For our first visit, we stopped into Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach, FL. Founded in 2013, Saltwater is a forward thinking brewery, renowned for their use of a biodegradable 6-pack can holder. In keeping with their environmental conscientiousness, Saltwater supports several ocean-based charities such as CCA, Surfrider, Ocean Foundation, and MOTE.
While most local breweries are tucked away in hard to find industrial districts with little or no signage, Saltwater is located right off I-95 and is easily visible from the Atlantic Avenue exit. Their sign is prominently painted in the side of their building, emitting an air of inclusiveness for beer connesuiers and novices alike.
When you first walk in, you feel like you're in an old waterfront bar (reminds me of a few places on the west coast of Florida). I could almost see the old weather worn fisherman sitting in the corner. While many breweries have more of an industrial, no frills atmosphere, Saltwater is comfortable, with a social crowd. You can hang out outside and enjoy the weather, and play traditional bar games like corn hole. The restrooms are clean and the place is welcoming. When I ordered my first flight, I asked for some help and the barkeep gladly helped me make my selections.
One thing that sets Saltwater apart from other breweries is that it features live entertainment. We went on a Saturday evening and were a little surprised when a band began to set up. I expected more classic rock given the decor, but this act had a kind of a jazzy groove sound.
Saltwater Brewery's signature beer is their Screemin' Reels IPA (7%, 75 IBU, IPA). I'm not much of an IPA guy, but I found this one to be mild and palatable. It's lighter than most, but still has that hoppy flavor. They describe it having a happy start mixed with tangerine and a smooth finish...but I didn't taste the tangerine. I enjoyed this one and could drink a few of these in an afternoon. Saltwater offers a variety of the Screemin' Reels in Raspberry, Grapefruit and Mango versions. I tried all of them, and the original was certainly my favorite.
My Favorite Beer:
LocAle (3.7%, 12 IBU, Golden Ale) - The LocAle is a beer you could drink all day long...whether on the beach, boat, or your own backyard, it goes down easily. With the low alcohol content, The LocAle is easy to enjoy without dehydrating on these hot Florida summer days and nights. To get the most out of this one, pair it with Asian, spicy, and/or Mexican food. I really enjoyed it and think you will too.