The United States Beer Tasting Championship
2005-Diablo American Amber
2007- Black Bear Stout - Stout
2009- Witness- Belgian Wit
2011- Decade Double IPA Barrel
2012-IPA & HIbernation
2002 Great American Beer Festival
Kodiak Belgian Dubbel
2002 Best Florida Beer Championship
Kodiac Belgian Dubbel
Hibernation Pale Ale
2003 Best Florida Beer Championship
Grizzly Red Wilderness Wheat
Kodiac Belgian Dubbel
2004 Best Florida Beer Championship
Kodiac Belgian Dubbel
Espresso Cream Stout
Hibernation American Amber
2005 Best Florida Beer Championship
Kodiac Belgian Dubbel
Grizzly Red Hibernation Pale Ale
Black Bear Stout
2008 North American Brewers Association
2008 Best Florida Beer Championship
Witness Bourbon Barrel Stout
Paw Print Pilsner
Kodiac Belgian Dubbel
Hibernation Pale Ale
2009 Best Florida Beer Championship
Black Bear Stout
2010 Best Florida Beer Championship
Black Bear Porter
Kodiac Dubbel Witness
2011 Brain Of Brewers
2011 US Open Beer Championships
Bronze- Polar Light
2012 US Open Beer Championship
Gold- Polar Light
Silver- Grizzly Red
Bronze- Smokey the Bear
2014 US Open Beer Championship
Bronze- Triple Lindy
Happy Sweet 16 Anniversary, Big Bear Brewing Co.!
Coral Springs & Parkland Forum, Best of Coral Springs, June 2014
Best Casual Dining & Best Outdoor Dining
Big Bear Brewing Co. opened it’s doors in July of 1997 in Coral Springs. Our concept was based on fresh brewed beer with the highest quality food (locally sourced) in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Our soups, salads dressings, desserts and sauces are homemade from scratch daily. Sunday brunch is a must! With stuffed French toast, quiche, eggs benedict and much more. Also enjoy Mimosas ($4) and Bloody Marys ($5 regular, $6 spicy). We have a strong foundation in the community and are very proud of that achievement. Keep up with what’s brewing, menu specials and events on our website. Hours are Monday through Thursday 11:30 am – 10:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30 am – 11 pm, and Sunday 11 am – 10 pm.
Coral Springs/ Parkland City News, Summer 2013
It may come as a surprise, but readers voted Big Bear Brewing Company best brunch, although they’re probably best known for their beer. Foodies from all over south Florida just love the Sunday brunch at Big Bear, where favorites such as eggs benedict, Belgian waffles, stuffed French toast and quiche are featured on the menu. Of course, there’s also an extensive selection of fresh-brewed, award winning beers to pair with your meal. Sample a beer flight and see which one goes best with the chef’s choice breakfast pizza or sandwich.
There’s so many delicious options to choose from, you’ll wish every day was Sunday. A mimosa or housemade Bloody Mary make your meal even more enjoyable. Sit back, relax and leave the cooking to Big Bear. Just bring your appetite and you can choose from the brunch menu or regular menu. Brunch is available on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
The Goodness of Beer
The Goodness of Beer
By Dr. Charlie Bamforth, University of California, Davis
There has been huge interest in the potential benefits of moderate consumption of alcohol since the 1991 airing of the television program Sixy Minutes: The French Paradox, in which the first strong touting was made for taking a glass or two of red wine daily to counter the risk of atherosclerosis (blockingof the arteries by cholesterol). Since then, the wine lobby has never fought shy of using this platform to advocate for their product, claiming that the active ingredient is a molecule called resveratrol that originates from the grape.
A vast amount of data now exists to show that the key component that counters atherosclerosis is alcohol itself-and it can come from whichever is your favorite tipple. You would need to drink dozens of bottles a wine every day to get enough resveratrol to have any impact.
Moderation Is Key
One or two glasses of regular strength beer daily should be the goal. The frequency is as relevant as the quantity; and no storing up your week’s allocation for the weekend: that is binging.
Beer Is Healthier Than Wine
Beer contains more nutrients than does wine. Beer contains some soluable fiber, some B vitamins (notably folate, visit Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Folamay te), and a range of antioxidants. It is also the richest source of silicon; silicon in the diet may help in countering osteoporosis-learn more. Wine contains more antioxidants than beer, but do they actually get into the body and reach the parts wehre they are needed? there are doubts about that; but, it has been shown that the antioxidant ferulic acid is taken up from beer into the body (more effieciently than from the tomato).
Some normal componenets of beer may induce symptoms in sensitive individuals. the most notable example being proteins claimed to be deleterious for sufferers of celiac disease. Medical advice is for such patients to avoid foodstuffs derived from wheat and barley- hence the interest in beers that are based on sorghum. However, it is by no means proven that traditional beers contain sensitive proteins: these substances are changed enormously in processing and may no longer be a problem in any beer. Most with celiac disease err on the side of caution.
Learn more about gluten-free options in Gluten-Free Doesn’t Mean Craft Beer-Free by John Holl.
What We Do Know About Beer and Health
- Alcoholic beverages may beneficially impact the body, directly by affecting bodily functions, or indirectly by boosting morale and percieved well-being.
- We have already peeked at atherosclerosis, alcohol favorably impacting the balance of “good” versus “bad” cholesterol, and also reducing the risk of blood clotting.
- Drinking has been linked to increased blood pressure; however, it has been reported that the blood pressure of non-drinkers is higher than in those consuming 10-20g alcohol per day. Hypertension is a significant risk factor for stroke, but it has been observed that there is a reduced risk of stroke for light to moderate drinkers. It is only when drinking is heavy (>6 drinks per day) or at a binge level that the risk of stroke is significant.
- The bacterium that induces stomach and duodenal ulcers, helicobacter pylori, is inhibited by alcohol so there are reports of reduced chance of ulcers through moderate drinking.
- The risk of pancreatitis is increased in heavy drinkers.
- Those consuming alcohol in moderation- and especially daily-develop fewer gailstones.
- Moderate drinking reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
- Alcohol hangovers are likely caused by a buildup of a breakdown product of alcohol.
- Migraines may also be induced by biogenic amines found in relatively small qualities in beer, but, in more significant quantities in certain wine and cheeses.
- Moderate drinking is associated with a reduction risk of dementia and improved cognitive function in the elderly.
- Beer is more diuretic than water. Beer is superior to water in “flushing out” the kidneys, thereby lessening the risk of kidney stones. Some beers should be avoided by sufferers of gout because they can contain quantities of purines.
- The literature is contradictory on the link between alcohol consumption and cancer. For every study that draws a correlation between alcohol consumption and a particular form of cancer, there is another that finds either no link or even a protective impact of moderate drinking.
- Finally, the beer belly is a complete myth. The main source of calories in any alcoholic beverage is the alcohol. Take in too many calories and you know the consequences- whether is it from wine or beer! And if you compare beer with a slice of lemon meringue pie, with perhaps twice as many calories, then it is a no-brainer! Learn more: BBC News: Why the Beer Belly May Be A Myth.
Lifestyle Coral Springs, May 2013
Beer Near Here
by Brian Bienkowski
Heard of Sierra Nevada? Sam Adams? Forget about those craft-beers-turned-nationwide-phenoms-they’ve bean beat out by a Broward brewery.
On most mornings, Matt Cox is alone at the Big Bear Brewing Company in Coral Springs, cleaning his brew kettle. He actually crawls inside the 10-foot vessel and hand-scrubs the surfaces.
“Everything in good brewing practices starts with clean equipment,” says Cox, brewmaster of the 15-year-old microbrewery on a stretch of University Drive between a SunTrust bank and a Japanese restaurant. “Bacterial contamination is our biggest enemy in brewing. When a beer goes into any vessel or container, it needs to be clean and sanitized- from the biggest tank, to the smallest bottle.”
Cox’s cleanliness obsession has its rewards. Last September, Big Bear’s Polar Light took a gold medal at the United States Open Beer Championship in Atlanta, a national contest featuring more than 1,650 American brews in 65 catagories. And Big Bear’s Paw Print IPA was declared Grand Champion IPA at the United States Beer Tasting Championship in Manchester, New Hampshire, just last September.
If you’ve ever bought a craft beer, you know it’s pricier than your average Budweiser. Here’s why: it’s hard work.
Unlike other state-of-the-art modern breweries, Big Bear has no computer touch screens to regulate the water temperature or mix the malt.
“All the labor during the brewing process is done by hand,” Cox says. “There are no motors to mix the mash, for instance. The dry weight of the mash can be up to 1,000 pounds, which I then combine with water and mix with a hand paddle. The mixture becomes much heavier as is blends. All the malt then has to then be removed manually when the process is finished.”
One small mistake in the milling process, water purification, or in the accuracy of time and temperature could ruin a whole bunch- equal to 20 kegs of beer.
Cox has to run the different varieties of malt through a mill to gently crush it. The malt is then measured to the thousandth of an inch to create the desired flavor and body of the brew. The water Cox uses to mix with the malt goes through a water-purification process that strips contaminants out of the Broward tap water. He then rebuilds the water using calcium and magnesium- each brew has its own specific type of water.
After 20 hours of labor, Cox has his 20 kegs’ worth of beer- but he doesn’t keep them in the kegs. Instead, he stores the liquid in a half-dozen 8-foot-tall “serving vessels”.
And directly from there is where customers at the Big Bear Brewery taste their purchases. Even the tubes the beer travels through are handpicked by Cox. They measure a quarter-inch in diameter compared to the normal half-to-three-eighths inches, which leaves less beer sitting in the tubes when they are not in use-because beer sitting in the lines usually becomes stale. The tubes are also made of a nonporous material so they won’t collect dirt or bacteria, which could alter the taste of the beer. Cost: 45 cents a foot compared to 20 cents a foot.
“Our process makes a difference when you compare taste and quality to the supermarket-type beers that people buy or drink at bars,” Cox says. “We keep the beer in a natural and pure state. We don’t pasteurize, use any chemical shelf-life extenders or flavor enhancers. Some beers we lightly filter, some are left completely unfiltered.”
If this intrigues your taste buds, there’s only one problem: you can’t buy Big Bear beer anywhere but in Coral Springs.
“Our beers are only sold on premise, so we can ensure they are always kept at optimal temperatures,” Cox says. “They also sell very fast, so we don’t have to worry about them getting old or losing flavor. That separates us and some other local brew pubs from all other beer products.”
SouthFlorida.com, Showtime November 23, 2012
Big Bear Brews Big Beers
By Maria Murriel
Membership has its privileges at this Coral Springs brewpub.
This past summer, a little brewpub in Coral Springs won gold at a beer competition against more than 1,500 styles. The Big Bear Brewing Company’s Polar Light German kolsch bear brews from big names such as Sam Adams at the United States Open Beer Championship.
Other Big Bear styles have been awarded titles such as Grand Championship IPA and won silver and bronze medals at competitions around the country.
Big Bear’s winning beers are available year around at the restaurant, but brewmaster Matthew Cox puts out new styles every season. This year, holiday menu items are served with a pint of espresso-cream stout, blueberry ale or Belgian-style pumpkin ale.
Cox’s gourd ale is made with real pumpkins instead of extract, and spiced with ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. He uses Belgian yeast because “it adds spiciness.”
“[The pumpkin ale] is superexpensive to make,” Cox says. “But it’s very tasty.”
Cox has been brewing at Big Bear for about 12 years, almost as long as the place has been in business. He’s gone from answering questions from customer about which of his kooky beers is most like Budweiser to starting the “Mug Clubs”, a Big Bear beer drinker’s society with annual membership fees.
“In the past three or four years, the job has gotten a lot easier,” Cox says.
Now that more people are learning about craft beer; membership to the Mug Club is limited, and the brewer says there is always waiting list for people who want to join. For $55 the first year, and $40 every year after, customers get a Big Bear mug to drink 25 percent more beer than fits a pint glass for the same price.
General manager Gregory Sherman says, “People in Coral Springs literally don’t eat at home. They’re regulars here. We’re on our generation of customers.”
Wordpress.com, November 1, 2012
Hockey and Beer: Breweries Near Your Favorite Team,
November 1, 2012
Part 4 of a 10 Blog Series
With seemingly no end to the NHL Lockout in site, hockey fans are getting more and more fearful of a canceled season. To try to keep the spirits of the fans of one of the world’s greatest sports up, ExBEERience CLE is taking a look at breweries near all 30 NHL Teams. There will be no mention of breweries like Anheuser Busch or MillerCoors. No, these will all be breweries of the craft variety, making small batches with original recipes and delicious beer. Have I tried beers from all the breweries mentioned? No. But I have done the research needed to see which breweries should be featured. So, while we wait for this lockout to finally come to an end, let us rejoice in the one thing that will never leave us out in the cold; Beer!
Detroit Red Wings- We start this installment of Beer and Hockey in “Hockeytown.” Atwater Brewing Company has been supplying the people of Michigan quatlity craft beer since 1997. Sticklers for tradition, the owners use a 200 year old brewing process from Germany and even had all their brewing equipment imported for Duetschland. All of their malts and hops come from the European nation as well. Their slogan, “We drink what we can and sell the rest,” sounds a bit dangerous as the quality of this beer would make someone want to drink as much as humanly possible! Located in the Rivertown District of Detroit, Atwater offers ten year round beers, six seasonals and five brews make up their single-batch series. Looking at the list of beers shows a great deal of experimentation with many different flavors. Get your hands on some Atwater Beer today!
Edmonton Oilers- Edmonton is home to the longest running craft brewery in the province of Alberta, Alley Kat Company. Where Atwater gets their stuff from the holy land of beer, Alley Kat prefers to use local ingredients. Born in 1994, Alley Kat’s first two products were Alley Kat Wheat and Alley Kat Amber. Alley Kat also produces a beer called Aprikat which is made with apricot extract and was the first fruit beer produced in Alberta. Production at Alley Kat is relatively low, sitting around 2.4 million bottles of beer per year but the quality is what is most important to owner, Neil Herbst. Alley Kat has a special “Dragon Series” which is a Double IPA series that changes hops every two months. Sounds like a great creation!
Florida Panthers- Matthew Cox is the brewmaster behind Big Bear Brewing Company in Coral Springs, Florida and Big Bear has been crafting beer since 1997. Big Bear offers five year-round beers and has a rotation of seasonal brews as well. Accolades have been many for the brewery and this year, Matthew and his team earned three medals in the 2012 U.S. Open Beer Championship. They took Gold for their Polar Light, Silver for Grizzly Red and a Bronze for Smoky the Bear. Not bad! Big Bear is a true Brewpub offering a full menu of burgers, sandwiches and wood fired oven pizza. Sounds like this would be a great place to get some beer and grub before a trip to see the Panthers play a game!
That does it for this installment of Hockey and Beer. In the next part of the series, I’ll take a look at the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles King, the Minnesota Wild and the Montreal Canadiens!
Broward Palm Beach New Times September 6-12, 2012
Broward Palm Beach New Times
September 6-12, 2012
Beer Beer Beer
Big Bear Wins Best IPA at U.S. Beer Championships
Awards for the 18-annual U.S. Beer Tasting Championships were announced this weekend in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Big Bear Brewing Co. in Coral Springs came away a big winner. It’s Paw Print IPA won the Grand Championship award in the catagory of India pale ales.
There are 15 categories- sour beers, pilsners, ambers, fruits, bocks, Belgians, golden ales, Helles lagers, bitters, wheat beers, red ales, bitters, imperial IPAs, pale ales and session beers. The IPA category had 73 entrants, the most out of any category, making Big Bear’s win especially notable.
In total, 502 beers for 127 brewerie throughout the US were judged.
To compete, breweries send in four bottles of the beer they want to enter. According to the U.S. Beer Tasting Championship’s website, judges then “conduct a series of field trials” over the course of a month in Boston, Chicago, or Washington, D.C. They use “a hedonic scale indicating overall pleasure achieved from tasting the beer.” Their scale “incorporates aroma, flavor intensity, balance, complexity, and mouth-feel.”
The sweet taste of victory!
They choose a winner from each of the six geographic regions; the best advance to the final round, where a Grand Champion is named.
There are many annual beertasting contests throughout the world, and excuses for having them are as valid as drinking beer for breakfast, but the USBTC appears to be independent from the National Homebrew Competition, which is the largest beertasting contest in the world.
Yet independence does not necessarily imply less objective, so we’ll have a beer to that! It’s hard to pin down the judges’ proper credentials from the information provided on its website. Maybe the USBTC is just a group of dudes who figured out the ultimate way to score some free beer. If that is the case, we’ll drink to that too.
Big Bear (1800 University Drive, Coral Springs; 954-341-5454; bigbearbrewingco.com) also brews Polar Ice, the best German Kolsch beer of the year based on accumulated results from the 2012 Open Beer Championships, the Great American Beer Festival, and the World Beer Cup.
Broward Palm Beach New Times
Broward Palm Beach New Times
Big Bear Brewing Co.
1800 N. University Drive, Coral Springs. Call 954-341-5454, or visit bigbearbrewingco.com.
A great brewpub doesn’t force good beer to make up for mediocre food. Big Bear’s huge menu goes beyond standard bar food, featuring fancy vittles like steak, seafood, volcano shrimp, and “Brie pillows”. But the burgers remain a must-try; wash ‘em down with an eight-beer sampler (eight types of beer are brewed in-house) for $8.50 and you’re having a good night. The atmosphere has the dimly lit, cloth-napkin feel of a much more expensive restaurant with the din (and giant metal tanks) of a more rough-and-tumble brewery. Combine that with quick service and you’ve got a happy dinner experience.
Coral Springs Parkland City News Reader’s Choice 2012, Overall Restaurant
Coral Springs Parkland City News
Reader’s Choice 2012, Overall Restaurant
Big Bear Brewing Company
1800 N. University Drive, Coral Springs
Their slogan says it best: “Always Brewing Good Times!” But Big Bear Brewing Company isn’t just about the beer. They were voted overall restaurant by our readers! People love the food, rave about the service, and enjoy the atmosphere at this very popular venue that has been part of the restaurant scene since 1996.
The eclectic menu features local favorites such as the pretzel encrusted chicken and homemade turkey meatloaf and gravy, as well as a variety of wood fired brick oven pizzas, and a beer Muenster cheese soup that is served in a French bread bowl and made with Grizzly Red Ale. A selection of salads and sandwiches, beefy burgers, succulent steaks, fabulous fish and savory seafood complete the menu. When you want a top notch dining experience, head to Big Bear Brewing Company for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch.
Sun-Sentinel Review August 6, 2012
Sun-Sentinel Review August 6, 2012
Background: Since opening 15 years ago this month, Big Bear has become a beloved neighborhood fixture, featuring food of a quality well above those found at typical brewpubs. In fact, Big Bear’s recipes for pretzel encrusted chicken and beer muenster soup have been previously featured in our Food section.
Overall impression: There’s much to be enjoyed here, and portions are generous, so Big Bear is best experienced with friends with whom you can share plates and—dare we say it?—double dip. The broad menu should please even the pickiest of eaters. Many of the seemingly mundane offerings transcend your typical salad or hunk of chicken breast with potatoes. Don’t miss out on sampling their impressive house-brewed beers, which feature ever-changing seasonal beers.
Ambience: Glowing gas lights, wood ceilings and brick walls evoke the warm spirits of Boston’s best pubs. Despite the 85-degree temperature outside, we could swear we’d just ducked in from a New England snowstorm. We spotted a good helping of all age groups enjoying dinner the night we visited. On more temperate nights, the outside seating area features a canopy and nearby fountains. Starters: Weeks later, we were still raving about Big Bear’s thick, buttery beer muenster cheese soup ($6) made with in-house Grizzly Red Ale. The decadent soup, served in a giant bread bowl, begs to be shared and is just a smidge away from being a cheese fondue. If you can’t get enough cheese—and really, we can’t—try the brie pillow ($12) featuring an entertaining menagerie of fruits, almonds, French bread and juicy roasted garlic, all of which beg to be dipped in the cheese soup. Volcano shrimp ($10), breaded and tossed in a Thai garlic sauce over rice noodles, were enjoyable but don’t live up to the spice and pizzazz of the “volcano” moniker.
Entree excellence: Don’t be afraid to order the scary-sounding Rattlesnake salad ($16), a wonderfully eclectic mix of blackened eak tips, soba noodles, mango, mint, basil, peanuts, avocado, tomato, arugula and spinach. Lobster mac and cheese ($22), made with gouda, fontina and mascarpone, comes topped with tiny batter-fried onions and ranks as one of the better mac and cheeses we’ve tried. The 16-ounce New York strip with chipotle butter ($30) is a straight-laced piece of steak that didn’t disappoint. Finally, you dare not miss Big-Bear’s well-known pretzel-encrusted chicken %2