Tuesday, October 14

Beer Fest in Florida

OK - not an actual beer fest, but I went to a festival, and beer was consumed.

It was my first Florida festival experience. Let me tell ya, it was a little low-key — dontchya' know. (I threw that in there because I was recently picked on by a local for the midwesterner's use of this term.)

Anywho — this was nothing like a street festival in Wisconsin. First of all, most of Wisconsin's festivals that I have seen are swarming with people and the jam-packed streets form a wave-line of people moving through. (We cannot pass up an opportunity to drink beer in the street, can we?) But here, well — the people were a little scarce. And, from where Nick and I entered the fest, we had to walk a long way before we found the ONE beer stand in the street.

There was a plus side, though. The beer was only $3 a pop. Say what?!?! I remember paying at least $6 at the Wisconsin State Fair, Summerfest ... even at good ol' Octoberfest in Appleton, Wis.

I also tried Bud Light Lime for the first time. Sorry to admit this to anyone from Milwaukee who's still following my blog, but Bud once again wins my heart over Miller. Don't get me wrong, I really did like Miller Chill. But, now that I've tried Bud Light's copy cat, it actually is better — it's got more citrus to it.

What's Lyssa Been Drinking? My most recent beer investment was a six pack of Yuengling Black & Tan. I find that Yuengling is a pretty popular beer down here in Florida, and I'd never heard of it until arriving in the state (the first person to tell me about it was my grandma, believe it or not.) I've also never had a Black & Tan, so I thought I'd give it a try (OK - I know a bottled Black & Tan isn't quite the same because it's all blended up, but still ... I'm trying.) Yuengling's version is a blend of their Dark Brewed Porter and Premium beer, and its pretty delicious. Again, like the pumpkin beer, close to good enough that it can replace dessert.

Should you drink it, too? (1 - Hell no. 10 - Don't pass this beer up!) If you can find a way to get your hands on one of these, I'd rate its taste-testing worthiness as a 9. Drink up.

Thursday, October 9

Trick or pumpkin beer

I don't like pumpkin pie, but when Coaster's Pub began sporting a new beer, Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale — I decided to give it a try. Because, well, why not?

What I tasted was extremely delectable. I love dessert, but I would say this could almost replace the need for pie with any good thanksgiving dinner (I repeat, almost. I love pie a little too much to totally dismiss it.) The pumpkin flavor was very mild, and the beer left a fresh feeling in my mouth after I'd finished drinking it.

It was so good that Nick and I took a trip to the grocery store looking for a six-pack of the brew so he could have a try (or two). Well, they don't sell six packs of the beer. They sell four packs. For $9.49 a piece. Being that that's a bit expensive, we decided to get a six pack of Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale (a brother to Blue Moon and produced by Coors) so at least I could compare.

While this version was good, it tastes nothing like pumpkin and is not nearly as to-die-for. So, I have once again learned my lesson of not making my decision based on price. (But, in this economy, I'm not sure how easy it's going to be to follow that motto.) 

Tomorrow night I will make an appearance at my very first Florida beer, wine, food, yada yada street festival. I'll have to let you know how they compare to the many festivals that sprawl the lands of Milwaukee. In the meantime, have a drink for me. Cheers.

Monday, October 6

I've been cheating on beer

I'm afraid I must come clean - what with all this sun and sand around me I've found more time to kick back with a margarita in hand than I have to crack open a fresh new brew. 

For instance, just last week Nick and I went camping in the Florida Keys — Key Largo to be exact, at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. It's about a four hour drive from where we live, so once we got into town we decided to stop at a restaurant along the water for some lunch. Of course, the draw of the sun, the breeze and the cool, blue water — I couldn't resist a margarita. (Lucky for me, I can rely on my girl card and get away with this.) Moreover, we never made it all the way down to Key West, which is about another hour down the island, and I have a feeling there is just a little more night life down that way. (At least I hope so for them or they might need some lessons from us drinkers back in Wisconsin.)

Fortunately, I found an exciting way for all that to change. Saturday, Nick and I walked down the street to this little market that was giving out food, wine and beer samples. That's where we learned about Florida Beer Company. Now, don't get me wrong, I had actually heard about them before and I have driven past the building. But I didn't know the brewery offers free tasting hours five days a week. And, if all goes as planned, we should make it over there this week to try out some good ol' Florida beer. (We'll see just how it compares to the excellence in beer we cherish in Wisconsin.)

Oh, back to the Florida Keys. I found this post with some old, rusty bottle caps on it. Hopefully it restores your faith that there are people, in fact, who drink beer in the keys. (It's too bad that I wasn't one of them. Next time.) And, this did act as a pretty good photo-op. Aren't the flats beautiful?