We’re only about a week away from the public getting to taste beers from brewmaster Clay Keel at the Two Henrys Brewing Co.
The brewery will have its coming-out party during Biertoberfest from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 at Keel & Curley Winery, 5210 W. Thonotosassa Road, Plant City.
Keel, the son of winery owner Joe Keel, persuaded his father to let him start Two Henrys in the original building where the vineyard first began producing its wines.
Keel plans to serve craft beers in a tasting room at the winery themed to Henry Flagler and Henry Plant, the tycoons who built extensive railroads along Florida’s east and west coasts, respectively.
Beers being planned include:
♦ The Gilded Age golden pilsener with a golden color, crisp flavor and hoppy finish. Keel says this is the beer most like what the Henrys would have enjoyed at the turn of the century Florida.
♦ Rough Around the Edges pale ale, a medium amber beer with moderate hops and 5.5 percent alcohol by volume. The name is a play on the Rough Riders who stayed in Plant’s Tampa Bay Hotel in 1898 before heading to Cuba.
♦ 8th Wonder, an India Pale Ale brewed with six types of hops and an herbal and citrus flavor. So named for Flagler’s ill-fated overseas railroad to Key West.
The Standard chocolate stout, Full-bodied, dark, chocolatey and 6.5 percent ABV, I can vouch for this bodacious brew. I had several sips. I will be enjoying this as frequently as possible.
Admission to Biertoberfest is free, although there is a fee for parking. For information: go online to twohenrysbrewing.com
TASTY TEQUILA TRIUMPH
Congrats to Beth “The Bartender” Mylls of Riverview, who won the inaugural “Big South Tequila Festival” at Red Mesa Cantina in St. Petersburg. Tribune reporter Cloe “Senora Sabor” Cabrera was a judge.
The festival on Oct. 28 drew more than 500 tequila lovers to the restaurant for an afternoon of samples from tequila distilleries Patron, Don Julio, Azunia, Hornitos, Milagro and Cabo Wabo. All were participants in the “Distiller Throw-Down Competition.”
Mylls, who was the only female bartender competing in the contest, represented the Hornitos brand.
Her winning drink, “Summer Seduction,” combined Hornitas Plata with strawberry and pineapple juices and lemon sour. The drink will be featured next year on Red Mesa’s menu. Mylls also won a $250 prize.
“I wanted to make a drink even non-tequila lovers would enjoy,” Mylls said after her win. “And I wanted to make it simple enough so you could find the ingredients at your local supermarket.”
NEW ABC STORE
If you’ve been driving down Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa for the past few months, you’ve probably seen the new ABC Fine Wine & Spirits store. Gone are the bleached white walls. In their place, lots of stone and warm, earthy Tuscan colors.
The store at 3015 W. Kennedy Blvd., not only got a facelift, it added a Brew Stop growler machine, a lineup of 500 craft beers and a “Try Before You Buy” wine sampling station. The remodel is part of a brand revamp for ABC, which updated — or is in the process of doing so — about half its 143 stores in Florida.
For the wine sampling, ABC uses Napa Technology’s WineStation machines to offer free sips. The company also is deploying a dozen sommeliers to answer wine questions on Twitter.
To find a complete list of sommeliers, go online to http://bit.ly/13bd9nX.