Looking for something interesting to do on Black Friday (you know, that shopping "holiday" the day after Thanksgiving) but don't want to wrestle with crowds fighting Battle Royale style over discounted plasma televisions or cheaply made plastic tablets? Why not take a trip down to your local brewery to participate in a growing trend: big, rich, bold, dark beers for Black Friday.
Sure, one could wait in line at any number of beer stores for the annual Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout release, which has become a frenetic event in the past couple of years, but it would be better still to queue up for something jet black and local.
Here are a few breweries that will have the dark stuff on tap; some are waiting to release beers just for November 27.
Devour Brewing Co.'s Fear Is Not an Option
1500 SW 30th Ave., Suite 4, Boynton Beach. Call 561-806-6011, or visit devourbrewing.com.
The Boynton Beach brewery will be launching its big Russian imperial stout named Fear Is Not an Option. And there's no other option than to sip on this 10.4 percent alcohol-by-volume big hitter that shows off aromas of bitter chocolate and licorice, flavors of cocoa and single-origin coffee, sweetness, and a full mouthfeel. It's dark and flavorful, just what's needed after stuffing your face with turkey.
Available in the taproom, in a limited batch, starting on Black Friday.
Funky Buddha Brewery's Nikolai Vorlauf
1201 NE 38th St., Oakland Park. Call 954-440-0046, or visit funkybuddhabrewery.com.
The Oakland Park brewery's smoky Maple Bacon Coffee Porter is a couple of months away from release, but that doesn't mean you can't get a dark and rich beer to take home. Nikolai Vorlauf makes a debut in 22-ounce bombers on Black Friday at the brewery and will arrive in distribution shortly after.
Part of the "Little Buddha" small-batch release series, Nikolai Vorlauf is the brewery's take on the Russian imperial stout. The beer has a thick body from the use of oats and lactose and showcases flavors of chocolate, cocoa, and caramel, with a lasting and balanced roasty note.
2900 High Ridge Road, Suite 3, Boynton Beach. Call 561-463-2337, or visit duesouthbrewing.com.
Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Due South Brewing Co. in Boynton Beach will be serving up its acclaimed Mariana Trench stout, aged in bourbon barrels. Previously part of a limited bottle release this past September, the beer will be available on Black Friday to the general public.
In addition, quite a few other darker beers will be available, like the brewery's coconut porter, One Eyed Tiki. Bottles of Sweater Weather will go on sale for the first time ever as well; it's Due South's winter warmer ale, packed with flavors of caramel malt, ginger, and molasses with just a touch of clove and cinnamon.
LauderAle's Rum Barrel Aged C.Porter
3305 SE 14th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-653-9711, or visit lauderale.com.
Technically this beer will be put on draft the day before Thanksgiving, but this rum barrel-aged porter should last long enough to entice Fort Lauderdale residents to head east to the brewery for a glass or two. It's a limited-release offering produced in Fwaygo rum barrels from South Florida Distillers. The last time it was offered, it was in bottles only at the brewery's anniversary party, so get it while you can.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers. He is a Certified Beer Server and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.