Immediately after checking out 7venth Sun Brewery on Wednesday, 1/29/14, we made a ridiculously long 2-minute drive all the way around the block to Dunedin Brewery in Dunedin, FL. Open since 1996, Dunedin is Florida’s oldest craft brewery with quite a few tricks up their sleeve. Not only do they brew, they also have food, live entertainment, and hold a ton of events. As soon as we walked in the door we were greeted by brewers Trace Caley and Richard Crance (Rick/ Ricky), along with their service/ sales manager Matt Barnett. Rick and Trace both claim there is no head brewer, but more so work as a brewing collective with the help of Mikey P., Simon Domb, and Lex Carr. Trace has been with the company for about 13-14 years and started homebrewing in 1992 simply because there was a limited amount of beers for him to choose from at that time.
Inside the brewery you will find 22 taps and at times they also utilize two beer trailers outside which each have 10 taps on them. A plethora of options are found on those taps, including the year-round beers, a ton of seasonals, Chronicle Series brews, and collaborations. The standard ales offered are as follows: a Gold Ale, Apricot Peach Ale, Wheat Ale, Red Ale, Pale Ale, Brown Ale, and Nitro Stout. In order to give themselves a chance to play with different hops and other ingredients while at the same time use the opportunity to collect feedback, they started the Chronicle Series. All of the beers in that series are pretty hop forward and, although they used to only be IPA recipes, the series has since been expanded to other styles. One example of a beer in that series is the Hemp & Mango Pale Ale, which the crew took on the 12th annual Jam Cruise, a cruise I need to go on. Collaboration beers are a passion of the brewers, so they have teamed up with 7th Sun, Cigar City, Terrapin, Fort George, and Black Shirt in the past, amongst others. You are also able to purchase 22oz bombers of some of their beers on-site, as well as find their beer on draft throughout the Tampa Bay area.
Dunedin Brewery also offers basic pub-style food with their own unique flavors, like burgers and fries that are freshly hand-cut every day, wings that are marinated in a hot sauce then served dry with a special sauce on the side called kilt lifter, pork that is slow smoked in-house, and of course their famous west coast style Mahi Mahi fish tacos. Brandon and I were going to start with nachos as an appetizer, but soon realized that the mountainous pile they brought to us was more than enough to fill us up. We were also told that they have used some of their beers to make sauces and marinades.
The brewery will be able to vote and buy tobacco this year when it turns 18 years old in July, and an anniversary party will be thrown to celebrate that occasion. If you can’t wait until then, the 13th annual Stogies & Stout event will be held on Saturday, February 22nd, 2014, and you can purchase tickets here. Stogies & Stout is a tap takeover that features a bunch of stout style beers they produce alongside locally, regionally, and nationally distributed stouts. A commemorative glass and a cigar are handed to attendees at the door so that there is an opportunity to sample all of the stouts paired with a good cigar, great music, and awesome food. Other events they hold or participate in include: Liter of Laughs, an amateur comedy night held the last Monday of every month, Spring Beer Jam, a multiple day music festival during the last weekend in March that showcases all of the beer Dunedin has done throughout the year paired with a strain of virtuoso musicians, and the Dunedin Celtic Music Festival. For an update on more events, you can check out their calendar.
Luckily they are open 7 days a week, and typically there is a band at the brewery 4 nights a week, drum circles on Tuesdays, and open mic night on Wednesdays. Because Dunedin is a sister city of Stirling, Scotland, there are flags out front which represent the 7 Celtic nations and according to Matt, “on the weekends, at any given moment, a group of bagpipers could walk through the door in kilts and start playing bagpipes.” Huge thanks to Matt, Trace, Rick, and Mikey for hanging out with us all day!
Author: Michael Roberts