Coppertail Brewing Co.'s bottles are certainly eye-catching. The Tampa-based brewery has some prolific and intriguing art work going on with its labels. For this week, we're taking a look at one of them, which features a poor runner being fed by a mermaid, while a pelican holds a six-pack, and the sun beats down like an asshole.
This is the aptly named Wheat Stroke from one of Tampa's latest production breweries, Coppertail Brewing. It was founded in 2014 by homebrewer Kent Bailey and professional brewer Casey Hughes, and they have been working ever since with a "desire to bring more hop-forward and Belgian-influenced beer to the thirsty masses of Florida."
As for the naming inspiration: "Coppertail is a sea monster that lives in Tampa Bay. We know this because Kent’s 5-year-old daughter told us." That's fair enough for me.
Wheat Stroke is an American Wheat ale, a far cry from the traditional German hefeweizens of the Old World. Here, we're lacking some of the incredible turbidity of German wheat beers for a cleaner flavor profile. All of that clove and banana yeast character from the typical hefe? That won't exist here.
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Instead, we get a beer that pours with an almost clear but slightly hazy orange color, with an off-white thin crown of foam. Aromas are of a clean attenuated yeast, with some fresh grain and a hint of floral bitterness. It's an aromatic profile that reminds of fresh biscuits.
The flavor is light but grain-focused, with a mild drying finish, and comes with a bit of a metallic, crisp, and an almost lager-like component. Yes, this American wheat holds itself close to a malt-forward lager, which adds to its refreshing quality.
Coppertail Brewing Co. is located at 2601 E. Second Ave., Tampa. Call 813-247-1500, or visit coppertailbrewing.com.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers, and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.