Drink Tampa Bay is an ongoing series chronicling locally made beer and wine.
This week we got blotto on the Ginger Chai Kombucha and the White Out IPA brewed by Southern Brewing & Winemaking.
Ginger Chai Kombucha – 0.5%
Rusty: Sitting high at .5%. Apparently it’s a tea that is fermented with… a yeasty bacteria and sugar. (Sniffs) It smells like vinegar. It smells like apple cider vinegar. A little sweeter than that. But that’s what I’m getting. (Drinks) Oooh… it tastes like… it’s extremely sweet. You swallow it down, and the after-taste is just sugar. It’s just sugar for me. I like soda.
Roy: It’s a very cold, carbonated tea.
Rusty: It tastes like a fruity tea, basically. It’s not sweet on the nose-
Roy: Not up front.
Rusty: But just after, it’s like you just had a spoonful of sugar in your mouth. Which is kind of nice!
Roy: It’s not bad!
Rusty: It’s highly carbonated… it’s got a bit of sourness, especially in the nosegrope. And on the way down, it’s a little bit sour too. If you exhale, you have a bit of the ginger.
Roy: Now when I have it in my mouth, and I inhale… I’ve choked on it.
Rusty: I’m not getting much Chai, I guess…
Roy: No? A little bit…
Rusty: It’s good. This is like a soda.
Roy: It’s sour, then a quick sweetness. Then a light spice.
Rusty: It’s very good though. I enjoy it, quite a bit. It does kind of have a holiday feel to it. It reminds me of warm apple cider.
Roy: Like a mulled wine. You got the spices in it.
Rusty: I think this is a winner.
White Out IPA – 7.4%
Rusty: It’s made from liquid paper.
Roy: I’ve heard it’s got a hint of liquid paper.
Rusty: That gives it that edge… so when you take a sip, you kind of go cross-eyed.
Roy: (Smelling) I’m not getting much…
Rusty: (Sniffs repeatedly) Oh, you’re right. It’s very, very light. There’s almost… oh my god, what is that smell? …It smells like smoked fish. A smokey scent. A light, hoppy, smokey.
Roy: (Drinks) Citrusy. Nice bubbles. Nice tight bubbles. Not as hoppy as most IPAs.
Rusty: Not as intense. And it’s got like… like after a second, I feel like I’m hitting a wall. Not like a hard wall but it just kind of stops. You have a lasting impression, but it’s not doing anything, at some point it just fades out. The edge goes away extremely quickly, and its just kind of a rounded, boring-
Roy: You do get a very quick burst, and then it does fade slowly, and then it’s like nothing.
Rusty: You could say it “whites out”?
Roy: It whites out! I almost think the ass-end of it is like a kind of skunky sort of beer.
Rusty: It’s not really like an IPA, not what you’d expect.
Roy: There’s not much going on. Up front, you get a taste of almost like a Coors or a Miller, a real kind of bland, then you get a little bit of bitterness that you get from an IPA, and then it fades right out back into a very uninteresting beer.
Rusty: It’s a bit of a mystery.
Rusty: One versus the other… it’s hard to compare because one is a beer and one is not, but I would definitely order the tea again, whereas the beer-
Roy: I would not get the beer again.
Rusty: It is definitely not the most interesting beer we’ve had here.
Roy: It’s very boring. Not bad; boring. Run of the mill.
Rusty: It tastes like a brown trout.
The Ginger Chai Kombucha and the White Out IPA are available for a limited time.
Listen to the full discussion here: