Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Panama City Beach Beer Spotlight: Mellow Mushroom

If I had to pick one food to be stuck on a deserted island with I'm pretty sure pizza would be it. It has all the major food groups wrapped up in one delicious pie.

Meat- Sausage, pepperoni, chicken, whatever meat you choose!
Dairy- Cheese
Fruit- Hawaiian Pizza has pineapple!
Vegetable- Tomatoes, Green Peppers, again, whatever veggie you choose!
Fat- Olive Oil!
Bread- The crust!

And, as we all know, nothing goes better with pizza than beer. In 1974 three college students in Georgia decided to open up a pizza and beer joint near the Georgia Tech campus and now the Mellow Mushroom has over 100 restaurants in 15 states and thank god one is here in Panama City Beach!

I'll be honest. As of right now this is the only place that has a decent draft selection in this town. I've not been anywhere else that has this kind of selection. There has been talk of another place but I've yet to go so as of now this is it. Here is my review:

Food- The food at the Mellow Mushroom is always good. The pizza is some of the best I've had and the prices are reasonable. They also have sandwiches, salads, calzones and appetizers.

Atmosphere- They're going for that whole hippy I'm tripping vibe with mushrooms everywhere and psychedelic colors. Fine with me. They also had TVs up on the wall showing football games.
On their events menu it looks like they have live music and specials during football games. From what I read happy hour was from 430-630. Pretty standard. Music was on a good rock station and was a bit too loud which made conversation a bit difficult but no big deal.

Beer- Very nice tap list! Nothing special but so far the best in PCB that I've seen. They have 36 taps with selections ranging from Stone Arrogant Bastard, Sweetwater 420, Sweetwater IPA, Boulder Hazed and Infused, Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan, Bells Amber, DFH 90 Minute, Terrapin Rye Pale Ale and others. I didn't see any special releases. They had the standard macros as well. Their bottle selection was small which included mostly macro lagers and even included PBR 16oz can for $1. Also had Full Sail IPA, La Fin Du Monde and Strongbow for the cider crowd. They also have a beer club membership which of course I joined and gives you perks for drinking lots of different beers. As if I needed to join a club for that. But hey, their gonna give me free stuff for doing something I had planned to do any way? Of course I'm in!

Service- The service my family and I had was great. No complaints at all.

Overall - This is probably the best place to go and have a good pint in PCB.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Beer Review: Coney Island Freaktoberfest

I love beer. I'm sure you know this about me already but I'm not sure you really understand how much I love it. No, I don't love it more than my family or my dog. Ok, maybe more than the dog but not more than my family. I mean come on, I sell beer for a living, I love reading about beer and I have a beer blog which I don't think anyone really reads yet I continue writing it. One day though this blog will be good. I swear it!

Anyways I love beer so much that I get really excited when I get a beer in at the store which I've never tried. I'm like a kid on Christmas. I get all giddy inside and feel like I'm about to burst with excitement. I've been in the process of ordering all my fall seasonals and along with the pumpkin beers(which I will do a write up on here soon) I got one from Schmaltz Brewing Company called Coney Island Freaktoberfest. Right off the bat I knew I had to try it. That creepy little tattooed dude with that crazy, wicked smile just screamed "YOU MUST DRINK ME"! Plus the beer is made with 6 malts, 6 hops and is a 6.66% ABV blood red lager. Hello?? How awesome is that for the Halloween season? Plus getting the phone call from my fellow beer buyer Dan at the Panama City Beach store saying we should price this at $6.66 just made it that much more cool.

I will warn all of you though this beer pours a red that my picture just doesn't capture. The problem here is that I'm not really sure my brain and taste buds truly came together to work properly. Seeing the red my brain automatically was thinking strawberry or cherry and the taste was anything but. I really need to try this beer again without knowing what it is or seeing it. Anyways, here is my review:

Brewery: Schmaltz Brewing Company

Beer: Coney Island Freaktoberfest

Style: American Amber/Red Lager

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Appearance: Poured a strawberry soda red with a huge, pinkish fluffy head. The appearance REALLY played tricks on my brain and may have thrown off the taste buds.

Smell: Not much aroma going on here. Perhaps a hint of grainy-ness and a slight hop bitterness.

Taste: Expecting strawberry this beer truly threw my brain and taste buds completely out of whack. It had a metallic bitterness not really in a good way though. Had a slight breadiness to it as well.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: As I said before the beer messed with the taste buds based on its appearance so I'm not really sure. It wasn't bad but I'd like to try it again with my brain NOT knowing what it is beforehand.

Score: Photobucket 3 out of 5 Buddhas

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why The Hell Didn't I Think Of This

Sitting in the grinding room at NOLA Brewing and grinding malt was a tedious task that lasted maybe 45 minutes or so at a time. During that time my mind would wander with most of my thoughts centering around drinking beer or some other sort of beer related activity. A bunch of those times I would look at the empty grain bags on the floor and wonder whether we could be doing something with those bags other than throwing them out. For some reason I was never able to come up with a good answer.

Well, as you know, with ideas when you don't come up with it someone else will. In the case of the grain bags Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City, Michigan figured it out. And it was so simple: a tote bag. In this age of going green everybody and their sister has a tote bag for their groceries, wine or whatever. It was so simple but apparently not for me. Great idea Right Brain Brewery!
The Beer Buddha

Beer Video Of The Month: September

I missed a couple of months but I'll be starting it back up starting with this good one from Troegs Brewing Company out of Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Panama City Beach Beer Spotlight: Hofbrau Beer Garden

As I've mentioned before there aren't many places to go in terms of beer bars here in the Florida Panhandle but I'm going to try and make the best of it. In my local travels I discovered a really great place to go and get some great German food and beer: the Hofbrau Beer Garden in Panama City Beach located at the Pier Park outdoor shopping complex.

Hofbrau(1589) is a state owned brewery that was built by Wilhelm V, the Duke of Bavaria(1579-1597). Apparently a thirsty bastard and fed up with the local beer he had to drink beer from a nearby town called Einbeck. He felt there had to be a better way so in 1589 he decided to build his own brewery. Obviously there is a huge history involved with a brewery that's been around since 1589 and I will not bore you with the details nor subject myself to all the typing so you can go to the website and read it for yourself. Anyways lucky for me they decided to build a bunch outside Germany and one was right here in PCB.

I was really happy with this place and I think that lagers really get a bad rap with beer geeks because of the whole macro lager association. The beer was great and the food was pretty good as well. Here is my official review:

Atmosphere- Looks like what I would think a German beer hall would look like. Pretty cool with communal seating(long tables where multiple people sit) and an outdoor seating area.

Food- Reasonably priced. I had the reuben and the wife had the burger. Both were good. My beer was $11 but size wise that's three beers.

Service- Waitress was great and she was walking around in a dirndle which makes me very happy. Something about those outfits man. Come on, hot chicks in a dirndl just works. I think I'm buying my wife one.

Quality- The beer was great. Hofbrau is a quality german lager. Lagers are underappreciated in my opinion and this one is great!

Overall- Look, not all of us are super rich jet setters that can go to Germany whenever we want. In fact, I don't know anyone that can just pick up and go and if I did they'd better take me with. Anyways, since we can't go there it's great to bring there to here. This place is a must visit for anyone coming to Panama City Beach.


The Beer Buddha