Best Local Beer of the Week: Summer Wind Belgian ale
What it is
Take note when lifelong brewmaster Fran Andrewlevich, co-founder of Twisted Trunk Brewing and Tequesta Brewing Co., says he has finally created a beer he has spent his entire career trying to brew. Twisted Trunk aged a Belgian blonde ale in a foudre, a large wooden cask that holds up to 600 gallons of beer. After brewing the beer with Belgian malted barley and German yeasts, the beer spent 3 ½ months in the foudre with Belgian sour yeasts to give Summer Wind a singular, distinctive flavor. Expect notes of apples, pears and spice from the Minnesota white oak. Several kegs of this beer will be treated with other flavors (such as an upcoming peach-lemongrass concoction) to add even more depth. And expect a unique batch of beer every time it comes out of Twisted’s foudre. “The barrel has a mind of its own, and that’s the beauty of it,” Andrewlevich said.
Where to get it
The foudre will be tapped for the first time Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Twisted Trunk’s brewery in Palm Beach Gardens. Cost: $5 pints at the brewery taproom, $4 during happy hour, Tuesday to Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Why wait for October when you can celebrate Septemberfest?
Palm Beach’s Cafe Boulud is getting a head start on Oktoberfest by partnering with several local breweries for a spectacularly paired biergarten on Sept. 25.
It’s a juxtaposition worth drinking to: Internationally renowned chef Daniel Boulud’s epitome of white-linen, fine dining on Palm Beach island hosting a beer garden with some of the best craft breweries in Florida, including three from Palm Beach County.
Executive chef Rick Mace will set up four dining stations around the courtyard of the historic home of Cafe Boulud, The Brazilian Court, where Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing, Tequesta Beer Co., Twisted Trunk Brewing, and Barrel of Monk’s Brewing will be serving a variety of their beers.
Mace’s offerings will include the following: a station dedicated to river oysters, clams, mussels, and marinated squid; a sausage station with Thai links, chorizo and boudin noir; one dedicated to three kinds of sliders; and a dessert station with French tarts and American pies.
Among the beers are several hard-to-find offerings, including Cigar City’s pumpkin beer, Good Gourd, which they produce just once a year, Barrel of Monks’ Three Fates Belgian tripel and Tequesta’s Der Chanellor pilsner.
Tickets to the event are limited and cost $75 a person, $65 for groups of four or more. They can be purchased by calling 561-655-6060.
Oh, sure, this place is great at night for Palm Beach people-watching amid black lacquered walls, shiny leather banquettes and leopard print carpeting. But there’s more to the Leopard than the lounge and dinner scene. There’s excellent service, the “welcome” of hot rolls tucked into a basket, and delicious lunch.
The chicken schnitzel ($22) is a thing of beauty: Chicken breast that’s tender and juicy chicken beneath a crispy, buttery crust is topped with lemon béchamel sauce and served with haricot vert and French fries. Order the schnitzel as part of the Flavor Palm Beach lunch menu during the month of September and you can get an appetizer (like shrimp cocktail) and dessert (like double chocolate Belgian cake), all for just $20, plus tax and tip. That’s something to purr about.
Leopard Lounge: 363 Cocoanut Row (in the Chesterfield Hotel), Palm Beach; 561-659-5800;ChesterfieldPB.com
Best Local Beer of the Week: barrel-aged Mariana Trench imperial stout by Due South
What it is
Take Due South Brewing Co.’s most complex beer, Mariana Trench — deep and dark in color like the eponymous Atlantic Ocean trench — which they make only once a year and which won a gold medal at the Best Florida Beer Championship; and now age it for almost a year in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels. That’s how you make a beer that puts you — and keeps you — on the map locally, regionally and nationally. (It’s no surprise there’s an appetite for Due South’s brews in beer-crazy Philadelphia.) It’s a high-alcohol beer (about 10 percent alcohol by volume) brewed with cocoa and vanilla to give it intense and complex flavors, aged in one of 17 premium barrels that some adventurous Due South employee trucked down in an old pickup from Kentucky. This is Due South’s third year brewing and aging this beer, and they will continue to age nine barrels’ worth for future experimentation.
Where to get it
Due South will bottle only 1,300 22-ounce bottles of barrel-aged Mariana Trench, which it will sell exclusively at its brewery Saturday at noon. And when they’re gone, they’re gone — until next year’s batch. There will be a limit of four bottles per person. The beer will go on sale at exactly noon, though a line will be forming, guaranteed, hours before. For those who would rather not wait in line, the beer will also be on tap at the brewery and later at select bars in South Florida in limited quantities. Two of those are The Brass Tap in Boynton Beach and Tap 42 in Boca Raton.
Due South Brewing, 2900 High Ridge Rd. #3 Boynton Beach, 561-463-2337