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Brew Review

All the Beers Under the Sun

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Brew correspondent Joni Williams wants everyone to know that she loves Hispanics!

By Joni Williams


Have you been to the “new” Fokker’s in Downtown Fort Walton Beach? They still have a full bar, as well as their interesting food menu filled with German fare, wings and pizza, including the infamous Mother Fokker.


But after moving catty corner across the street, the new place has been updated with lots of tables, booths and bar stools done up in downright classy dark woods and vinyl. The place is now officially good lookin.’ Outside, a sunshine-y patio flanks the entrance, ensuring not only ample seating but a great show for people watchers interested in checking out the many Miracle Strip passersby.


Best of all, Fokker’s still has those hard-to-find German biers we so love like Erdinger, Kronenbourg, Warsteiner and now, Kostritzer. Plus they have a full list of domestics, crafts and classics. And they’ve managed to do all of this upgrading while hanging on to their “almost half price” hoppy hour, with brews priced from $2 to $2.75 from 3 to 7 p.m., extended until closing on Tuesdays.


By the way, if you love you some bourbon as much as a good brew, look for Fokker’s to host a special pairing dinner soon.


Another place that’s come a long way baby is practically next door. That’s Burrito del Sol, which started as an airstream food truck and is now housed in the former Mulhollow’s Bistro. We like their food better than Chipotle, though the concept is pretty similar with its fresh kinda-Tex-Mex-sorta-Southwest fare, based around customizable tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, quesadillas and add-ons of chips, guac, queso and beans.


But when Chipotle offers it, they don’t even come close to BDS’s beer selection, served up via tap or bottles. Consider their daily hoppy hour, when a choice beer can be had for three bucks, or as the daily special for $2.50. Staple brewers include Dos Equis, Negra Modelo, Corona and Pacifico, as well as Red Stripe, Miller Lite, Bud and Yuengling. They also have stock some craft delights like Sweetwater, Grayton Beer, Fat Tire, Stump Knocker and Left Hand for variety.


We went with the reliable, almost-classic 420 by Sweetwater and the lesser-known straw-colored Bearded Lady by Good People as we debated the food offerings. To recap, the 420 is bold, hoppy and easy to drink, with enough flavor to fly solo or top off even a hot sauce laced meal.  Likewise, Good People’s wheat ale teased our taste buds but had enough of a bite to prevent all-out guzzling. That same citrus-like twist proved to be an effective thirst quencher on a hot, otherwise gorgeous, sunny day. If you like wheats or decidedly non-sweet brews, this is a good one to try.


It also paired exceptionally well with our choice of food. Or we should say, choices of food. Because even though the menu looks deceptively simple, once you choose the main event—in our case, the daily special of a fish, Almaco Jack—you then pick if you want it in the aforementioned burrito, taco, etc. Once that’s decided, you must then select your preference of baja, chipotle, southwest or BBQ styles as well as some upgrade options. They had us at guacamole.


Without the upgrades, the fish—which we had made up as a taco salad, chipotle-style—would have given Donald Trump a run for his money, in a totally non-political bipartisan way, of course. We couldn’t help being impressed it was only $11.50 and downright huge. We also got a plate of well-prepared shrimp tacos on crunchy corn shells for about 10 bucks and, understandably, wound up with leftovers.


Clearly, if you’re hungry and budget-minded, this is a great place to indulge in both eats and brews without breaking the bank. Which probably explains the mid-afternoon crowd steadily filling the high-topped tables and booths, tastefully done in wood and unique pieces of children’s art. Like Fokker’s, there’s also ample patio seating.


And speaking of hot weather—indirectly, as “del sol” translates to “of the sun”—it’s been three years since we dumped a stout beer into a frozen Irish coffee and came up with our first incarnation of a beer milkshake. Since then, we’ve been seeing a lot of versions of deep dark chocolaty stouts mixed with chocolate ice cream on the internet—a good concoction to be sure, one we ourselves touted on these very pages.


For summer 2016, we’d also like to suggest mixing a malty, caramelly brew like Dogfish Raisin d’être with a high quality caramel ripple ice cream and maybe even a dash of caramel or butterscotch sauce. And don’t forget the zillion-calorie whipped cream on top which, for some reason, complements a beer shake particularly well. But the cherry on top? That’s totally up to you.

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