Tampa natives Jordan Copher, Nick Streeter and Tyler Sankey are the team behind Late Start Brewery. This year, the trio found themselves at Seminole Heights' Angry Chair Brewing on Tuesday for their third annual Tampa Bay Beer Week tap takeover. The previous two were hosted at Coppertail Brewing Co.
Collaboration is a passion for the Late Start crew, who used to work at Cigar City Brewing and often work with other Florida brewers.
"We are going for a gypsy brewing concept," Copher told CL, "where we do one-off batches at the breweries we really like to brew at, and [where] we appreciate the quality of beer they are putting out."
Reflected in the takeover beer list, Late Start's favorite style to brew is Berliner Weisse, a type of sour beer. Berliner Weisse complements the Florida weather, but this Tampa brewery specializes in a regional variation that many local craft beer buffs are already familiar with: Florida Weisse. Their Florida Weisses are inspired by the flavors they grew up with, flavors Copher remembers "picking out of our neighbors trees."
Seven Weisse beers were brewed for the indoor-outdoor event, whose line was around the building when Angry Chair's doors opened at 4 p.m., including the Cucumber Gimlet Florida Weisse (with cucumber, lime and juniper berries), Kiwi Berliner, and Mexican Ponche Florida Weisse (tejocotes, guava, tamarind and cinnamon). Goses, IPAs and the Cold Cereal Vol. 3 golden ale (lactose and Cinnamon Toast Crunch) were among the other brews.
In addition to 20 options on tap, more than what the previous years featured, Late Start offered a limited bottle release for the first time. Bottles of the brewery's Tequila Sunrise Florida Weisse with agave, cherry, orange and pomegranate were up for grabs, as were the Mai Tai Florida Weisse with almond, pineapple, orange and lime, their collaboration bottles with Angry Chair that are also cocktail-inspired.
The Tequila Sunrise's juicy blend of fruit and agave, which subdues its sourness, makes it an excellent sour for first-timers; the flavors come together to create a sessionable beer with all the trappings of a balanced cocktail. And the Mai Tai, showcasing the nutty-citrus profile of the classic drink its named after, leans more toward a traditional sour in its tartness.
As last call arrived, most of the Mai Tai and Tequila Sunrise cases had sold out, with their remaining bottles getting quickly snatched up.
Miss the takeover? Look for Late Start's guest tap at Angry Chair, or check out their upcoming events on Facebook.