Are you still with us? It's been five days since South Florida Beer Week started, and the events have been flying by. Beer dinners, tap takeovers, Randal infusions -- you name it, and one of our awesome craft beer bars or breweries has done it.
Wednesday night we headed out to The Mack House in Davie for what was touted as a '4-by-4' dual takeover event with Mack House beers and Due South Brewing kegs. Instead, it turned into a '7-by-6' outpouring of culinary-inspired delights from both breweries.
Beers like Mack House's Maple Chipotle Brown, Chocolate Coconut Porter and the BPB Belgian rubbed elbows with Due South's Ginger Snap Imperial Brown, Saigon Blonde, and a can't-believe-it's-there keg of Mariana Trench, their 10.1% limited brew imperial stout.
One of the super highlights of the evening came in the form of a special whiskey oaked treatment of The Mack House's already phenomenal Downpour IPA. Vegetal and floral hops meandered out of the glass on this one, with the flavor starting with smooth vanilla, transitioning into an unmistakable whiskey-wood flavor with earthy and mildly spicy hop flavors coming in towards the end. It's a clean finisher, and begs to be imbibed again and again.
Due South brewer Kevin Abbot was on hand to answer questions from patrons, along with Mack House's own head brewer Justin Miles. As we sampled along to the seemingly endless list of locally produced beer, Miles told us he was excited to see the bar so packed on a Wednesday. "We're seeing a lot of new faces out tonight. A lot of people are coming out here who normally only stay in east Fort Lauderdale. [South Florida Beer Week] is such a good thing, in that it gets people that normally only go to one spot to travel out of their comfort zone. The response to the oaked Downpour and the Maple Chipotle have been phenomenal... slam dunks."
Though the Mack House has a 2 barrel capacity (62 gallons), Miles says that they have to keep Downpour in the fermenters pretty much all the time. "We're at capacity, and there's always something in the fermenters... sometimes I feel like all I'm brewing is Downpour, it's that popular."
In addition to the beers on tap inside, outside the brewery a few people were gathered for an impromptu bottle share, swapping pours of hard-to-get beers like Three Floyd's Zombie Dust and Hill Farmstead's Earl. Coupled with flights from both local breweries, these true beer geeks were enjoying the night in an enviable fashion.
There's still much to come for SFBW, culminating at the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival on Saturday. Tonight features a one year anniversary party at Das Biergarten in Jupiter, a Hollywood pub crawl starting at Mickey Byrnes, and a Wynwood tap takeover at Puccinis Pizzeria in Delray Beach to name just a few.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger that focuses on Florida beers, and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow me @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.