For the second year in a row, it’s Flagship February or (#FlagshipFebruary), and while beer writers around the country are saluting their favorite beers that lead the charge in the craft beer revolution, only Floridian been enthusiasts understand just how late Florida was to the party when it comes to craft beer. While west of the Mississippi, Sierra Nevada, Deschutes, New Belgium, and many others were blazing trails in the 1970s and 1980s, Florida’s first wave of craft beer rebirth died off in the late nineties and few beers from that era are still available. Florida’s first brewers and breweries were a happy few that decided they were going to brew beer in The Southernmost State no matter what, and a handful of beers from these pioneers are still available today. This series of articles pay tribute to them – the OGs of Florida craft beer – who took a leap of faith and decided to chase a dream that hadn’t fully formed yet, the dream of Sunshine State craft beer.
The first beer in this series is Tarpon Springs’s Saint Somewhere Brewing and flagship beer Saison Athene.
Founded by owner and brewer Bob Sylvester in a warehouse space in Tarpon Springs, Saint Somewhere Brewing aimed to bring the Belgian farmhouse ale tradition to Florida in the early 2000s.
Bob was in for a significant challenge during that time period, as he chose to make Belgian-style beer for a state that was still dominated mostly by bland macro beer. Bob took the mantle of Florida beer up, and the state’s beer scene has not been the same since.
About Saison Athene
Saison Athene is a 7.5% ABV farmhouse ale that is brewed with rosemary, chamomile, and black pepper. The beer is bottle and keg conditioned and is finished in corked and caged bottles. Approachable with the noticeable presence of these herbs, Saison Athene is a great beer to pair with almost any meal, especially charcuterie.
Visit Saint Somewhere
Saint Somewhere Brewing is located at 115 South Ring Avenue in Tarpon Springs. The brewery has an updated schedule for tours and tastings in 2020. The brewery is open each month on the first and third Thursday and Friday. For a complete schedule, visit the brewery’s Facebook page. Visit one of Florida’s oldest craft breweries, and taste one of the most unique ales from one of the state’s most unique breweries.