orchid-island

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Local Craft Beer Rocks! Hangovers Still Suck!

Finally had a chance to make my way on back to Orchid Island Brewery in Vero Beach, FL! The atmosphere is awesome, the food is good and the beer is amazing. There’s no shortage of good beer being brewed in Southern Florida, but this place is a must stop for anyone touring the local beer scene.

I was fresh off a conversation about an article I read that said the last time America had this many breweries in business was back in 1873 or so. These things are cyclical in nature, but a golden age of local craft beer is happening all around us right now. Why not take advantage and stop to smell the roses? And drink them too!

As I do, I started my Orchid Island adventure with a flight, which in my humble opinion is one of the coolest inventions ever. I have no fear of beer commitment, but the whole proof-is-in-the-pudding, try-before-you-buy nature of craft beer is inviting and addictive. However, I’m not the “top-knot” douche bag who samples one of everything and gets a free buzz, all while asking about IBUs and burying my nose in a beer snifter, only to order a Bud Light and reveal my true skulduggerous nature. I’m a true believer in craft beer, even if not the most educated sampler. Take a look at this pretty sight laid down before mine eyes…

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Had to go full-sized with the photo on you there, so you could visually digest the majesty. I started with two sours: the Je ne sais quoi and Pink Lemon Sour. Je ne sais quoi (for those of you who didn’t major in French like me) means “I don’t know what”. As the evolution of my appreciation for beer has continued, I have found myself wandering into the sour section more and more frequently. Much like sour candy, it’s highly addictive, and also far more nuanced. Believe that sour was clocking in at around 8%, which is pretty healthy for that style. The Pink Lemon sour was much lighter, but – as you can see – absolutely beautiful to look at. Also included in my flight were the Star Ruby Imperial IPA, Beachside Berliner Weisse and Indian River Grapefruit IPA.

Of course I popped a pack of Intox-Detox and passed out samples to the bartenders and a few interested patrons. After all, the donuts must be made, even when you’re enjoying a couple beers.

I thoroughly enjoyed the flight, but it came time to order a full beer. Alas, the beauty of the flight is sampling the wares to get a general sense of the brewery and decide which libation is fitting with my current sensibilities. Not to mention the fact that it was $5 beers for Happy Hour until 4 pm. The flights, they are fun, but they can get pricey. Is it any surprise that I had to go back for a full glass of this beauty…?

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Needless to say, it was delicious. Since I worked up a little appetite sampling these awesome beers, I ordered up a bowl of the Shrimp Corn Chowder soup, which didn’t disappoint. My only wish is that I could have stayed longer and made it a full meal, as both the beer and food menu left me excited to try more.

Sure, they have a cool outside area with a stage for bands and cornhole boards, but what I really found unique about Orchid Island is the “grove to glass” commitment quality. They actually use local citrus in many of their beers. They offer very cool citrus juice-based liquid blends that you can add to any beer to create a kind of choose-your-own-adventure shandy. That might seem sacrilegious to some beer purists, but I think it’s an awesome and novel idea, especially here in Florida where the weather is hot and the citrus is fresh and local.

Got me thinking actually… Intox-Detox has been busting our asses to create the World’s First Hangover-Proof Beer. Why not just put our amazing liver-protective proprietary blend into a liquid that can be added to any beer? Added to even the most middling American-style light beer, it would add unique flavors like Japanese Raisin, Panax Ginseng and Green Tea – things never before tasted in beer, at least not together – and you would also protect your liver and help avoid the misery of the next morning. It’s a great idea and I’m on it.

Hoping to add Orchid Island to our growing list of bars and craft breweries that carry Intox-Detox. My favorites among them are Sailfish,  Side Door, Vine and Barley and V&B Palm City and Castaways. Please show these guys some love and stop by for a few pints and a pack of Intox-Detox.

Can’t wait to get back to Orchid Island and continue getting to know both the beer and the people, both of which were impressive.

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Stay #LIVERSTRONG because #HANGOVERSSUCK!