It's #FloridaBeerFriday. Every Friday, we take a look at a beer brewed in the Sunshine State, giving analysis to the burgeoning craft beer movement of Florida.
As we mentioned before, this beer was a gold medal winner in last weeks Best Florida Beer's Brewer's Ball, even coming close to being named the best beer in Florida by getting second runner up for 'Best in Show'.
Category 5 is a double IPA (or imperial IPA), meaning that it is an IPA, but a 'super hero' version of the same. The Beer Judge Certification Program defines an imperial IPA as "an intensely hoppy, very strong pale ale without the big maltiness and/or deeper malt flavors of an American barleywine. Strongly hopped, but clean, lacking harshness, and a tribute to historical IPAs. Drinkability is an important characteristic; this should not be a heavy, sipping beer. It should also not have much residual sweetness or a heavy character grain profile."
How does this entry from Due South stack up?
This 8.5% abv. beer is a crystal clear yellow-gold color, with huge hits of dank, resin, orange, and some apricot all fighting on the aroma. The malt body holds up the grapefruit and resin flavors and doesn't try to take over... it exists here as a platform to support these hop flavors. Rather bitter and slightly dank on the finish.
Overall, this double IPA works, and wins medals, because it takes all of the sought after components of a regular IPA and ramps them up. That's it. Some DIPA's go too far on the malt sweetness to get a super-high ABV, while others boost the IBUs to insane levels, and they come off as unbalanced. Not here. Category 5 IPA is a beer that would see itself at home across the country.
Until next week (if we survive Hunahpu's Day, that is...), support small business and enjoy some locally made brews.
Follow #FloridaBeerFriday for more reviews of Sunshine State brews.
Get out there and #DrinkLocal.
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 Clean Plate's Instagram.