A place like Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach seems like a perfect fit. The angler symbolism and the ocean feel gives you a sense that you're actually on the beach.
Head brewer Dustin Jeffers reflects on the first year of production and said that expectations were exceeded. Quite fitting, then, to throw the first anniversary party. Saltwater is clearing the street in front of the brewery from noon to midnight on December 27 to accommodate the festivities.
See also: Ten Best Beers Brewed in Florida In 2014
Let's start off with the tap list; it's big. The beers will be released on a rolling basis throughout the day. Too many to list here, but the complete list is posted on Saltwater's Facebook page.
But if you're into barrel-aged beers, it's your lucky day. There will be five of them on tap, including brews aged in wine barrels and some sours to boot:
- Bourbon-Barreled DGB, a barrel-aged tripel
- Raspbarreled, a raspberry wild ale with raspberries
- Not in My Navy, a wild saison with blackberry and blueberry
- Lauren & Chelsea, raspberry reef fermented and aged in pinot noir wine barrels with raspberries
- Katelyn and Kaleigh, a saison fermented and aged in cabernet sauvignon wine barrels
A couple of collaborations will be released too. Saltwater is tapping their collab with Sailfish Brewing Company in Fort Pierce: a milk stout brewed and aged with candy canes. A to-be-announced collab with nearby Tequesta Brewing Company will also be tapped.
Parking is going to be an adventure. Exiting the interstate to the brewery, there will be signs directing you towards a parking lot at the end of the block.
Besides beer and live music, there will be a beer and food pairing competition. Six restaurants and six breweries pair together for a one bite and beer taster. They are:
- Tequesta Brewing Company and 50 Ocean pairing an English barley wine (9.1 percent alcohol-by-volume) with salted duck pierogi, duck confit, rogue smokey bleu and plum jam
- Sailfish Brewery and Sybarite Pig pairing an imperial porter (8.9 percent ABV) with Oxacan brownie made with 60 percent cacao, coffee, ancho chile, a touch of cayenne and salted caramel on top
- Wynwood Brewing Company and Sweetwater Bar and Grill pairing a Conical Visit Black IPA (5.6 percent ABV) with short rib braised with Turkish figs and port reduction and goat cheese
- Saltwater Brewery and Dada Restaurant and Lounge pairing Sunken' Scotsmen (6.5 percent ABV) with braised all natural beef short ribs, guava paste, water chestnuts, shaved parmesan and blue cheese finished with a drizzle of sweet soy
- Funky Buddha Brewery and Papa's Raw Bar pairing a Small Axe Big IPA. Double IPA (9.5 percent ABV) with seafood vinaigrette, Conch, crawfish, shrimp, tomatoes, onions, celery and olives in a homemade vinaigrette
- Cigar City Brewing and Smoke BBQ pairing Hard cider (5.5 percent ABV) with four-hour St. Louis cut pork spare ribs
Tickets for this event are on sale now for $25.
Nothing is perfect when a brewery opens, despite the months (or years) of work-ups and preparation. Jeffers explains some tweaks had to be made with the flagship recipes. The taproom was an unexpected surprise.
"We did a lot better in the tasting room than we first thought we would," Jeffers said, also mentioning that he's like to boost production.
To do that, he said the brewery is getting ready to purchase a canning line. Cans are preferable for Jeffers for a lot of reasons. Besides being highly recyclable and a better container for beer, he says, cans fall in step with their lifestyle on the beach.
"Bottles on the beach don't really work," he said. "We're all fishermen and surfers. On the beach we don't want bottles at the places where we hang out the most."
Soon, Saltwater cans will be distributed from Tequesta to Key West. Besides boosting production, Jeffers said the brewery is taking a look at expanding distribution territory into the Treasure Coast.
"The canning line is going to be a great addition," Jeffers said.