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Very cool — like a speakeasy in paradise just feet away from the follies of Duval.

There’s an alley somewhere between Rick’s and The Garden of Eden that if you look down, just looks black and seedy — like they all do at night in Key West. But look closer and you’ll see a little square bar sign jutting out from the side of one of the buildings. Walk up and into the place and you’ll re-realize what makes Key West, with its little pieces of stashed away gold, so great. Inside is a crowd of mostly locals who are much more chill and emblematic of what the island’s like when it isn’t going crazy during spring break and holiday weekends.

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Bottoms up! Study finds Florida beer industry taps in $14 billion to state economy

Florida is a thirsty state, and one of its favorite beverages is beer.
For the Sunshine State, a fast-growing beer industry has developed into a strong economic engine, one that pumps billions into the state’s economy, with more than 125,000 jobs, says a new report unveiled Tuesday.
Brewers, importers, distributors, suppliers and retailers contribute more than $14 billion annually to Florida’s economy, supporting 125,402 local jobs, according to “Beer Serves America” – an in-depth study of the U.S. beer industry.
The report, jointly compiled by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and The Beer Institute, shows that the industry is responsible for more than $5 billion in wages and benefits, as well as $3 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes in 2014.
“It can be said that beer truly […]

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Maine brewer makes beer out of live lobsters, sea salt

A Maine brewer is offering a quicker way to consume two of the state’s summertime staples: beer and lobster.
Oxbow Brewing is serving up beer brewed with live Maine lobsters and a dash of sea salt.
Brewmaster Tim Adams says the lobsters were placed in a mesh bag and suspended in a kettle full of boiling wort during the brewing process. He says the lobsters add a subtle brininess and sweetness that lobster fans will recognize.
The beer is a saison (say-ZAHN’)-style beer brewed in collaboration with a brewery in Parma, Italy. It is 4.5 percent alcohol by volume and is available on a limited basis. The beer is served in the brewery’s tasting room.
Adams says the lobsters that were cooked in the brewing process were later eaten.
Republished […]

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Rowdies home opener at their new den

By Devon Crumpacker
The Rowdies kicked off its home opener last night at a beefed-up Al Lang Stadium with a sister-kissin’ nil-nil tie. But the their new hang-out, the Rowdies Den, which is where Midtown Sundries used to be, cleaned-up before, during and after the action.
Pre-game, the place was slammed. It was basically standing room only. Fans hooting like hooligans had fun in their Rowdies’ green and yellow. Everyone was getting a little liquored up — and why not? This guy Greg, whose been a life-time Rowdies fan, said they were asking too much for tickets up at the box office, so he hit-up the Den for the match.
“I’m old-school. I used to play for the Fanies,” said Greg, sitting at the tip of the big horseshoe […]

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Craft? Micro? Increasingly, ‘nanobrews’ slake local thirst

In a nondescript industrial park, beer geeks line up several times a week outside Bissell Brothers to get the latest batch of fresh beer — much like foodies seeking the freshest baguettes, pomegranates or kale.
Jeremy Ritz didn’t get the beer he wanted on a recent day because it was sold out. So he decided to buy some rye ale instead.
“To me it’s huge that I get talk to the guy who’s brewing my beer,” the middle school teacher said. “I love that.”
Bissell Brothers intends to make 3,200 barrels of beer this year. That’s tiny compared to the big craft breweries, which are stretching the meaning of “craft” under Brewers Association guidelines that allow them to retain the claim at up to 6 million barrels.
While Boston […]

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