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Brew Review

The Brass Tap Is Golden

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By Joni Williams

 

There’s no better way to spend Spring Break than riding around in a Mercedes Roadster with the top down, even—or maybe, especially—while recovering from major surgery.

 

Despite being laid up, we managed to hit up some of our fave places we hadn’t visited in years, including Schooners and the latest incarnation of J. Michael’s. But it was one of the newer places, the Brass Tap in Pier Park, that really stole our hearts. With scrumptious eats, a Fido-friendly patio and over 60 crafts on tap, they had us even before hello.

 

We weren’t disappointed when it came time to order, either. Our brew crew went with one big, fat juicy house specialty burger, a perfectly prepared panini and a crisp and oh-so-fresh Brass Tap teaming with bleu cheese crumbles. Everything arrived quickly, was well prepared and outrageously delicious.

 

Ditto for our app, the house buffalo dip—it packed some serious heat, just like we like it. The lovely Luna went with a paw-some, half-pound puppy patty served up human-style on a real glass plate along with a stainless steel bowl filled with water. And when the final tab came, we discovered that bringing a pooch during Sunday evening’s “Yappy Hour” fetches a 10 percent discount.

 

Ordering food here is easy. Beer not so much, only because there are so many tempting selections. Choosing is like being the proverbial kid in a grown-up candy store. The best way to find out what’s on tap is to hit their website or app, as the beer list is truly extensive and most excellent — filled with top-of-the-line saisons, porters, ales, darks, lights and everything in between. They even tapped our beloved but incredibly hard-to-find Weihestephaner Dunkel.

 

But we were so intrigued with a number of new-to-us brews, we skipped it this trip and embarked on a hoppy adventure that began with 21st Amendment’s Blood Orange Brew Free or Die!

 

Obviously, we were feeling extremely adventurous because we strongly dislike sweet brews. But—surprise!—we actually enjoyed this IPA. The zing of citrus and the overall natural tasting flavor keep it from being cloyingly sweet. The sweetness also serves to temper its bitterness, despite a rather hefty 60 IBU rating. If you don’t like IPA’s signature bite, this is a good one to try.

 

Since we were already sipping on the wild side, we opted for another sweetie, Funky Buddha’s Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. Appropriately enough, it was served up in a snifter because if you get this beer, you have to give it a sniff. The maple bacon aroma is better than the air at the Waffle House on a busy Sunday Morning.

 

And the flavor? Sweet but not too sweet, yet dark and rich with robust flavor. Not into brews? After finishing our round with a Moscow Mule, we can heartily recommend the fully stocked bar. The Mule was served our favorite way, in a chilly copper cup. And even though it was packing a generous wallop of Absolut, it was priced at only six bucks.

 

Most of the brews here are between five and seven dollars, but max out at $10. Likewise, sandwich and burger platters are about $10. They also have daily Happy Hour and other specials, like two-dollar tacos on Tuesdays, along with Jamah Terry performing from 6 to 9 p.m.

 

Our server was fast, efficient and one of the friendliest we’ve encountered in the area—to us as well as our pup.

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