It was a craft-minded celebration for Fort Lauderdale this weekend when three of the county's small-batch artisans came together to celebrate LauderAle Hand Crafted Beer's one-year anniversary and the release of its first bottled beer.
Known as Broward County's first and only nano brewery, LauderAle threw itself a one-year anniversary party on Saturday, July 25. The day-long festivities included specialty beer releases, food trucks, and meet-and-greets with Fort Lauderdale-based Argyle Coffee Roasters and Fwaygo Rum, two local craft operations that work with LauderAle to create some amazing brews.
LauderAle officially opened for business July 24, 2014; at the time the brewery had just six taps and four beers. Today, it has grown considerably, with a total of 18 taps, one nitro line, and more than 20 unique beers. On Saturday, event-goers had the chance to sample 16 different brews, with $5 pours that included the La Nina, Sizzler, Bush Brown, Immigration IPA, Monkey Road Red, Therapy, and C. Porter.
At 2 p.m., a timed release of several new beers and a bottle release kicked off the festivities. New brews included Afternoon Delight (an American blond ale brewed with champagne yeast and tangerines); No Way Gose (a standard gose); and Cafe IPA (an American pale ale brewed with bean roasted by Argyle Coffee Roasters). The anniversary party marked the sale of LauderAle first-ever bottled brew available for take-home purchase — each one hand-washed, hand-labeled, and hand-bottled — furthering their mission statement to produce only hand-crafted, authentic products.
"We really earned our motto for 'handcrafted' production with this bottling process," says Kyle Jones, LauderAle's brewmaster and cofounder. "It was definitely a lot of work."
Looking for some LauderAle brews near you? After one year in business, the brewery has a taproom that remains one of the only places in South Florida you can find — or taste — its beers. Despite recent equipment upgrades, LauderAle continues to operate on a custom-built, three-vessel, one-barrel system, which means there isn't enough to distribute just yet.
"I kinda like that we're the only place you can get our beer. That's what makes us unique," says Jones, who continues to add new equipment to increase production. "Will we distribute? Maybe one day, but right now the plan is to make more beer to be sold here at the brewery."
Established in January 2013, LauderAle is a small batch, electric-fired brewing operation located just outside Port Everglades and a few miles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Founded by South Florida natives Kyle Jones and Joe Farrell, LauderAle prides itself in cultivating authentic ales and a local craft-beer culture. The beers include a wide variety of rotating styles, from stouts and porters to blond ales and IPAs, along with a number of seasonal and specialty releases.
During the anniversary celebration that lasted from noon to 10 p.m., the 1,500-square-foot tasting room and lounge began with a low-key crowd (which was packed to the brim by 2 p.m.) The vibe was dog-friendly, and even a few four-legged fans were able to enjoy the festivities — with a cold bowl of water, of course.
The tap and tasting room at LauderAle has been constructed using all-natural or recycled materials, from repurposed pallets to defective railroad rails and ties. The tap room offers guests a chance to sample beer, buy merchandise including kegs, growlers, pint glasses, t-shirts, hats and stickers, and offers events, tours, classes, and space to host private parties. Just looking to drink? The tap room is open Thursday and Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.
Amy and Manny Carrera, founders of Fort Lauderdale-based Argyle Coffee Roasters, were on-site during the LauderAle anniversary party to educate people on their specialty coffee roasting company. The couple does wholesale roasting for a number of local restaurants, cafes, and breweries including Warsaw Coffee Company and Due South Brewing. In the past six months, they have also been working with LauderAle to roast a specialty blend used to make the brewery's Thrillist coffee porter and an Ethiopian bean for its new Cafe IPA.
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Fwaygo founders Avi Aisenberg and Joe Durkin set up shop outside LauderAle during its one-year anniversary bash to show their support. The duo offered samples of their handcrafted white rum produced by Fort Lauderdale's oldest distiller, otherwise known as the South Florida Distillery. Their partnership with LauderAle: Fwaygo rum barrels are used to age the brewery's coconut-flavored C. Porter.
LauderAle is located at 3305 SE 14th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-653-9711, or visit lauderale.co.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the New Times Food & Drink Instagram.