Craft beer breweries are the hot, new hangout and you now have seven options in Palm Beach County. But each of these full-production breweries has its own distinct personality, so it can be hard to decide which to visit on your night out.
Funky Buddha Brewery officially has one of the best beers in the world.
RateBeer.com named Funky Buddha’s sought-after Maple Bacon Coffee Porter — which, indeed tastes of all those things — as its 12th best beer in the world, on a recent list of its 20 best in the world. MBCP scored a perfect 100 rating from users of the website. (BusinessInsider.com printed the entire list.)
RateBeer.com named Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus as its top beer. Hill Farmstead in North Greensboro, Vermont, had three beers in the top 10. And Russian River’s Pliny the Elder rounded out the top 10.
Earlier this year, People magazine also named MBCP as one of its best. Funky Buddha brewed MBCP for just the second time this year. And when it held a release party on Jan. 10, it sold more than 6,900 tickets and 9,000 bottles of MBCP — in a single day.
DO YOU AGREE?
Have you had MBCP? How about the offerings from Hill Farmstead? Share your thoughts with the hashtag #PBTAPPED.
It’s too bad killer whales don’t drink craft beer.
Last year alone, independently owned Florida breweries produced enough craft beer to fill Shamu’s tank at SeaWorld six-and-half times — nearly 35 million gallons — and have enough left over for the world’s greatest block party.
Beer aficionados call rare craft beers “whalez.” How’s that for a whale, Florida?
And nowhere is the Florida craft beer trend more visible than in Palm Beach County, home to seven of Florida’s 111 breweries, four of which opened in the last year alone.
“Florida is finally recognizing … that there is a big difference between good beer and mediocre beer. And people are going to great lengths to get it,” said Dr. Bill McFee, co-founder of Barrel of Monks Brewing in Boca Raton.
Craft beer isn’t just the next big thing — it has arrived.
And starting today, so has The Palm Beach Post’s new craft beer section — TAPPED
TAPPED will plug you into the craft beer scene with:
This dessert is silky and velvety at once. It’s a caramelo dream, proof that not all “love” desserts have to be made of chocolate.
FLAN DE LECHE Milk Flan
This recipe is reprinted from the 2014 cookbook “The Cuban Table” (St. Martin’s Press, $35), by writer Ana Sofia Pelaez and photographer Ellen Silverman.
“The trick to a great Flan de Leche begins and ends with the caramelo – the sugar heated slowly over a steady flame until it reaches just the right amber hue without becoming bitter.” – Ana Sofia Pelaez, author and creator of the Hungry Sofia blog.
Serves 8 to 10
3/4 cup sugar
For the custard
2 1/2 cups whole milk
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 lemon peel, white pith removed
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs
7- to 8-inch flanera or round metal cake pan (preferably 3 inches deep)
Make the flan:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Pour 3/4 cup of sugar into a flanera or metal mold. Place the mold over medium heat and move constantly, without stirring, until the sugar melts and takes on a deep amber hue, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the mold from the heat and swirl the caramel so that the bottom and sides are lightly covered. The caramel will be very hot and should be handled carefully. Set aside.
Combine the whole milk, evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, lemon peel and salt in a heavy 4-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the spices to steep until the milk is cooled to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Discard the cinnamon, vanilla bean, and lemon peel.
Combine the cooled milk mixture and eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Carefully pour the custard into the prepared mold. Close the lid of the flanera, if using, or cover the mold with aluminum foil.
Prepare a baño de María: Place the filled mold in a larger roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan so that it comes about halfway up the sides of the mold.
Carefully place both pans in the oven and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the custard to cool completely then refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
To unmold, run a thin knife along the side of the mold. Gently shake the mold to loosen the flan.
Place a large plate over the flan and quickly invert the mold in one motion.
The flan will gently drop onto the plate and the caramel will flow out.
I am not quite done devouring 2015, but I have feasted on my share of excellent dishes. Here’s my half-time report on my favorite reviewed restaurants so far this year.
JEREVE CULINARY STUDIO
They call this West Palm Beach eatery a studio for good reason:The food is a work of art. But beyond the stunning presentations on the plate, the food is delicious.
The restaurant is tucked into the multiuse EmKo art space on South Dixie Highway in the Flamingo Park neighborhood, and its positioning makes sense: beautiful, thoughtful dishes served in a setting where creativity is celebrated and encouraged.
Jereve: 2119 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-227-3511; EmKoPB.com
Chef-restaurateur Sean Brasel’s hard work has paid off, as have the countless miles he’s logged between the 10-month-old restaurant and its original Meat Market location in Miami Beach. Start with a fresh tuna tartare and a glass of chilled wine at the bar, where happy hour is a refined affair. Then settle into a seat at the dining room for an extraordinary meal. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth the splurge.
The chef’s Southern roots – he’s a Palm City native – are evident throughout District Table’s eclectic menu. Whether it’s his Sweet Tea Fried Chicken and jalapeño-cheddar waffle, his deviled yard eggs or his insanely good beef tartare, the chef’s talent is revealed daily in dishes that are worth driving many miles to enjoy.
District Table: 900 SE Indian St. (heading north on U.S. 1, turn left on Indian Street), Stuart; 772-324-8357; DistrictTableAndBar.com