Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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All Hail the Hops: Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival ’09

January 21st, 2009 · No Comments

As promised, a more in-depth story about this weekend’s Brew Fest in Jupiter, from my beer blogger, Dan Oliver

Hopheads: Unite!

     I believe it was the ancient philosopher/brewer Hopsimus Maximus who uttered these prophetic words: “Beer will save the world! I don’t know how, but it will.” It flows a bit more fluidly off the tongue in Latin, trust me.

     Old “Hoppy Mac” as we beer historians now fondly refer to him, would no doubt have let out a belch of glee in anticipation of this weekend’s Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival, being a big fan of festivals in general and the “king of the gods” in particular.

      Once again centered on the Theater Green in Abacoa, this year’s JCBF is predicted to attract some 3,000 thirsty suds sippers and 40 breweries serving up over 125 of the best craft beer this area and the nation has to offer. That’s a bold prediction, I know, but in the spirit of “Hoppy Mac,”  I’m only too happy to throw down the gauntlet and attempt to prove it.

     To do that, I’ll be looking at the beers in three distinct categories, including local, new and returning breweries and some of the distinctive offerings they’ll be serving.

Gordon Biersch Brewery

 1. Support your local sheriff — and brewery. It’s a slogan I try to live by whenever possible. Beer created here in the Sunshine State promises to be the freshest at the Fest. Brewzzi, Big Bear, Titanic, Inlet Brewing, Gordon Biersch, Fresh Beer, Gordash Brewing and a newbie to the area, the Corner Café and Brewery in Tequesta, deserve your attention.

 Fran Andrewlevich, the brewmaster at Brewzzi in City Place and Boca Raton is offering up some very special beers, including an assertively hoppy European Pilsner, a citrusy Saison, a Double IPA and an Imperial Porter. Matt Cox of Big Bear is tapping a Bourbon Barrel Double IPA, while Corner Cafe’s Matt Webster introduces us to his Terminally Ale, a rich American Brown Ale.

 Sally Parson of the BX Beer Depot in Palm Springs is throwing several home-brews into the mix for your consideration as well. As Hoppy Mac also used to say, “Tendo is vos mos amo is” (Try it, you’ll like it!).

 2. The Young and the Blandless

Narragansett Beer makes comeback

 There will be an exciting infusion of new breweries into this year’s Fest, bringing in some exciting beers with them.

    “Hi neighbor, have a Gansett!” The famous Narragansett Brewing Co. of Rhode Island is bringing its inspiring resurrection story and a few beers to Jupiter as well.

Vertical Epic Ale 080808 label

 Stone Brewery of San Diego and its most famous brew, Arrogant Bastard Ale have recently hit South Florida shelves. But this year’s Fest-goers will have a chance to try their highly acclaimed 2007 Russian Imperial Stout and Vertical Epic 08-08-08 — a beer in a series of special ales causing quite a stir among the Beer Nerd Nation. Think Belgian Ale with a massive amount of American hops and you’re in the neighborhood.


Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale

Clipper City Brewing of Baltimore is firing a shot over the bow with its Heavy Seas line of ales, including Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale, an IPA hopped three different ways with five different hops, Peg Leg Stout, a dry Imperial Stout described as “rich, powerful and lingering,” and Small Craft Warning Uber Pils, a Pilsner style Bock Lager, a silver medal winner at the 2007 World Beer Championships.


Other newbies include Highland Brewery from Asheville, N.C., Thomas Creek Brewery, of South Carolina and St. Somewhere Brewing Co., Tarpon Springs, Fla.

 3. Return of the Hopi

Palo Santo Marron label

 Dogfish Head Brewery of Delaware continues to take Extreme Beers to a galaxy far, far away. This year they’ll be pouring Palo Santo Marron (Holy Tree Brown), a 12 percent abv Brown Ale aged on Palo Santo wood, which adds flavors of caramel and vanilla to this unique brew. Also on tap, the limited winter release Chicory Stout, made with a touch of chicory, Mexican coffee, licorice root and St. John’s wort.

Smoke Jumper Porter

    Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing is introducing its Warrior IPA, a wet hopped beer (using fresh, undried hops right off the vines) with Warrior hops and a strong malt foundation. It will also pour Smoke Jumper Porter, a tribute beer to our nation’s firefighters smoked with a combination of several hardwoods.

 Their neighbors at Boulder Brewing are bringing along Obovoid Empirical Stout, an oak-aged Oatmeal Stout and Mojo Risin’ Double IPA with an abv of 10.5 percent.


    While not always a fan of their beers, I’ve always loved Budweiser’s Clydesdales who will be making an appearance Saturday afternoon. Eight horses weighing over 2,000 pounds each should certainly be an impressive sight. And back by popular demand: the fun to watch and participate in Silent Disco, and the Best Dressed Monk contest, which will award 300 bucks in cash to the winner. Yours truly will emcee the event in a very authentic Monk habit.

New Beer Tasting Event

Chef John Carlino

Chef John Carlino

And last, but certainly not least, is a special Friday evening event called Field of Beers at Roger Dean Stadium where 15 distinctive brews will be matched with 15 equally distinctive foods, served from each dugout and behind home plate. Chef John Carlino of Cooks Inc. in Abacoa and formerly of the Florida Culinary Institute, fielded a team of area cooks and chefs to create the menu and hopefully some memorable matches of beer to food. The tickets are limited to 250 and are around $80 after ticket handling fees.

All in all, it promises to be a beer-filled weekend that would make Hopsimus Maximus proud, and who knows? Perhaps we can help save the world in the process, one beer at a time.

For Fest times, tickets and all other information, go to www.jupiterbrewfest.com

(Watch Dan Oliver find his favorite spots around the area for quaffing suds in the Watering Hole videos at www.PalmBeachPost.com/food or get his advice on beer at this week’s fest.)

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News

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