This week, we're taking a look at a canned offering from one of the west coast of Florida's breweries, Darwin Brewing Co.'s Circa 1926, a tangerine-inspired American wheat ale.
For those unfamiliar with this Bradenton brewery, Darwin Brewing's history begins in January 2012, when the brewpub Darwin’s on 4th began to brew on-premise. Chef Darwin Santa Maria opened the brewpub to offer authentic Andean cuisine to the local communities, and soon brewmaster Jorge Rosabal began crafting beers to pair with the kitchen's cuisine. It has since expanded to include a 15-barrel production facility that allows it to produce a range of beers in cans, which allows us to sample Darwin beers on the East Coast.
Circa 1926 is an American wheat ale that's brewed with coriander and "citra spices" that won a bronze medal in its category at the Best Florida Beer Competition in 2013. This here is an award winner. According to the brewery's specifications, it's composed of white wheat malt, Munich, and 2-Row pale malts, which should give us some insight into what to expect with flavor.
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After we crack open this can, the beer pours a clear straw yellow with a bit of fast-dissipating white crown of foam. Aromas are tropical fruit, berry, and tangerine, with a lovely sweetness. The flavor, however, is a stark contrast, with elements of bread dough and white bread, with a very muted and hinted-at citrus character. There is some rounded bitterness that follows throughout, of the lightly citrus pith sort. The carbonation is a bit low, giving it a bit of a larger-than-expected mouthfeel.
Overall, it's an easily approachable wheat beer that will appeal to palates seeking something a little bit crisp but not acidic or grassy, with the assistance of some engrossing citrus aromas.
Circa 1926 can be found in six-pack cans at most major beer stores and specialty stores in South Florida.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers. He is a Certified Beer Server 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.