Hyperion Brewing and TLH Beer Society collaborate on a new brew
If you have a beer. If you need it promoted. And you can find us. Then, you, too, can hire the TLHBS Team!
When it comes to stumping for Tallahassee breweries, brewers, and beers, we like to think we're the A-Team. A crack communications unit armed with writing backgrounds, social media acumen, and a passion for the city and beers we love.
But, before May 15, 2021, when it came to brewing beer, well, we were more like the Z-Team. Z as in zero. As in the total number of beers we had brewed collectively. It took an industry-wide crisis, a radio interview, a savvy social media manager, some empty schedules, a trip to Jacksonville, and a patient brewer.
Still, your beer society can finally check "brew" off the ole pitcher list. So, before we get to our beer, Dewww-val — named as both an ode to its flavors and the trademark cry of Jacksonville natives —a little back story.
An industry in crisis and an interview
In June of 2020, Halsey Basheer — then the head of Florida's Department of Business and Professional Regulation — announced emergency order 2020-09. The order required establishments that derive more than 50% from alcohol sales to suspend all sales for on-premise consumption — our beloved taprooms were closed.
To gain clarity for our friends in the brewing community, we invited Basheer to be a guest on our radio show. Our sole goal: get him to offer insight into how breweries might survive such an order. The glimmer of hope provided by the DBPR to help keep one of Florida's emerging industries afloat — offer food.
To date, that episode might be one of the most circulated interviews we've ever done, with breweries around the state reaching out with follow-up questions and comments. One of the breweries listening? Jacksonville's Hyperion Brewing Company.
The brewery that has done so much to aid in the revitalization of Jacksonville's Springfield neighborhood was looking for a lift of its own.
Hyperion Head Brewer Matthew Fletcher recounts those days, "We were not 100% shut down, maybe 90% shut down. Getting people engaged and not having anyone drinking here, but having them buy growlers...it was tough. So when the food talks came around, it was obvious we were going to do it. For us, it just started with a panini press."
That panini press and the robust menu — featuring Reubens, Cubans, and BLTs — that grew out of it was a game-changer. Fletcher recalls, "It was a blessing. That outlining of how much food you have to serve versus how much alcohol you have was interesting. We got through it. Food opened the doors again."