So, we know that Florida craft breweries and tap rooms offer beer lovers a wide variety of custom, artisanal beer, right? REALLY good beer made right on the premises. Lots of IPA’s, pilsners, stouts, porters and ales. But what’s up with this West Palm Beach Brewery & Wine Vault? What’s a wine vault? http://westpalmbeer.com/
“The idea of craft beer emanated from JP’s interest in premium wines. He owns or owned vineyard land and real estate in Napa and Santa Barbara. He has dozens of friends who are winery owners, grape growers, wine makers and vineyard managers. After he heard his buddies describing craft beer like he describes wine, JP took an interest. And it’s a lot less money to make craft beer than it is to plant a vineyard in Napa !” says Dan Galasso who is leading the charge to bring downtown West Palm Beach its first craft brewery, production facility and tap room.
So, after the city of West Palm Beach announced proposed, first time, brewery regulations, an interest was sparked. And, says Galasso, that interest did not end with craft beer. “Let’s face it. Not everyone drinks beer. But many love wine. I knew right away that we needed JP to source some top notch wine that would not be available anywhere else in Florida. We put him on a plane to Napa and then on to Santa Barbara where he owns 64 acres in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.”
And so, this brewery in West Palm Beach will not just offer wine, but what Galasso says the industry describes as premium wine. “JP uses his contacts to source amazing wine from some of the best vineyards in Napa. The bad news is that many times what JP can get is a sliver of what we, or consumers, would want. A winemaker or winery that JP knows may have an extra barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon from a famous vineyard or an extra 2 tons of grapes from a big harvest. JP can get it, but he won’t tell us where he got it. That’s often one of the conditions of him getting such great wine. It’s like a secret mission almost.”
So, what does this downtown West Palm Beach wine vault have in store? According to Galasso, the variety is extensive. A 2015 Chardonnay from Los Carneros, Sonoma, big reds such as Grenache and Syrah from Santa Ynez and Ballard Canyon, a 2014 Rutherford (Napa) Cabernet that is expected to sell out almost from its announcement (only 50 cases), a 2014 Napa Cabernet or red blend and Pinot Noir and more Syrah (2013 vintage). “People love their wine” says Galasso, who plans to launch an email wine newsletter to let consumers know about buying wines on futures, release parties and newly arrived wines. “Our customers will have a chance to purchase great wines even before they leave the barrel and arrive in Florida. We’ll have barrel samples at release parties and customers will get a discount if they want to buy early.”
But, Galasso teases, the wine selection is just one part of the brewery’s plans for 2017. “We are discussing leasing space in the West Palm Beach Warehouse District to create an annex for our beer lab and a huge temperature controlled wine cellar. JP’s wine collection can be seen on display, new recipes and seasonal craft beers can be observed being made, and we can barrel age our beer in the cellar. Visitors who tour the beer lab and cellar can see our bourbon barrels and blonde ales aged in chardonnay oak casks. Our wine vault.”