to your journey in Ivanhoe Village. If you don’t mind the heat, they also have a great covered […]
A Tampa Father-Daughter Day at Lowry Park Zoo and Ulele
This past Saturday the weather was perfect. The kind of weather that makes trudging through those 100° heat index days here in Florida worth it. So with the perfect weather on deck for our Saturday, my daughter and I took off for a Tampa Father-Daughter Day where we hoped to enjoy the Tampa Bay Coffee & Art Festival paired with one of our new favorite restaurants, Ulele. The Zoo. Our first stop ended up being Lowry Park Zoo instead of the Tampa Bay Coffee & Art Festival. Nestled in the heart of Tampa just west of the Hillsborough River, Lowry Park Zoo is one of the best zoos in the Central Florida area (if not the state) and has been a favorite of my family since I was a young tyke. Originating in the 1930s, Lowry Park Zoo offers over 50 acres of park space where it’s 1 million+ annual visitors can view the more than 1,000 animals currently in it’s care. This visit I was lucky enough to snag a great deal to pay for our admission for the day and have free admission the remainder of the year. We’ll certainly be planning our next visit soon before the […]
Orlando Brewing Celebrates 11 Years
These days my Facebook news feed is dominated with brewery openings. Long lines wrap around city blocks for special bottle releases. Breweries are standing room only on weekends. Not so long ago, I could count the number of local beers on the shelf at my local Whole Foods. Good luck doing that now. Needless to say, it’s a boom economy for Florida breweries. Now numbering in the 200s, it’s easy to forget about the pioneers in the state. One such brewery, Orlando Brewing, happens to be where I call home and are celebrating their 11th anniversary this month. The Facts Certified as an organic brewery in 2006, they are the only USDA certified organic brewery south of Vermont and east of Colorado. Specializing in organic ales and lagers brewed in accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516 (the Reinheitsgebot). Located in Downtown South on Atlanta Avenue, Orlando Brewing has been serving up classics like their popular I4 IPA and O-Town Brown Ale to locals and tourists alike for over a decade. The Pours I visited last week for Beer:30 (the 30th of each month) to enjoy a few pours. As is the norm, the tasting room was busy, but still plenty of […]
The 2017 Hunahpu’s Day Festival in Review
First things first. Some housekeeping items: I’m not a writer. I don’t blog. I don’t do reviews. And, I most certainly do not have a refined beer palate of any sort. So, if you’re looking for a write-up that is going to discuss the earthy notes of every beer, cider and mead that I tried at the 2017 Hunahpu’s Day Festival, you’ve come to the wrong place. I will promise you a few things: I will avoid those cliché words like epic or stellar; I won’t use those over used one word sentences such as: “Best. Festival. Ever.” (although they would all most certainly apply). Where to start. This morning during my commute to my 9-5, I started to think about this year’s festival. I suddenly had the urge to write or say something about the 2017 Hunahpu’s Day Festival to spread a few words for it. From the location to the event itself, it was all an experience that I hope that all can enjoy one day. The Namesake. Each year on the second Saturday of March, Cigar City releases one of the most highly anticipated bottles of the year, Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, named after one of the Mayan […]
St. Augustine Distillery’s Pot Distilled Rum Wins Gold
St. Augustine Distillery’s Pot Distilled Rum, which was released January of 2016, has been awarded a gold medal at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition held March 17-20 at the Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco, Calif. “In just a few months, our Pot Distilled Rum has won a gold medal at one of the industry’s most prestigious spirits competitions,” said Philip McDaniel, CEO and co-founder of St. Augustine Distillery. “We are honored that our rum was up against some of the finest in the industry and took home a top award, which brings our total medal count to 25 for gin, vodka, and rum.” More than 1,850 entries were submitted by distilleries from around the world, making it the largest in San Francisco World Spirits Competition’s 16-year history. Judging was conducted by a panel of 39 spirits experts including cocktail historian David Wondrich and Jack Robertiello, writer and consultant for Drinks Ink.
Two Henrys Brewing Company
Located conveniently off I4 in Plant City, Florida, Two Henrys Brewing Company offers visitors a unique venue for craft beer lovers. Sharing a space with the popular Keel and Curley Winery, Two Henrys offers visitors 5 signature beers, with a wide selection of seasonal pours. For the non-beer fans, Keel and Curley offers a large selection of fruit and fusion wines sure to please every palate. Named after Henry B. Plant and Henry M. Flagler, their beers celebrate Florida’s history and the people that made our great state possible. The 7 Mile Bridge English Style IPA is a signature pour (also available in cans) and a must try. My favorite, the Roasted Jalapeño Blueberry Porter, has gained cult status amongst craft beer fans. Not in constant rotation (tip: call in advance), the brown porter is aged on roasted jalapeños and blueberry puree. An instant classic. Grab a growler. Last but certainly not least, the Hop Tycoon Double IPA (DIPA), is a rich, complex beer, made in limited supply. For my cider fans, check out the popular Mad Man Hard Cider. A rarity in the state, the hard cider is made from select Champlain Valley apples processed at one of Vermont’s oldest cider mills. Seasonal selections also include blueberry, mango, peach […]