Friday's here, so it's time for beer.
Every Friday, so long as the creek don't rise, this beer enthusiast will take a look at a Florida beer that, hopefully, should be readily available in a local shop or on tap at your favorite bar.
This week, we're taking a look at a beer from one of the big hitters in the Miami-Dade brewing scene, Miami Brewing Company.
As is customary, we first delve into a little history, and this brewery is a little unique for us in South Florida because of its parent company. Miami Brewing Company is a part of Schnebly Redland's Winery in Homestead, a sustainability-based winery that focuses on creating wines from tropical fruit. The whole operation is run by Peter and Denisse Schnebly, who started it all in the mid-2000s. Brewing beer took a bit longer, but Miami Brewing delivered its first shipment to Gold Coast Distribution in 2012.
Since then, the brewery has been busy making beers like Gator Tail brown, Shark Bait wheat, Miami Vice IPA, and, of course, Big Rod coconut blonde.
Big Rod comes to the table with a 5.4% abv. and IBU's of 16.5, meaning we're going to have ourselves a drinkable, malty. and sweet brew.
This beer is the color of crystal clear gold, as if the sun god Apollo brewed it himself. The aroma is almost fruity, with a hint of mild hops peeking through. The taste... oh, I'm hoping you enjoy coconut, as this beer is flush with it. At first sip, it's like a pina colada rushing in, with hints of vanilla bean, that's followed by an effervescent mouthfeel and a light malt backbone. The finish is crisp but still flavorful with a bit of coconut.
What hit me the most was the pure coconutability (it's a word now) of the beer. I'm generally not a fan of coconut drinks, especially coconut rum or even coconut water, so this drink falls into that 'awkward' category of enjoyment and confusion. I think a pint of this is sufficient, but my wife and a few of my friends would beg to differ. And that's good. Some can quaff hop-bomb IPAs all day long and not care, but that's why there are so many beer styles that exist.
The good thing about Big Rod is you don't have to travel all the way down to Homestead to have some. According to their beer finder, Miami Brewing Company San Locond at places such as Park Tavern in Delray Beach, Riverside Market and Tap 42 in Fort Lauderdale, and even Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza in Pembroke Pines.
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