Showing posts with label New Smyrna Beach Brewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Smyrna Beach Brewing. Show all posts

Thursday, June 15, 2017

New Smyrna Beach Brewing: Something New is Brewing

Original brewery & tap room on Sams Avenue
[Ed. Note: 7/17/2017: I made a return visit to New Smyrna Beach Brewing on July 16 for the first time since the new location opened. New beers on tap, and the place is awesome. Check out the "after" photos here ]

When the last beer is served, and the doors close Friday night (June 16) at New Smyrna Beach Brewing Co. on Sams Avenue in downtown New Smyrna Beach, it will be a historic chapter in the young life of the popular neighborhood brewery. When Owner and Brewmaster Chris Coyle opens the doors on Saturday, June 17, it's sure to be an exciting, yet bittersweet, moment, as the brewery switches operations over to its new location just around the corner at 143 Canal Street. 

Preparations for the move have been in the works for months. Chris has been one busy guy: moving equipment, building the new tap room and brewery, keeping the existing brewery running, and, of course, brewing beer! This writer first visited the brewery in 2014, a few months after it opened, then made a return visit, and it has turned out to be a fairly usual stop on the way back from events in South Florida. There's a pretty good combination here that keeps people coming back: good beer, good people! Plus, I like getting that cool blue growler (or two) filled and chatting with manager Jeff. 

Chris took some time out of his hectic schedule to show me around the new place this past week, and it's quite a bit different in a number of ways. First, there's the size: the original space measures around 900 sf total, with a bar, the 3.5-barrel brewhouse, and one bathroom. When those doors open Saturday at the new digs, customers will have plenty of space to move around in the 3000-sf place, about half of which is tap room space. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Even Mother Nature Had a Beer This Year ... at Rocky Water Brew Fest

Time flies when you're here for the beer!  

About a year ago, I made my way to Melbourne (Florida) for the inaugural Rocky Water Brew Fest, held in the Eau Gallie Arts District. I had visited the Space Coast area a couple of months earlier, including stops at local breweries (See Blog Posts Episode 1 and Episode 2), and this fest sounded like a cool little event with all Florida breweries. It rained, but the beer still poured, and we didn't let Mother Nature put the damper on things .... read about it here.  I love beerfests, and this one definitely made an impression right out of the gate.  So, of course it was on my radar for Year Two.  

Last Saturday, the Eau Gallie Rotary Club presented the 2nd Annual Rocky Water Brew Fest, again at the Eau Gallie Arts District.  Leading up to the event, the organizers tempted us with some new breweries added to the mix this time. Still, all Florida, and now, a few more!

And, it looked like Mother Nature may have had a beer or two, because she was in a good mood this time around, as we soaked up the perfect sunny weather while wandering around the beer booths, drinking all that Florida beer and engaging in intellectual beer discussions!

Somewhere along the way -- in between a few beer samples -- I was able to catch up with the guys from Rotary Club and Intracoastal Brewing Company, the event's partner brewery, located a couple of blocks away. The excitement that these guys have for this event is not only immediately apparent, but it's contagious! Not only did I enjoy talking with them in person here, but even our email and messages have been fun. 

From l to r: David Spector, past President Eau Gallie Rotary Club, and
in charge of issuing the event proceeds (was also wearing a kilt);
Kyle Smith and John Curtis, owners of Intracoastal Brewing;
and that wacky blonde blogger just having an awesome time

This isn't the biggest beerfest that you'll attend in terms of number of breweries or gate attendance, but that's part of the draw, and it has that welcoming feel.  Situated along Highland Ave., this year's fest featured 28 Florida breweries, one meadery, and one winery, with each offering between 2 to 4 different selections. There were even some timed tappings. Beer enthusiasts were able to talk to the brewers and reps one-on-one about the beer and the breweries. This fest is built to be beergeek-friendly: the set-up and number of breweries and attendees allows for quality interactions; so whether you're a homebrewer, beernerd or someone who just likes to drink beer (maybe all of those), you're sure to enjoy this one. 

Local Melbourne under-construction brewery-in-planning Hell 'N Blazes Brewing had a steady line of traffic all afternoon, as you might expect. Anticipated opening date is January 2016.  

Orange Blossom Honey Wheat, a nice,
lighter beer with a good balance of citrus and wheat

Another newcomer to the Florida brewery list is Walking Tree Brewery, under construction in Vero Beach. I really enjoyed their Root Fort Almond Brown Ale -- mild with a touch of almond flavor.

One brewery that I haven't physically visited yet is Ten 10 Brewing, which opened about 3 months ago just outside of downtown Orlando. Their tap room features around 15 of their own beers. Yeah, that's another one on "the list" (it just keeps growing; I'm gonna need to win the lottery or stop spending money on food to keep making all these brewery visits). 

Altbier from Ten10 Brewing. One of those styles that
you don't see too much. A malty, easy-drinking brew.  

I won't list all of the beers that I tested/tasted/drank (that's what Untappd is for), but I have to give a shout-out to my friends at New Smyrna Beach Brewing, because I finally, finally got my hands on the elusive Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter (finally).  It seems that every time I make it to the tap room, I just miss that one. I wasn't disappointed with the beer; some things are worth the wait, I guess.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter: tastes just as good as it sounds--
maybe even better.
And, the new recipe Black IPA was awesome, too!
I even caught up with a couple of Jacksonville favorites -- breweries with which I've become very familiar, since I'm there almost every other weekend with The Brew Bus: Engine 15 Brewing and Green Room Brewing. Always a pleasure! 

I'm ok with photobombs, but we took a better one!
With Engine 15

Mark with the Green Room brews.  That Shovelhead Dubbel
was a new one on me, and I really liked its sweet caramel. 

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention event partner Intracoastal Brewing, which had the popular lines all afternoon. And, not only is it local, but with beers like these, no wonder!  By the way, that "S'mores Pout" (yes, you read that right) is a 6.8% ABV porter-stout hybrid, overflowing with flavors of graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow.  That was some ridiculously crazy goodness right there!

And, right next to that, Sailfish Brewing offered its Barista-Fish Porter, an 8.1% ABV delicious concoction with coffee, cocoa nibs and hazelnut; some heavy chocolate here. 

All styles of beer were represented here, and if you were looking for sours and Berliner Weisses, there was an ample supply. For the most part, the breweries participating in this event are smaller, and they came from all over the state. Although there were "only" 28 breweries (and one meadery and one winery) here, I didn't make it to a few of them, mostly because I eventually ran out of time-- every beer fest must come to an end -- and, I was probably talking too much, since I kept running into people ... who, me? imagine that!  I love talking to all of you. And, I had a really great time chatting and hanging with the guys from brewery-in-planning Brevard Ale Works again.

But, like I wrote last year, this fest isn't "just" about the Florida beer!  There's some serious money raised for charity here -- thanks to the sponsors, volunteers, and you beer enthusiasts. David Spector (the guy in the above photo who took his fashion chances by wearing a kilt, but liked the freedom), the past president of the Rotary Club who's responsible for disbursing the charity funds, informed me that last year's fest raised over $22,000 for international and local charities.  Rotary Club expected to exceed that number this year. They're already planning for next year, and I already have a notation on my events calendar for Fall 2016. 

Thanks again to Mother Nature, and whoever served her that beer that kept her in a happy place all day. 

And, hey, if any of you were at Rocky Water Brew Fest, send me an email or comment via website, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook (I think that covers it)! I love hearing from you. I always like talking beer, beerfests, events, and the like.  

So, that's it this time around!  Thanks for reading my blog and social media (I know, it's the photos).  And, thanks to those of you who said Hi at Rocky Water Brew Fest.  As always, see you around a beer.

Til next time!

Peace, Love, Pints TM

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Do You Know Your Boot from Your Maß ("mass")? It's Oktoberfest time!

There's probably no more festive time of year in the beer world than OKTOBERFEST! The original German Oktoberfest happens each year in Munich during the last two weeks of September through the first weekend of October, and is host to approximately 6 million fest-goers each year.  If you aren't one of those attending the "Wiesn" (German for "meadow") this year, don't get your shorts all in a bunch.  We also celebrate it here in the U.S. So, grab your lederhosen and dirndls because everyone's German during Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest 2014 at
Engine 15 Brewing in Jax Beach
The Oktoberfest celebration isn't just about the beer (well, maybe it is).  It's an integral part of German history, and we have Bavaria's King Maximilian Joseph to thank for it. Back in 1810, the King threw a two-day festival in celebration of the wedding of his son, Crown Prince Ludwig, to Princess Therese. The event offered free beer and free food at several Munich locations, along with a horse race at a racing ground which later became known as Theresienwiese. And, behold, a tradition was born!  To this day, the mayor of Munich taps the first keg at noon on the first day of Oktoberfest along with the proclamation "O'zapft is!" ("it is tapped"), and the revelry begins. 

Now, what about that beer?  Alongside all of that pumpkin beer that started invading the shelves seemingly on the last boom of the 4th of July fireworks finale, you're sure to see the "Oktoberfest" or "Octoberfest" beers, also generally described as "Märzen" or "Festbier."   The name "Oktoberfest" is an appellation in Germany, and under the applicable laws of Germany and the EU, only those beers brewed by the large breweries within the Munich city limits can be served at the Oktoberfest and are allowed to use the name "Oktoberfest" for the beer (Augustinerbräu München, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, and Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu).  

Prost!  Traditional lager in a Maß.
Yeah, that's a lot of beer.
While the styles of Märzen and Oktoberfest (lagers) have, in the past, largely been deemed the same under the style guidelines, the new BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) Guidelines of 2015 (released earlier this year) distinguish the two.  Typically, an Oktoberfest/Märzen is considered malty, sweet and amber-to light brown in color. Over the years, however, the German Oktoberfest renditions have taken on a lighter, more golden color, mostly in response to consumer sentiment and the movement toward a "lighter, more drinkable" version (or, more "poundable," according to the comments by the Paulaner brewer in the BJCP guidelines).  So, now, as far as official BJCP "styles" go, and in recognition of the protected Oktoberfest name in Germany, the "Festbier" is the golden version with a strong malty flavor alongside a lightly toasty and softly sweet character. The "Märzen" is the amber-to-light brown type, also with a malty sweetness and rich, toasty, bready flavor. The ABV and IBUs are roughly the same (5.8-6.3% and 18-24/25, respectively). The US-brewed "Oktoberfest" types are generally in the Märzen style.

Strictly for purposes of education and demonstration, for visual effect, and to uphold the integrity of this blog, I present the following:  No matter which version of the seasonal beer you enjoy, drink it in the traditional Maß ("mass"), or mug, typically a one-liter vessel with a handle (as shown above).  Or, get your Boot:

One-liter Beer Boot.
Beware of that toe, though!
And, in case you were wondering about the English-Metric conversions, one liter is just a bit over a quart (which is 32 oz., or 2- 16 oz. pints).  These are some of my favorite styles of beer, and I am definitely looking forward to attending some Oktoberfest celebrations. I don't know about you, but I've already had a few of the Oktoberfest/Festbier/Marzen beers from both German and American brewers (wait too long, or they'll be gone). 

Which brings me to Oktoberfest in Florida!  Like I said, to do this right, you need to get in the spirit of things, so make sure your wardrobe includes some lederhosen, a dirndl, some golden braided hair, or at least an Oktoberfest Bavarian Alpine hat!  

And, get ready for pretzels, bratwursts, sauerkraut, and German potatoes. How about some beer games? Stein-holding competitions, roll the barrel, carry the wench?  Yep, they're gonna happen. So, drink your lager, get oompah'd, and check out some of these happenings around North Florida.  I asked a number of breweries from Jax to south of Daytona about their Oktoberfest celebrations.  There's sure to be a Fest happening near you (or, if not, take a short drive to one):

TOMOKAFEST, Tomoka Brewing Co., 9/19, Port Orange, 12pm-12am. Tapping of the Traditional Tomoka Oktoberfest Lager: the Tomokafest! It's a malty, sweet, crisp lager, 5.8% ABV, 20 IBU. Along with German food, music and festivities. If you haven't been here yet, this sounds like a good time to do it!  (See my blog post, too, from February 20)

Chris (on right) is the man
behind the brew!
Photo: New Smyrna Beach Brewing

OKTOBERFEST at New Smyrna Beach Brewing Company, 9/19, New Smyrna Beach,starting at 1pm. It's gonna be a big ol' party!  New Oktoberfest lager, the Beachtoberfest, 5.5 ABV, 26 IBU. Half-liter Oktoberfest mugs with special pricing on beer!  Check out this brewery if you haven't been there yet, you'll be glad you did -- see my blog post here. I always love visiting here!  And, psst -- they're fun, and they make some really good beer!

OKTOBERFEST at Ormond Brewing, 9/25, Ormond Beach. Releasing the Oktoberfest beer, 5.5 ABV, 25 IBU, with party and food.  More info on the way!  Plus, you'll love the friendly environment here, including an inside bar and outside deck/patio!

Oktoberfest at Intuition Ale Works10/3, 1-9pm, Jacksonville. Tapping of Oktoberfest and Kolsch beers.  Oompah music by the Swinging Bavarians.  All-you-can-eat German food, Cinotti's pretzels, beer games. Souvenir stein. Dress in Oktoberfest attire for a free beer! Naming of King and Queen of Oktoberfest.  Stein-holding competition. Got lederhosen and dirndls?  Get tickets here.  

OKTOBERFEST at Engine 15 Brewing Company, 10/3, all day, Jacksonville Beach. Well, I went to this one last year (see photo above), and I expect more of the same craziness and Gemütlichkeit this time around. Oompah band 2-4:30pm, Mark O'Quinn 5-7pm, feats of strength, chicken sh*t bingo, King & Queen, ginormous pretzels.  New this year: limited edition one-liter ceramic beer mugs. And, a new Oktoberfest beer to (das) boot -- tapped at party. Jawohl, Damen und Herren!

OKTOBERFEST at Green Room Brewing10/3, Jacksonville Beach. New Oktoberfest beer! Special bottle release.  More info on the way!

OKTOBERFEST at Playalinda Brewing Company, 10/10, Titusville.  Tapping the Oktoberfest beer at noon: coming in at 6 ABV. Oktoberfest party with traditional German food. You need to check this place out!  In fact, you can read about my visit shortly after they opened late last fall here

BUT, WAIT, there's MORE OKTOBERFEST!  If you're in the Jacksonville area, there are various Oktoberfest beerfest events on the calendar in September and October.  Check out my BeerSphere page for more on those!  I also included OKTOBERFEST TAMPA, because I know that there will be quite a few JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS® fans (ahem, Bold City Brigade) in Tampa during the weekend of October 9-11 for the Jags-Bucs game (including me!). 



Beer Judge Certification Program 2015 Style Guidelines; 
Cicerone Certification Program German Beer Styles Course (2014);
Garrett Oliver, The Oxford Companion to Beer (2012);
Wikipedia: Maß

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS is a trademark of Jacksonville Jaguars, LLC

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Surfin' for Cool Brews? Line-Up at New Smyrna Beach Brewing and Catch 'Em....

Turn here for beer! To the East...
One of the cool things about having easy access to I-95 is that it's pretty convenient for short or long trips covering Florida's Atlantic coastal corridor.  So, when I first visited New Smyrna Beach Brewing ("NSB Brewing") on my way back from Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest in August, I knew right away that I'd be back for another visit.  A flat tire nixed an intended visit a couple of weeks ago, but mission accomplished last weekend. 

Surfin' City...
If you don't know where this is, New Smyrna Beach is located between Daytona Beach to the north, and Titusville to the South. It was named one of the "World's Coolest Surf Towns" by Travel and Leisure Magazine last November (2013), and one of the "World's Top 20 Surf Towns" by National Geographic in 2012.  So, I guess there's something to that eye-catching brewery Logo besides good looks.

Not only is NSB Brewing located in a "surf town," but the Owner/Brewmaster, Chris Coyle, also has a background with surfing, as he was a sales rep for a surf company before realizing his true calling and passion for craft beer and making it happen. Hey, Chris, I don't know much about your surfing, but I sure am glad you're making beer!

Like many others, Chris started out as a homebrewer, and after hearing a bunch of compliments about his brews, he decided to take the plunge and set out in the brewery business.  He and wife Sara own the place, or, as Chris pointed out, "She's the owner, and she lets me play with beer."  Well, that seems to be working out pretty nicely, and I think Sara knows what she's doing.  Chris is the only brewer, so let's talk about his beer.

The Line-Up....
First things first... Last Friday was "Black Friday," and NSB Brewing tapped a Black Friday Black IPA for the occasion.  Yeah, that had my eye when I saw the social media post ahead of time, so I kinda knew what I was doing on Saturday.  Didn't need a sample, I just went for it.  Coming in at 7.7 ABV and 52 IBU, the Black IPA, brewed with Cascade hops, has a roasty nose, awesome dark color, "awesome-er" flavor, and a just-right hoppiness, with slight bittering on the end.  Generally, I like this style, and this one is a good one -- a really good one. And, for you hopheads who like the really hoppy stuff, I think this one will appeal to you, too. 

Black Friday Black IPA
Why go to a mall
when you can drink this?
And, check out this beer-board for the other tap treats:

The first time I was here, I only had a Coronado Beach Cream Ale, which I loved. With an ABV of 5.5, it's got more body and flavor than the lighter macros (obvious, yes, but true). It's just an overall good, easy-drinking brew.  Yeah, I enjoyed it again Saturday. This is a beer that you just can't go wrong with.
Coronado Beach Cream Ale..
Drinkable, Fresh and Tasty
Next, I decided to do something a bit different and went for the Beach Bum Brown Ale. I have to admit that this is a style that I don't do regularly, as I usually go for stouts or porters for my darker beer cravings.  This one starts off smooth, but brings a unique twist, having a bit of a kick at the end.  Nice color, slightly nutty.  Give this one a try.
Beach Bum Brown Ale
NSB Brewing also brews specialty beers on a rotating basis. It brewed an Oktoberfest (they had an Oktoberfest party that made for some good photos, too).  I heard that one of the best specialty brews is the Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, which was described as being well-balanced on the flavors.  Well, lucky for all of us, that one's in the tank, and it's scheduled to tap on December 10, along with a Christmas Stout (I-95, here I come). Hey, I don't make this stuff up; it's on the surfboard, it must be true:

Wait for it.......

Hangin' Out Here...
NSB Brewing is located at 112 Sams Ave. in downtown New Smyrna Beach, east of US 1, and just off Canal St. It's about a block from the intracoastal waterway and marinas. Cool, little-town feel.  The inside features a bar, a couple of tables, photos of "old" New Smyrna Beach, and the 3-barrel brewhouse. Yep, you can see the whole brewery right there. There are a couple of tables set up outside, too. And, you can get some souvenirs to take with ya (shirts, pint glasses, koozies).

Chris isn't only the brewer, he's also the keg cleaner, marketing guy, janitor, mechanic, accountant, QC control guy, and, a bartender.  He doesn't usually work that bartending shift, but he just happened to be there last Saturday.  I was glad he was, as it was fun talking with him again.  I had also seen him at the Rocky Waters Brew Fest in Melbourne in September.  Great guy, stop in and say hello to him sometime (as long as he's not too busy!)

This is a fun place to hang out, and there's a definite thumbs-up for the beer!  There were some friendly regulars in the bar, and that always make for good conversation.  I had asked if this part of the state had a "coastal" nickname, and I learned that it's called the "Fun Coast."  Heck, they even got the "386" area code -- that spells "FUN" on your keypad!

Now, Jeff, the bartender and general manager of the front, is another fun guy.  And, then there's Holly, who's also quite personable.  Yeah, it's a fun place, with cool bartenders who actually talk to you, if you're into that kind of thing! (Don't know about you, but I always like that!)  

Hangin' with Jeff and Chris...
And, got a pup that likes to hang around with you at breweries?  The little guy even gets his own special water dish, a doggie-surfboard bowl, designed by a customer:

Last year and earlier this year, I remember seeing the status updates on the brewery during its pre-opening stages. Although the build-out began during the Summer of 2013, NSB Brewing started brewing January 2014, following TTB approval.  The brewery opened January 11, 2014 (although it didn't have any of its beers).  So, guess what that means?  A one-year Anniversary Party is in the works!  Stay tuned for that!  And, take the drive to New Smyrna Beach to visit this brewery-- you'll be happy you did.

Well, guess that's it this time around. I'm gonna go pour myself some of that Black IPA that I brought back with me:  

Til next time!  Catch ya later!