Lake Tribe celebrates six years of delicious beers during month of April
You don't earn the right to stay in business for six years, especially in such a competitive industry, without learning how to navigate a few tricky situations. Still, nothing could have prepared Lake Tribe Brewing Company for the events of the past year.
In the first quarter of 2020, things in the craft beer industry were humming; things were no different at the brewery located at 3357 Garber Dr #4 in Tallahassee.
In what would be a fortuitous decision, the brewery decided to move up their 5th-anniversary celebration — typically scheduled in late March — to late February. Less than two weeks after wrapping their 4-day suds-filled festival — the coronavirus would change everything.
In a year, nobody would like to repeat, lessons were learned, new things tried, and along the way, Lake Tribe was fueling up the tanks (with beer) for this year's epic Road Trip-themed Anniversary party, which kicks off Thursday, April 1, with it's first release and continues all month.
Anniversary beers tap local landmarks
The first piece of inspiration came in the form of a popular T-shirt promotion. Tapping into the brewery's bevy of graphic design resources, they released a shirt urging people to "Explore Local" with the tagline, "Life can be in-tents."
The shirt, offered free with the purchase of Lake Tribe beer, tapped into the feelings at the time as folks settling in for a prolonged quarantine looked for new outlets. The Ross family, founders, and owners of Lake Tribe named the brewery as an homage to a YMCA group that helped forge lifelong bonds through camping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and exploring all the great outdoors has to offer.
It only makes sense that the brewery would encourage folks to discover — or rediscover — some of the area's natural wonders.
Discovery wasn't just occurring on the trails at Phipps, Miccosukee, or AJ Henry. The brewery's jack of all trades Tyler Yorski uncovered a few park gems of his own.
Yorkski told us, "I was researching National Parks and ways to support them during the closure and was drawn to their designs. I can't quite describe it, but there is a unique and specific design style for National Parks apparel, logos, and imagery. From that, I thought it would be cool for us to create some 'digital postcards' pairing some of our beers with Tallahassee landmarks."
Some of the landmarks featured on this year's Anniversary Road Trip will include the St. Marks Lighthouse, St. George Island, Lake Overstreet and area rivers, among others.
Keep the celebration going all month
The second lesson carried from 2020 into this year's trip came during the brewery's month-long series of releases and events celebrating a favorite beer tradition — Oktoberfest. While typically a one or maybe two-day event featuring German-themed music, food, and beer, 2020 forced breweries to reconsider ways to foster a festive atmosphere while keeping things safe.
Yorksi explains, "rather than a single day, or maybe weekend event, we planned to celebrate for the entire month. A prolonged event allowed us to keep things nice and easy with crowds spaced out, but also feature several food trucks and beers."
And something interesting happened along the way; servers started noticing patrons were more apt to sit and sip across a few hours calmly. Attendees enjoyed all the brewery had to offer for the duration of one of several event days. Gone was the quick 30-minute in-and-out and constant Uber hopping, replaced by a far more relaxed vibe.
We affectionately refer to it as "the Lake Tribe Vibe" — beautifully created outdoor vignettes, local bands, local food trucks, and the all-important local brew. And it'll be on full display starting this Thursday, April 1 — no joke — as they kick off the road trip with the first of MANY beer releases.
The first release, a double dry-hopped version of their popular "White Wolf" experimental IPA, returns the same crushable crew of Citra, Motueka, and Styrian wolf hops, but new to the pack is the addition of the experimental BRU-1. Fans of the brewery's "Young Chief Turbo IPA" should recognize BRU-1 for imparting heavy pineapple notes and aroma.
Join in the Road Trip fun
On Friday, April 2, the first can release of the Road Trip, "Beckster's Wh'ell Behaved Hazy," pulls up to the Leon Sinks. Cans of this brew featuring "light bread notes, spicy rye, and of course, the citrusy hops that made the American IPA a world leader in beer" are sure to be a tasty treat.
Because water is never far from a brewer's mind — or from becoming the next great beer — Saturday's specialty tap is a brew ready-made to toast a ride down the Wacissa River. DDH Whitewater Pilsner features a hefty-hopping of Motueka, imparting refreshing flavors of citrus, melon, and stone fruit into Tribe's signature pils.
Sunday, April 4, will set the tone for Sundays at the brewery in April, a catch-up day. A day where the small-batch beers from Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (as well as those can releases) will be on tap for anyone who might've missed their first run or for folks just thirsty for more.
Hoppy, citrusy or sour
The limited-run beer on Thursday, can release Friday, limited-run Saturday, and catch-up day Sunday will be the move at Lake Tribe for roughly the next four weeks and will cover just about everything. Hop-heads rejoice as Tribe will showcase some exceptional hops like BRU-1, HBC -586, Sultana, Sabro, Hallertau Blanc. Those looking to get tropical will see a steady stream of tiki-inspired wheat beers hitting on favorites like the pina colada, hurricane, or margarita — all with that fresh pop of citrus from local satsumas.
Sour sippers are in for a real treat as the brewers have given fan-favorite "Tigershark" — a berry hibiscus tea sour — a little more bite by upping it from 4.5% abv to an 8% imperial sour (psst...it should tap in week two April 8-11).
The tea beers don't stop there with Lake Tribe teaming with their friends from Tallahassee Tea Company on a Lavender Earl Grey Berliner as well as a green tea and bergamot treatment for the Whitewater pilsner.
Running from April 1 through the end of the month, this anniversary celebration is not to be missed.
We think Yorski summed it up perfectly, "This a chance for us to get back to the core of Lake Tribe — music, food trucks, community collaboration, and celebrating with our community. It's great to be forward-looking again."
We'll drink to that, cheers!
Matthew Crumbaker, along with Danny Aller, is the co-founder, 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.