There was no secret knock to get in, but as we entered the Sybarite Pig for the Brasserie de Cantillon tasting on a recent Monday, we felt that we were stepping into an exclusive experience where we were, by far, the novices.
Tonight we would be sampling several offerings from Brasserie Cantillon that we will, most likely, not have the opportunity to try again anytime soon, if ever. If we do become lucky enough to find one of these rare beers, our wallet may not be able to handle it.
Despite our relatively limited knowledge, we were welcomed by the attending enthusiasts. Everyone we spoke to was obviously enamored with these beers and wanted to share that love and exuberance with us. Several of our fellow beer lovers pointed out we were starting out at the top and risked finding other beers of this style we have in the future lacking. Oh well, go big or go home, right? We dove into the experience with great anticipation.
The evening started with a plate prepared by Daniel, the owner. The plate of lamb atop basmati rice was an original dish that he explained won a competition and started him on his culinary career. It was the perfect start to a very special tasting. One by one the coveted beers were presented and poured, each unique and complex. By the end of the evening we were sharing the remains of the bottles with new friends. And oh the beer! We still have a lot to learn but we know enough that we want more! More Lambic, more Kriek, more Gueuze, just more! Tonight, sour ruled and we loved it.
Not quite fresh on the heels of Funky Buddha, Due South and Saltwater Brewing, comes Fort Lauderdale nanobrewery, LauderAle.
The brainchild of friends Kyle Jones and Joe Farrell, LauderAle’s modest brewing facility is located inside a 3,200-square-foot space warehouse space at 3305 SE 14th Avenue, in Fort Lauderdale. Finding it can be tricky, but is worth the effort. (Note: there is currently road work taking place close by at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, so be patient and keep your eyes open when driving to LauderAle.)
On a recent Saturday we stopped in to offer our support for these up-and-coming beer entrepreneurs. This is beer drinking stripped to the bare bones, which is what you’d expect from a burgeoning craft beer maker. No frills, no gastro inspired food (only food trucks, but not on this night), just pint glasses, picnic tables and a decent-sized bar for now. Given its limited space, you can see and smell the brewing process happening right before you (and that’s a good thing). We had a pint of the American IPA and the Robust Porter. The American IPA is hoppy enough, though it may require some tweaking to amp up the bitter, piney flavors you’d expect from some more established IPA’s. The Robust Porter is rich, dark and complex, with loads of malty chocolate to satisfy discriminating tastes. On a second visit we had the Russian Imperial Stout and the Saison, which was perfect for sipping on this hot summer day.
We’re glad to see Fort Lauderdale establish itself in the ever-expanding craft beer world. We raise a pint to the future success of LauderAle. Cheers!