5 Must-Know things about craft beer in The Palm Beaches

Tap into some little-known facts about our locally-brewed beers

There is a short list of food favorites that, over time, have become cultural tradition. A hot dog at a baseball game is one. A swirling cloud of cotton candy at the fair is another. In The Palm Beaches, a sip of cold craft beer anywhere along our 47 miles of coastline is a sensation that must be repeated and savored. That is why craft beer has become a part of the local culture and economy. Cold beer and the warm tropics is a natural combination.

Craft beer isn’t a passing trend in The Palm Beaches. Seventeen different breweries in the area each create unique beers that will satisfy any taste. Many of these artisan manufacturers measure their success in the quality of their batches, not by the quantity of beer they produce. Drinking a local craft beer means drinking something rare and truly special, with a flavor perfectly suited to the tropical environment.

Bryan Long, Director of Outdoor Operations, Eau Palm Beach
Bryan Long, Director of Outdoor Operations, Eau Palm Beach

The popularity of local craft beers means there are many questions from fans, both new and old. To find out a little more, we talked to Bryan Long, director of outdoor operations for the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. Bryan is also the resort’s cicerone, a carefully trained expert in the brewing, serving and drinking of beer.
 
Bryan pointed out 5 things every brew fan must know about beer and The Palm Beaches:



Must-know #5: Forty percent of the craft beer brewed in The Palm Beaches stays in The Palm Beaches. A nationally-distributed beer has most likely traveled a very long road before you take your first sip. That’s not the case with most of the craft beer made in The Palm Beaches.
“Many brands like Twisted Trunk and Tequesta Brewing Company are made here and sold here,” said Bryan. “It’s mostly sourced here, brewed here and never leaves the county. From a guest’s point of view – people traveling from out of state, they want what’s local. You get to live what locals live, which makes for a more enjoyable experience.” When drinking a local craft beer in The Palm Beaches, chances you’re only a handful of miles from where that brew was born. That makes for a special drinking experience. “It’s like sticking a straw in an orange while in the orange grove,” said Long. “It is one of our big advantages.”
 


Must-know #4: Many local brews use flavors and ingredients that connect them to the tropics. While certain hops already create a citrus-like note in beer, local breweries take it a step farther. They seek out unique ingredients that make a beer that is truly tropical, and singularly local. An example would be Copperpoint Brewing Company’s “Blood Orange Wit,” a classic Beligian witbier infused with Blood Orange flavors. Tequesta Brewing Company’s IPA called “Notorious B.I.G.”  boasts “loads of tangerine, citrus, and a touch of pine.” This creates a taste specifically tropical, and specifically about The Palm Beaches.
 


Must-know #3: The tropics demand a cold, cold beer. This can be a challenge while sitting near the beach, but there is at least one an elegant solution. At Breeze Ocean Kitchen, part of the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Manalapan, the beer leaves the tap at a truly frosty 33-34 degrees Fahrenheit, just feet from the beach. Bryan explained how this magic is done: pressurized tap lines running from the chilled beer storage room to the beach-side bar are encased in a flexible sleeve. This sleeve is filled with a chilled liquid similar to anti-freeze. The beer is never exposed to warmer temperatures, making for a chilled delight to be enjoyed feet from warm waters of the Atlantic. What if you’re on your own with only a cooler to keep things cool? Just place your pre-chilled beers at the bottom of the cooler first, then add the ice over them. The cool air travels downward over the containers and maintains coolness longer.



Must-know #2: Tradition mandates a mug be kept in the freezer so the beer can be served in frosty glass. Our cicerone, Bryan, tells us this practice is flawed. A frosty mug can hurt a great serving of local craft beer: “Craft beer has so many different ingredients, and so much love and passion has been put into the beer you’re meant to pick that up,” said Bryan, “The ice can introduce unintentional debris that effect the beer, and you’re seeing that [practice] go away in most places.” Long suggests simply taking a clean, well-dried glass and rinse it in cold water before pouring the beer. This process delivers pure beer taste exactly as intended.



Must-know #1: Local craft beer in The Palm Beaches isn’t just for drinking, it is for mixing. We’re not talking about your grandfather’s boiler-makers, we’re talking about something really tropical. How about a tall citrus float or an icy drink made with tropical lime, ginger beer and lager? One frosty drink growing in popularity is a sweet, creamy beverage packed with home-made sorbet and a local craft beer.
 



  Craft beer has become a part of the culture here in The Palm Beaches. A beer on the beach has become a part of the area’s identity. When you choose a beer brewed right here in The Palm Beaches, then you have something very special, satisfying and truly local.
Special thanks to Bryan Long of Eau Palm Beach and Breeze Ocean Kitchen for his help with this article.

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