It was just over a year ago that I came up with an incredibly simple concept to further cultivate a Southern brewing identity. Someone, I thought, should step up and take the reins to demonstrate from where, exactly, their beer is coming. Thus, the “Drink Like A Local, Y’all!” map was created.
It not only displays just how local these breweries are situated, it visually represents the smaller businesses in relation to the larger, more well-known and established entities. Mostly, it’s a growing tapestry of Southern brewing proliferation.
We’re also three days away from the annual Pensacola Beer Festival held at the Maritime Park. Like last year, I knew we’d have most – if not all – of our Southern suds providers attending. So, invitations went out to as far away as northern Alabama and as close as a few blocks. “Calling all Southern brewers. You’re already in town for The Fest, so why don’t we all meet up at Hopjacks for a casual social mixer?”
Open to the public, our “Drink With The Locals” night enters its second year, this time on a Gallery Night. Anticipating big crowds for that alone, we’ll be hosting our little gathering in the Hopshack courtyard bar area out back. Bonus incentive to come hang out: a number of the brewers have mentioned that they’re bringing some small-batch and/or yet-to-be-released goodies to sample out.
Now, don’t get too partied out meeting the folks who make your beer! The main event is The Fest and no one wants to miss this growing gathering of beer enthusiasts and stuff to sample. We learned our lesson on over-doing it last year. The memories are fuzzy, but we think there was whiskey of some sort involved.
It doesn’t get more local than Pensacola Bay Brewery and they’re getting involved with whiskey as well. The good people from Zaragoza Street have been aging porter in, of all things, Angel’s Envy barrels! No big deal… They were only winner of “Spirit Journal’s” 2013 Best Spirit in the World.
Time to re-visit Black Treasure. This beer has a head of pancake batter foam riding atop absolute deep-space darkness. Careful staring into this one ‘cause the abyss just might stare right back. Scents are reminiscent of those liquor-filled chocolates that seem to show up around Christmas; cocoa, cherry liqueur and a hint of leather (due to the Bourbon barrels). The caramel, vanilla and butterscotch from the whiskey contact amplify the dried stone fruit and black licorice of the porter. Finishing woodsy and a little boozy, this medium-bodied sipper has a smooth texture.
We’re getting together around 7 pm Friday, November 20. You can stop by, grab a Black Treasure and tell Pensacola Bay’s Brew Master, Mark Robertson, how much you dig this beer, too. Drink local with the locals!