Thursday, October 30, 2014

Biking & Breweries - Dunedin, FL


We’ve been on a mission to try out every local brewery on the St. Pete/Clearwater Craft Beer Trail.    So far on that list, we had made it to 3 Daughters, Cycle, Green Bench, Sea Dog, and St. Pete Brewing.  We noticed that Dunedin Brewery and 7venth Sun were within a few blocks of each other, so on our day off yesterday, we headed to Dunedin. 

The Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail is a jogging/biking path that goes right through the middle of town – it spans 38.2 miles from St. Pete to Tarpon Springs.  We brought our bikes so we could get a bit of a workout before drinking beers. 


We started off at Hammock Park in Dunedin and biked north to Wall Springs Park in Palm Harbor.  We turned around to meet up with my brother David and his friend John.  From there, we headed to Dunedin Brewery, Florida’s oldest craft brewery. 

They had some year-round standard beers like the Red Ale, Pale Ale, and Brown Ale, but they also had several special options.  I tried the Apricot Wheat, Razzberry Wheat, Florida Common, and Jackie Bones.  The apricot and raspberry beers were almost too sweet – you could definitely taste the fruit.  I liked the Florida Common – with roasted pineapple and orange peel.  And the Jackie Bones is their pumpkin beer with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla beans. 

The boys enjoyed the Biere de CafĂ© – made with chocolate and local coffee.  It was so tasty it could be a Starbucks drink.  They also liked The Moon Reflects on Hibiscus, which John accurately said was like drinking flowers. 

We were surprisingly impressed with their bar food.  We tried their Pretzel Bites, Wisconsin Fried Cheese Curds, and Dunedin Brewery Wings.  The pretzels were the perfect snack, served with Nitro Stout mustard.  The cheese curds were made with breaded white cheddar and served with a side of ranch – they tasted like mini mozzarella sticks. 

I would definitely order their wings again – they are marinated overnight then deep fried and served dry.  There was an option to have them tossed in sauce, but I loved the dry wings.  They were perfectly golden and crunchy – served with both bleu cheese sauce and a “kilt-lifter” spicy sauce (which really had a kick).  We ordered 10 but our basket actually came with 12. 

Afterwards we rode south on the trail a bit more to work off our food.  Lance and I had already biked 12+ miles at this point, so we couldn’t keep up with David & John.  We rode a few miles, and then turned back around towards 7venth Sun Brewery.  

It’s in a shopping plaza with a massage studio, salon, and jewelry shop.  The location didn’t seem like anything special, but before drinking more, we took a walk around the block.  We discovered that they are one street over from the waterfront at St. Joseph’s Sound with a beautiful view towards Caladesi Island. You can’t actually go on the waterfront since it is private property, but you can walk down Victoria Drive and enjoy the scenery from the quiet road.   

Back at 7venth Sun, we ordered several of their beers.  Instead of the typical flight, they offer 4 ounce pours for only $2 if you want to try a sampling.  I tried the Star Witness (a hoppy saison), Graffiti Orange Creamsicle Wheat, Purple Pistil (brewed with grapes and saffron honey brewed with Brett yeast) and the Dusty Farmgirl (a Brett Saison with Meyer lemon & clementine). 

I liked the Dusty Farmgirl and Star Witness best.  The Purple Pistil was too strong for me (11% alcohol!) and the grape and honey flavors were a bit overpowering.  The Graffiti orange was pretty sweet as well. 

David & John met us there and between the 4 of us, we probably sampled every beer on the board. 

Another mile or so bike ride and we were back to where we started.  We ended up riding 22.74 miles so my legs were pretty sore by the end.  I love the app Map My Ride because it keeps track of your distance, speed, and elevation.  The only problem is that it drains your phone battery – since our trip took a few hours, my phone was at less than 10% by the time we finished. 

2 more local breweries down!  (And many more to go…)

Dunedin Brewery is located at 937 Douglas Ave, Dunedin, FL 34698 and is open 11am – 11pm Sunday through Tuesday, 11am – 1am Wednesday & Thursday, and 11am – 2am Friday & Saturday. 

7venth Sun Brewery is located at 1012 Broadway, Dunedin, FL 34698 and is open 2pm – 12am Tuesday through Thursday, 12pm – 12am Friday & Saturday, 12pm – 10pm on Sunday, and closed Monday.  

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