Up until a few years ago, my knowledge of beer was limited to Corona, Landshark, Blue Moon, and other beers that taste good adorned with various fruits. I preferred wine, despite knowing little to nothing about it, (honestly still not much progress in that department) yet a glass of apricot ale at Dunedin Brewery started a shift in my tastebuds. Nowadays, exploring craft breweries with John is one of my favorite pastimes.
A craft brewery, winery, and wood fired pizza shop was the last thing I expected to find in Auburndale, yet there stood Brewpop Brewery, proving that the craft beer scene is slowly but surely creeping its way into Central Florida.
Brewpop Brewery is a unique blend of craft beer, wine, sodas, and wood fired pizza. Each craft brewery tends to have its own unique flare, and Brewpop is no different in that regard. Where they are different, however, is in the creativity seeping throughout everything they offer. To me, this is what craft beer is all about. Experimentation, creativity, and passion.
Jerry, the owner, has been brewing for about 4 years and started his journey as a home brewer. His brewing style is Parti-Gyle, “a method for making more than one batch of beer from a single all grain mash,” as stated on the menu. This process has currently resulted in 23 unique beers on tap, all made on site, with the first batch being the strongest (10% and 12% ABV are common sights on the Brewpop menu!), the second middle ground (5-8%), and the third lightest around 3-4%.
– Grizzly Honey: A smooth dark beer (despite typically being a lager/wheat/light beer gal this was my favorite) brewed with local honey
– The Big Effort: John’s favorite. Slightly hoppy, and a whopping 12.3% ABV. Thank goodness he only had a 6 oz. portion.
– Big Red Rye: What the name sounds like. My first time tasting a rye beer and it was pretty good!
– If Your Bud Had Balls: The selling point on this one was it’s description as tasting like “liquid beef jerky.” We tasted it cold and didn’t pick up those notes at all. However, after letting it warm for a bit, Jerry made us try it again. And yes, it DOES taste like beef jerky. This one gets points for the sensory experience.
– The mysterious ginger beer not on the menu: It was a ginger experiment but Jerry let us have a taste. I hope this makes it on the menu someday…it’d be great for a moscow mule. 🙂
In addition to the unique brews, the PIZZA is a main draw. Pizza, beer…what else do you need? While there are menu options besides pizza, it’s the pies getting all of the hype, and for good reason. John and I chose “The Big Kahuna” a Hawaiian pizza with house made marinara, mozzarella, pineapple, ham, and pancetta thrown in for kicks. We nearly ate it all. I’m also happy to report that it passed the cold test: I ate a slice (fine, two) for breakfast straight out of the box in the fridge and it was still delicious.
Brewpop is still a young brewery at around 9 months old, but the unique offerings and friendly people make visiting an experience to remember. Come for the craft brews, stay for the pizza and good conversation.