Florida Beer: J Wakefield Brewing's Union Jack Porter
It's #FloridaBeerFriday, when 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 taking a look at one of Florida's latest brewers who has been able to start sending beers out into distribution, J Wakefield Brewing, and one of its core beers, the Union Jack Porter.
Union Jack Porter, or UJP, is billed as an English porter and can be thought of as a robust porter: a beer that is the perfect showcase for black and darker malts.
As Anchor Brewing points out, "all historical references to 'porter' seem to go back to 1722 and one Ralph Harwood, a London brewer. Harwood created a beer that was originally called 'Entire.' Entire previously had referred to a blend of three separate beers, consisting of one third each beer, ale, and strong beer."
Harwood made the bold move of mixing these beers together at the brewery (where they were previously mixed to order at the pub), and this "Entire" beer became the favorite of working-class men, especially the deliverymen, or "porters." From there, the style moved across to America.
Like any ex-pat, this beer has taken on some American character without forgetting its English roots.
Union Jack Porter begins in the glass as opaque black-brown that approaches a maroon-brown color as the beer thins near the edges. Aromas of hazelnut, roasted barley, and baker's chocolate take the reins. It's followed by a moderate body that contains prickly carbonation and some acridity. It ends with some sweetness, but with a side of roasted bitterness and some mild drying character.
At 7 percent alcohol by volume, this is a stronger version than what is traditional for an English porter, which is a sign that this has some of its American influences going on.
Overall, this is a phenomenally balanced porter, bringing to the table the best of English and American styled porters.
J Wakefield Brewing's beers are now available in distribution, with their Wynwood-area taproom open at certain times during certain days. It's best to check social media before making the trek down south.
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 Instagram.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to South Florida dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.