Drink Tampa Bay is an ongoing series chronicling locally made beer and wine.
This week we devastated our fragile livers on the Nitro Betchy Brown Ale and Double IPA beers brewed by Florida Avenue Brewing Co. Music provided by local band Jambalaya (emphasis, clearly, on the “jam”).
Nitro Betchy Brown Ale – 5.0%
Rusty: It’s got nitrous oxide. Rather than CO2… it’s apparently a smoother pour. She compared it to Guinness, and maybe that’s what got me going. But the head was a very thick and velvety foam.
Roy: The head looked like a Guiness, but the color of the beer is a lot lighter.
Rusty: It’s extremely cloudy, you can’t see shit through it. It is not black… it’s not Guinness. It’s a brownie. A Betchy Brownie. (Smells) Ooh! It smells like beer. It’s very light. It’s uh… almost like a candy. A light candy.
Rusty: Taffy or caramel, or something. It smells good! (Drinks) Wow it is… it is not exactly what I was expecting. It does not taste the way it smells. It’s a lot heavier. It’s a bit bitter…
Roy: Is it the nitrous? I’ve had brown ales before, and this… it does have the thickness of a Guinness.
Rusty: Compared it its smell, it’s a lot heavier.
Roy: Sometimes when I’m drinking it, I’ll put my nose into the beer, and really-
Rusty: Inhale. Sometimes it’s better to inhale, or snort the beer, as though it were cocaine.
Roy: Just a little toot.
Rusty: That way you get the real sensation. But yeah, it’s got a very lightly sweet finish. There’s not much going on… it’s kind of like water. Especially after you take a sip, you’re like “It’s water. I just had a sip of water. I’m hydrated!” And it is smooth, that’s true, it is pretty smooth, and it’s got a bit of a thickness.
Double IPA – 8.3%
Roy: It’s cloudy.
Rusty: A bit cloudy. Brownish amber. Tannish. Tannish amber.
Roy: The color of beer.
Rusty: Beer color.
Roy: Color of an IPA. A little cloudier with the double fermentation.
Rusty: If you don’t know, that’s fermented two times. Instead of just the once.
Roy: Hence the name.
Rusty: And IPA is… uh-
Rusty: French for beer.
Roy: “Double Beer.”
Rusty: (Smells) Whoo! It’s a bit flowery. It smells like a pungent bean. The heady nose of a pungent bean.
Roy: (Drinks) A lot of flavors!
Rusty: There is a lot going on. A very lasting bitterness.
Roy: It sticks around. ALL OVER.
Rusty: But it’s really drinkable!
Roy: This is 8.3%. For that… you can’t really taste the alcohol.
Rusty: That is really good actually.
Rusty: So I’ve been drinking [the IPA], I went back to take a sip of the Betchy Brown… it really is like water, it’s very very light.
Roy: [The IPA] does stick around. IPAs are very hoppy, and [this is] not violently, like “oh shit!”
Rusty: It sticks around, but that’s all you’re dealing with. When you’re drinking it, it’s very smooth, it’s not offensive in any way. The brown is like water. I’m okay with IPAs, I’m not huge into them or anything, but I would much prefer this IPA to the brown.
Roy: My taste buds have been gobsmacked.
Rusty: Not to get too technical on you – they have literally been gobsmacked. Yeah, the IPA is far superior.
Rusty: It tastes like they actually crafted a beer here.
Roy: The brown ale they should just stop brewing.
Rusty: I don’t know if maybe it’s the nitro? I don’t know, I don’t have anything to compare it to. This is a lot thicker [than a regular brown ale].
Roy: It has that Guinness-
Rusty: Consistency. So hands down I would go with the IPA. Because you’re drinking something.
Roy: Yeah going with the IPA. Double IPA: good. Single duffy brown: bad. Get rid of it.
Rusty: Throw it in the trash. But I’m very hydrated! Very hydrated right now.
Listen to the full discussion here:
Florida Avenue Brewing Co. is located at 4101 N Florida Ave in Seminole Heights.
Open Tuesday, and Thursday 4pm-10pm, Wednesday 4pm-9pm, Friday 2pm-11pm, and Saturday 1pm-11pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays.