We have been very fortunate to have a brewery come to Pensacola, and a great one at that! Located in the Old Seville Historic District adjacent to Downtown Pensacola it makes for a perfect setting. It is among towering Live Oak Trees with longs flowing strands of Spanish Moss hanging from their branches. Across the street from the Brewery is a historic church where many weddings take place. It is a gorgeous old church, but it makes things a little tricky when it comes to having a business which deals in alcohol. The law in Florida is that you cannot sell alcohol to be consumed within a certain distance of a school or church. They can brew it and sell it to be consumed elsewhere. The sell kegs, growlers and 32 oz bottles to go. The caveat in all of this, is that there is no law against giving beer away ;)
So what the Brewery is doing is selling souvenir pint glasses and filling them for free. You can also “rent” a pint glass which comes with a free fill of beer with every rental. A popular way to go also is the deal where, if you buy a souvenir mug you get a free sampling of all the beers being currently brewed.
You can sit outside or inside while sampling their brews. Most of the time the co-owner is behind the bar serving the brews, and it enthusiastic and friendly.
The beers we had on tap while we were there were:
Banyan Brown Ale – I loved this brown ale, it was a lighter tasting ale than most browns, which made it smoother and more drinkable for me. Not quite as good as another nearby brewed brown ale, Southern Pecan, but darn close.
Deluna Extra Pale Ale – A suberbly tasty and smooth drinking ale. Perfect for a hot day!
Lighthouse Porter – Again lighter than most porters. It did not have as much of a roasted taste which I am not fond of anyway. It does not have the bite to it many porters have, which I think is overdone many times.
Riptide Amber – As with all the beers I sampled, the characteristic for Pensacola Bay Brewery beers is drinkability. Thius red is also lighter than most, but in this one instance, it left it a little empty on flavor. Still great, but not what I look for.
Pensacola ESB – This was the scene stealer for me. I could keep drinking this beer all night. Normally ESBs are over the top bitter with hops. Everyone these days tries to pack in as much hops as they can, regardless of flavor, more like an ego contest. But this one had it just right. SO flavorful and smooth and with just enough after taste to make you take another drink. A great beer.
Sawgrass Wheat – This was another good brew, brewed correctly. Wheat beer lovers will like this light wheat ale.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with everything about the Pensacola Bay Brewery. I have noticed quite a few local restaurants and bars are now serving it proudly. I expect it them to become some of the best selling beers in town.
For more information and to see what is currently brewing visit their website at http://www.pbbrew.com