Thursday, October 18, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Local craft beer of the week: Bean Porter, Pinellas Ale Works

When St. Petersburg’s Pinellas Ale Works held its grand opening in May 2016, it featured a baltic porter treated with vanilla and coffee that proved to be a crowd favorite. The response was so positive that the brewery made another batch of Bean Porter that October and tossed it into 22-ounce bottles for sale in the brewery’s tasting room at 1962 First Ave. S.

Fast-forward and that beer is still for sale. A year in the bottle has worked wonders, rounding out the base beer’s roastiness and allowing the vanilla and coffee to merge into a smooth, natural balance that wasn’t quite there when the beer was first released.

While seeking out unsold stock of a bottle release from more than a year ago is generally questionable, that’s exactly what you should be doing in the case of Bean Porter. It’s a fantastic execution of a well-worn concept (coffee/vanilla/some sort of dark beer base) from a brewery that’s produced a couple of well-off-the-radar releases in recent memory, including a phenomenal and medal-winning Russian imperial stout called 1888.

The base beer is a smooth and strong porter (7.5 percent alcohol by volume) that’s aged at lager temperatures with whole vanilla and coffee beans.
It’s not viscous and sweet in the way that we’ve come to expect from boldly flavored stout and porter bottle releases; it’s medium-bodied and a relatively mild brew, given its strength and prominent vanilla and coffee notes. It’s great for cold weather, but you could drink this after warm weather arrives just as easily.

That this beer is still available more than a year after its original release says
nothing about its quality. Rather, it just means that not enough people have had a chance to try it for themselves. For a $9 bomber in the brewery tasting room or around $10 on the shelves of various area beer shops — I spotted it in the cooler at the Old Northeast Rally in St. Petersburg — it’s one you shouldn’t miss.

— Justin Grant

Have a suggestion for the Local Craft Beer of the Week? Brewers, have a limited release coming that we should know about? Email jg@saintbeat.com.

Comments
tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide for 2018

tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide for 2018

This summer, tbt* readers cast more than 2,000 votes for their favorite bar in our annual readers' choice contest, Tampa Bay's Ultimate Bar Awards.
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Bar review: Daily News Cafe & Restaurant delivers

Bar review: Daily News Cafe & Restaurant delivers

It’s always a treat to pick up a menu and find more than a few unfamiliar beer names. Hofbräu and Weihenstephaner? Classic options, sure, but how about Laško? Had that one lately/ever? Chateau Ste. Michelle and Estancia make regular...
Published: 10/18/18
Local craft beer of the week: Caged Pelican Baltic Porter

Local craft beer of the week: Caged Pelican Baltic Porter

If you’re going to do a local collaboration, go all the way. The Pesky Pelican Brewpub, a St. Petersburg nanobrewery and restaurant, has teamed up with brewer Eric Richardson of downtown St. Pete’s Cage Brewing for Caged Pelican, a stro...
Published: 10/18/18
Best pizza in the U.S. comes from this Boston restaurant, TripAdvisor says

Best pizza in the U.S. comes from this Boston restaurant, TripAdvisor says

TripAdvisor offered its views of the best pizza restaurants in the country, and while New York can claim one big victory, it fell short of the ultimate prize -- the best pizzeria in the land.
Published: 10/17/18
Dr. BBQ opens to the public today. Here’s a look.

Dr. BBQ opens to the public today. Here’s a look.

ST. PETERSBURGDr. BBQ needed a beer. Mission accomplished: A sip of Green Bench’s Dr. BBQ Pale Lager dispatched, he was ready to start the tour. See that teal tufted couch against that wall? It’s like something from Girl & the Goat in Chicago. The wo...
Published: 10/17/18
What I learned about food by eating a 27-course meal at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns

What I learned about food by eating a 27-course meal at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns

A recent trip to upstate New York provided the perfect excuse to try the renowned chef’s restaurant, and a once-in-a-lifetime meal.
Published: 10/17/18
Recipe for bread pudding with bourbon sauce

Recipe for bread pudding with bourbon sauce

Enjoy a taste of the Big Easy with Bourbon Bread Pudding With Bourbon Sauce.
Published: 10/17/18
To get to Ybor’s spookiest bar, step through the secret bookcase

To get to Ybor’s spookiest bar, step through the secret bookcase

TAMPAAsked to describe his newly opened SpookEasy Lounge in Ybor City, you’d expect EvanChristopher Traver to go with any number of words. "Goth." "Victorian." "Hidden." Even an on-the-nose "spooky speakeasy" would have worked.His actual response: "A...
Published: 10/16/18
Updated: 10/17/18
From the food editor: A carrot coconut soup from Chrissy Teigen’s second ‘Cravings’ cookbook

From the food editor: A carrot coconut soup from Chrissy Teigen’s second ‘Cravings’ cookbook

This bright, vegetable soup was inspired by a recent farm meal.
Published: 10/16/18
Five ideas for recipes to celebrate National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

Five ideas for recipes to celebrate National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

Food holidays may be silly, but these fall recipes sure aren’t.
Published: 10/16/18