This week I traveled into the heart of one of Fort Lauderdale's industrial areas to visit Khoffner Brewery USA and try out their Citra IPA.
An IPA made with Citra hops may not be very new, but the fact that it's coming from a self-described traditionalist is. Rauf Khoffner opened his brewery at the tail end of 2015 just north of Sunrise Boulevard and began focusing on traditional European beer styles.
"The idea is to create from German roots," Khoffner says over a flight of beers. To him, beers must be balanced and they must be drinkable. "Whiskey is the closest relative of beer, and you sip it to enjoy. I don't want to sip beer, I want to drink it."
Khoffner has expanded a bit since their opening; they've now got over a dozen beers on tap across a variety of styles. You can find an English brown ale alongside a Russian imperial stout next to a German helles bock beside a cream ale.
As for the more American side of beer he's brewing, Khoffner wants people to have a connection with their beers.
"I want to guess," he says on the flavors in beer. "I want to get the message from the brewer. Give me a chance to talk to my beer."
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This Citra IPA is an American-style beer brewed with a 9-1 ratio of Indian River Farms grapefruit juice and orange juice and is hopped with Citra (obviously) as well as Nugget and a few other hop varietals. It pours a clear red-orange color with a small wispy coverage of foam. Lightly blended citrus emerges on the nose; it's not kicking down doors but is pleasant. Flavors begin with juicy citrus and some sweet caramel-like maltiness, then transitions into an earthy lingering bitterness that touches on a floral character.
The beer is currently available in the tap room, though you just may need to ask for it by name.
Khoffner Brewery USA is located at 1110 NE Eighth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 754-701-8860 or visit khoffner.us.
Doug Fairall is a