Showing posts with label daytona beach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label daytona beach. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Florida Finding

As I mentioned in my Top Ten Virginia Beers post yesterday, my little family and I got back to Central Virginia on Sunday having spent a week at the beach in Florida. Most years we go down to Daytona Beach for a week of sitting by the pool, reading copious amounts of books, and generally getting gently toasted as the beer flows. This being the first year with the twins in tow, I failed to read the one book I had with me, got hustled into actually going to the beach (I grew up on an island in the Hebrides and hate sand with a passion), and somehow managed to not finish the 2 12 packs of Sierra Nevada beer that I bought while there.

One thing that Mrs V and I had in mind though was to leave the boys with her parents for a few hours and actually go out on date. Not having family around in Central Virginia to provide free babysitting services means alone time of just Mrs V and I is very much at a premium. When we were discussing where to go for our date, we wanted to avoid the many cheesy tourist traps that Daytona Beach has to offer, and our (well ok then, my) experience of the local craft beer scene has been universally meh. Surfing around the old interwebs, I came across a brewpub in nearby Ormond-By-The-Sea called appropriately enough Beachside Brew Pub.

Situated in a smallish industrial unit within easy walking distance of said beach and the Atlantic Ocean, Beachside from the outside doesn't really look at that promising, never judge a book by its cover folks. We took a couple of free seats at the bar, the crowd seemed to be mostly locals rather than tourists like ourselves and looked over the menu.


When it comes to choosing flights, I have a method that is basically, pick the simplest, most classic styles, and if a brewery does those well then I am happy to try some of the other options, as such from the list above I went for the:
  • 2 - The Pale - American Pale Ale
  • 3 - Gleaming the Cube - Altbier
  • 9 - Amber, The Blond - American Amber Ale
  • 11 - Soignies Stout - Belgian Stout


I didn't take copious notes, I was on a date with my wife after all, but all 4 were more than solid, and in The Pale pretty damned good. Mrs V also had The Pale, as well as Wil Watermelon Wheaton, Beachin Blond, and Heffy's Weizen, of which she stick to the Beachin Blond for the night. Suitably impressed I went on to try the remaining beers, with the Hurricane Swell Double IPA being the standout, yes dear regular Fuggled reader you did read that right. However, it was The Pale that drank for the rest of the night.

Our original plan had been to come down, have a pint and then move on elsewhere, as it was we stayed for a few hours taking advantage of their "rec room" with pool tables, darts, and table tennis. Mrs V and I decided to re-enact our honeymoon and play some darts, with me introducing her to the scoring of a classic game of 501, which I then went and lost.


One thing that really deserves a shout out here is the service, it was excellent. I don't recall our bartender's name, but she was simply brilliant and really made us feel welcome, especially as she and Mrs V traded twin mother battle stories.


One thing I loved about the place was that it seemed to be a local hangout, with a collection of folks known to the bartenders, in an almost Cheers! like way, it was charming. Should you find yourself in the Daytona Beach area, I really recommend getting along to Beachside and support a good local business, well 2 really as they have a daily rotation of food trucks, though we didn't have any food while we were there.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Follow the Flagship

Last week Andy Crouch wrote a very interesting piece entitled "Death of the Flagship", looking at how the craft beer industry, for want of a better phrase, seems to be moving away from having a flagship brand to having lots of seasonals and rotations. If you didn't read it already, once you are finished reading this, then head on over.

The reason I mention Andy's post is that I am on my annual holiday in Florida. As I type this post I am looking out over the Atlantic Ocean, watching early risers like Mrs V and I stroll along the shore, and thinking that perhaps I should be sensible today on the laying in the sun front. From a beer perspective, whenever I come to Daytona Beach, I am so glad for the very flagship beers mentioned in Andy's post, Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

On the first afternoon of our week here, we always go to Walmart to stock up on food for the week and I get my first stash of beer. The Daytona Beach Walmart has a pathetic beer selection, let's be honest here. I think they have every conceivable shade of BMC lager and then a token "craft" selection of some Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada, and so that is my choice, and this year it was a case of Pale Ale which worked its way into the fridge.


This is why having flagships like Boston Lager and Pale Ale is important for the industry, because of their near ubiquity, their acceptance within the larger world. Knowing that I can get a good, tasty, well made beer without having to traipse my wife's parents half way round the city is a good thing as far as I am concerned. Perhaps I am just not a genuine beer lover in that I really am not such a zealot as to afflict those around me with needless trips to obscure shops when we are on holiday. Admittedly when it is just Mrs V and I we do go looking for out of the way places, but that's because she is incredibly indulgent of me and should be sainted by whatever secular humanist organisation would hand out such gongs.

Anyway, this week will be spent raising bottles of hoppy American Pale Ale to those pioneers of good tasty beer, long may they prosper!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Pleasant Surprise

When Mrs V and I head down to Florida for our annual holiday in the sun, and boy has it been hot the last few days, I usually prepare myself for a week of drinking Samuel Adams at the resort and hoping the places we go our for dinner have something other than BMC on draft. On many an occasion I have asked "what beers do you have?" and subsequently ordered a diet Coke.

While driving to our resort, we spotted a couple of new restaurants close to the beach, including one called The Black Sheep, which describes itself as a "pub and eating house". On checking their website it turns out that it is a stab at a vaguely British/Irish theme pub, so naturally we paid it a visit on Saturday night.

The menu was pretty standard British/Irish theme pub in America fare - chicken wings, burgers, fish and chips, Shepherd's Pie (inexplicably made with beef), although the starters did include Scotch eggs, which were delicious. According to Mrs V and her parents, the fish and chips was excellent - for once I resisted temptation, but only because they had liver, bacon and onions on the menu! Yes, finally an American restaurant with calf's liver on the menu, joy of joy! I love offal in general and liver in particular, and it too was excellent.

On the beer front, 30 taps, 40 bottles is the numbers, and the selection is decent. Of course there are the standards, Budweiser, Bud Light, that kind of thing, as well as the usual British/Irish suspects, Newcastle Brown Ale, Old Speckled Hen and Guinness. But they have some good British craft offerings, Fullers in particular, London Pride and London Porter on draft - I soon discovered that London Porter is as delicious in the heat of summer as in the chill of winter. I polished off 3 American pints in the 45 minutes we were there, and it was happy hour, so it cost pretty much 3 for 2.

It is nice to see this kind of place in Daytona Beach, and we had a really nice meal in a place with a relaxed yet busy vibe. I always say that the staff is what makes a good place great, and our waitress on Saturday was excellent, if the rest of the staff are up to her standards, then The Black Sheep is doing well, and is a very welcome addition to the restaurant scene here.

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...

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