Sunday, January 21, 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 í60s in Dorchester, England, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Hardyís 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. Petersburgís Green Bench Brewing and American Solera from Tulsa, Okla., teamed up for a collaboration barleywine that continues the legacy by adding Thomas Hardyís 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. Itís 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 Benchís 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.

ó 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: Florida spirits and brews at the newest Local Draught House in Tampa

Bar review: Florida spirits and brews at the newest Local Draught House in Tampa

I donít consider myself "old" ó though I have gotten into a bad habit of informing door people insistent on checking my ID that Iím halfway to 70. But Iím frequently made aware of how far removed my lifestyle is from that of my 20s.So when I walked i...
Published: 01/18/18
Local craft beer of the week: Electric Wizard IPA from 7venth Sun Brewery

Local craft beer of the week: Electric Wizard IPA from 7venth Sun Brewery

The past six months have been kind to Dunedinís 7venth Sun Brewery. In August, the breweryís long-awaited Tampa expansion finally happened, with its much larger Seminole Heights facility and tasting room opening in a town eager to try its range of ul...
Published: 01/18/18
Shake Shack, Momofuku and more: Please come to Tampa Bay

Shake Shack, Momofuku and more: Please come to Tampa Bay

Fabio is coming! Not the Fabio on your romance novel, with the billowing hair and large quantities of artificial butter. This Fabio, in all likelihood, uses real butter. And olive oil. Fabio Viviani, the charming Top Chef alum known for appearances...
Published: 01/17/18
Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

LA SEGUNDAA Tampa Bay giant has stirred and is on the move. La Segunda Central Bakery, a family-owned Ybor City institution for nearly 103 years (they celebrated that birthday Jan. 15) and the largest producer of Cuban bread in the world, will open a...
Published: 01/17/18
Shake Shack inches closer to Tampa Bay with new Florida restaurant

Shake Shack inches closer to Tampa Bay with new Florida restaurant

Beloved burger restaurant Shake Shack, which once inspired hungry diners to wait in hours-long lines at New York's Madison Square Park before expanding with dozens of locations across the U.S., is inching closer to Tampa Bay. A lease agreement †with...
Published: 01/17/18
Healthful eating is just a one-pan fish dish away

Healthful eating is just a one-pan fish dish away

By Ellie KriegerI recoil at the repentant food chatter that crops up this time of year, dominated by words such as "cleanse" and "detox," which, from what I can tell, are just modern code for "extreme diet." But part of cultivating a healthy, balanc...
Published: 01/17/18
We tried eating the recommended serving of fruit and vegetables for a week, and it was harder than we thought

We tried eating the recommended serving of fruit and vegetables for a week, and it was harder than we thought

I sat at my desk eating chunked pineapple straight out of the can, reading about how much fruit and vegetables we should all be eating every day: 1 1/2 to two cups of fruit, 2 1/2 to three cups of vegetables, at a minimum, per the United States Depar...
Published: 01/17/18
Taste test: pot stickers

Taste test: pot stickers

Whenever I order meals at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant I always look for pot stickers on the menu. The tasty Asian dumplings are filled with pork or chicken and veggies and cooked with a perfect balance of steaming and frying. The reason I order ...
Published: 01/16/18
From the food editor: Recipe for warm, cozy Pita Ribollita soup

From the food editor: Recipe for warm, cozy Pita Ribollita soup

When I first made this soup, Florida was in the grips of a cold weather snap, the likes of which rarely happens in this part of the state. Weíre talking a whole week of lows in the 30s. The 30s! It was everything I ever wanted and more ó the rare win...
Published: 01/16/18
Restaurant review: Byblos Cafe has busted out of its mold with a broader Mediterranean menu, and thatís good

Restaurant review: Byblos Cafe has busted out of its mold with a broader Mediterranean menu, and thatís good

TAMPASeldom have I paid such close attention to a restaurant closure, remodeling and reopening. Byblos Cafe began a major renovation last year, keeping the restaurant open as long as possible during the summer with some nifty temporary walls to shiel...
Published: 01/16/18