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.
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’ fromTequesta 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.
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.
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.
Palm Beach County’s foodie city of the moment is about to get more tasty. West Palm Beach might soon be home to a new food and drink-centricdistrict that’s in development along the city’s industrial zone.
The Warehouse District, a sprawling complex of vintage buildings, is shaping up to be an eclectic urban village of food and beverage creators and vendors, artists, fitness buffs and other indie entrepreneurs. Developers say they hope to open sometime in December or January.
This district will boast a New York-inspired food hall, Grange Hall Market, as well as what will be the city’s only craft beer brewery, Steam Horse. It’s located in the industrial zone that sits off Elizabeth Avenue, just southwest of the Palm Beach County Convention Center, near downtown West Palm Beach.
The food hall portion of this village is the brainchild of real estate developer Chris Vila, a transplanted New Yorker who envisions a Chelsea Market-type of place that provides locals with one-stop-food-shopping options.
“Locals can do their shopping there, buy their proteins and veggies, and take it all home to cook. Or they can just buy a whole dinner and wine and eat it there,” says Vila, son of home-improvement star Bob Vila of “This Old House” fame.
A covered loading dock will be transformed into a dining and events space, he notes, and a greenway will offer plenty of spots for enjoying a bite. Vila says he’s secured 12 vendors for Grange Hall, among them Rabbit Coffee roasters, Celis Produce vendors, plus a butcher, fishmonger, florist, coffee roaster, taco spot and rotisserie chicken joint.
Central to The District’s larger mission is that the market and other spaces within the complex will nurture independent vendors and artisans.
One of those indie vendors is Celis Produce, whose owners have nabbed a spot in Grange Hall. It will house Celis’ second location.
“The concept sounds amazing. I feel it’s what we need here,” says Felipe Celis, who co-owns a West Palm produce delivery and juice bar business with his two brothers. Besides selling produce and some pantry items at the food hall, the Celis brothers plan to sell juices, acai bowls and quinoa bowls for onsite consumption.
The District’s 85,000-square-foot area includes about eight buildings that were constructed between the 1920s and the 1950s, says Beebe.
“There’s a lot of character in those buildings. We bought them all within the last year, and we’ve undertaken this effort to essentially redevelop them,” he says.
Beebe envisions a district akin to Miami’s hip, artistic Wynwood neighborhood, “with a heavy focus on local entrepreneurs, culture, art and food – but not food in the big business kind of way.”
Adding lifestyle layers to The District, his team has signed on an indoor cycling studio, he says. “We will also have the first squash club that West Palm Beach has ever had. We’re excited about that,” says Beebe, who counts art galleries in the mix as well.
While it may seem as if developers are building a brand new neighborhood, Beebe cautions that’s not the case.
“The neighborhood exists. What we’re trying to do it bring it back to life. This is not like CityPlace where you are sprouting up with a (from-the-ground-up) development,” he says, emphasizing that The District’s project seeks to redevelop an area, not build from scratch.
He notes that many of the previous inhabitants of the industrial district were working trades that are now gone.
“A lot of those businesses have gone away, and so the buildings have become less productive,” says Beebe, who splits his time between Palm Beach and New York. “What we saw is this opportunity to reimagine the neighborhood with something that’s consistent with productivity now in West Palm Beach.”
Some of the remnants left behind by previous generations and inhabitants will serve new functions. Take the long-abandoned 1920s rail line that cuts through the property:
“We are developing the Trail Line,” says Beebe, describing a pedestrian swath of green that connects various concepts. “This will become a very active pedestrian greenway.”
West Palm’s quickly emerging food and entertainment scene provides fertile ground for The District’s development, says Vila.
“I think it’s a wonderful time to be here,” he says. “West Palm Beach is growing and can sustain something like this.”
The new brewery is headed to The Warehouse District, a sprawling urban complex that’s now under construction in West Palm Beach’s industrial district. When completed, The District will serve as its own mini-neighborhood and will be home to Grange Hall Market, an eclectic food hall, and other food and beverage spots. It’s located in the industrial zone that sits off Elizabeth Avenue, just southwest of the Palm Beach County Convention Center, near downtown West Palm Beach.
Andrewlevich and brewery partner Matt Webster hope to open next year by late spring or early summer. They tapped into the vintage rail theme in naming the new brewery. An abandoned rail spur on the property inspired images of old locomotives billowing great clouds of smoke. And so Steam Horse was born.
The brewery and large tasting room will breathe new, hoppy life into a 6000-square-foot space currently occupied by a cabinet shop. Andrewlevich notes the space, which will be mostly devoted to Steam Horse’s tasting room, is about the same size as Twisted Trunk on PGA Boulevard.
“We’re hoping to get in there by January to start the renovation. Hopefully, permits will move smoothly,” says Andrewlevich, who says building has begun on the brewing equipment for the place.
About the beers to be brewed, the brewmaster promises a “wide variety.” And while the brewery will offer no food, patrons can order from nearby restaurants and have food delivered to the tasting room.
Andrewlevich, who was the original brewmaster at the now-defunct Brewzzi brewpub in CityPlace, believes Steam Horse will be the city’s first true brewery.
“I’ve been researching this and I haven’t found any other breweries. Brewzzi was a brewpub, which is different,” he says.
He says he is most excited about joining the city’s burgeoning dining and entertainment scene. Just as Tequesta and Twisted Trunk breweries have their distinctive personalities and crowds, he expects the West Palm brewery to draw from the city’s hipster demographic.
“The market as a whole is young and vibrant and it’s Ubers and people going out. It’s a little trendier, a little more cosmopolitan,” says Andrewlevich. “We just love what’s happening in the restaurant scene, the art scene, the music scene here. Everything that’s alive is here.”
Steam Horse will join an emerging, countywide craft beer scene and native breweries that include Funky Buddha and Barrel of Monks in Boca Raton, Saltwater in Delray Beach, Due South, Copperpoint and Devour in Boynton Beach, plus Tequesta Brewing in Tequesta and Twisted Trunk in the Gardens.
The Burgers & Brew event takes place Sunday at Eau’s stunning new oceanfront lounge, Breeze Ocean Kitchen, from 1 to 5 p.m.
An entry fee of $35 per person buys you all-you-can-eat, customizable burgers, plus pours of locally brewed beers. Add to that some live music and free valet parking and you’ve got a Sunday bargain.
DIY burger toppings include bacon, prosciutto, chili, a range of grilled, roasted and pickled veggies, kimchi, pesto, truffle mayo, house-made “Eau-1 Sauce” and various cheeses. (After all, Sunday is National Cheeseburger Day.)
For the pairing, there will be beer tents dispensing plenty of samples from Due South, Funky Buddha, Twisted Trunk, Saltwater and Barrel of Monks.
Bonus: Each guest gets a swag bag of brew-branded items. Also, Eau beer growlers will be on sale for an additional $30.
Breeze Ocean Kitchen: at the Eau Palm Beach Resort, 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan; 561-533-6000; EauPalmBeach.com
City Tap House opened early last month across from City Cellar, turning CityPlace into a hub of unrelated “city” spots. But what makes the newly debuted gastro pub a good match for the downtown West Palm Beach complex is its eclectic menu options, both in food and drink.
The craft beer-centric restaurant is an East Coast concept that aims for a corner bar, good-grub feel. Part of the suburban Philly-based Table 95 Hospitality Group, it’s the first of the City Tap restaurants to open in Florida. The gastro pub breathed new life into the former Brewzzi space two years after that popular brew pub closed. The space is now appointed with barn wood and recycled steel and offers indoor and outdoor areas for dining, drinking and even sports-watching.
The beer list alone flows with local and regional craft brews arranged by styles, then listed by weight. Aside from pints and some higher-alcohol 10-ounce pours, beer is also sold by 5-ounce sampler glasses, affording the curious and thirsty a chance to try out different brews.
A 5-ounce sample of Tampa’s Cigar City Horchata ($3) allowed me to savor the vanilla-cinnamon notes of the Mexican-inspired spiced ale between appetizer bites without having to invest a full-size beer.
Those appetizers were not too easy to pick, as the menu offers a solid range of starters, from Korean short rib tacos ($13) to charred Brussels sprouts ($8) to tuna carpaccio with yuzu-ginger dressing ($17) to Israeli hummus ($8).
We settled on a plate of corn and crab hushpuppies ($13) served with a citrus remoulade and honey-thyme butter. These proved to be knockout bites, crispy, flavorful and studded with crab and corn. They were so fluffy and delicious they needed no sauce, much less any kind of butter.
A Florida grouper ceviche appetizer ($14) offered bright, tropical flavors, nicely acidic hits from citrus and pineapple, richness from coconut milk and avocado and grassy notes from cilantro. With tortilla chips for scooping, the bite was complete.
City Tap House’s pimento cheese spread ($8), however, was a miss. Topped with a layer of nondescript bacon jam, the soft spread proved bland, even when spread on a caraway cracker. It took a tart pickle slice to give the bite a lift.
Our entrée choices did not disappoint. A dish of crispy suckling pig ($24), the night’s Daily Supper” special, offered a neat wedge of pulled, confit pork topped with a spot-on layer of crispy crackling. This pork wedge crowned a sweet potato and poblano hash and a ring of spicy apple sauce. The contrast of flavors and textures elevated the dish.
The City Tap Burger ($15) was a juicy bite. The Black Angus beef patty is topped with cheddar, pickled red onions and a pinkish “secret” sauce that leaked through the bottom bun – not ideal for those who like to pick up their burgers. No worries on my part – I used a fork and knife to scrape the bun aside and cut to the chase, the juicy patty which was cooked to true medium temperature. The side fries, of the “hand-cut” variety, were crispy enough.
We found interesting, yet vaguely Asian, flavors in the Duck Rice Hot Pot ($23), a composition of crispy confit duck (slow-cooked in its own fat), sauteed with Napa cabbage, garlic and peas that’s cooked with star anise and cinnamon-scented long grain rice and aromatics. The mixture is then deglazed with mirin, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha sauce, white soy sauce and sesame oil. The presentation includes plenty of chopped herbs, green beans and an oozy poached egg. A vegetarian version of the dish, which is comforting and delicious, is offered as well. The white soy lends the dish a round hint of butterscotch for an overall addictive flavor.
These dishes share the dinner menu with a variety of mussels, pizza, and heftier meat-centric options.
Those who venture to the heftier side of the menu, be warned: There’s one dessert that’s worth saving some room for. The ricotta fritters ($8) are simply sublime. The house-made ricotta becomes more flavorful as it air-dries for 48 hours. The soft cheese is mixed with flour, baking soda, orange zest, sugar and eggs, then deep-fried. Hot and crispy outside, fluffy and decadent inside, they’re dusted with powdered sugar and served with a citrus-scented crème anglaise dipping sauce. Three words: Run, don’t walk.
These fritters completely outshone our two other dessert selections: a scoop of tangy-rich key lime gelato, and a chocolate pot de crème. Served in a coffee cup and saucer, the chocolate dessert sounded so much better when described by our server. It’s like a chocolate mousse topped with whipped vanilla crème fraiche, then crowned with a bruleed (torched) banana wedge that’s sprinkled with crumbled macadamia nuts. Yeah, go for the ricotta fritters.
NOISE LEVEL: Noisy at the bar, but the dining room is large enough to hold varying levels of noise. Conversation is possible.
FULL BAR: Yes, a full liquor bar; separate bar area. Happy Hour runs Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m.
HOURS: Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and offers a DIY Mimosa and Bloody Mary Bar for $18 with purchase of an entrée.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time to celebrate craft beer! According to the Brewers Association, this week is American Craft Beer Week. And we are lucky that in Palm Beach County, we have an abundance of craft beer and breweries to choose from.
It’s almost impossible to have tasted every variety of every beer brewed at each of the county’s nine breweries — and that’s a good problem to have. But we did our best! And if you need help deciding, we have picked the best for you:
Copperpoint Brewing is helping those born on Feb. 29 make up for lost time by offering them four free beers today in their taproom. Leap-year babies need only show valid identification for the promotion, according to Copperpoint’s Instagram page.
There are plenty of beers to chose from at the brewery the Palm Beach Post named its 2015 Brewery of the Year in December. Regularly on tap is the B. Rabbit Stout, a lighter, more porter-like dark beer brewed with specially roasted local Rabbit Coffee beans. Their blood-orange wheat beer was a Post Beer of the Week last year.