Interview with Bob Sylvester, brewer & owner of Saint Somewhere Brewing Company

Here is a video we made in December 2009 when we met Bob Sylvester, the brewer & owner of Saint Somewhere Brewing Company in Tarpon Springs.    In this interview he talks about his latest creation, Pays Du Soleil. 

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 We will be visiting Bob again on Saturday March 20th, as Saint Somewhere is one of our stops on our exciting Tampa Beer Safari Weekend tour.  For more information about that tour go to

Itinerary for Bon Beer Voyage Tampa Beer Safari March 19th-21st, 2010

 Friday March 19, 2010

 3:00pm   The Hampton Inn and Suites Ybor City

No tents on this Safari! Our accommodations are the Hampton Inn & Suites Ybor City Tampa/Downtown-the best location right in the historic district in downtown Ybor! The colorful Cuban influences of Ybor City with its authentic restaurants and shops are just steps from our hotel in Tampa. If you are driving in, we have arranged for free parking at the hotel. There are also refrigerators, microwaves and complimentary high speed internet access in all rooms, so you can email your friends back home to tell them what they’re missing!

5:30 pm : Please join your tour director for a welcome reception and get to know your fellow beer travelers.  We will meet in the lobby by the tables (breakfast area) and enjoy the first of the weekends many brews!

6:45pm:  We’re off to enjoy the “spirited sights” of Ybor City on Secret Ybor: Scandals, Crimes, and Shady Ladies’, a one-hour ghost walk tour of one of North America’s most interesting – and haunted – neighborhoods. Our guide will be Miss Prudence Fipwhistle (born 1855 – died 1899), a charming (and hair-raising) mistress of the macabre!  Please make sure to wear your walking shoes and dress appropriately for whatever weather we may encounter.  We will be heading directly to our dinner from the tour, but dinner tonight is casual, so just make sure you are comfortable!

7:45pm: Beer Paired Dinner at the delicious Tampa Bay Brewing Company.    

Founded in 1996, the Tampa Bay Brewing Company is a family business, with mother and son serving as general manager and brewmaster respectively. Their on-site brewery is equipped to produce up to twelve tap beers (they generally have nine on tap, more than twice as many as most microbreweries) and several cask-conditioned ales on a 10bbl step-infusion brewing system. As a matter of fact, 12 of their 16 serving tanks used to hold the beer at the famous Bass Ale Brewery in England.

They take great pride in using only the freshest water, barley, hops and yeast from around the world. The same great care that goes into their beer goes into their great menu items as well. And actually, some of their beer even goes into some menu items, like the Iron Rat Stout Crab Cakes, Stout N Honey Glazed Atlantic Salmon, and Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup.

Get ready to enjoy food made to go with beer by people who have a passion and talent for creating both!

After dinner you are free to walk off some of tonight’s calories and enjoy Ybor’s nightlife, or follow Mike, your beer guide to a local watering hole for some more of what’s good to drink in Ybor! (And of course, the hotel is only a few blocks away if you’d rather just call it a night!)

Saturday March 20th, 2010

 6-9am Enjoy breakfast at your leisure, it is served in the breakfast area of the hotel.

9:10am Meet your tour director in the lobby to leave for today’s adventures!  We will be out all day until about 3:30pm, so bring anything with you that you will need for the day- i.e. camera, jacket, etc…

First stop this morning is Tarpon Springs. Tarpon Springs, Florida’s own Greek village is known as the Sponge Capital of the World. Here you will find authentic Greek restaurants, bakeries with mouth watering pastries and shops full of jewelry, hand-rolled cigars, Greek and Florida Souvenirs and of course, sponges! Take a stroll along the waterfront and see the sponge boats with sponges strung out to dry, or take a short cruise to learn about the sponge trade and how professional sponge divers operate.

We will spend about an hour here before heading off to meet our friend Bob Silvester and see his brewing set up at Saint Somewhere Brewing Company

Saint Somewhere is a small batch brewery, located in Tarpon Springs, Florida, which specializes in traditionally brewed, hand-crafted Belgian-style ales. All of their ales are bottle-conditioned and unfiltered and receive a dose of Brettanomyces at bottling.

Despite the homage to Belgium by the strict use of Belgian malt & wheat and whole noble hops, Bob Sylvester, owner and brewer, adds a little bit of Florida by open fermentation as well as by using old Florida advertising art on his labels. The stuff inside the bottles is as much art as the labels though, especially his latest creation, Pays Du Soleil.        

And of course, the name Saint Somewhere comes from a Jimmy Buffett song, so let’s be real, Belgian may be at the heart of it, but this beer has Florida soul!

After visiting with Bob, we will be leaving Tarpon Springs to head over to Florida’s Scottish heritage town, Dunedin.  Here we will be visiting Dunedin Brewery, tasting their beers and enjoying lunch.

Fermenting since 1996 and still going strong, Dunedin Brewery handcrafts all of their ales for your enjoyment from their Piper’s Pale Ale to their Apricot Wheat. They also have a great menu including the most awesome Pacific Coast Fish Tacos you will find east of Baja!  With great atmosphere, great food and 9 ales brewed year round as well as 5 or more seasonal offerings throughout the year, this is our kind of lunch stop!

Having fortified ourselves, we will set off to Cigar City Brewery (who incidentally just added 5 gold medals along with a silver and bronze to their growing collection of awards!) for a tour and tasting in their new tasting room.

Cigar City Brewery was founded by beer columnist and Tampa native Joey Redner in the summer of 2007. Since its inception CCB has been guided by Joey’s passion for both great beer and the city of his birth.

With the creative input and expertise of Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup award winning brewer Wayne Wambles, Cigar City Brewing endeavors to make world class ales and lagers which celebrate the rich heritage and traditions that make Tampa one of the world’s most unique cities.

With this goal in mind Cigar City Brewing incorporates local ingredients in the brewing process and always considers, during recipe creation, the local foods CCB beers are likely to be paired with. The result of this dedication is handcrafted beer that imparts a sense of place and pairs as well with gourmet cheeses as hearty Cuban sandwiches.

After our tastings, we will head back to the hotel for some free time to relax or check out Ybor’s sites on your own.

Ybor City is known as Tampa’s Latin Quarter for over a century, Ybor City is an exotic blend of aromas, flavors, sights and sounds.  From the scent of roasting Cuban coffee early in the morning to the rhythms of Latin music late into the night, Ybor is a feast for the senses.  Browse eclectic shops and art galleries or visit one of the museums.  See a “hand-rolled cigar” being made or just relax and “people watch” with a cup of Ybor’s famous cafe con leche. Listen to the music of the night – jazz, blues, salsa, reggae and even hip-hop emanate from a selection of pubs, patio bars and nightclubs.  Ybor is alive with a variety of entertainment that makes it one of Florida’s top-ranked nightspots.

Founded by Vicente Martinez-Ybor as a cigar-manufacturing center, Ybor City today is one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida.  Red brick buildings, wrought iron balconies and narrow brick streets give it an old-world charm that is a refreshing change of pace from the beach and the mall.

7:05pm. We will be ready to leave for our gourmet dining experience at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse.  Stylish, contemporary dining is the hallmark of Fleming’s. The menu features the finest in prime beef, augmented by a tempting variety of chops, seafood, chicken, generous salads, inventive side orders and indulgent desserts.

We have the good fortune of having a 4 course beer paired gourmet dinner created especially for our Beer Safari by the chef at Fleming’s, who, as luck would have it, is a beer enthusiast himself!

Our specially prepared and paired dinner at this award winning steakhouse will be an experience you won’t soon forget. 

Sunday March 21, 2010

Enjoy breakfast at our hotel anytime from 6 am to 10 am.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end.  Check out of hotel by noon. 

Love Great Beer?  Join Us on a Bon Beer Voyage Beercation!