Well, this place was a treat. Imagine finding an English pub in the middle of southwest Florida! That’s exactly what my wife and I walked into one afternoon. What we found was The Wild Rover Brewery on the west side of Tampa. I wish I would have taken more pics, but if you’ve seen an English pub in the movies, then you’ve seen this place. The dark woods of the bar perfectly match the ambiance. It’s a family-owned establishment, which is awesome, and we really happened upon it by chance.
We were looking for some lunch one day and didn’t really feel like Tampa Bay Brewing Company, since we were out that way for my wife’s chiropractor appointment. So, I did a search and found this place not far from TBBC. For some reason, The Wild Rover’s menu hit the spot and off we went. By the way, the food is amazing at this little pub, and I highly recommend it. Or just go for the atmosphere!
Bell Boy is a traditional English Porter that pours coffee black with a thin tan head from the cask. Carbonation bubbles are all different sizes, which is perfect. Yes this is a cask-only beer. Swirling the beer around the glass does nothing to reinvigorate the carbonation and bring back the head. Cask beer does have less carbonation. Generally, cask conditioned beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized.
Aromas are of coffee and toffee with a hint of nuts. There’s a nice roasted malty aroma going on as well.
Being a cask-only offering really does lend itself to the atmosphere of The Wild Rover. It just feels like a black and white movie. I keep thinking The Quiet Man, when John Wayne and Victor McLaglen are duking it out and explode through the door of an Irish pub. Man that takes me back!
This is a medium- to full-bodied porter, and it has a creamy mouthfeel. There are notes of coffee, dark chocolate and nuts on the palate. There’s a nice coffee bitterness on the back end. I can imagine drinking this in an English pub with friends. It’s a standard English Porter, which is exactly what it’s trying to be. Damn.
Do you love the English pub experience? Then go to The Wild Rover. Food is all English pub food with an American flair. It’s owned by English transplants as well as family-owned and operated. The ambiance is very cool and this may have to be one of our new hangouts.
There’s a stage area in the back of the pub where live bands perform every weekend. Yeah, I’m sold. Check this place out! Solid beer for the styles they’re presenting, and the service and food quality was top notch.
- ABV: 5.2%
- IBU: N/A
- Untappd Rating: 3.63
- # of Ratings: 343