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.
Welcome back beer fans. We're heading out to the store and picking up a can from the latest South Florida brewery to begin full time canning, the Miami Brewing Company.
Situated on the estate of the Schnebly Redland's Winery (over 90 acres!) in rural western Homestead, Miami Brewing Company is the only production brewery currently in the Miami area (you know, a brewery that produces mostly for distribution).
Of their many beers now seen in cans in stores across South Florida, we picked up the 80's inspired Vice IPA. On first glance, we can only assume that the graphic designer had a field day with this one.
The beer is a 7.1% abv entry into the India Pale Ale game. It hits just over 60 IBUs, but they aren't of the super-astringent variety. The bitterness in this one is layered so it doesn't hit your tongue all at once.
It's not your normal American IPA either: flavored with Polish Marynka hops, there is a distinctly European slant to the entire flavor profile.
It pours a golden orange, with a medium frothy head that releases tons of mango aromas. Some wet caramel grain comes out as well. The taste is signature caramel malts with a hop flavor that isn't super citrusy; in fact barely any of the 'typical' bitter orange or grapefruit flavors one associates with an American IPA. There are flower and nectar-like flavors with a mild lingering hop bitterness on the palate.
"We wanted to have an IPA that isn't on a top level of hoppiness," revealed Peter Schnebly of the Miami Brewing Company and Schnebly Winery during a recent By The Glass podcast. "It has this beautiful flavor to it, it's unique. We want it to be distinctively different, we didn't want to go for the west coast IPA... this is more of an English style IPA."
For those just getting into the IPA arena, this might be your entry point. Or, if you're just looking for another beer that can play with hops in a way not usually represented in the marketplace, this might be just that beer.
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.