Getting crafty at RumFish Grill
Just because their name starts with ‘rum’, doesn’t mean that’s all RumFish Grill serves. They also take pride in offering a diverse array of craft cocktails and beers on their carefully compiled drink menu. That’s why, when given the golden “hopportunity” to draft some new craft beers to their tap lineup, two managers took it upon themselves to look local. They hit the streets of St. Petersburg, sampling craft beers of all different varieties from some of Tampa Bay’s most beloved breweries. Believe us, this was no easy feat considering Tampa Bay’s “Gulp Coast” is considered Florida’s Craft Beer Capital!
Knowing that they needed to brew up a little diversity, the two intrepid tipplers first selected breweries that were best recognized for certain types of craft brews. And what better place to start than at Cycle Brewing for their award-winning Cream and Sugar, Please coffee porter. Brewed with chocolate and dark chocolate malts, it is finished with coffee from Mazarro’s Italian Market (another local favorite!) to create a beer with a silky mouthfeel and rich flavor. After that first sample, they knew they were on the right track. They headed to 3 Daughters Brewery where they knew they could find a refreshing break from the sun with a cold Key Lime Cider.
The sweet apple flavor of this cider is nicely balanced by the tart, zesty key lime juice. Rod Bender Red Ale (even the names reflect the Florida lifestyle!) made the final cut, as did everyone’s favorite, Beach Blonde Ale. This bombshell of a brew is easy on the tongue, refreshing and bright, and finishes with a satisfying hint of citrus.
It was a no-brainer to include Cigar City Brewing’s Jai Alai. This India Pale Ale is sadly all that remains of the fast-paced Basque game of Jai Alai in the Tampa Bay area. It pairs well with deviled crabs, beef empanadas and other spicy dishes, and you’ll find a few cans in almost every beer drinker’s fridge in the area.
Polishing off the trip, the dynamic duo ubered to the Tampa Bay Brewing Company, choosing their APA Reef Donkey. This dry-hopped American Pale Ale has a lemon/lime aroma with citrus and slight tropical fruit flavor. Though classified as an APA, it drinks more like a session IPA perfect for a day on the boat fishing. By the way, Reef Donkey is slang for the Greater Amberjack, a gamefish which inhabit our coastal wrecks and reefs.
Finally, exhausted but definitely well hydrated, the two felt their local craft beer list, as carefully cultivated as the hops featured on it, was ready for its debut. This labor of love will never be complete, but that doesn’t bother these two happy taste testers. They’re always searching for the best beers to bring back to RumFish Grill. If you’ve got a favorite draft or bottle that didn’t make their first cut, stop by any time, ask for the bar manager, and give him an earful while he fills your glass!