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Monday, December 21, 2015

SaltWater Brewery Celebrates Two Years: Get Reeled In

Vanilla Sea Cow, tapped at 1pm;
Sea Cow Milk Stout, with, well,
vanilla ... As good as it sounds
What do you get when you combine 40 house beers, plus beers from other Florida breweries and three breweries-in-planning, three food trucks, all day music, timed beer tappings, an inside tap room bar, an outside beer truck, a souvenir glass and 70+ degree weather ... not to mention it's December? Pretty much everything you need for a rockin' Two-Year Anniversary Party at South Florida's SaltWater Brewery in Delray Beach. 

This past Saturday, December 19, SaltWater Brewery celebrated two-years young with an all-day Block Party. For several weeks leading up to the epic event, the brewery announced its taplist on social media -- and with each new post, the taplist grew.  There were four timed releases throughout the day, and at least 10 beers were on tap continously.  And, having simply one or two brews for each timed release just wouldn't be enough, so we're talking about ten beers for each tapping at 1pm, 3pm (Sour Hour), 5pm and 7pm. Following that, at 9pm, the taps rotated to "kick" those kegs!









Looking for a particular style of beer?  They had you covered: Belgian styles, IPAs, porters, stouts, wheat beers, blonde ales, sours, imperials and even a collab brew. Some of the timed releases were special treatments of several of the core favorites. 



Let's just get right to the beer!  Upon entry, for a $5 admission fee, you received a souvenir anniversary tulip glass and a raffle ticket. Beers were served per ticket. With a beer list like this, one has to wonder where to start. I had my eye on that Vanilla Sea Cow (6% ABV; 38 IBU) since I saw it posted, so I made my way to the outside truck first. If you haven't had the Sea Cow Milk Stout, you simply must. Of course, add one of my favorite flavors -- vanilla -- and, well, you get the idea. It's chocolate milk stout with vanilla - no way to go wrong with this one!


Truckin' .......
And, as long as I started with the dark beer, I decided to stay on that track with the Pop's Salty Sea Cow (5.9% ABV), a collaboration between SaltWater and Wynwood Brewing: combine last year's GABF Gold Medal winner Pop's Porter with Sea Cow, and you get a delicious roasty concoction with just enough saltiness to make your taste buds take notice. 
Let's get salty.... Pop's Salty Sea Cow
If you haven't been to SaltWater Brewery yet, put this one on your beertrip list if you're outside of the Delray/Boynton area -- I mean, it's South Florida -- just another reason to go here.  I've been to SaltWater Brewery a few times on my way back and forth from scuba diving in the Keys  -- I even still have my notes from my visit in November 2014. I love the ocean theme (naturally), and the beers are definitely worth a trip - you'll find a good variety of styles in their "core" beers, and there are usually some special ones on tap as well.  Inside, the tap room is spacious, with some comfy couch and table seating.  Or, take it outside, and enjoy the South Florida temps at one of the many sturdy wooden picnic tables just outside the main entrance along Atlantic Ave.  There are even a couple of cornhole boards. And, there's a well-stocked merchandise booth so you can take back some shirts, glasses and other stuff with that cool ocean wave logo. 







And, just to get your mouth watering, some of the beers you will usually find on tap here are: Bone-A-Fied Blonde (6% ABV; Belgian Style Blonde Ale); Raspberry Reef Ale (6% ABV; Fruit Beer with raspberries); Spiny Tail Pale Ale (6% ABV; English Style Pale Ale); Tides of the Reef Room (5.4% Pale Ale); Screamin' Reels IPA (7% ABV; hoppy, tropical IPA); and Sea Cow Milk Stout (see above). One of my favorite beers of all time was a coffee version of the Sea Cow, the Sea Rhino Vanilla Coffee Milk Stout (7.1% ABV) that I had in 2014.  At a recent beerfest, I ran into the brewery guys, and I learned that the Sea Rhino is out of production on that recipe due to a change in the particular coffee that was used. Ah, memories...... 


Sex on the Beach: got some...
Now, back to the Anniversary Party!  No, I'm not going to go through each beer on this amazing tap list (read the tap list above).  Still, some of these are worth mentioning. I would be remiss in my reporting duties if I didn't have a glass of the Sex on the Beach, which is the South End Session Ale specially treated to taste like, well.... you get it. So, just add an umbrella to this one and pucker up for the tropical fruitiness. Where's my beach chair?  

The core IPA here is the Screamin' Reels IPA (7% ABV), a hoppy IPA with tropical fruit and citrus flavors. More on that below, but they did some creative things with this beer.  Unfortunately, I missed the timed tapping of the Fruity Pebbles Screamin' Reels.  Yes, that's no typo -- IPA aged on Fruity Pebbles.  Might make a good breakfast drink!  And, Grapefruit is a thing right now, so, of course: Grapefruit Screamin' Reels. Yep, no mistaking that one: grapefruit on the nose and the flavor -- highly citrusy, and able to stand up to the other grapefruit beers out there.  But, there's more: a Coconut Screamin' Reels (IPA aged on coconut flakes) tapped at 7pm (missed that; I had to leave sometime, I suppose).


Juicy:  Grapefruit Screamin' Reels IPA
There were guest taps, too, from South Florida favorites Due South Brewing, J. Wakefield Brewing, Funky Buddha Brewery, Devour Brewing, Twisted Trunk Brewing, Wynwood Brewing, Sailfish Brewing, and Accomplice Cider. There were also a couple of brews from Cigar City Brewing, including a surprise tapping of Coffee Jai Alai. Under the tents outside were three breweries-in-planning: 3 Sons Brewing, Micro Mammoth Brewing, and Odd Breed Wild Ales.  Stay tuned for those names soon. 


Even Santa got into things!





SaltWater Brewery is located in an old red barn, which also used to be an antique/ furniture store, the Rustic Rooster.  The brewhouse is comprised of a 20-barrel brewing system, with six 40-barrel fermenters, two 20-barrel fermenters and two 10-barrel tanks. The brewery started canning its Screamin' Reels IPA in August following installation of its canning line in July. Distribution of its beers runs from Sebastian to Key West, with expansion to Orlando and North Florida on the way.  You can take home some of that IPA goodness in cans from the tap room, or get certain draft beers in growlers. Or, look for the cans at retail. These are some of the coolest cans this side of the ocean:


Hook a couple, or more.... I did.....
I brought a few back....

Already had two growlers and one pint glass...
Added an Anniversary souvenir glass and cans...
and a special anniversary t-shirt, too

SaltWater Brewery was inspired by the ocean, and the brewery works with ocean-based charities to give back to the ocean.  I can get on board with that!

As you'd expect, the tap room is ocean-themed, and it's very laid back and warmly inviting. 







Three "series" of beers: Coastal (<7%); Reef (7-9%);
Offshore (9+%)


Photo from 2014
Can't remember if that was before, or after, the Keys 2014
The brewhouse is visible through the glass from the tap room:



   



SaltWater Brewery is located at 1701 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, just off I-95 (Exit 52), so it's easy to get there. Next time you're in South Florida, reel yourself in. The tap room is open seven days a week, at noon. The slogan here is "Explore the Depths of Beer," and there's a good variety to let you do that. These are quality beers, and I like the different styles that are always on tap. SaltWater Brewery is a a main sponsor of the Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest in West Palm Beach. I've been to that fest a couple of times (read the 2015 post here), and if you go in 2016, be sure to stop over here. 

Happy Two to SaltWater Brewery.  I'll see you again in 2016.  But, for now, I think I have some Screamin' Reels calling me....



That's another brewery visit!  Be sure to check out the Events page of this blog for upcoming Florida beerfests .... I'll be at a few of those in early 2016! Don't be shy: Say Hi!  Til next time,


Peace, Love, Pints®

Linda