The Crafted Keg Blog
November 1, 2015
So what if you like your beers a little fruity? That doesn’t make you any less of a man in my book! I recently have had multiple conversations with a number of individuals that don’t think a man enjoying a good cold pint of Sea Dog Blueberry here and there makes that man any less a man either. So bring on those Pumpkin Ales this Halloween my friends because it actually makes for quite a tasty protein shake! As Arnold said, “Milk is for babies. When you grow up you drink beer as a man.” Among the top fruit ales around, “Sweet Potato Pie Casserole” from Funky Buddha is top twenty on beer advocates fruit ale rankings, let’s just say, if you come across this ale, Buy It!
To bring your favorite ales into the lineup at the keg, message our Facebook page the name of the ale, and we will be happy to try and bring this in for you. We always aim to please our patrons.
Tequesta Brew co. recently released their own pumpkin ale, and it is to die for, but that isn’t what I am most excited about from these guys. I am most excited about the fact that this pumpkin ale is a Nitro S’mores Pumpkin Ale and though I have not personally been able to try it yet, I am very much looking forward to that moment when I do.
Pumpkin ciders and Pumpkin Flavored ales! Everywhere I look someone has a new one for me to try, but which ones are worth your dollar and which aren’t? I have two for you that I can guarantee personally will not let you down! Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Co. is my first pick as its rich in its flavor, smooth in its bite and not too sweet to enjoy. To many of these fruit ales are loaded with a sweetness that will punch you in the gut later, but Pumking and the folks out at Southern Tier seem to have found that perfect balance to make it just right! Next on my list is local from the boys over in Tampa at Cigar City and its called Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Sitting at an 8.5% ABV, Good Gourd is an impressive feat for the Cigar City brewers as it is not only top two on my list, but it also comes in at number one on Beer Advocates top ranked pumpkin ales out there! To put it simple for you, if you come across Good Gourd, GET IT! That is all.
Continuing my conversation regarding craft beer, craft beer microbreweries and consuming craft beer, I recently visited a little brewery in the town of Oviedo, FL called Rock N’ Brew. I loved the decorations and the vibe, the beers were superb and the bar keep was very likeable to say the least. The food menu is respectable but the actual food presented is far above expectations, the flights are cool guitars cut out from pine wood and the flight glass pours are perfect in size! Along with their in house brews they also carry a perfect variety of beers from other microbreweries around the world, as soon as they begin distributing to other establishments, I will be sure to have some of these Rock N Brew beers brought in to The Keg and offered as part of our draft items.
To switch it up a little, recently I visited the local World of Beers by my apartment here in Orlando and naively asked the bar girl to pour me a black velvet, what I got was a nasty mix of ace pineapple cider and Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro that was clearly poured improperly as both were mixed throughout the glass and the stout was clearly what had been poured first. Though I should have known this was what I would receive after she asked me what exactly was in a Black Velvet. The management team down at WOB needs to step up their training if they want to maintain customer satisfaction.
Hello, my name is Alex Piasecki and I am one of the guys that pours your beers from time to time when you come into The Crafted Keg. My experience with craft beer has taught me a few things. 1) There are only two types of beers you should really care about: Lagers and Ales. 2) Stouts make the perfect post workout recovery drink and 3) Ciders are for sissies (Just kidding). I actually enjoy a cider from time to time. This is my first blog post on my experiences with The Crafted Keg and craft beer in general.
Opening the Crafted Keg was one heck of an experience. I can recall working with Matthias, Zach, Guy, Max 16-18 hours a day working to get it open. When we finally got to the open, I can remember the first night being a little nerve racking, but I had faith that everything would be just fine. The first thing that we found to be very useful was constructive criticism and customer feedback/input. The biggest input we got was in regards to our food menu, which as thus expanded exponentially to become a full service menu. Because of this expansion, we will soon be hosting food pairings and chef nights on a weekly basis.
Another great change dealt with our lawsuit you may have heard of through the newspapers and news outlets throughout the state, even including national shows such as CBS Morning New. The Crafted Keg was recently granted a reason to celebrate as the state of Florida announced the legalization of 64 oz. growler sales within the state. This was a lawsuit TCK filed months back with the help of the Pacific Legal Foundation just last year. As of July this year (2015), we will be adding this size to our retail inventory and will also be able to service those from out of state that already use the 64 oz. growler. This is exciting news for the craft beer culture. We would like to thank all of you for the support including all the multiple letters and gifts from breweries from around the country. We could not sincerely thank you guys enough.
Recently, I went and visited the guys up at Orlando Brewing Company. I must say that I was a bit skeptical at first, having spent the last 4 months in Fort Collins, Colorado where the heart of Craft Beer culture is located. I wasn’t sure if The Orlando Brewing Company was going to be able to match up to my expectations. Much to my surprise, the owners George and Aldo are what many would describe as the mad scientists in the business.
Everything out of Orlando Brew Company is organically made and FDA approved. At first, my response was “so what”, but then I started sampling the beers and chatting with George, and I started to notice a few things. First, I have a mild allergy to beers and alcohol, and when I consume these substances I normally turn a blotchy red/pink and get a really bad headache, but with the beers from OBC I noticed none of the above and was only able to enjoy the sensation of the “buzz”. They informed me that my allergy could be caused by all the foreign chemicals and enhancers used within the products. The fact that I can drink this product and not have any reaction has now made it my go to brand for when I want a good tasty alcoholic beverage. Orlando Brewing Company is most certainly a must see if you ever get a chance to visit Orlando.
I have a brand new amazing brew to discuss. Cigar City recently came out with Horchata Nitro Ale. This beer tastes exactly like French toast with a hint of cinnamon to finish. The beer goes down as smooth as any beer you’ll ever drink. I am working on getting this in to The Crafted Keg from our distributors for you to enjoy. Sadly, this beer is just a bit harder to get my hands on than other ales, but as I have sworn an oath to this great bar to never fail (or its my head on a stick Game of Thrones style), I will prevail. Make sure you do not pass this up if you ever come across this amazing piece of art from the guys over at Cigar City Brewery.
That’s all I got for this week. Check back in the next few weeks for my next post, as I will be doing this on a bi-monthly basis.