The Bowigens Beer Company is small, but offers good beer

Two Bowigens Beer stickers.

The servers gave me (and everybody else) a couple of stickers, however I have yet to decide what to do with them.

The only thing I knew about Casselberry before visiting the Bowigens Beer Company was that the city was a few minutes from Altamonte Mall. Now I can say that Casselberry is home to the aforementioned craft brewery, which my friend Ryan and I visited on Saturday night.

Look for the big furniture store, come for the beer.

An exterior view of Bowigens.

That’s what the beer company looks like from the outside. While the chalk sign is nice, the “OPEN” neon light is a bit much.

When I initially arrived at the brewery, located at 1014 FL-436, I actually missed the turn because I was too distracted by the presence of a humongous big-brand furniture strong. A brewing company that’s next to a furniture store? I thought. But after making a U-turn a quarter-mile past and making the turn (and succeeding in doing so), was much better.

In fact, Bowigens is in a great location. No, I’m not saying that people are going to get a beer or two after shopping for a couch and a recliner. However it’s right next to a fondue restaurant, and there’s a wing place and an Italian restaurant in the same plaza. And as a bonus, there’s a bank branch in the same plaza with a walk-on ATM. All-in-all, despite a relatively awkward location, the beer company is in good hands for a place that doesn’t serve food.

It may be small, but at least you won’t have to stand.

A problem I have with relatively small bars is that the spacing is usually so tight that it feel like I’m flying a low-cost regional airline. But tight legroom and piss-poor furniture this is not. Except for the Winter Holidays-style lighting arrangement, the place was pretty well decorated. And a more important thing for me, at the very least, is the furniture arrangement. A lot of craft brewery taprooms I visit don’t arrange furniture logically. In those cases there’s so much open space that you might as well go to the nearest mall and walk to your nearest department store. Thankfully, Bowigens leaves just enough room to sit and there’s just enough distance to the bathroom.

While I would have appreciated more TVs (especially convenient if there’s a sports game on), the fact that there’s two TVs is better than just having one. Otherwise, the only other entertainment is the window that overlooks the brewing equipment and your smartphone because thank goodness this brewery has WiFi. And as Ryan did that night, he was allowed to bring outside food.

Two beer flights and seven original creations on tap? Challenge accepted.

A picture of Bowigens' beer menu.

The fact that whoever drew the menu even drew the social media icons was a pretty cool added touch.

While Ryan was a little more selective with his beer choice, I opted for two flights. The fact that the the cost of a beer is the same price as the most expensive beers (the Wee Do What Wee Want and the Phat Sparrow) was something I appreciated. What was a little disappointing was that when I went there, they only had seven of their original beers on tap (and three guest taps). At the flip side, I could try out a beer I liked a second time. Here are the beers I tried that night. And regardless of what is the correct way to name a style, I am only going by the name of what the menu said.

A beer flight at Bowigens.

The first beer flight. From left to right: Kimberry (American Wheat Ale), Bow 9 (Citrus Pale Ale), Hidden Track Series: Gose (Gose), Lost Anchor (IPA)

Kimberry – A very pleasant berry scent introduces to a bend of a heavy hop profile and a good amount of bitterness. If this American Wheat Ale was a little bit more carbonated this would have been perfect.

Bow 9 – Oh wow was this bitter! This Citrus Pale Ale had a golden color and a subtle citrus scent at first, but for a citrus-based beer this was way too bitter for me to enjoy it as a whole.

Hidden Track Series: Gose – This Gose was actually more spicy than I thought, because I was expecting mostly saltiness. Thankfully, this Gose isn’t too salty that I feel like I’m swimming in the ocean. In my opinion, this would go best with food.

Lost Anchor – There wasn’t anything too special about this IPA. Lots of bitterness, some citrus undertones, and crisp enough to warrant finishing up.

Bowigens08

The second beer flight. From left to right: Kimberry, Phat Sparrow (Double IPA), Toasted Almond Brown Ale (American Brown Ale), Wee Do What Wee Want (Wee Heavy)

Phat Sparrow – For a having 97 IBUs, it wasn’t that bitter when I tried this Double IPA. There’s some malt characters in this one but nothing is too overpowering. The overall finish is pretty dry after the swallow so keep that in mind.

Toasted Almond Brown Ale – There’s a little less head on the Toasted Almond than I anticipated but a slight blend of almond and chocolate is definitely there. Depending on my mood, one of these might be a good alternative for a cup of light coffee.

Wee Do What Wee Want – Like the Toasted Almond, I was pretty surprised that the head is on the low-side. But a deep, malt flavor with that ever slight bitterness (thanks, 28 IBUs!) makes this a very drinkable beer (especially if one had a rough day).

Because Oktoberfest was around the corner, I asked the servers if they were doing anything for that occasion. Although they said no, they did tease me that it was almost time for the Jack-o-Latte. A pumpkin ale with coffee beans? That might just be enough to sit out of the Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) fever happening right now.

And with another beer adventure coming to a close, I’ll make sure to bring some food the next time I visit Bowigens.

Ivanhoe Village Getting Two New Signs

WorksScapes has put in a request for a Major Certificate of Appearance Approval for 2 new High-Rise Signs Totaling 134 sq ft on their building at 1173 N. Orange Ave (MAP) in Ivanhoe Village.

All aspects of the new signs meet current sign codes. 

The change decreases the size of their company name and tops it with a 2-tone “W.”

Join me on a Big Sky adventure in Helena, Montana

Montana is known as ‘big sky country’ and is nicknamed the treasure state, and starting next weekend you can join me on a journey to discover some of those treasures.

Although I usually cover the Central Florida attractions, I love to venture beyond the Sunshine State and share my travels to places from Canada to the Caribbean. This time around, I’m visiting Helena, Montana, where I’ll explore the cultural side of the city. Montana is a place of beauty, and I’ll most certainly be soaking that in, but I’ll also be immersing myself in the city’s history, art, and music.

Sampler of Helena, Montana, adventures

My trip reports will start next weekend, but here’s a sneak peek at some of the experiences I’ll be sharing:

Symphony Under the Stars: Each year, the Helena Symphony Orchestra plays on outdoor concert that draws a crowd of 15,000+ who stake out spots a day in advance to hear the music and marvel at the fireworks finale. Next weekend I’ll witness the show firsthand. It’s got a Broadway theme for 2016, with music from shows like “Wicked” and “Les Miserables.”

The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts: Brickmaker Archie Bray created this foundation back in 1951, and its on the National Register of Historic Places. Nestled in the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountain foothills, it’s a gathering place for artists who work in the ceramic medium. You can learn more about it in the video below:

The Montana Historical Museum: Although I’ve traveled out west quite a bit, Montana is a new state for me. I’m looking forward to learning more about its rich history at the museum.

The Holter Museum of Art: In addition to its modern art exhibition, this museum provides a place for the community to learn about art, including hands on programs.

4Cathedral of St. Helena: This magnificent cathedral dates back to the early 1900s. It was completed in 1918 and restored in the 1930s after a devastating earthquake. One of its notable features is its stained glass windows, which were imported from Bavaria, one of which its pictured at right. The cathedral underwent a large scale renovation in 2002 and is currently open for tours in addition to still functioning as a house of worship.

Tizer Botanic Gardens: Nature plays a big role in Montana’s beauty, and Tizer Botanic Gardens is a spot to soak it in. Tizer features rose, herb, vegetable, begonia and wildflower gardens, along with a gazebo and a secret garden on the banks of Prickley Pear Creek.

Gates of the Mountains Boat Tour: While much of my visit will center around art and culture, no trip to Montana is complete without marveling at the mountains and a chance to spot the region’s diverse wildlife. I’ll get that opportunity on the Gates of the Mountains Boat Tour.

That’s just a small sampling of the adventures that lie ahead in Helena, Montana, visit my blog starting next weekend for photos, videos, and full reports of my adventures discovering the treasures of the American west.

 

SRP: All Aboard!

When: Friday, June 10, 2016 – 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Where: West Oaks Branch at West Oaks – Meeting Room 1

Chugga-chugga choo-choo, all aboard! Become a conductor and join us for trainloads of stories and crafts. Ages 3-5. #preschool #srpkids

Panera Vegetable Soup

Panera Vegetable Soup from thelittlekitchen.net

Can we just all agree that soup heals the body and the soul? I feel like soup when I’m sick or even when I’m having a bad day. Soup heals all, right? I eat soup all year long…it doesn’t matter how hot it is. I think the craving for soup when I’m sick comes from my childhood, probably yours too right? My mom would make us a good chicken and rice soup when we were sick.

I have been dealing with some crazy health issues for the last few months. I wrote a little bit about it when I shared these chicken wings. I ended up not having an upper endoscopy but a bronchoscopy because a CT scan showed a lot of pneumonia going on in my lungs. And then 6 weeks ago, I ended up in the hospital.

I have a huge appreciation for nurses, nurses who go above and beyond every day. And I have a greater appreciation for what it’s like to be a patient in a hospital. This was my first time in the hospital and my first time in an ER. You don’t know how it is until you experience it, it’s one of those things and until you understand how to navigate pushing the button to get the nurses’ attention, asking for medications including pain medications.

When I was in the hospital, they told me it would take a full two months before I would get a definitive answer on what I have…on what was causing my persistent cough and trouble breathing. And now, we’re almost six weeks in and the medications they gave me are working. Thank goodness for that. Sorry for being cagey about what I have…I will probably share once I get word they are 100% sure.

When Curtis took me home from the hospital after my bronchoscopy procedure, he went to Panera to pick up soup and sourdough rolls for me. He came home with a cup of of their Low-Fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto. Besides their broccoli cheddar soup, their garden vegetable soup is one of my favorites!

It has so much flavor and and it’s so soothing! I have been wanting to make a homemade or copycat version at home for some time now!

Click to continue reading and for the recipe!


© The Little Kitchen, 2016. |

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