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Monday, January 19, 2015

Pull Up a Chair and Park It Here: Persimmon Hollow Brewing

DeLand?  About the only thing I knew about DeLand, Florida is that there's a road sign on I-95 around Daytona Beach pointing to DeLand: somewhere between Orlando and Daytona.  So, I consulted Wikipedia and learned a little bit about this city: county seat of Volusia County, home to a number of 19th century historic buildings, and site of Stetson University, Florida's oldest private college.  OK, pretty informative stuff.  Last Saturday, I decided to take a little ride to check out Persimmon Hollow Brewing Company.  

The drive on US92 from I-95 eventually takes you through downtown DeLand, which is a quaint main street lined with a variety of storefronts and outdoor eating establishments.  A right turn on Georgia Ave., and you're there. From the minute you see this place, you feel "at home," and it fits in nicely with the feel of the historic and downtown area.

This used to be a parking garage/warehouse, in a building that's over 100 years old.  Walk through that big bay door, and you are inside a big, open warehouse space, with large "dining room"-type tables and chairs, a few TVs, a pool table, dart board and "Golden Tee" game.  A bar awaits in the corner, and through a glass panel is the 15-barrel brewhouse and fermenters. 


The big picture...from the Persimmon Hollow website

There's even a china cabinet


Eight Persimmon Hollow beers were on tap, along with four guest taps.  Want to try a few? Flight of four, please.
Left to right: Paddle Wheeler Red, Parachute Pale Ale
BBQ Butt Stuff, Daytona Dirty Blonde
Paddle Wheeler Red (5.5 ABV, 20.8 IBU): Aroma is like that of a hard candy, a little sweet. Nice, deep color.  I detected some toffee/caramel notes.  Good hoppiness.  

Parachute Pale Ale (5.5 ABV, IBU unknown): A bit darker than I expected for a Pale Ale, but a very good flavor. 

BBQ Butt Stuff Brown Ale (6 ABV, IBU unknown): Brown/dark amber, with smoky aroma (as you'd expect).  Yeah, this one is a smoky beer - very smoky.  I don't have too many smoky brews, so this one took a little getting used to.  Try this one for something a bit different.

Daytona Dirty Blonde Ale (5.5 ABV, IBU unknown): Light in color.  Aroma indicates this is a Belgian blonde. It's a nice, lighter beer, and if you like the Belgian style, you will like this one for its refreshing flavor. 

Beach Hippie IPA (7.2 ABV, 51.7 IBU): Although not on my flight, I gave it a try. Aroma of floral and citrus, and it has a stronger finish, but still pretty well balanced.







Other available house beers: Funky Freddie Fitz Belgian Stout (6.5 ABV), Dee-Land White Ale (5.2 ABV), and Sour IPA (7 ABV). Overall, a nice variety of styles.

My favorites?  I liked the Parachute Pale Ale the best, with the IPA coming in next. Growler of Pale Ale made the trip back! (In fact, I'm having one as I write this).


I left the kegs there..
One last thing that I can't leave out.  It's not too often that I take photos of bathrooms, but there's some interesting decor in there:

The ladies' sink

Guys... Oh, I don't know...you caption it
The brewery celebrated its Grand Opening on October 11, 2014. Its beers are in distribution to Central Florida bars and restaurants.  Take home a growler, or two.

Persimmon Hollow is located at 111 W. Georgia Ave. in DeLand.  The tap room is open from Wednesday to Sunday. If you're in or around Orlando or Daytona, check it out.

So, the sun may have set on this visit, but it would be worth a another trip!  

Til next time, enjoy Florida beer!

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's BeerFest Time in Florida, Chapter 2 (Or, February is for Lovers ... of Beer)

The New Years' noisemakers are history, and there's Love in the air... hashtag Beerlove. So, here's Chapter 2 of "It's BeerFest Time in Florida," y'know, for those of you who like some advance planning....


Underdark Release
Saturday, February 7; 12-9pm
Intuition Ale Works
Jacksonville FL

Limited Release of the Underdark...Imperial Stout Aged in Oak Barrels.  Worthy of a whole-day festival. Shuttin' down the street, and making it one big ol' street party.  Limited number of bombers for sale ($15 each; limit 2 per person; cash only).  Food trucks on site.  Expect a large turnout of those going to the dark side.  




Volusia Beer Week
January 30-February 8
In and around DeLand FL

Formerly known as DeLand Craft Beer Week, this fest was renamed to include the growing brewery presence in and around Volusia County.  And, there are some good ones here (yes, I do have personal experience). The week-long party gets started with a Kick-Off event at The Abbey on Friday, January 30, featuring special drafts and cellar releases, in addition to raffles and prizes. Some of the "premier" events during fest week include: An Evening with Dr. Pat McGovern, a bio-molecular Archaelogist known for his work on the Dogfish Head Ancient Ale Series; Brews and Bowties, a rare and vintage pairing event; and a Belgian-themed homebrew competition appropriately named the Mad Monk Mash-Up. The week concludes with the DeLand Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, February 7. Keep current on the events by taking a look at the website and the Facebook Event Page. 




Florida Craft Brew and Wing Fest
Saturday, February 21
11:30am - 4:30pm
Royal Palm Pointe, Vero Beach FL

Oh, I had such a good time at this fest last year.  This year is the "third" annual fest, and last year's broke the prior year attendance (actually "shattered" it, I think).  Let me say this: there is a lot of beer at this fest. Lots of wings, and other tasty food items, too. The event includes water stations and picnic tables along the middle of the rows of tents, and some fun music stages. The Rotary members really get into the community service, and they were really excited to be guest pourers. The beers here flow from across Florida as well as many other areas.  Also, some new up-and-coming breweries. Check out the website and Facebook page for more info. 




Space Coast Craft Beer Festival
Saturday, February 21; 1-5pm (VIP)
Palm Bay FL

I love Florida's Space Coast! The area is home to some really awesome breweries (see my prior blog posts from 2014, aptly named "Episodes", as well as my recent post about Playalinda Brewing).  Take a look at the fest website and/or Facebook page for the list of breweries expected to participate this year -- yeah, those are some mouth-watering brews right there. So, you can really make a weekend out of this one, check out the Space Center, go to one of the nearby beaches, visit some local breweries, and go to the beer fest!  This one is a really easy drive along my favorite Hop Highway, I-95. 


Riverside Craft Beer Festival
Saturday, February 28
1-6pm
Under the Fuller Warren Bridge, Jacksonville FL

Held at the site of the Riverside Arts Market, this venue provides a beautiful view of Jacksonville, right along the St. Johns River.  There's plenty of room to wander around and sample the brews. Throw in some popular local bands ad food trucks, and you've got a recipe for one highly fun fest. Check out the Facebook page "Riverside Craft Beer Fest" for more info. 

So, are you salivating at all this beer yet?  Hey, by this time in the new year, it probably already feels like the year isn't "new," that the Holidays never happened, and you need a break from work!  Isn't a beerfest just the thing to keep you going for the rest of the year?

What are you waiting for? Get those itineraries moving!  

See you soon at a Florida beerfest near you! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's BeerFest Time in Florida! Chapter 1

Wait a minute, the Holidays just ended.  But, some might say that we are heading into the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Although it might sometimes seem like it's a year-round phenomenon in Florida, there was a hiatus during the month of December, as there were plenty of individual tappings, tastings, takeovers, and such going on.  So, as the calendar has now flipped to 2015, yep, you guessed it: It's Beerfest Time!  

In addition to the larger regional or city fests, there are a a few new brewery-specific special releases that have morphed into their own fests.  So, if bacon is your thing, or if you want to get "trenched," pay attention.  Whether you live close to one of these fests, or if you like an excuse for a "beertrip" (ahem), there's something coming up in January and February in Florida that you're sure to like.  As you can expect, most (not all) of these early fests happen in South Florida. That means beer, beach, and some golf too! And, you can pretty much bet on finding some really good food around. (You really have to make the most of these things, you know.)  So, get ready to take a drive and check out these January events.  Who knows, you just might see me on I-95.



Saturday, January 10
Rowell's Marina, Key Largo

Hey, it's Key Largo. Awesome sunsets. Great restaurants on the water. Fishing, scuba diving.  A beerfest on the marina in a paradise-like setting. You need a vacation, right?  See the Facebook page, too.










Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Release Festival
Saturday, January 10
Oakland Park FL

I haven't had this one yet, but that's a mouthful that sounds like it tastes awesome.  Check out the Facebook event page.  Release of 22 oz bottles, and full, all-out festival, including a big ol' funky tap list and food trucks featuring breakfast food pairings.  Wake up and smell the porter.

Proof Brewing Co.
Saturday, January 10
Tallahassee FL

I love the guys over at Proof Brewing, and they brew up some really awesome beer. This event features some family fun, a chili cook-off and an exciting special tap list. Take a look at their Facebook Event page too for more info.







Ok, so can we move on from January 10 now?


January 17-24
All around South Florida

South Florida Beer Week brings us events all over SoFla during the week at a number of venues, including tappings, takeovers, dinners, and more.  Info coming, so stay tuned.

Includes two big events on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 23 and 24: Field of Beers (sold out already, folks), and Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival (see below). 




Saturday, January 24
Roger Dean Stadium, Abacoa, Jupiter FL

OK, here we go.  One of my favorite fests. I've been there the past two years, and my tickets are already printed and ready to roll.  Lots of Florida beer here.  This is one rockin' party, and it usually spills over to a couple of neighboring bars in the Abacoa town center.  There's nearby parking, too. And, here's your chance to play some of that golf on a really fun track, the Abacoa Golf Club course.  But, wait, not done yet: Just down the street are some really good restaurants (I had an awesome mahi sandwich last year, and I'll be heading back to Burger Bar again this time around, too; maybe you saw my posts from last time).  I won't be pouring for a brewery this fest, so I'll really get to soak it all in.  More info on Facebook events page, too. 


Saturday, January 24
Broward College, Coconut Creek FL

A fundraiser for Junior Achievement of South Florida, this event looks like a classy and tasteful/tasty night of culinary deliciousness, paired with wines, spirits and craft beers.  Check out their Facebook event page also. They're calling it a "fork and cork affair," and there's also a "Dessert Bash." 

Due South Brewing Trench Day
Saturday, January 31
Boynton Beach FL

So, this year, the Due South crew is throwing a party of festival proportions as it releases its once-a-year Mariana Trench Imperial Stout.  Well, why not, it's soooo good. If you didn't get your fill of South Florida Beer Week and Jupiter, head Due South and get trenched (I took some liberties with that, but they're a pretty cool bunch over there, and I only mean that in a complimentary way). But, you'll need tickets to enter, so you better be by your computer or other electronic device, tomorrow, January 2, at noon EST with your fingers ready. Tix being limited to 300.  And, this isn't "just" a bottle release, it's a "beerfest" complete with tasting glass for samplings from a bunch of Florida breweries.  Food trucks will be on site. If you haven't had Mariana Trench, believe me, you want it. Only 1000 bottles will be released. Take a look at the Due South webpage or Facebook event page for more info.

I think I'll just put my car on autopilot, and it can head south on I-95 on its own!


January 30-February 7
Kickoff Event: Friday, January 30
The Abbey, DeLand FL

Formerly known as DeLand Craft Beer Week, this fest was renamed to include the growing brewery presence in and around Volusia County.  And, there are some good ones here (yes, I have personal experience). The week-long party gets started with a Kick-Off event at The Abbey on January 30, featuring special drafts and cellar releases, in addition to raffles and prizes. Some of the "premier" events during the week include: An Evening with Dr. Pat McGovern, a bio-molecular Archaelogist known for his work on the Dogfish Head Anciet Ale Series; Brews and Bowties, a rare and vintage pairing event; and a Belgian-themed homebrew competition called the Mad Monk Mash-Up. The week concludes with the DeLand Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, February 7. Keep current on the events by taking a look at the webiste and the Facebook Event Page. 


Saturday, January 31
Marlins Park, Miami FL

The Third Annual Fest.  What's not to like? Beer from Miami breweries, Florida breweries, and other favorites, food, music.  And, it's in Miami. This one's a 5pm start.  Check out the cool video on the webpage. And, more info on Facebook.


Hey, that's a wrap, and that's just January.  All this beertalk has me heading to the fridge for a Florida beer!

Happy New Year, everyone, and I'll see you at a Beerfest (or two or three, or...) in 2015!