Here’s why your craft beer may taste different these days

With the air getting cool, it’s the perfect time of year to warm your body with a tall glass of beer. Even Pumpkin beer if you’d like.

Whether you’re a true fan with a sensitive palate or not, the current state-of-hop-emergency may affect your buzz.

But before we go there, you need to know what a hop is?

A hop is used to flavor a beer, and the flavor you get depends on when you add the hops. If you add them at the beginning, the beer will be bitter; if you add them toward the end of a boil, they will produce more of an aroma than a taste.

EVERCREECH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Jazz Tupman holds up some hops which are used to brew beer at the Wild Beer Co brewery at Lower Westcombe Farm on February 11, 2016 near Evercreech, England. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
EVERCREECH, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 11: Jazz Tupman holds up some hops which are used to brew beer at the Wild Beer Co brewery at Lower Westcombe Farm on February 11, 2016 near Evercreech, England. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Hops sound pretty great, right? So why are we in a state-of-emergency? Well, the craft beer world is currently suffering from a major hop-shortage. Last year, Europe experienced a serious drought, which didn’t allow farmers to grow the hop-crop, causing this hop-tastrophe.

Our favorite beers all come from hops, even our famous, locally-brewed ‘Chancellor’ from Tequesta Brewing Company, who ironically, just celebrated its yearly, ‘Hop Week’. Tequesta Brewing Company (big sister to Palm Beach Garden’s Twisted Trunk), explains that Europe’s drought has not only made it hard to find European hops, but has also caused the price of American hops to rise.

Tequesta Brewing Company brewer and owner Matt Webster started home brewing at age 21. He has been brewing professionally since 2008, and keeps six to seven beers on tap at all times. TBC brewery and bar is located on U.S. Highway One in Tequesta. (Bill Ingram /The Palm Beach Post)
Tequesta Brewing Company brewer and owner Matt Webster started home brewing at age 21. He has been brewing professionally since 2008, and keeps six to seven beers on tap at all times. TBC brewery and bar is located on U.S. Highway One in Tequesta. (Bill Ingram /The Palm Beach Post)

TBC also says that it is much harder to acquire mosaic, citric and galaxia hops — three of the most popular varieties.

The brewery has a hop-purveyor who gets European hops for them, brew-master Matt Webster explained. The crop was so bad that the purveyor couldn’t complete the order, and the brewery had to turn to American hops.

Not that there is anything wrong with American hops. In fact, other Palm Beach County breweries like Due South in Boynton Beach aren’t affected at all by the hops shortage because they already brew with American hops from places like Yakima, Washington. For TBC, though, German hops is go-to source and they want to stay who they are.

Left to right: Ashley Doane, Delray Beach, Ashley Hayes, Laurie Schuster, Nancy Colman and Michelle Hershey, all of Boca Raton, gathered at the Saltwater Brewery bar following their yoga class at the Delray Beach craft brewery on Sunday, August 23, 2015. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post)
Left to right: Ashley Doane, Delray Beach, Ashley Hayes, Laurie Schuster, Nancy Colman and Michelle Hershey, all of Boca Raton, gathered at the Saltwater Brewery bar following their yoga class at the Delray Beach craft brewery on Sunday, August 23, 2015. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post)

So are we in a hop shortage? Yes. Will our favorite local breweries still produce our favorite drinks? Yes. Is Tequesta Brewing Company still putting out great beers? A for sure, yes.

And finally, should we worry about the lack of hops? Not just yet, so head over to your favorite local craft brewery and grab a pint, especially while your favorites are still on tap.

Glorious view: lunching at Eau Palm Beach’s Breeze

Seaside lunching is a Breeze at Eau Palm Beach. (Capehart Photography)
Seaside lunching is a Breeze at Eau Palm Beach. (Capehart Photography)

Here’s a staycation lunch with a view.

For a direct hit of summer, settle into an oceanfront seat at Breeze Ocean Kitchen, the alfresco eatery and bar at the Eau Palm Beach resort. Summertime lunch is on sale – a three-course meal costs $28 per person – though a la carte options also are offered. Lunch is served from noon to 2:30 p.m. daily. The prix fixe is offered through October.

Breeze Ocean Kitchen at Eau Palm Beach: 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan

FacebookFeast

 

Salads and sangria: Salute Market toasts to summer

Cool summer soup: gazpacho at Salute. (Contributed)
Cool summer soup: gazpacho at Salute. (Contributed)

Salute Market in Palm Beach Gardens has kicked off a seasonal menu that promises to cool the swelter.

Cool eats include gazpacho, lime-spritzed watermelon-feta salad, and berry salad. Cool sips include a trio of sangrias – traditional, peach-pineapple and strawberry-basil.

Salute Market: 5530 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561-425-5651; Salute2U.com

FacebookFeast

Rockin’ pizza, feasts and throwdowns: why chefs love summer

Winning chef Jimmy Strine (Cafe Boulud) at 2015 Chef vs Chef series at Max's Harvest. (Contributed)
Winning chef Jimmy Strine (Cafe Boulud) at 2015 Chef vs Chef series at Max’s Harvest. (Contributed)

Maybe it’s the general ease in restaurant traffic that’s to blame for the displays of creativity by local chefs during summer. It’s the season when chefs tend to indulge their artistic whims more freely, when multicourse dinners can extend into double digits.

This creative spark is evidenced by local throw-downs, such as the late-night Chef vs. Chef battles that recur weekly (Wednesday nights) during summer months at Max’s Harvest. (Max’s Harvest: 169 NE 2nd Ave., Delray Beach; 561-381-9970; MaxsHarvest.com)

The chefs-having-fun motif can be detected on Wednesday late-nights at Grato in West Palm Beach, where chef/co-owner Clay Conley fires up a selection of rock-themed pizzas. At 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays, he cranks up the classic rock and serves up pies with titles like Wavy Gravy (Sunday gravy meat sauce, creamy buffalo cheese, basil), Rocket Man (fontina, Parmesan, tomato, caramelized onion, rocket greens), and L-O-L-A Lola (an oddly shaped, pepperoni-topped pizza). The special pizzas are served only Wednesday nights during Grato Rocks. (Grato: 1901 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-404-1334; GratoWPB.com)

Rocker in chief: Grato's chef/co-owner Clay Conley. (LibbyVision.com)
Rocker in chief: Grato’s chef/co-owner Clay Conley. (LibbyVision.com)

Elsewhere, there are some notable multicourse feasts. At Jardin, the new-ish, chef-driven eatery on Clematis Street, chef duo Jordan Lerman and Stephanie Cohen (husband/wife) have kicked off Monday night “Chefs’ Grand Tasting” dinners.

And by “grand” they mean 15 courses. The dinners, which run through Aug. 29, are intimate affairs, limited to the first eight guests who reserve each week. The special dinners showcase an imaginative tasting menu (it changes week to week) that’s inspired by local ingredients. Monday grand tastings start at 7 p.m. and cost $100 per person. Add $40 for wine or cocktail pairings. (Jardin: 330 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-440-5273; JardinRestaurant.com)

TwentyTwentyAlFresco
Alfresco dining at TwentyTwenty Grille, Boca Raton. (Contributed)

Meanwhile at Twenty Twenty Grille in Boca Raton, Chef Ron Weisheit’s 15-course summer dinners – offered for 20 guests – are so popular, they’re selling out. Grand tasting dinners at the small eatery are scheduled for June 30, July 1 and July 2. The feast costs $150 per person. (TwentyTwenty Grille: 141 Via Naranja #45, Boca Raton; 561-990-7969; TwentyTwentyGrille.com)

FacebookFeast

Lemonade mixology: Aioli gives summer sip a fruity boost

Lemonade gets a boost from fresh fruit infusions at Aioli. (Contributed)
Lemonade gets a boost from fresh fruit infusions at Aioli. (Contributed)

There’s no such thing as boring lemonade at Aioli, the creative little sandwich shop on Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. Summer’s favorite sip is particularly flavorful here because it’s infused with a variety of flavors.

There’s watermelon lemonade, cucumber-mint lemonade, lemongrass-ginger lemonade, key lime-jalapeño lemonade, pineapple-basil lemonade, honeydew lemonade, and pear-cranberry lemonade. They’re made of fresh fruit infusions, lemon juice and simple sugar.

The daylight sandwich shop is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Aioli: 7434 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-366-7741; AioliWPB.com

FacebookFeast

Beach shack vibes hit PB Catch: paella party tonight

A glimpse inside the Summer Shack at PB Catch. (Contributed)
A glimpse inside the Summer Shack at PB Catch. (Contributed)

PB Catch in Palm Beach has brought back its beachy, Northeast shore theme this summer by transforming its sleek bar and lounge space into “The Shack.” Expect summer drinks and seaside-inspired bites.

The space will be put to tasty use tonight when it hosts a Spanish-style paella night, complete with sangria and flamenco guitarist Bob Folse. The paella party starts at 7 p.m. Reservations are suggested.

PB Catch: 251 Sunrise Ave., Palm Beach; 561-655-5558; PBCatch.com

FacebookFeast

New WPB Hilton hosts ‘Summer Fridays’ on deck lounge

Executive Chef Miguel Santiago coaxing grilled chicken magic on 'Christine The Grill.' (Richard Graulich/ Palm Beach Post)
Exec Chef Miguel Santiago grills chicken on ‘Christine The Grill.’ (Richard Graulich/ Palm Beach Post)

There’s a hot (as in fire-pit hot) party on deck tonight at the new Hilton in downtown West Palm Beach.

The newest hotel on Okeechobee Boulevard is hosting Friday night summer parties at Galley, the hotel’s bar and lounge. Expect a selection of tapas, retro cocktails, live music and, yes, fire pit action at the “Summer Fridays at Galley” bash.

And those tapas? They’ll be hot off the custom-built grill otherwise known as Christine.

Octopus on fire: The Galley's "Summer Fridays" feature a custom-built grill. (Richard Graulich/ Palm Beach Post)
The Galley’s “Summer Fridays” feature a custom-built grill. (Richard Graulich/ Palm Beach Post)

Hilton West Palm Beach: 600 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-231-6000

FacebookFeast

‘Must Love Beer’ summer beer dinner series starts in Delray

Rapoport's beer dinner series kicks off tonight in Delray Beach. (Cox Newspapers photo)
Rapoport’s beer dinner series kicks off tonight in Delray Beach. (Cox Newspapers photo)

Cerveza!

The south county eateries of Rapoport’s Restaurant Group kick off a summer beer dinner series featuring Sam Adams brews tonight.

The “Must Love Beer” monthly dinners start at Deck 84 in Delray Beach tonight, then bounce to Burt & Max’s in suburban Delray on July 20, to Henry’s (Delray) on Aug. 24, to Bogart’s (Boca Raton) on Sept. 14, and back to Deck 84 for an Oktoberfest finale event in October.

Related: Unique summer dining experiences in Palm Beach County

A Samuel Adams cicerone will pour a range of exclusive releases and favorite brews with each of the four courses.

Tonight’s beer dinner costs $45 per person (plus tax and tip). Prices for the remainder of the dinners have not been announced. For reservations, call Brittany Kilian at 561-826-1791, or email her at bkilian@rapoportsrg.com.

FacebookFeast

Mussel mania: where to find all-you-can-eat specials

All-you-can-eat mussels and fries at Chez l'’Epicier. (Contributed)
All-you-can-eat mussels and fries at Chez l’’Epicier. (Contributed)

Two local eateries are offering all-you-can-eat mussel nights this summer.

At Chez l’Epicier in Palm Beach, the Thursday night mussel special includes endless servings of Prince Edward Island mussels and french fries. Those mussels are prepared any of four ways: with spicy tomato sauce (arrabbiata), with white wine, shallot and garlic sauce, with Dijon mustard sauce or with blue cheese sauce. The mussel special costs $22 per person (no sharing).

Related: Unique summer dining experiences in Palm Beach County

  • Other summertime specials at the stylish spot include a three-course prix fixe ($30 per person), and half-price rosé and other wine (up to $200 per bottle) on Sundays.
Pistache's popular mussels and frites. (Contributed)
Pistache’s popular mussels and frites. (Contributed)

Across the bridge in downtown West Palm Beach, Pistache celebrates Moules Mondays – that’s all-you-can-slurp mussels (with the purchase of one entrée), prepared in a variety of ways.

  • The popular bistro also runs a “Wine Down Wednesdays” special, offering half-off bottles of wine (with entrée purchase), 20 percent off reserve wine and Champagne.

Chez l’Epicier: 288 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 561- 508-7030; palmbeach.chezlepicier.com

Pistache: 101 North Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-833-5090; PistacheWPB.com

FacebookFeast

Father’s Day: The ‘papa’ behind the tapas in Delray Beach

Cristobal Parra is the "papa" at Delray Beach's popular Papa's Tapas restaurant. (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post)
Papa’s place: Cristobal Parra at Papa’s Tapas, Delray Beach. (Melanie Bell/ The Palm Beach Post)

Cristobal “Papa” Parra rises before dawn each day with a set of purposes: to cook, to work and to love his family. He’s the “Papa” behind Delray Beach’s popular Papa’s Tapas restaurant and the patriarch of a spirited blended brood. 

At 71, he still does the shopping, the prep work, and much of the cooking at the Pineapple Grove eatery. His work ethic has roots in a Spanish port town — and it has spawned roots in his expanded family. Those who call him “Papa” are as grateful as they are devoted to him.

Cristobal Parra is the "papa" at Delray Beach's popular Papa's Tapas restaurant. His crew always claps for him at the end of his shift. Pictured are (left to right) Annie Kolensky, manager and daughter, Michael Darcy, server, Raymond Diverniero, floor manager, Susie Parra, wife and dessets, Cristobal Parra, chef and owner, Yvette Meneses, daughter, chef and kitchen manager and Aldo Mercado, sous chef. (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post)
Bravo: Applause for Cristobal Parra and “Mama” Susie Parra. (Melanie Bell/ The Palm Beach Post)

They show this with a weekly round of applause as he leaves the kitchen.

READ ALL ABOUT PAPA AND HIS TAPAS HERE.

Papa's Tapas' pitchers of homemade sangria pair well with Papa's montaditos (sandwich bites), topped with assorted meats, sausages, anchovies and Manchego cheese, as well as with (in back) Dominican-style chicharrones de pollo con tostones (fried chicken bits with crispy fried green plantains). (Melanie Bell/ The Palm Beach Post)
Homemade sangria pairs well with Papa’s Tapas’ montaditos. (Melanie Bell/ The Palm Beach Post)