Coppertail Brewing’s Casey Hughes Wants You to Weisse Up – Florida Style

October 11, 2017

Metro Philadelphia is the only market outside of the Sunshine State where you can get Coppertail’s American, German & Belgian-inspired ales, not to mention its award-winning, flavor-forward, Florida Weisse beers.

When contemplating the beer he would off his customers this past summer at Philadelphia’s Uptown Beer Garden, Beverage Director Alex Bokulich reached out to folks at Pizza Boy, 2SP and Coppertail Brewing Company’s Casey Hughes. Bokulich wanted to collaborate with local brewers on refreshing, exclusive beers that would complement the food on his menu. He picked up the phone, dialed area code 813 and got Hughes on the line.

Coppertail Brewing Company is located in Tampa, Florida – area code 813, which isn’t exactly local. But for 10 years, Hughes was the award-winning Brewmaster for Cherry Hill’s Flying Fish Brewing Company. During his Flying Fish tenure, he medaled twice at the Great American Beer Festival, earning a bronze for Hopfish Classic English-style Pale Ale and gold for Exit 4 American Trippel, which Men’s Journal magazine proclaimed in 2009 “Best Belgian-style Beer in America”.

If you didn’t make it to Uptown Beer Garden this summer, you really missed out. It was the only venue to serve Bokulich and Hughes’ collaboration, Coppertail Orange Creamsicle, a Florida Weisse finished with fresh Florida orange juice, orange zest and Madagascar vanilla beans. It’s the Popsicle the ice cream truck guy wished he could sell.

Thanks to Hughes’ ties to Philadelphia, your customers can experience Coppertail without hopping on a plane to Tampa.

Ten things you should know about Casey Hughes and Coppertail Brewing Company:

1. Coppertail makes beers that complement Florida’s climate and lifestyle. They are less sweet, more drinkable – make that super sessionable since many are only 3.5% ABV, so you can drink more than one on a hot day.

2. Florida Weisse is a spin on Germany’s refreshing Berliner weisse, spiked with unusual combinations of local fruits and vegetables. Coppertail Slam Piece, a weisse beer, won a silver medal at the GABF.

3. Only 10,000 barrels of Coppertail are brewed per year. 

4. Coppertail’s four core brews are Free Dive (IPA), Unholy (American trippel), Night Swim (porter) and Wheat Stroke (American wheat ale).

5. Unholy is, in my opinion, an even better version of Exit Four American Trippel. We use a ‘sacrilegious’ amount of hops – hence the name Unholy.”

6. “I get first crack at some experimental hops from folks I know who farm in the Pacific Northwest, so every three months I brew something new. The next one is called Hyperbolic.”

7. “If you missed out on Creamsicle, try our Purple Drink. It’s made with over 1,500 pounds of berries. Tart, dry and semi-sweet, it’s great with food and dessert. Even wine & cocktail drinkers love this beer.The four-pack is a good value considering all the top shelf ingredients we use.”

8. Whoops! is our next Florida Weisse. It’s made with cranberry and hibiscus. Rosé drinkers should give this one a try. It’s sweet-tart like a good rosé with enough acidity, making it great with food.”

9. “Evan B. Harris does our art work. Our labels are fun, but with a dark side. FYI: The coppertail on our logo is the sea monster that lives in Tampa Bay – a strange and fantastic creature that lurches beneath the surface.”

10. “I love exploring unusual flavor combinations. For our third anniversary this year, we brewed a beer inspired by Cuban pastelito pastries called Guava Pastelitos. We served 32 different Florida Weisse beers at our anniversary party last August.”

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