I have to be honest. I had almost written off this small Florida brewery. I received a bottle of their "Celtic Gold", a Kölsch-style ale for Christmas last year. Needless to say, I was not impressed. The beer was incredibly bland and plain.
I had heard rumblings that the brewery acquired a new brewmaster and I didn't want to pronounce judgment based on one beer I sampled out of a bottle. So Mom and I hit the road for Dunedin, a small town about 25 minutes outside of my parent's house in Tampa.
Dunedin was founded by two Scottish blokes, it gets its name from Scots the Gaelic Dùn Èideann meaning "Edinburgh" (the capital of Scotland). The brewery incorporates Celtic and Scottish themes into much of their decor and many of their beers. The two flags of Scotland adorn fermentation vessels as you enter the brewery. The sister city of Dunedin is Sterling, Scotland.
It's a local hang-out, tucked off the beaten path. Very atypical for a beach town in Florida. The building an decor is equal parts brewery, beach shack, and downtown loft. The barkeep was very friendly and knowledgeable, eager to talk beer. He informed me that they no longer bottle due to previous problems in quality control. They currently serve beer on site and also distribute kegs.
The beers on tap included:
Pictured: Piper's Pale and Christmas Farmhouse
- Lowland Wheat Ale
- Razzberry Wheat Ale
- Apricot Wheat Ale -- Sampled out of a sample cup: Sweet, and fruity with a hint of sour wheat in the finish. Apricot nectar taste is very pronounced.
- Redhead Red Ale
- Beach Tale Brown Ale
- Biere de Cafe -- Sampled out of a sample cup: Exellent coffee beer! Body is medium-light with rich cocoa and coffee bean notes. Reminds me of a coffee-infused New Belgium 1554 in that it has some mild roastiness without being anything like a stout or porter.
- Piper's Pale Ale -- Ordered a pint: Very nice citrus/pine hop aroma. Caramel notes are kept to a minimum which allows the hops to shine through and allows this beer to remain incredibly thirst quenching. A great session beer, despite the 6% abv.
- Nitro Stout (dry Irish stout)
- Bohemian Rhapsody Imperial Pilsner -- Sampled out of a sample cup: Aroma of lemon and orange peel. Medium mouthfeel with lots of fizz, backed up by peppery herbal and orange notes.
- Brewmaster's Reserve I.P.A. -- Ordered a pint: Like a hoppier version of piper's pale, which is not a bad thing. Slightly more alcohol and more punchy citrus hops in the nose. Keeps in the theme of high drinkability set by the APA it's based on.
- Christmas Farm Ale -- Ordered a pint: Funky and fruity with a robust caramel/biscuit backbone. Has some characteristic Belgian "funk", usually indicative of a secondary fermentation courtesy of wild yeast and/or bacteria. Some slightly sour, acidic notes balance out the Christmas cookie-like malt notes. I asked the bartender if any wild yeast/bacteria were used and he informed me that they were not! He did mention that the beer is re-fermented in secondary on sour cherries.
- Rogue (John's Old Locker Stock) "Glen" - American Strong Ale: I was very surprised to see this on tap. I have never seen the "Locker Stock" edition beers on tap anywhere outside of Oregon.
- Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale: always a solid choice.
- Avery Hog Heaven o4' Barleywine (I didn't realize it was the 2004 vintage till I was typing this up!)