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Due South Brewing Trench Day: Dark Is Good

2017 Mariana Trench Imperial Stout
The picture on the bottle -- a tall ship silhouetted against the glow of a full moon over the deepest of waters on a dark night --  summons up a mystique of darkness that is Mariana Trench Imperial Stout. On Saturday, Due South Brewing Co. tapped the rich, dark stout and released a limited supply of bottles at its annual Trench Day fest. 

The three-hour beerfest was held inside the Due South Brewing production facility, indoor beer garden and tap room. The brewery intentionally keeps the fest tickets at a lower count than most fests to enhance the experience of the attendees (see last week's preview story). 





The crowd of roughly 300 people enjoyed plenty of space to roam around, and easy access to six beer tapping areas, each of which offered 7-10 different beers. While Trench Day features the yearly release of the namesake brew on draft and in bottle, the fest also offered a number of Due South house beers and variants. Rounding out the beer list was an impressive selection of guest taps that poured rare or rarely-seen beers from additional Florida breweries. While many of the beers were stouts or porters, there was something for everyone, as the beers also included IPAs, Weisses, Belgian Ales, barrel-aged beers, and lighter beer styles. There were additional timed tappings halfway through the event.


Upon entry, guests picked up an event tasting glass and tap list and made their way to the beer sampling area. First stop: 2017 Mariana Trench! I've been a fan of this beer all along, and this year's version is amazing: deep chocolate with vanilla, and a hint of bitterness. Coming in at 9.8%, the stout isn't "boozy," and is very smooth. If you're lucky enough to pick up a bottle or two (it's sold in the tap room only), picture yourself relaxing with, and savoring, this rich, deep brew. Your taste buds will thank you.




The "Left" and "Right" Bars

It was tough to decide which beer to try next, and with the number of stouts, imperial
Mariana Trench and Page 1 of the beer list...
Oh, decisions, decisions!!!
stouts and porters available, these weren't beers to chug. Rather, with all of the intense flavors flowing through the taps, I wanted to really experience each one! 


I won't list each beer that found its way into my glass, but more than a few offered up a taste especially worth mentioning. Due South's Chocolate Coffee Doppelbock had a wonderful coffee aroma and flavor to match. The "Two Pump Chump" Coffee Hazelnut Porter from Tampa's Angry Chair Brewing was so smooth, and the named flavors blended together very well. Due South's Mocha Stout was a roasty, chocolaty glass of goodness. J Wakefield Brewing offered its Here Kitty, Kitty Imperial Stout with Vanilla and Coffee that also featured an intense amount of chocolate. The Coffee Mexican Standoff from Due South presented a variety of flavors: coffee, peppers, a hint of cinnamon that made your taste buds take notice. And, those were just a few! 


Cookies and Cream Trench awaits..
and, the photobomber! 
One of the timed tappings that generated quite a bit of attention was the Cookies and Cream Mariana Trench. It looked like quite a few folks had this one circled on their lists, as the line at the "Right Bar" grew steadily before 4:30. It was well worth the wait: this treatment was a bit sweeter than the original, again with a full chocolate flavor -- delightfully delicious! 

After that, it was on to more tastings from the double-sided tap list.





Cookies and Cream Trench

Trench Day 2017 also gave attendees a look at the new space that Due South has recently added to its brewery facility, increasing its original 15,000 square feet by another approximate 12,000 square feet. In 2016, the brewery acquired the adjacent space on the "other side of the wall," and it intends to construct an all-new indoor beer garden and air-conditioned tap room, together with more room for barrels and offices, according to several of the Due South staff. In other words -- more, more, more -- more room for more beer and more beer lovers!


The new space at Due South hosted two pouring stations and
the Brown Distributing mini-van


Some of the guest taps ...
and a pretty cool shirt

And, then, just before 6pm, there were those words that a beer fest attendee may or may not be ready to hear: "Last Call." 


Oh, no! Last Call!! One more Mariana Trench...

Trench Day was an awesome day at sea with Mariana Trench and the Due South Brewing crew! The staff was pretty busy all afternoon, but I did get to chat with Doug and Brian, and Joel stopped long enough to take a photo for Twitter. 

And, yes, I did get another photo with that Mariana Trench poster .... this time with a Mariana Trench in hand.




The Due South crew put on a really cool fest, and the Mariana Trench is a great reason for a beer fest!  I think I'm already looking forward to Trench Day 2018.

Due South isn't waiting around much longer for its next limited beer release. Its Hopicana IPA (Rye IPA with honey and oranges, 7.1 ABV) will hit soon. 

Hey, Florida beerfest season is rolling along. And, it's South Florida Beer Week (January 21-28). Jupiter Craft Brewers Fest is this weekend! ... There's more to that story, so stay tuned!  See you around a beerfest and a beer in Florida Somewhere!

Cheers!
Til next time,





Linda 







Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®



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