Rauf Khoffner, founder and brewer at Fort Lauderdale's Khoffner Brewery USA, has been named a 'Rising Star' in South Florida by StarChefs magazine, joining the ranks of Zak the Baker's Zak Stern, Taquiza's Steve Santana, and Wells Coffee Co.'s Brandon Wells.
The Turkish-born brewer, whose grandfather was a German brewer, left Turkey and the brewpub he had there in 2012 after a cultural shift brought sweeping religious pressure against alcohol. He has since put down roots in South Florida, opening Khoffner Brewery USA in 2015, where he has sought to combine his grandfather’s recipes with a culinary eagerness to experiment in a very American way.
"For me, a beer’s sense of place involves the location of where you’re consuming that beer and the experience you have while drinking it," he told the StarChefs.
Locals have been stopping by the brewery to sample and experience that "sense of place" ever since the taproom opened in December. The beers on tap have ranged from Bohemian pilsner, to helles bock, to rauchbeir, to an American-style Citra hop India Pale Ale. His quest to merge Old World with New is constantly on display at the brewery.
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"The idea is to create from German roots," he told me. "I don't want to sip beer; I want to drink it."
With the StarChefs approval, we will be watching what Khoffner produces moving forward and seeing the continued rise in the influence of craft brewers in the culinary scene.
Khoffner Brewery USA is located at 1110 NE Eighth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 754-701-8860, or visit khoffner.us.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers. He is a Certified Beer Server 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.