When the right drink is a brew
SUN PHOTOS/LIZA MORROW
Beer connoisseurs Chad Coey, Rocky Fair
and John Paul Taylor enjoy a variety of brews.
On a warm Anna Maria Island evening, a good, cold, wet one is satisfying. But imagine a beer that did not merely satisfy, but enliven, invigorate, fortify and inspire?
Instead of the ordinary can of suds from the fridge, how about a lusty and frothy ale with aromas and flavors that captivate as well as satiate, stimulating the palate instead of stupefying it? A handcrafted porter, stout, lager or spirit.
Foamy, fruity … and flippant in name, Rogue Brewery beers were all the buzz at the Waterfront Restaurant on Thursday, Oct. 2. The tasting event was called Roguetoberfest. An evening of friends, neighbors, Frauleins, weisswurst, sausages, prizes, beer and plenty of it. Bottle after bottle of Rogue brews were opened, not only to quench the crowds thirst, but also for the beers to earn their due respect.
This is the work and passion of the owners of the Waterfront Restaurant. For three years Jason and Leah Suzor have sponsored a wine tasting each Thursday from Mother’s Day through February. However, every fifth Thursday is reserved for beer tasting.
Jason explained, "We do a lot of traveling to visit family out west and go snowboarding and skiing. I’ve always loved exotic beers . All the different flavors. We were surrounded by microbreweries and I got into discovering the best ones."
Leah agreed, "I grew up in Germany and probably had my first taste of beer at 13 or 14. That sounds strange but in Germany beer is kinda a staple and well, legal to drink at 13."
Rogue Beers are one of the Suzors’ favorites. Even the name sounds exciting and in each glass of good, frothy beer there’s a story. It begins with an American revolution, the Craft Beer Revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. Young American brewers, often influenced by the traditional brewing styles of England, Germany and Belgium, decided to make their own beers. Each brew reflects the characters of the not only the hops which are added at varying times in the brewing process but the personalities of the brewers.
Rogue Brewery has its tale. In Oregon in 1987, two fraternity brothers, Jack Joyce and Bob Woodell, with friends Rob Strausser and Jeff Schiltz, started to infuse their home-brewed beer with bitterness and aromatics. Eventually, they joined up with a woman named Mo Neimi, who agreed to rent them a place to build a pub. The rent would be cheap if they agreed to hang a nude photograph of Mo, herself in the bathtub in their bar. The photograph of Mo still hangs today just left of the bar.
Different from the restrained aromas and flavors of English hops, American hops are a regular brass band, giving American pale ales their signature strident aromas of grapefruit, flowers and pine.