Thursday, October 18, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Local craft beer of the week: So, it’s barleywine you like? Get the Obscure at Green Bench

Perhaps the most famous name in barleywine belongs to an English poet and novelist: Thomas Hardy. The beer named after him was originally brewed by the Eldridge Pope brewery in the late ’60s in Dorchester, England, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Hardy’s death.

The sweet, rich and potent brew became a popular annual release, representing a gold standard for English-style barleywines until Eldridge Pope ceased production in 1999. Since then, several reboots of the beer have been brewed by various breweries around the world.

St. Petersburg’s Green Bench Brewing and American Solera from Tulsa, Okla., teamed up for a collaboration barleywine that continues the legacy by adding Thomas Hardy’s barleywine yeast culture to Jamaican rum barrels, filling the balance with fresh barleywine and aging the beer for 20 months before blending and bottling.

The result is The Obscure, a terrific barleywine that all lovers of strong ale should now seek out.

The Obscure pours a deep brown, nearly black, with low carbonation. The nose is rum-heavy, with notes of molasses and raisins. It’s rich and sweet, but not cloying, presenting dense flavors of fig, plum, cocoa and caramel. Despite its hefty 10.2 percent alcohol by volume, The Obscure drinks extremely smooth, like a nice port.

The Obscure is available for purchase in Green Bench’s tasting room for $15. If you go, buy two: one to enjoy now, and one to cellar for later (it will age very well). A barrel-aged barleywine is an uncharacteristic release for Green Bench, but this one would make Thomas Hardy himself proud.

— 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
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...
Updated: 11 hours ago
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
After more than two decades, Davis Islands' 220 East still brings its A game

After more than two decades, Davis Islands' 220 East still brings its A game

220 East on Davis Islands is a rarity, a restaurant that has stood the test of time but still ably caters to local tastes.
Published: 10/15/18