When Carnival Cruise Line's newest vessel, the Carnival Vista, sets sail on her inaugural journey May 1, she will boast some amazing amenities, including more than a dozen restaurants, a casino, a spa, minigolf, an IMAX theater, and the first working brewery at sea in North America.
The 133,500-ton vessel will be home to the RedFrog Pub & Brewery, a collaboration between the cruise line and Miami's Concrete Beach Brewery.
Concrete Beach has created original recipes of the three craft beers to be brewed onboard: ThirstyFrog Port Hoppin’ IPA, which features aromatic, floral, and hoppy notes with passionfruit and citrus overtones; ThirstyFrog Caribbean wheat, an unfiltered lager with aromas of bananas and spices; and FriskyFrog java stout, a traditional stout with hints of coffee. Eddie Allen, vice president of beverage operations for Carnival, says the two companies have been working on the collaboration for months. The beers have been created to cater to cruise ship passengers.
Jon Carpenter, Concrete Beach's brewmaster, says it was an honor for Concrete Beach to have been tapped for the project. "We feel like we created a great variety that is sure to please guests." Carpenter says the brewery at sea will give passengers a taste of Miami's craft beer scene — and possibly entice them to visit the actual breweries post-cruise. “It’s common for vacationers to want to test out the local beer, and Carnival Vista has taken the concept of local and applied it to the decks of their ship."
In addition to featuring the three beers brewed onboard, the RedFrog Pub & Brewery will offer an expanded selection of craft beers. In fact, all Carnival ships sailing from Miami will serve Concrete Beach Brewery's Rica wheat IPA and Stiltsville Miami-style pilsner. Carnival ships sailing from New Orleans, Galveston, Baltimore, Tampa, Alaska, and Hawaii will also offer craft beers made locally in each ship's home port.
If you're looking for a taste of cruise-ship-brewed beer, the Carnival Vista sails throughout Europe this summer, with cruises departing Barcelona and Athens through October. She then sails from New York beginning in November before making her way to PortMiami for winter 2016-17.
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This isn't the first time a Miami brewery has gone to sea. Wynwood Brewing Company makes an exclusive American pale ale for the District Brew House, found aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Escape.