Dear Beer, Thank you for getting us through in 2020; cheers!
In this hellacious year of 2020, something has become apparent to us — a steady supply of beer and positivity is never a bad thing. With that in mind, and this being the season for giving thanks, we decided to pump a little positivity and praise the things we enjoy most about — well — beer.
A toast to water, hops, barley, and yeast! You really are the best. Thank you, German beer purity laws, you did a heckuva job getting brewers in line, and thanks to the rule-breakers who paint outside them.
Three cheers for boat beers, beach beers, beers at the turn, beers in the bleachers, or beers in a box blind! Beer cart, you're the only golfing buddy that can make shooting a 103 (OK, 112) seem not-so-bad.
Hey, beer man! I promise nobody rocks the arena/concert/stadium crowd like you. We'll never take you for granted again. Also, since you're here, we'll take two local beers, and you keep the change.
Bar none, beer runs are the best runs. Thank you, Danny Aller, for epic beer runs — and the society faithful that mule case upon case of beer.
No thanks to the beer mile. Runners, you took that beer run thing too literally; you're out here making us couch can-crushers look bad.
Thank you for celebratory beers, the occasional somber brew, and contemplative cold ones. You're all timely and essential in your own way.
Respect to those beers brewed for a cause; you've reminded us of our "Resilience," that we're "All Together," and that "Black is Beautiful," giving so much to so many. The brewers/breweries producing those open-source recipes: Sierra Nevada, Other Half, and Weathered Souls, respectively — a standing ovation.
To light beers, dark beers, macros (hey, it happens) and micros, the beers that "taste like a beer," and the beer that tastes like biscotti, toasted coconut, maple, Mexican Cake —with notes of bourbon barrel — you are all appreciated here.
Kudos glassware! Steins, stanges, snifters, tekus, pints, and even the red solo cup: thank you for reminding us that beauty and beer come in all shapes and sizes. To the "get there early" exclusive bottle drops and the "come as you are" all-inclusive tasting rooms, you're where the fun is at!
Barrels, kegs, growlers, crowlers, cans, and bottles, what would we do without you? Seriously. With a can shortage looming, we really don't want to have to find out. A special thanks to "tall boy" cans for always giving us 125% — 16 ounces of maximum effort. 12-ounce cans, we still love ya.
Let's hear it for bottle shops, bottle swaps, bottle shares, and beer razzle. OK, maybe not you, razzles — ya beer budget destroying games of chance! Octoberfests, beer fests, and festbiers — we miss ya, but we'll see you soon!
Brewers, distributors (especially our locals Tri-Eagle and Greater Depths), servers, sellers, and cellarmen/women, there is no brew without you, and that is not a world we want to be in. Keep doing what you do. In the words of DJ Khaled, "You the best!"
"To the old school joint, Leon Pub, y'all primed Tallahassee's craft beer pumps before it was fashionable...a well-deserved tip of the hat."
Speaking of pioneers, how about the trailblazers opening breweries in places long forgotten like Albany, Apalachicola, Bainbridge, Campbellton, Eastpoint, Lake City, Panama City (not the beach, the city), and now Sopchoppy. Thank you for extending the footprint of craft beer.
We're always thankful for our Fantastic 4/5 Breweries: Proof, GrassLands (formerly), Lake Tribe, Deep, and Ology, for taking the risk and setting up shop here. For serving notice to the other hubs in Florida — and probably more than a few locals too — that great independent beer can be made here. Talent lives here, and with a thriving brewery scene, talent is more likely to stay here. Tallahassee thanks you.
Finally, thanks to you! Our column readers, Saturday Morning Bottleshare listeners, social media followers, our Beer Society members. Thank you for always drinking local, supporting local, and most importantly, sharing local! It's y'all's love for independent beer that allows us all to do what we do. Cheers!
TanksGiving feast on tap
A Tallahassee tradition unlike any other, Deep Brewing Company is rolling out their annual TanksGiving/Black RyeDay ode to leftovers. Rather than scrounging through your fridge to assemble that ultimate leftover sandwich, Deep invites you to try their lineup of beers inspired by the familiar flavors of Turkey Day, with 4 beers flowing at noon this Friday.
Black RyeDay - Dark Rye Ale. If you love rye bread, which we do, do not miss this beer.
TanksGiving - Cranberry & Blood Orange Gose
Maple Pecan Brown - Deep's Southern English Brown has been awarded two "Best Florida Beer" silver medals; amp up the nuttiness with some toasted pecan and round it out with some sweet maple syrup, and you've got the best pecan pie in a pint.
Yamn Good - Sweet potato strong ale with brown sugar, cinnamon, and marshmallow.
If you're not ready to hit tasting rooms quite yet, mixed 4-packs of the specialty beers will be sold online at pickup.deepbrewing.com and can be picked up curbside at the brewery located at 2524 Cathay Ct #2.
Flannel + Friday = Fantastic
Flannel Fridays at Lake Tribe are real, and they're are spectacular! This week they take things up another notch by releasing some awesome — can confirm, we have seen photos — flannel bandanas for our furry friends. Pull up a spot on the patio and enjoy Lake Tribe's latest beer, a lavender tea-infused IPA, with your dapper dog or warm up around the firepits at the brewery's 3357 Garber Drive #4 location.
What is Pain? French bread
Yes, the French word for bread is pain. Why is that relevant? Because Ology Brewing Company has collaborated with Tampa's Hidden Springs Ale Works to produce two barrel-aged odes to pain perdu (Lost Bread), a.k.a. French Toast. The stouts, aged on a blend of Old Fitzgerald and Willet Rye barrels, are adjuncted with the familiar flavors of cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup. Half of the Lost Pain batch also got some additional all-star treatment with a dose of Lucky Goat coffee beans!
Additionally, Ology will release the latest in their "Dynamic Fermentum" Barrel-aged American Sour bottles, this one offering a unique take on the mixed culture beer. Rather than fruiting this particular iteration of the mixed culture sour, a blend of Brettanomyces Claussenii (Brett C) and Brett Drie were used. The brewery's Facebook description notes deep oak flavors of vanilla and spice (makes sense with 18 months in a barrel) as well as ripe stone fruit, tropical juice, and "leathery horse blanket" for this deliciously unique and funky brew. All bottles go on sale Black Friday at 8 a.m. and can be purchased at curbside.ologybrewing.com with curbside pickup at Midtown and Powermill locations and — if still available — on sale when doors open in the tasting rooms at 2 p.m.
Did I get your attention? The gift of beer is fantastic no matter the time of year, but Proof Brewing Company is currently sweetening the pot with a deal on gift cards. Purchase $100 worth of cards, and you'll receive an extra $15 gift card free. Those looking to score beer today are also in luck with Proof throwing in a free crowler of La La Land with the purchase of any two crowlers. The promo is good for curbside pickup or on-site at 1320 South Monroe Street and runs through Nov. 30. Free beer is truly unconquered!
Matthew Crumbaker is the co-founder, along with Danny Aller, of the TLH Beer Society, a group of avid craft beer lovers. Reach the Beer Society on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.