Drink Tampa Bay is an ongoing series chronicling locally made beer and wine.
This week we sampled the Attack of the Märzens and Oliver’s Gruel Oatmeal Stout beers brewed by Southern Brewing & Winemaking.
Oliver’s Gruel Oatmeal Stout – 5.5%
Roy: What’s the color there?
Rusty: It’s a dark color. It’s almost black, you can’t see through it… it’s opaque, or it’s so dark that it just sucks all the light in, like a black hole.
Roy: I love black holes.
Rusty: It’s got… it had… the head’s gone. Kind of creamy though.
Roy: What is that, a khaki color? A Docker’s Stonewash Khakis with Stain Defenders™?
Rusty: It definitely does have that. You can see – the water beads. To defend against the stains. So it smells like beer to me.
Roy: It’s not… it doesn’t have much of a scent.
Rusty: It’s not pushing in any sort of direction. It could be anything… I could be drinking anything right now.
Roy: Not very strong with the scent.
Rusty: (after tasting) It’s good! It’s not really super strong. It’s got a nice lingering bitteness to it.
Roy: Not as heavy as I thought it was going to be. It’s actually pretty light for a stout. The color is deceiving there.
Rusty: It does feel fairly light. It makes you think you’re gonna get into some shit, but we’re just gonna play around. Have a good time. It’s not bad… yeah, I could drink that. It’s like a half-way point between something you just wanna casually drink and something you want to take your time with. It’s got the weightier elements in the background, but it drinks like a… Miller Light. You would definitely expect an oatmeal stout to have something a lot heavier hitting than this.
Roy: I don’t eat too much oatmeal. I do chew on raw oats all the time. And corn meal. It’s like chew.
Attack of the Märzens
Rusty: I don’t know… what does that mean… Attack of the Märzen?
Roy: It’s a Märzen.
Rusty: What is a Märzen? Is that some sort of alcoholic beverage?
Roy: It’s an alc- yeah. Yeah. It’s a German beverage. Attack of the Märzen… is that a play on something?
Rusty: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, I believe. Yeah it’s killer tomatoes. Märzen is German for killer tomatoes.
Roy: (smells) Maybe my sniffer’s off today… not getting anything.
Rusty: It’s light. It does smell more like…
Roy: Like a Miller Light. (drinks) That’s good. I like that. Refreshing. A little sweetness.
Rusty: You take a sip… it’s got a bit of bitterness on the finish, but then it gets sweet afterwards!
Roy: Yeah it’s a little bitter, and it’s sweet at the end. I like that! Let’s talk about the color… what is that?
Rusty: I would say this is… strawberry blonde.
Roy: There you go. It’s not cloudy, but it’s not… it’s not Miller Light.
Rusty: You won’t be ashamed to drink this. You can carry this around and people aren’t going to laugh at you.
Rusty: If you had to go with one of these… what is your pleasure?
Roy: It is tough switching between two beers.
Rusty: I just took a sip of the Gruel, and I went back to the Marzipan, and I feel like I’m not drinking anything. The Gruel is a lot weightier. There’s more going on with it.
Roy: I like a nice dark beer. I like the sight of it.
Rusty: It looks more impressive. I would go back and forth between them. I think they’re both pretty good.
Roy: Desert island… you gotta pick one of these. Which one you gonna take?
Rusty: I would probably, to a desert island, I would take the Märzen. That’s because it’s more refreshing; it doesn’t seem as weighty. But generally, any given night of the week, I would go with the-
Roy: When you got back from the desert island, you’d be like “yeah gimme a Gruel”.
Rusty: “One Gruel please! I wanna live like a king.”
Roy: Yeah, I think I’d do the same thing. I do like stouts, and darker beers, but I like this Märzen! It’s good.
Rusty: Both good beers. Both winners. Neither of them are, to me, exceptional, I’m not blown away-
Rusty: But they’re both very good.
Attack of the Märzens is available for a limited time, and Oliver’s Gruel is a “core beer,” and should be in regular availability.
Listen to the full discussion here: