It's #FloridaBeerFriday, where we take a look at a beer brewed in the Sunshine State, giving analysis to the burgeoning craft-beer movement of Florida.
This week, we're checking out a beer brewed in Miami, the saison from Biscayne Bay Brewing Co.
The brewery opened this year to much fanfare, placing a beer producer outside Wynwood in the Doral area, joining MIA Brewing in western Miami. The 15-barrel brewhouse puts out a couple of other beers like the 1513 Golden Ale and the Miami Pale Ale. Owners Jose Mallea and Gus Chacon are seeking to produce Miami-first beers, aiming to keep distribution in Miami-Dade County as exclusively as possible. Luckily, we found their product leaking out into Broward and Palm Beach counties.
The saison is a fairly broad style, usually based upon a large amount of pale or pilsner malts, traditional European hops, and a signature saison yeast that lends a particularly fruity and spicy character to the beers they are in.
Biscayne Bay Brewing Co.'s saison begins with a dark-orange color and body that's full of haze, from the addition of wheat malts to the process. The aroma is mild with some sweetness coming in. It drinks moderately thick with a fair amount of carbonation, which supports a big juicy body. The finish begins with a second of bitterness that moves to an estery, dry ending. Lots of saison yeast character permeates throughout; it's an instantly recognizable strain for the types of flavor compounds it gives off during fermentation.
At 8.6 percent alcohol by volume, this is a saison on the top of the usual range for alcohol by volume for this style, though, as mentioned previously, this category is broad. According to a Gold Coast Beverage Distributors spec sheet, the beer uses French hops, which is fairly unusual among American commercial brewers.
Overall, this is an enjoyable saison to sample if you're looking to stray a bit from the usual Saison Dupont type of supereffervescent and superdry beers. The fact that it's brewed in our backyard makes it all the sweeter.
Biscayne Bay Brewing's saison is available on draft at select locations.
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Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Instagram.