Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Old Coast Ales, St. Augustine, Set to Share the Beer on Opening Day, February 1

For Jon Boisclair and Matt Hooker, the past three-plus years of planning, building and crafting their local, community-inspired brewery are about to give way to the reality of opening their doors to the public. 

On January 30, Old Coast Ales, 300 Anastasia Blvd., held a "soft opening" preview night and will make it official on Wednesday, February 1, when the long-awaited Opening Day finally arrives. 

Last November, I visited the still-under-construction brewery and tap room and found Jon framing out the bar. Take a look at the first preview story published about Old Coast Ales, along with background about the building and the co-owners.  

Old Coast Ales opens for business, February 1
300 Anastasia Blvd., St. Augustine

Last night's soft opening probably drew more of a crowd than may have been anticipated, and there were still some things being worked out, as expected. But, the bar is now completed, and Old Coast Ales house beers are flowing from the taps. 

The new bar, all ready for beer, in the Old Coast Ales tap room.
The 1900-square-foot space houses the 7-barrel brewhouse, walk-in cooler, tap room and open activity/game room area. A covered patio overlooks "The Boulevard."  Here's a look around the space, as seen by last night's crowd: 


Much to the delight of craft beer enthusiasts, Old Coast Ales is serving up its own house beers right from the start. Beers on draft include: Burt's Summer Ale (5.4 ABV), Signal Pale Ale (5.4 ABV), Session IPA, Empirical IPA (6.5 ABV), Boulevard Brown (5.0 ABV), and Port of Call Porter (6.4 ABV). Two Kombuchas -- Ginger and Lavender Elderberry -- are also on tap. Wines are also served. Flights of Old Coast Ales beers will be available, and the tap room will also fill growlers in the near future. Logo shirts and glassware are available for purchase. The tap room offers different sizes of beers on draft, which allows for more beer sampling! Old Coast Ales has around 16+ beers already in its recipe bank. On Saturday, February 4, expect the tap room to release and add several new beers in timed tappings throughout the afternoon, including Coffee Brown Ale, Gose, and Imperial Vanilla Porter. 

The tap room is open and bright, with the brewhouse visible through a window behind the bar. 

Signal Pale Ale and a view of the brewhouse from the bar.
Malty, with a noticeable hoppiness on the backend.
Good, all-around brew for everyone.
Burt's Summer Ale, named for the yeast.
Flavors of fruits, pleasant & refreshing.

Empirical IPA (named for the bike shop).
Hopheads rejoice! Smooth, balanced,
citrus, earthy, with a hop bite.
Boulevard Brown Ale. A bit nutty with
a medium-to-full mouthfeel

Overall, locals and tourists alike will find beer they will thoroughly enjoy here at Old Coast Ales. And, sitting out on that patio sounds inviting, too. 

And, if you didn't know, the logo bike actually does exist (see the earlier preview story for the background). The "Alcohauler" is a fully functional bike and will be on display at the brewery soon. 

It's been a long road for the guys at Old Coast Ales, and it was a bit difficult to tell last night if they were going to be exhausted or ecstatic by night's end! I think both. After taking a day to prepare for the official opening day and the next stage of their ride, Old Coast Ales will open at 1pm on Wednesday, February 1. As of now, the brewery plans to open the tap room at 1pm each day, except Tuesdays (subject to change). Be sure to join them as they share their beer with you!

I've known Jon and Matt almost since they started this journey .... Congratulations on your road, your ride, and getting here!  

They actually looked pretty relaxed last night.
With Matt (l) and Jon (r). Gotta love the boots!

Old Coast Ales will be another great addition to the local and Florida craft brewery scene! And, it's been a highly anticipated opening for some time. I'm looking forward to stopping in again for the official opening and what's sure to be many more times after that!

See you around a beer .... in Florida Somewhere!

Til next time,



Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®

© 2017 BrewNymph, LLC. All text and photos. All rights reserved. BrewNymph; Peace, Love, Pints; Where the Beer Meets the Beach, and Beer is my Trademark are federally-registered trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC; BeerSphere and I'm Fun; Deal With It! are trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC

Monday, January 30, 2017

Jupiter Craft Brewers Fest Knocks It Out of the Park

Saturday started off a bit chilly for most South Floridians, with temps in the upper 40's
early on (this writer shelved a 5k around Abacoa after one mile and headed indoors for the treadmill). Eventually, the hazy sky gave way to bright sunshine and comfortable low-70°weather ... perfect for the 11th Annual Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival at Roger Dean Stadium! 

The Jupiter Saturday afternoon beerfest featured over 50 breweries, many from across Florida. The award-winning Field of Beers beer and food pairing event once again took place inside the Stadium on Friday night. (See last week's preview story here.)  Tickets for both events sold out online, and there were 1200 tickets available at the gate for Saturday's fest. Portions of the proceeds benefit Autism Project of Palm Beach County and Surfers Healing. 

This writer started the Jupiter weekend with a visit to Tequesta Brewing Co., just a bit north. The guy behind TBC also just happens to be Jupiter Fest Organizer Fran Andrewlevich. It had been a couple of years since I've enjoyed beers here, and the place was spirited as usual -- always a lively crowd enjoying good local beer!

At Tequesta Brewing: two unique & tasty beers:
One Day of Winter on the left: cinnamon & chocolate;
Mind Bender golden coffee stout on the right
Saturday morning brought chilly weather to South Florida, but the forecast held true, and when beerfest time rolled around at 1pm, the Stadium grounds were bathed in blue sky and sunshine. 

Set-up gave way to fully stocked tents of breweries ready to serve the 3000 thirsty fest attendees. 

The fest offered live stage music all afternoon and a silent disco, which, as expected, became much more animated as the afternoon went by. Extra seating and picnic table areas had been set in place in front of the stage. Brewers, in general, each served up between 2-4 beers, and many offered a few timed tappings. Funky Buddha poured its Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, and Due South Brewing served its Silky Johnson chocolate peanut butter stout. 

So, let's go.... 

It was a bit chilly during fest set-up in the morning

Looking to get the 1200 tickets at the gate

First stop was Green Room Brewing, Jax Beach. A day earlier, head brewer/owner Eric had posted a photo of what may... or may not, depending on who told the story ... have been the catch of the day on a fishing charter, and it was time to talk big fish right along with enjoying Green Room brews. 

Mango Passionfruit Sour with Green Room Brewing
It was also cool chatting again with Byron from Proof Brewing, who made the trip from Tally.

Tropical Uprising IPA with Proof Brewing

It didn't take long for the crowd to gather at the center seating area with beer and food: 


It's always a hot time with the crew from Barley Mow Brewing, and this time, they brought Son of a Sea Biscuit Amber Ale with peppers to spice things up even more:

Gotta love Tom's hat!
More beer!

Copperpoint Brewing didn't bring its brewhouse,
but cool photo op ... This, the Cold Brew Coffee Lager!

New brewery  Walking Tree Brewery from Vero Beach;
Prop Root English Pale Ale
And, there's always a crew that you can count on for some fun, right along with their beer: 

The crazy crew at Intracoastal Brewing, Melbourne.
That Imperial Egg Nog Cream Ale, though.....
I also caught up with brewery-in-planning Prosperity Brewers, underway in Boca. Here's another one to keep your eye on, as they're looking at opening in the next few months. 

With Dominic ("DP") of Prosperity Brewers.
Kolsch in hand. Look for them to be brewing
different styles, too. Do I hear roadtrip?
Gotta love South Florida!
By this time, the silent disco was in full swing. Not sure what they were hearing in those headphones, but it was a good time no matter which side of the floor you were on:


Hell 'n Blazes Brewing brought four beers from Melbourne for its first trek to Jupiter, and it was great seeing them here! These guys just opened last summer (see my pre-construction story and grand opening story from last year). 

Have enjoyed a couple of visits to HnB since it opened.
Finally got my hands on the Gingerbread Stout
as the sun started to set on Jupiter Fest.
Yes, more beer!

Biscayne Bay Brewing from Miami.
Refreshing Kolsch. Another beertrip?
Neapolitan Cream Ale from Intracoastal.
Made with real strawberries, vanilla, cocoa nibs.
The Quat from Tampa Bay Brewing Co.
It was another fun stop at the Bold City Brewery tent. More fishing boat talk, along with tried-and-true beer from Jax!

I'm really  not sure about this....
But, the Killer Whale Cream Ale is always a go-to.
Near the end of the fest, I found Fran Andrewlevich with about two seconds to spare (dude's one busy guy). One helluva fest... again, Fran! Thank you!

With Fest Organizer Fran
Another awesome Jupiter Craft Brewers Fest!
And, then, yes, it has to happen: all beerfests do come to an end (although the party usually moves somewhere else after that). The guys at Due South Brewing had another great beer run, following up last week's Trench Day (see preview and recap stories). 

Due South Brewing ... at "The End"

The Bold City tent came down:

Time for one more beer:

Time for one more: Devour Brewing Shadow Walker DIPA
And, as the attendees said goodbye to another awesome afternoon at Jupiter Craft Brewers Fest, crew already began the task of take-down. 

It was time for one more beer at Das Biergarten in the Abacoa Town Center:

Coppertail Brewing Sometimes You Don't Coconut Porter.
I don't know, maybe sometimes you do.
And, then sometimes you just take photos.
There were Girl Scout Cookies somewhere, too.
All fun at a beerfest and after-party.

Before heading back north on Sunday morning, I made another stop at the Stadium. Light rain was falling, the tents and tables were nowhere in sight. And, just like that, the 11th Annual Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival was history.  Home run, again. 

Take my word for it, mark this one on your calendars for 2018 (yeah, I really said 2018), or you'll be three and out and sitting in the dugout watching from the baseline. 

Thanks again to Organizers Fran Andrewlevich and Jaime Meholic for another great fest. 

And.... beerfest season in Florida is well underway. Be sure to check the "BeerSPHERE" and "Tap This" pages right here on for all things Florida beer and Florida beerfest! See you around a beer..... in Florida somewhere!


Til next time,


Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®

© 2017 BrewNymph, LLC. All text and photos. All rights reserved. BrewNymph; Peace, Love, Pints; Where the Beer Meets the Beach, and Beer is my Trademark are federally-registered trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC; BeerSphere and I'm Fun; Deal With It! are trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC

making HEADlines:


Santa Rosa, CA: RATE BEER has begun to release its "Rate Beer Best" Awards of 2016, after tallying millions of reviews. Winners of several categories were released earlier today, with more categories being announced in the upcoming days. 

So far, several Florida breweries have earned Rate Beer Best Awards for 2016. Congratulations to the following:

Category: Best New Brewer in the World (top ten).  Civil Society Brewing, Jupiter, Florida, No. 5

Category: Best Beer, Brewer and New Brewer by Subregion/State.  
Best Beer in Florida: Cigar City Brewing's Double Barrel Aged Hunahpu's Imperial Stout (Tampa)

Top Brewer in Florida: Cycle Brewing, St. Pete

Best New Brewer in Florida: Civil Society Brewing, Jupiter

The full list of the awards and the categories yet to be announced can be found here.


Linda Johnson
Certified Cicerone®

Friday, January 27, 2017

Southern Swells Brewing Makes Landfall in Jax Beach

The newest brewery to hit the Jacksonville craft beer scene has made landfall in Jax Beach. Word of the brewery-in-planning surfaced last April, after permits were already in place. The co-owners immediately began renovations on a space formerly occupied by a dance hall/restaurant/martini bar, and the transformation began to take shape over the course of 2016. 

Now, the lights are on, and Southern Swells Brewing Co. is bringing its beach vibe to Jax Beach with a Grand Opening of its new tap room on Saturday, January 28 at noon. 

Last Spring, this writer sat down with co-owners Corey Adams and Jay Varney a day after news of the up-and-coming brewery spread over social media like a tidal wave (check out that story here). On Thursday night, January 26, Southern Swells Brewing held a Preview Nite and soft opening for media and beer industry types, revealing the results of months of construction. When the new tap room opens to the public on Saturday, guests will be treated to a beautiful tap room that might be described as beachy-woodsy-modern-industrial. 

In total, the brewery is a 7500 square-foot facility. Upon entering the tap room, the sheer size of the space is striking. The tap room features a concrete-top bar with 20 taps positioned on a woodsy backdrop, with a large seating area and a merchandise corner. There’s also an outdoor patio at the entrance.

Just beyond the bar is the special events room, which is designed to accommodate parties, meetings and other functions. 

Turn to the right, and there’s a large, open activity area, with picnic tables, rocking chairs, and games. The 10-barrel brewhouse looms large behind an impressive floor-to-ceiling glass window that prominently displays the oceanic-inspired Southern Swells logo. Artwork that complements the beachy, laid-back style of Jax Beach adorns the walls. 

Inside the Events Room

For now, the tap room offers 20 guest taps, which run the range from light to dark, hoppy to sour. Brewer Jay Varney says that he will start brewing on the new commercial equipment within the next week. The brewery also features a reverse-osmosis water system. Look for Southern Swells house beers to roll onto the tap list sometime this Spring after the brewery has produced about 4-6 of its brews. 

When I first met Corey and Jay last April, they didn’t have Southern Swells logo shirts (see photo from original story). I think they look pretty good in their own brewery shirts this time around. 

Southern Swells Brewing Co. is located at 1312 Beach Blvd., Jax Beach.

I had a great time checking out the new Southern Swells Brewing last night. And, we're all looking forward to their house beers!  

That's a wrap this time around. Hey, keep up with all things Florida beer and Florida beer events with the "BeerSPHERE" and "Tap This" events pages right here on  

Til next time,


Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®

©2017 BrewNymph, LLC. All text and photos. All rights reserved. BrewNymph; Peace, Love, Pints; Where the Beer Meets the Beach, and Beer is my Trademark are federally-registered trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC; BeerSphere and I'm Fun; Deal With It! are trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC

making HEADlines:


Boynton Beach, FL: Due South Brewing Co. is set to release its Spring seasonal IPA, Hopicana, on draft and in six-pack cans on February 1. 

Hopicana is a Rye IPA brewed with local honey and fresh oranges.  Brewed for the Spring season every year, the ale features aromas of a freshly peeled orange, "full of bright orange sweetness and pithy bitter orange character." Pouring a copper-yellow color, the addition of rye malts to the beer provides "a complimentary peppery note that works well with the sweet citrus of the oranges and the North American hops," according to a press release issued by the brewery. “The use of honey and oranges in Hopicana creates an incredibly juicy beer that's full of great tropical hop character,” says Doug Fairall, Due South Brewing Co.’s Brand and Marketing Manager. “It's a beer we get asked about often.” 

In further describing the beer, Due South adds: "Oranges are hand-zested and then juiced before being added to the beer, while the honey used is sourced from an apiary in Loxahatchee giving Hopicana all the flavor of Florida." Hopicana weighs in at around 7.1% ABV. 

Just last week, Due South Brewing Co. released its annual award-winning Imperial  Stout, Mariana Trench®, at its "Trench Day" beerfest, which featured a number of Due South beers along with rare beers from additional Florida breweries. For a recap of the Trench Day festivities (which this writer attended), click here

Due South Brewing also recently added an additional 12,000 square feet of space to its brewery facility in Boynton Beach, and plans are underway to add a new tap room, beer garden, barrel space and offices.  

Due South Brewing is located at 2900 High Ridge Rd., Boynton Beach, just off I-95 at the Gateway Blvd. exit. 

Linda Johnson
Certified Cicerone®

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Take Me Out to the ... Beer Fest! Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival On Deck

Here it is the third week in January, and Beer Fest Season in Florida is off and running! There already have been several beerfest and beer release events in South Florida (see events on this site), and this week is South Florida Beer Week, featuring tastings and events from Treasure Coast to Dade County. 

On deck this weekend is the 11th Annual Jupiter Craft Brewers FestivalAbout 3000 lucky craft beer fans will convene at the grounds of Roger Dean Stadium in the Abacoa Town Center of Jupiter between 1-5pm to sample craft beers from around the state and beyond, meet brewers, dance, and in general, have one rockin' time. Take a look at my 2016 recap story, and you'll see why this fest is a home run. 

Online tickets are sold out (happens every year), but if you waited too long and didn't score yours, well, you haven't struck out -- there will be 1200 tickets available at the gate on fest day (cash only). And, they'll go fast -- you could even ask these guys who arrived early last year for their chance at tickets on fest day:

They started lining up pre-11am in 2016.
View from my hotel room across the street.

It's actually a weekend of beer events, as the celebrated Field of Beers beer and food pairing event leads things off for the 9th year on Friday night inside the Stadium. Field of Beers was voted the fourth best fest in the nation last year in the USA Today 10 Best Readers' Choice poll. The event features beers from 18 breweries alongside culinary creations by top Palm Beach chefs. Tickets to the gastro event always sell out fast, and according to Fest Organizer Fran Andrewlevich, tickets sold out in about 14 minutes this time around. 

On Saturday afternoon, the Craftoberfest party also takes place at the Abacoa Amphitheater, across the street from the main beer fest. It's a family-friendly event with German music and food, along with a beer tent. Admission to Craftoberfest is free. 

Nothin' like a day at the ball park!
2016 Jupiter Craft Brewers Fest
Organizer Fran Andrewlevich (co-owner of Tequesta Brewing and Twisted Trunk Brewing, along with brewery-in-planning Steam Horse Brewing) and Co-Organizer Jaime Meholic have assembled over 50 local, regional and and national brewers to pour over 175 different beers much to the delight of the craft beer enthusiast crowd. Last year, I noticed the addition of a number of tables and extra seating in the middle of the fest venue, with more on tap for this year, says Fran. It's just one of the things that the fest "keeps fine tuning every year" to make it a more enjoyable experience. I was lucky enough to catch up with Fran and learned about his 11 years as the organizer of this Fest, including a now-humorous flashback at the first year, when the Fest was held at the Amphitheater, and over 1300 people showed up on fest day after only a small number of advance tickets were sold. 

Hey, how about that? Beer at
the Tequesta/Twisted Trunk table last year!
This Fest is one of only a handful that doesn't offer a VIP entry for an extra hour at an increased price. That's by design, says Fran, as the Fest "keeps it simple" and just wants everyone "to forget about the world for a few hours" and "have a great time."  Yeah, I think they've accomplished that from what I've seen!

A portion of the proceeds from the Fest goes to support two charitable organizations that help those with autism, the Autism Project of Palm Beach County and Surfers Healing. Once again, the Fest will offer the Silent Disco (always interesting to say the least, especially after a few of those beers). This year, there's also live music by local favorite artists Jeff Margel and Friends and Hot Pink.

Do you hear what I hear? Probably not.
At the Silent Disco.
I'll leave this off as I began last year's recap post .... Here's a photo of Roger Dean Stadium that I captured last Sunday as I left South Florida after having attended Trench Day (there's a story for that, too) and headed back north. It's the calm before Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival. I can't wait to see it again this weekend!

The grounds of Roger Dean Stadium, January 22, 2017 ...
 all is calm ....

Roger Dean Stadium is the spring training home of the Major League Baseball Florida Marlins and St.Louis Cardinals. It sits in the Abacoa development of Jupiter and is located at 4751 Main St. And, if you play golf, the Abacoa Golf Club is an awesome track!

If you missed the batting order and didn't get your tickets for Jupiter Craft Brewers Fest when they went on sale in mid-December, you just might want to get this one in your lineup for 2018 ahead of time.

Special thanks to Fran and Jaime for some insider info on the Fest! 

I'm looking forward to another awesome Jupiter Craft Brewers Fest on Saturday! I'll be wandering around the grounds looking for photo and video ops (I almost typed "oops," but that could be the way it turns out, you never know). And, yeah, I'll be on the lookout for at least a few brewers to snap up a few photos. Happy Beerfest Season, Florida! By the way, keep checking the "BeerSPHERE" page of for beerfests and special events, with links, ticket info and some insights from yours truly!

Til next time,


Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®

© 2017 BrewNymph, LLC. All text and photos. All rights reserved. BrewNymph; Peace, Love, Pints; Where the Beer Meets the Beach, and Beer is my Trademark are federally-registered trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC; BeerSphere and I'm Fun; Deal With It! are trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC