Thursday, March 31, 2011

United Way's Brews & Bites

I know the people that read the blog love beer.  I also like to think that the people reading the blog also have good hearts and like to help out others not as fortunate as themselves.  Now what if I told you that you could enjoy beer while helping others.  

The people from the Untied Way have seen the rise of craft beer and have seen it as a great way to raise some money by offering this years Brews & Bites event being held Sunday, April 17th at Mary Brickell Village in Miami.  Guests will sample some craft brews from around the world at dozens of different tasting stations. Admission to the event includes a commemorative tasting cup, beer tasting, beer-friendly food from South Florida’s favorite establishments.  If that wasn't enough live music will be provided by one of Miami's best bands, The Spam Allstars.  The event will run you $55 for general admission and $75 for the hour long VIP tasting before the event.  You can buy tickets by clicking here.

The United Way is also hosting a bunch of other great events during the week with Brews & Bites being the closing event.  If are a fan of great food and enjoy some fine wines you should check out on their events pages here.  If you have some money to donate and would like to get some great food and drinks these are some premier events to attend.

Sunday, April 17th 1:00pm-4:00pm
Mary Brickell Village
Miami, FL
$55 general admission
$75 VIP

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Abraxas IPA Weekend

Once again Abraxas will be bringing out a weekend of some of the best beers in the world.  This time they are focusing on IPAs and Double IPAs.  This will the first keg of Avery's Maharaja to be tapped in South Florida this year along side lots of other heavy hitters.  Check out the full list below and don't miss out on this great weekend..

On tap:
Bells Hop Slam $8
Bells Two Hearted Ale $6 *
Stone Ruination $7
Avery Maharaja $8
Thornbridge Jaipur $7
Wayerbacher Hops Infusion $5 *
Smuttynose IPA $5 *

* Poured in pint glasses, all others poured in 10 oz goblets.

Bottles: 12 oz, $2 off, 22 oz, $3 off

They currently offer IPA's and DIPA/IIPA from Anderson Valley, Boulder, Cigar City, Dogfish Head, Flying Dog, Harpoon, Clipper City, Sierra Nevada, Stone, Terrapin, Victory, Great Divide, Oskar Blues, Southern Tier, Avery, Lagunitas, Left Hand, and Rogue.

Friday, March 25th- Sunday, March 27th
407 Meridian Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 534-9005

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Beer And Art Japan Fundraiser

If you are into beer and art and live in Ft. Lauderdale do I have an event for you.  The FAT Village art district   will be holding a weekly art beer garden every Friday starting at 8pm.  To get things started off the good folks from Miami and Tokyo Beer Tour will be hosting an fundraiser to help out the people in Japan.  It will be held at The Collide Factory this Friday and Saturday, March 25th and 26th starting at 7:00pm.  They will have some Japanese beers to enjoy while you are there.  The funds raised from the event will go to  

Friday, March 25th and Saturday, March 26th at 7:00pm
Collide Factory
541 NW 1st Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 33301

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: Route 9

Last weekend while the Carnaval Festival was raging on Miracle Mile, I decided to head away from the madness and check out a new little spot up the way on Ponce De Leon.  I had heard that Route 9 had quite a nice beer selection and thought I would check it out for myself.

Make sure you have the address when you are looking for Route 9 because they are missing a sign out front right now but the building number is clearly designated so I knew I was at the right place.  The decor inside is very minimalistic with wood floors and detail.  There's nothing much on the walls except the back wall that harbors a sitting area with a full-size chalkboard with drawings and a mission-statement-like Virginia Woolf quote.  The high ceilings make the small room seem much bigger.

The beer list, although not a 300 bottle selection, had a good range of all styles.  Here is a sampling of the beers:
Dogfish Head 60 Minute
Rogue Deadguy
Stone Pale Ale
Great Divide Hoss Rye
Left Hand Milk Stout
Delirium Tremens
Saison Dupont
Tripel Karmeliet
Scheider Weisse
Ayinger Celebrator
Penn Pils
Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale (on draft) 

One of the other great things about the beer menu is the price range from only $4.50-$7.00.

The menu had quite a few items that I wanted to try out.  We started with Marinara Braised Meatballs (served in a little crockpot) and Focaccia with Caramelized Onions, Grannysmith Apples, and Blue Cheese.  The foccacia was the highlight of the appetizers.  The sweetness of the apples and the tangyness of the blue cheese works well together.

For my main course I decided to try the skirt steak with blue cheese vinaigrette poured over grilled hearts of romaine while my wife had the salmon with sweet potato puree.  I decided to have a Rogue Deadguy with my main course and my wife had a Stone Pale Ale.  The steak was brought out in a pile, pre-sliced.  The grilled hearts of romaine was a whole head of romaine that had been thrown on the grill (pretty self-explanatory).  It seemed to be missing the blue cheese vinaigrette but I didn't realize it until after I had already finished.  The manner in which it was served, sadly, really turned me off.  The steak, while tasty, was offset by the romaine that didn't do it for me at all.  The Deadguy with the steak was a nice combination.  My wife's salmon looked very appetizing and tasted great, and I would recommend trying it.

Some friends of ours joined us and had a few other appetizers.  They ordered the foccacia we recommended and they also chose the baked goat cheese and the sticky chicken wings. They enjoyed the wings although when they asked the waitress what the flavor was for the sticky chicken wings, prior to ordering them, they were told, "Sticky."  Sticky is not a flavor I'm familiar with but they decided to try the wings anyway and liked them.  The baked goat cheese was great along with the crusty bread that it was served with.

Overall, Route 9 seems to be a new restaurant with some great ideas. Maybe they could use a little tweaking but there were great highlights. I would definitely like to give another main course a try and see what else they have to offer. The beer selection was a definite high point in range and price. Everyone enjoyed the selection - friends specifically ordered Dale's Pale Ale on Tap, Dogfish Head 60 minute, and Great Divide Hoss Rye - and that alone makes it worth coming back.

Route 9
1915 Ponce De Leon
Coral Gables, FL 33134

Tuesday-Thursday 11:00-10:00 (Lunch, Dinner)
Friday 11:00-11:00 (Lunch, Dinner)
Saturday 10:00-11:00 (Brunch, Dinner)
Sunday 10:00-3:00 (Brunch)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dogfish Head Pulls Out Of Four States

Over the past few months you may have noticed that it seems to be harder and harder to find Dogfish Head's beers.  Some blame the distributor, although it's not their fault, they order lots of Dogfish Head but only get sent a fraction of it.  The real culprit(if you want to look at it that way) is Dogfish Head themselves.  They just can't keep up with the demand.  With the growth of craft beer and the success of the Brewmasters television show Dogfish Head is more in demand then ever.  They are the fastest growing brewery in the country but would like to slow down the growth a bit while being able to get the beer into the hands of people that love it.  In order to be able to get more beer to us down here in Florida they had to take some drastic actions.  The have pulled distribution from four states, Wisconsin, Indiana, Rhode Island and Tennessee.  They also stopped distribution to the UK and Canada.  You can read the reasoning behind the decisions from the man himself Sam Calagione below.  And thank your lucky stars that Florida is one of the lucky ones that gets to keep the great beers from Dogfish Head.

"Hello and happy almost Spring fellow off-centered beer enthusiasts. As we look back on last year from atop our uni-tanks here in Milton, Delaware we have much to be proud of and much to be thankful for.

We recently learned that, over the last five years, demand for Dogfish Head brands has made us the fastest growing brewery in America. We are proud of this growth and the opportunity weve had to turn so many more people on to our off-centered ales. The most important thing for us (and we hope for you as well) is that we produced and sold a greater variety of super-high-quality, super-unique off-centered ales than any other year in our 16 year existence. In 2010, we did more R&D batches and more one-off-freak-flag-waving brews than ever on our 5-barrel system from our Rehoboth pub. On the production side, we brewed several new and different bottled and draft beers. Our success has also pushed our production capacity to the absolute limit.

We are sorry that some of you have experienced frustrations when youve recently asked for your favorite Dogfish beer at your favorite craft beer joint. While Ive described our philosophy on balancing growth vs. the health of our company in a previous blog post, please know that I do recognize our choice to grow strong and smart instead of just growing fast, our choice to keep experimenting and pushing the envelope instead of allowing ourselves to be mutated into the 60 Minute brewing company, comes with its own challenges. We are up to the challenge and hope that you are too.

Recently, the most taxing component of this challenge is that having demand so far in front of our supply has gotten a point where we need to makes some changes, as we are not even close to meet the requests from our fantastic distributors. This is frustrating to them... and to our retailers and to you, the Dogfish drinker.

We know the message you want more Dogfish! Our InBox, our Facebook page, our Twitter feed and our website Forum posts are all littered with Please send more Dogfish to whatever-town or Please start selling Dogfish in my state. In order to get our supply closer to your demand, wed need to get a big, big pile of money and grow, grow, grow. We are not excited by that. We get excited by having fun, brewing a bunch of great beers and growing at a slower, steadier pace.

In the past few months, weve alerted our wholesale partners in both the U.K. and Canada that we do not expect to be able to support any export in 2011. We need all the beer were brewing right now for the U.S. market. But realistically, we werent sending much there anyway, so we need to make even more changes. It is tough to hear from retailers across the country that they arent getting all the Dogfish they think they could sell, but without drastically changing our company and the way we operate, we cannot satisfy that demand.

So it is bittersweet for us to announce that we are pulling out of, or limiting some of our core beers from, a number of states. Yes this sucks. The glass-half-full view is that we (and a handful of other U.S. craft breweries making similar moves) have to do this because your numbers the number of U.S. drinkers buying and enjoying craft beer - are growing so quickly! We sincerely apologize for any frustrations this may cause distributors, retailers, and beer lovers who are affected by our decision. This decision will allow us to still get many different, exotic, Dogfish specialty and seasonal beers into our slightly smaller footprint. It will also ensure that more cases and kegs of our core, year-round beers will be available closer to home. The distributors in the states we are pulling distribution from (Tennessee, Indiana, Wisconsin and Rhode Island) have already been notified of our decision. If your favorite pubs and beer outlets are no longer able to obtain Dogfish products, we are sorry that we are no longer able to supply them. Thanks for understanding and we are hopeful for your ongoing support.


Sam Calagione"

Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Patty's Day- Craft Beer Style

The biggest drinking holiday of the year is upon us.  Green beer is flowing and everyone thinks they are Irish.  Every year on March 17th St. Patrick's Day comes around and most people head out to their local bars and have the obligatory Guiness.  This year The Bar in Coral Gables is changing things up a bit.  They're decided to embrace craft beer, do away with the kegs of Guiness and pull out some great substitutes.   They will have Victory's Donnybrook Stout (first time you will probably see this draft only beer), Magic Hat #9, Narragansett, and of course, Strongbow cider.  They're starting things off at noon and will be going until 3am so come early or late, they will be there all day.  Great change of pace for St. Patty's Day. Plus you won't be pissing green the next day.

Thursday, March 17th 12:00pm-3:00am
The Bar
172 Giralda Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Abraxas To Reopen 7 Days A Week

Unlike most establishments that say they are only closing for a short period to never open again Abraxas will be reopening seven days a week starting tomorrow.  Not only will it be opening every day but will also be opening starting at 5pm every day with $4 rotating happy hour specials.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

THE Dogfish Head Event

The hype around Dogfish Head recently has been insane.  The brewery can't make enough beer to keep up with the demand while leaving us here in South Florida just wanting it more and more.  If your hunt for Dogfish Head recently has led you to try some of these amazing beers then your journey should continue this Wednesday, March 2nd, to Cervezas in South Miami for their Dogfish Head night.  This is going to be one of the most talked about beer events in South Florida for some time to come.  The lineup is out of this world.  They will have on tap Red N White, Chateu Jiahu, Bitches Brew, and World Wide Stout that will be put through a Randall infusing it with fresh coffee beans and vanilla beans!!! Along with bottle of Raison D'Etre, Palo Santo Marron, Midas Touch, and Indian Brown Ale will be $2.00 off regular price, you are not going to want to miss this.  The event starts at 7pm and runs until 10pm (or the beer runs out). 

Wednesday, March 2nd 7pm-10pm
5835 Sunset Drive 

Miami, FL, 33143