One of the best things about the craft beer community is the people. Meeting people and hearing their stories is frankly why we do this. It’s why we are so passionate about writing and telling their stories. We suppose, in some slight way, it’s how we as writers can give back to the community.
You’ll meet some genuine people if you’re lucky enough in your craft beer endeavors. Although we haven’t met him in person yet, one of those people is Phil Zayas, Founder and Brewer for Emerald Republic Brewing.
On the coast of somewhere beautiful
Emerald Republic Brewing is more than just a catchy name, so we asked Phil how the name came about and the story behind it. Phil said he believes that breweries are made by the customers and community. Sure, you have owners who operate, brewers who run it and bartenders who work there, but at its core, it’s about the people.
A Republic by definition is a state in which supreme power is held by the people. “When I created Emerald Republic, I always wanted to make sure that I listened to the people,” said Phil.
Phil wanted to know things like what beers people wanted to drink, what offerings people wanted from the brewery, the vibe, entertainment and everything else that goes into it. “We are very involved with our community, and we host many non-profit fundraisers and are a cornerstone for the people in our neighborhood,” said Phil.
Emerald comes from the beauty of our tiny town and natural treasures that lie in Pensacola, FL. The beauty of the people and land gave them the name Emerald Republic.
A deeper meaning
Phil explained that all of their beers have stories in some way behind them. Ten Wraiths, a Hazy IPA is no different.
The entire process of brewing from start to finish is a balance of life and death. When maltsters get the barley, they force it to germinate. Then the creation of life is started only to kill it when it is in the early phases of growth. Hop growers reap and dry out plants that give beer its flavor. Yeast and bacteria that are used in the brewing process grow, reproduce and die all in the name of making beer.
A wraith is defined as a spirit seen shortly right after its death. Ten Wraiths contains ten ingredients, all of which have undergone a life and death cycle only to take a new form as beer. “The name is a celebration of the life and death of it all,” explained Phil.
Phil noted earlier that all of their beers have some kind of story to them. What he might not have known is that Ten Wraiths holds a story from us as well.
While on a short post-Christmas getaway to a beautiful town in the Florida panhandle, we happened to stumble upon Ten Wraiths at a local restaurant.
Obviously, the drink menu is examined first and foremost. Craft beer doesn’t tend to be as popular in this area as it is in some of the larger cities a little further south. There were only a handful of craft beers on the menu, but Ten Wraiths was ultimately chosen.
At this point, the goal was to just get a decent craft beer to go with a meal. Upon presentation, the beer looked exquisite! We know that sometimes looks can be deceiving with beer, but we weren’t ready for the flavor onslaught that was about to take place.
I am going to state an opinion here, not a fact, just an opinion. It is my individual opinion that if this were the only Hazy IPA I could ever drink again, I would be completely satisfied with that.
In baseball, there’s a certain crack of the bat you can hear, and you automatically know it’s going to be a huge it. That’s the initial experience from the first sip of Ten Wraiths.
Citrus explodes onto the palate like a rocket ship heading toward the sky. After the smoke has cleared from the initial flavor explosion, orange zest begins to appear. Finishing it off is subtle hints of mango and a nice hoppy bitterness.
Ten Wraiths appears a cloudy light orange color and has an insanely soft mouthfeel. The combination of all factors creates a near perfect drinking experience.
Emerald Republic Brewing needs to be on your radar this year. If you’ve not yet had the chance to check them out, do yourself a favor and stop by. As of right now they aren’t canning any beers. Phil and his crew are playing it smart and following a solid plan. You can find it at their taproom in Pensacola, or at many locations across the Florida panhandle.