Just a few weeks ago, Cavalier Distributing (Lakeland, Florida) held a fantastic and informative trade show at The Vault, a beautiful venue located in the heart of Tampa’s Downtown Arts District. Cavalier used this industry-only event as an opportunity to introduce the area’s restaurants, bars, retailers, and media members to their vast portfolio of fine craft beers, meads, ciders and spirits. The best way to capture all that this event had to offer was through a visual medium, so check out the photos below (click to enlarge) so that you too can get the inside scoop on the exciting beverages headed our way this year from Cavalier Distributing. Prost!
Constructed in 1923 as The Exchange National Bank, The Vault is now a unique and versatile venue located in the heart of Tampa’s Downtown Arts District.
Driftwood Brewery (Victoria, British Columbia) was on hand to showcase their Fat Tug IPA, an intense Northwest-style India Pale Ale brewed with the hop aficionado in mind.
New to the area, Forbidden Root sampled their line of botanical-themed offerings: Sublime Ginger, Money on My Rind, & Wildflower Pale Ale (WPA).
Blavod, the original Black Vodka, was on hand to create beautiful and inventive cocktails for attendees.
M.I.A. Beer Company (Doral, Florida) brought their core lineup along with several small-batch and limited brews.
View of a happy crowd from above.
Duclaw Brewing Co. (Baltimore, Maryland) treated the crowd to tastes of decadent ales like Sweet Baby Jesus! Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter and Dirty Little Freak Coconut Caramel Chocolate Brown Ale.
The beautiful Farmhouse Ales of Blackberry Farm Brewery (Walland, Tennessee) were in attendance.
The folks at B. Nektar (Ferndale, Michigan) were nice enough to share bottles of Episode 13 Mead Aged in Bourbon Barrels alongside several other beautiful meads.
Crafted Artisan Meadery (Akron, Ohio) dazzled taste buds with Jinja Dragon, a Honey Wine dosed with “generous additions of hibiscus and ginger with a touch of black peppercorn.”
Harris Meadery (Orange Park, Florida) absolutely nailed their Key Lime Pie Mead.
We can’t think of anything more awesome than a bandolier of Underberg.
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery (Farmville, North Carolina), the Dark Beer Specialist, poured up their classic Milk Stout alongside Hoppy Bunny American Black Ale.
Maeloc Hard Cider, a cidery from Galicia, Spain, will soon be hitting the area with their line of delicious ciders.
Town Branch Distillery, an extension of Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. (Lexington, Kentucky) sampled their line of spirits: Town Branch Bourbon (pictured), Pearse Lyons Reserve, and Town Branch Rye.
Shmaltz Brewing Company (Clifton Park, New York) discussed and shared their Year-Round brews with attendees.
Maui Brewing Co. (Kihei, Hawaii) brought the Aloha spirit to the trade show.
Good times were found throughout the event.
Key West Distilling (Key West, Florida) broke out a full array of rums along with their Spyglass Vodka.
Nothing but quality on ice here, but the Grevensteiner from C. & A. Veltins was a delightful treat.
The eye-catching can artwork of Central 28 Beer Company (DeBary, Florida).
Original Sin (New York, New York) Extra Dry and Elderberry Cider.
New Planet Brewery (Boulder, Colorado) supplied some gluten-free goodies.
Beyond their delicious brews, Heavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, Maryland) came to the trade show prepared with a full-sized skeleton and hook for their display.
Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. (Lexington, Kentucky) also shared their wildly popular Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.
Two Brothers Artisan Brewing (Chicago, Illinois) Pinball Juicy Hop Pale Ale and In the Flesh American Sour Ale Brewed with Real Peaches.
Forbidden Root Brewery (Chicago, Illinois) has officially signed with Cavalier Distributing to bring the brewery’s offerings to Florida in early 2017.
Situated in the West Town area of the city, Forbidden Root is “Chicago’s first botanic brewery making craft beer inspired by nature.” For their offerings, the brewery uses water, barley, hops and yeast as a foundation on which they can explore, honor and showcase wild, natural ingredients such as “bark, stems, flowers, herbs, spices, leaves, roots, and other foraged flavors.” Randy Mosher, respected craft beer authority and author of Tasting Beer, is an equity partner and acts as the brewery’s Alchemist by providing the guidance needed to craft and harness these complex and unique flavors. Forbidden Root was founded by Robert Finkel as a benefit corporation, “meaning benefits, other than shareholder value, are built into their operating charter [and] they donate 100% of all non-consumable merchandise profits to charity.” Their overall approach to the brewing industry has resulted in rapid growth, and now Forbidden Root Brewery is nearly ready to share their offerings with the Florida craft beer community.
When they enter the market early next year, you can expect Forbidden Root to launch in Florida with the following three brews:
- Money on My Rind Witbier – Juniper and grapefruit have become a legendary combination in pop culture, known for their ability to refresh and satisfy. So we take a witbier, spike it with juniper berries and the deliciousness of pure grapefruit, and add a peppery hint of grains of paradise. ABV – 5% IBUs – 9
- Sublime Ginger Wheat Ale – Storms come and go, and in the end, there’s just a refreshing breeze. So with this shimmering golden wheat beer, the escape is sure to be fresh, cooling and sustaining. We start with a dry and creamy wheat beer, and add fresh botanicals and a splash of key lime juice for a tangy flavor with the delicious bite of ginger. The flavor is bright, layered, and thoroughly satisfying. This beer resonates with the Caribbean otherworldliness of the Florida Keys. ABV – 3.8% IBUs – 14
- Wildflower Pale Ale (WPA) – WPA entices with a bright, refreshing hop aroma with a citrusy character, along with added depth from the subtle addition of Elderflower, Marigold, and Sweet Osmanthus flowers, and just enough clean maltiness to balance. On the palate, it is full-flavored up front, then builds to a crisp bitterness, with waves of range citrus, spicy and fruity hop flavors enhanced by a hint of exotic blossoms. Finish is complex and scrips, with a lingering clean bitterness. It’s a breath of fresh air, like a bouquet picked along a country lane. ABV – 5.6% IBUs – 55
Once they arrive in 2017, the unique beers of Forbidden Root Brewery are sure to be a welcomed addition to any craft beer retailer’s shelf in Florida. More information concerning exact release dates and launch parties should begin to surface soon, and I will update you with those details as soon as I get them. Prost!