Natures Coast Brewing Company – where beer and manatees meet.
I recently had the opportunity to spend a wonderful, wonderful week in Florida. I literally went EVERYWHERE – Orlando, Naples, Gainesville, AND Crystal River. With my amazing college buddy / tour guide / outdoor adventurer, Karl. For those of you who don’t know, Crystal River is THE ONLY PLACE in Florida, where you can legally swim with manatees. So this mermaid had to give it a try. Yes, I did bring my mermaid tail. Yes, we did see manatees. No, we did not swim WITH the manatees, because we hung out with a mama and a calf so they needed their space, but it was still AWESOME!
After hanging out in beautiful water all day, lucky for Karl, I found the ONLY brewery in Crystal River – Nature Coast Brewing Company. Located in the heart of Crystal River (let’s be honest – there is only like one traffic light) in an Irish pub called “Burke’s of Ireland.” This one barrel system hosts a handful of small, hand crafted batches of beers. One of my favorite things about the pub was the walls were covered with beer taps from around the world. I’m happy to report back that I was able to find a few Oregon breweries taps all the way in Florida. We made friends with the brewer’s brother and he let us try all four beers on tap.
Here is what we tried:
- Citrus Ave IPA. This was a classic IPA that Karl got. Again, not a huge IPA fan personally, but after being in the sunshine all day it was refreshing.
- Pastel De Calabaza Del Diablo. This was my favorite of the four beers with tried. A spiced beer with a little bit of sour that definitely stood out from the crowd.
- Dr. Porter’s Ales What Cures You! This beer is named after the original owner of the building, The Pharmacy and Medical office that was established in 1920 by Dr. Porter Hudson.
- My Heart is On Fire. This was a spicy hot beer that reminded me a lot of Burnside Brewing’s Sweet Heat. Only the heat stuck with you a lot longer!
Another thing I loved about this brewery is they have a “Bucket List.” This was an ongoing theme of Karl’s during the week. Due to the nature of their brewing system, after each beer is brewed and fermented, they take 31 gallons and separate them into six different secondary fermenters. With each bucket fermenter, they add a finishing flavor making each batch outlandishly unique.
Ever swam with manatees in Florida? Ever been to Nature Coast Brewing Company?