DAYTONA BEACH / ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
Got to visit Daytona’s bustling HOPS (across from famous NASCAR speedway) and provincial St. Augustine’s A1A Alehouse, April ‘04.
With nearly 100 locations in the United States, HOPS regularly brews the following: citric-teased wheat-backed bubblegum-like Clearwater Light; caramel-malted stone-fruited hop-sharp Lightning Bold Gold; tinny red-fruited Hammerhead Red; dry cocoa-malted porter-styled Alligator Ale. Seasonal delight Flying Squirrel Nut Brown Ale bested these with its subtle coffee roast and hazelnut-chocolate confluence.
By 2008, HOPS was closed, but its affiliated brewery-restaurants in Colorado, Virginia, and North Carolina have thus far survived.