Many moons ago, when my lovely wife was still pregnant, we had a wonderful visit to the good people at 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Pete.
While there, one of the beers that co-owner Mike Harting had me sample was a Strawberry Cream Ale, one of their first forays into fruit beers. I was suitably impressed (Head brewer Ty Weaving is quite the master), and the beer is pretty fitting for the Tampa Bay area with their close proximity to Plant City’s legendary strawberries and their currently on-going Florida Strawberry Festival.
While it was delicious, it didn’t seem like the beer was destined to ever leave the tap room.
Boy, was I wrong. The beer was just released in bombers and given a new, royal title of Queen’s Court Strawberry Cream Ale (Cream Ale, 5% ABV).
Of course, the name of the beer harkens to the Florida Strawberry Festival and their festival queen, starting with Charlotte Rosenberg in 1930.
It’s fitting, since Plant City strawberries were used in the making of this beer, which is very apparent when drinking. It may not have an overly pinkish hue, but the aroma of freshly-picked strawberries is immediate even when you first pour the beer.
The taste is rather interesting. It starts with a smooth ale flavor, with a nice malty backbone and a tiny little hop presence.
Just when you complain that there’s no strawberry it hits, like a tiny tart ninja of fresh strawberry flavor that sneaks up on your taste buds. Once that happens, you can really taste how well the strawberries blend with a light and smooth cream ale.
You do need to go to their tasting room in St. Petersburg to grab a bottle, but they are ready to go. In season, if you will.
Serves me right to assume things.