I’ve been a big fan of St. Petersburg brewing behemoth 3 Daughters Brewing for some time, but I’ve only been able to set foot in their brewery twice. The first time was with my wife while she was pregnant, and the second was only a few weeks ago. The sad thing was I wasn’t able to bring my wife and daughter. I will need to get them back sometime soon. When I was there, however, co-owner Mike Harting gave me a little tour of their new brewing facility and the giant fermentation tanks there, manufactured by BrewFab only blocks away. It was pretty awesome to see, and they have definitely come a long way in a short time. Mike had to bounce, so I stayed behind to see what was new on draft. The beer in particular I had to immediately try was the…

Leaning on a backdrop in a former indie film studio soon to become the Flying Boat Brewing Co., Josh Perian provides a little history lesson. Give him a minute, he’ll loop it back to a craft beer connection momentarily. The “Flying Boat” was the nickname of the Benoist airplane that Tony Jannus piloted on the world’s first scheduled commercial flight between St. Petersburg and Tampa in 1914. “At the turn of the century, airplanes were still very much a novelty,” said Perian, the brewery’s director of operations. “They were still trying to find their niche. This guy Tommy Benoist, he was the one pushing how it could be used — he thought passenger flight was a great use of this newfangled machine.” Perian, owner Glenn Zakany and assistant operations director Tanner Zakany latched onto the name for their St. Petersburg brewery. “One of the…

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…

A couple weeks ago, we joined Creative Loafing with more than twenty other local brewers from the Tampa Bay area for their Meet the Brewers event. Our head brewers, Ty Weaver and Steve Buyens (Captain Steve), attended the event serving up two of our most popular special releases, the A Wake Coffee Blonde Ale and 4 Redemption Barrel Aged Quad. A Wake Coffee Blonde will be the next can release and 4 Redemption is currently one of our special bomber releases. Meet the Brewers gives the craft beer lovers a chance to indulge and shake hands with some of their favorite local brewers while sipping on some unique flavors they have brewed up. Participating for our second year, we have plans to be back next year with two new brews.

With the fifth annual Tampa Bay Beer Week fully under way, it seems appropriate to check out the newest year-round offering from St. Petersburg’s biggest — and currently expanding — brewery, 3 Daughters. Stern Line Stout is the fourth beer in 3 Daughters’ canned lineup, representing a relatively uncommon style in the world of canned beers. Stern Line is an oatmeal stout, which is a variation of sweet stout developed in England about 60 years ago. The style faded into obscurity over time, until it was revived by Yorkshire’s Samuel Smith’s Brewery in the ’80s. Unlike most sweet stouts, which rely on the addition of lactose, oatmeal stouts contain oats, which provide proteins, fats, and gums that give it that characteristic velvety mouthfeel and subtle sweetness. This is not a dry stout; it’s lightly sweet, chocolatey and, most of all, fantastically smooth. Stern Line…

Oysters, toffee, jalapeños, pistachios and pears weren’t the latest items featured inside one of Chopped’s mystery baskets. But they were some of the ingredients used by participants in Friday night’s Ultimate Brewer competition at Rapp Brewing Company. Organized by St. Pete Brewing Company director of sales and brewery general manager Casey Cothran, who’s also a Tampa Bay Beer Week board member, the beer battle pitted 13 special offerings from area craft breweries against each other during a blind tasting. The purpose? To see if a Chopped-style brewing competition was even, well, possible and to keep the craft’s creativity alive . The breweries, invited to face off at Rapp’s Seminole headquarters as part of Beer Week, met at St. Pete Brewing back in January to randomly draw their beer recipe’s ingredient(s). From a list of 16, the ingredients ranged from combos such as bacon and…

The husband has been on a strict, regimented fitness plan since the first of the year. I, on the other hand, haven’t been quite so disciplined. How can I be? There’s so much amazing food out there. We all have to eat, but there’s a difference between eating for fuel and eating for joy. Given the option, I pick joy. Let me take you through a few days of joyful dining. …… Feb. 26: Epcot “Just checking to be sure you’ve received your Disney Special Events e-vite,” Jennie Hess said in an email in early February. “We’ll be highlighting the new Outdoor Kitchens dishes at the Tables in Wonderland luncheon.” Jennie helps with Disney public relations, and she’s great about getting me invited to all of Disney’s delicious press previews. This one was to sample food that will be offered during Epcot’s Flower and…

We just wrapped a year of jubilant celebrations for modern Marco Island’s 50th anniversary. There is one more 50 around the corner: Super Bowl 50! Super Bowl parties are fun for all, even those that don’t watch football. Food, drink and fellowship are the order for the day. Beer is usually the beverage of choice on game day – more than 300 million gallons nationwide. Previous articles have shown my affinity for Yuengling, this year I want to have something that is a bit more on the “fancy” side. Local craft beers are popping up all over. There are over 100 craft beer breweries in Florida now, with more on the way. I have several local favorites: Naples Beach Brewery, 3 Daughters Brewing in St Petersburg, Islamorada Beer Company in The Keys, and a new favorite, Tampa Bay Brewing Company. All make beers called…

Leigh Harting and Deni Elliott met for the first time face to face on Thursday and, after a great conversation, parted ways with a hug. It seemed like they’d known each other for months. In a way, they kind of have. Harting, who is co-owner of 3Daugthers Brewing in St. Petersburg provided a new beer for the University of South Florida’s celebration in September to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Bayboro-St. Pete campus. Elliott, who couldn’t attended the party, is the proud owner of the inspiration for the very unique beer label. “This was our first time to have an animal be the representative,” said Harting. “Without question this has got to be the number one blonde. You just have to meet her to love her.” Alberta is the most popular blonde on campus. She has been Elliott’s guide dog for the last…

While I met dozens of readers Saturday at the fifth annual Florida Craft Brew and Wingfest Royal Palm Pointe, chances are you were not there. It was my first time. And it was quite an experience. I’d been to two beer festivals before — in a downtown Fort Pierce parking garage and in Portland, Oregon. I’ll probably never get to a better one than the five-day Oregon Brewers Festival, which, after 28 years, attracts about 80,000 craft beer enthusiasts to the banks of the Willamette River. But Vero Beach is no Portland. It may never have the selection of beer Portland, a longtime hub of craft beer activity, has. But, Portland featured standard food trucks when I was there. In Vero Beach, amazing local residents, businesses and restaurants competed in a wings competition and offered other homemade specialties, from calamari to fish tacos. In…