A Sanityfound First
I’ll be the first to admit… huh… yes it’s possible and in this case true. Sure I’ve enjoyed the odd beer and sampled
all a variety of kinds over the years but I’ve never had an exact beer tasting. Truth be told, the South African in me has always seemingly been focused on the fermented grape varieties.
I approached Joshua to see if he would be willing to have a Texan and a
sane South African over to see what Flying Boat Brewery was all about and sample a few of their craft brews. We arrived early and totally unprepared for what we were about to experience … in short, we were blown away… but there is more…
Ok where is this place?
When one talks of St Pete, Florida, and all the craft breweries one tends to think of those Downtown and not just a few short miles away from its beautiful shores with free parking. Yes, the mention of free parking is no mistake, and for all those who have visited St Pete this nugget of information is golden.
The Flying Boat Brewery is nestled within a residential area in the Woodlawn Oaks neighborhood of Saint Petersburg. Literally only a 10-minute drive on a slow day. The residential location gives the Brewery a different vibe to those that are downtown, in other words, you get to sit with the locals and relax without the downtown rush.
Flying Boat you say?
If you love flying and all things “plane” as I do then you are sure to fall in love with the Flying Boat the minute you enter. It is named after St. Pete’s aviation history honoring the birthplace of the world’s first scheduled commercial flight (Take that Ohio and North Carolina!).
The pioneering spirits of Percival Elliott Fansler, Abram C. Pheil, and Tony Jannus are celebrated throughout the brewery with memorabilia, historical documents and aeronautical themed prints and pieces.
How it all began
The brewery was opened in 2017 by 3 family members that created their dream into fruition with 3 principles in mind, namely community, charity, and education. This strong sense of community has led to charitable giving to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, where Flying Boat Brewery donates a portion of proceeds from all beers sells in their tasting room.
Side note: Any company that donates a portion of their profits to a good cause, especially kids, gets an extra vote of hell yeah!
The business of beer
The nod to history continues with their production of prohibition era style beer all year round, with 4-6 of the 15 beers on tap designated to that style. What’s the big deal? This is huge considering that most breweries (especially in Florida) only provide this type of beer seasonally or in the least in a limited capacity.
At the moment the Flying Boat brewery only sells in and around St Petersburg and the Tampa Area (Pinellas and Hillsborough for the locals). Knowing both them and how good their beers are this will be short lived so keep a look out on the shelves near you… this brewery is set to boom!
The Beers themselves
Though there are many we were well behaved and only sampled a few of them, that said it was mighty hard not to.
If quality is judged by a few then all I can say is that those we didn’t sample, 1000 to 1, taste as amazing as the ones we did. I’ve included the Texan’s thoughts for balance as she is a superior connoisseur than I when it comes to brews.
Sweet Stout Batch 100
Think light Almond Joy with a delicious touch of a traditional stout.
Texan: Full bodied tasty sweet stout with sweet vanilla, chocolate, and toasted coconut flavors
Coffee Kolsch: Jannus Java
Texan: Wow! A unique flavor for a Kolsch and it works! Literally, a coffee bean blows up in a Kolsch! This is my favorite!
Sanityfound: Ok she stole my words on this one, out of all the ones we tasted this stoked my inner coffee addict while delighting my senses in a cold beautifully created Kolsch.
Kolsch: Lark Duluth
Texan: Solid Kolsch, but after the Java Kolsch mentioned above I couldn’t go back to normal. However, I overheard locals confess their love for this and they deemed it the best in St. Pete
Sanityfound: Crisp and clean, smooth finish.
American IPA: Green’s Lantern
Texan: Great citrus IPA with moderate hop appeal! #2 best seller
Sanityfound: The name is super awesome! Ok, geek aside, the clean crisp citrus flavors in the height of summer… refreshing.
Pale Lager: Crescent Lake Lager
Texan: smooth finishing lager, easy to please
Sanityfound: smooth and mild, this one has staying power!
Schwarzblier: Percival’s Black Lager
Texan: my eyes and tastebuds argued on this one. Tastebuds declared it a flavorful lager in the end!
Sanityfound: Definition of don’t judge a book by its cover… it may be dark but it tastes light!
American Mild: Pub Ale
Texan: Great beer and the #1 seller! Refreshing and pleasing to any palate
Sanityfound: All year round mild pub ale. You read that right, that and it is delicious!
Double IPA: Gold and Green Kerosene
Texan: Not an overpowering bitter IPA, loud citrus and 9%!
Sanityfound: Super loud citrus, not a fan of grapefruit unless it’s sprinkled with brown sugar but I can see this being a popular choice.
Russian Imperial: Demen’s (sold in stubby cans- so cute and genius)
Texan: Flavor- Flav! This one carries a heavy punch
Sanityfound: Each sip brought a new flavor and dimension much like sipping a glass of wine can do.
What does the brewery have that makes it different?
Apart from the delicious beers, this brewery continues to support the principle of community with its Ping Pong (you heard right) table, board game selections, function room, and community styled tables both in and outside.
Added to all the above a serious caveat for us South African’s though is the fact that A) Joshua, who showed us around, knows rugby and B) He was kind about the beloved Springboks… One guess where I’ll be watching the World Cup come September?!?
In our honest opinion, their passion for quality craft beer, the strong sense of community, and great layout will make it a staple of St. Pete for years to come! If you’re heading to St Pete for a vacation or lucky enough to live here, don’t miss a visit to the Flying Boat Brewery!
* We received a complimentary brewery tour and tasting in return for this article review. This article has been written with artistic license, all thoughts and opinions are my own.