#FloridaBeerFriday: Three Beerfest Brews for the Price of One

The fruit-forward Hop of the Muffin from Bangin' Banjo Brewing.
The fruit-forward Hop of the Muffin from Bangin' Banjo Brewing.
Doug Fairall

Every week, we take a look at a craft beer brewed in Florida. Follow #FloridaBeerFriday for more reviews of Sunshine State brews. Get out there and #DrinkLocal.

This week, we're starting a miniseries with this Florida-beer-oriented weekly column to showcase the breweries that will be taking part in the 19th-Annual New Times Broward-Palm Beach "Original" Beerfest coming up October 22 at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines.

Over the years, the festival has grown from encompassing mostly large national brands to highlighting the hardworking men and women who brew beer just down the street. Today, we're going to check out three different beers from three local Florida brewers who will be at the festival.

Hop of the Muffin From Bangin' Banjo Brewing

Hop of the Muffin pours a clear amber with a shade toward copper-orange. Standard beers of the brewery's lineup (that is, the lower ABV and core year-round offerings) are presented in glasses that resemble beer cans, an interesting approach to the glassware game. The beer gives off aromas of Jolly Rancher, tangerine, and sweet and tart citrus in fairly big quantities. The initial nose is subdued, and it appears all of the goodness is being held in by the beer itself.

The body is thicker and fuller than a traditional IPA, which gives a big, almost chewy, malty backbone to the dance of tropical hop flavors that dominates this beer. All of those same citrus-forward notes from the aroma are present in the flavor, with the addition of a slightly resinous finish that closes off each sip.

If there isn't a vanilla Weisse Weisse Baby treatment, I'm calling a mulligan!
If there isn't a vanilla Weisse Weisse Baby treatment, I'm calling a mulligan!
Doug Fairall

Weisse Weisse Baby From Orange Blossom Brewing

The brewery describes this beer as something between a "kristal and a hefe." The kristallweizen style, for those unfamiliar, is basically a filtered pale weissbier or hefeweizen. It should hold the same wheat beer characteristics but lack the turbidity common with unfiltered wheat beers. Unsurprisingly, Weisse Weisse Baby follows through with that promise.

The beer pours an almost crystal-clear, light straw-yellow color with a billowy stark white head that lingers. Aromas are big and full of yeast with a push toward the banana-forward scents of a hefty German wheat ale. The flavor begins with banana and bubblegum upfront, which makes way for a clean lemon and lemonade-like second half that brings with it an almost toasted white bread quality as well. It ends fairly clean with the lemon holding through.

Mango IPA. How very Florida.
Mango IPA. How very Florida.
Doug Fairall

Mango IPA From Hollywood Brewing Company

The beer pours a brilliantly clear dark orange with a voluminous and frothy head. Aromas of citrus abound with a slight hint of mango goodness that sneaks in under the radar. The taste is quite sweet and malty, with a little bitterness at the beginning. The mango aspect is there, but it's not overpowering; it holds as a distinct undercurrent to everything else that's going on. It moves toward a more pine-focused finish that holds on to the sweetness as it goes.

It's an IPA that's not going to be an impressive treat for hop heads but will instead hold the interest of those looking for tropical fruit flavors without mouth-coating syrupy sweetness.

Tickets for the 19th-Annual "Original" Beerfest are on sale now, so check out the available tiers and see which level tickles your fancy.

Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger dedicated to educating the public about all things beer, with a  focus on Florida brews. He is the Brand Marketing Manager for Due South Brewing Company and has been a homebrewer since 2009. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.


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