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Boca Raton's Brewzzi Wins Silver At National Competition For Passionfruit Saison

Florida is continuing its rise into the craft beer world, showing that we have the talent to be recognized as a 'craft beer state'. Earlier this month, the 2013 U.S. Open Beer Championships were held in Atlanta, Georgia for the fifth time, and Florida breweries represented in the top three of seven different style categories. For a contest that had 2,500 beers entered, that puts them in the top eight percent.

For us down here in South Florida, longtime brewpub in Boca Raton, Brewzzi, stepped away from the competition with a silver medal in the fruit/vegetable beer category with their Passionfruit Saison. Lucky for us, it was brought back on tap this week.

See also:

- Local Tamarac Homebrewer Only Floridian to Win Gold at National Conference

- Neighborhood Brewers Showed Off At Palm Beach Craft Beer Fest Saturday

Brewer Matt Manthe, who has been running the fermenters at the Boca Raton location for the past year, describes it as "an easy drinking summer beer". The beer is brewed following their standard saison recipe, which contains a base of all Belgian pilsner malt, some wheat, rye and oats, and two different saison yeast strains to really give it that yeasty character that saisons require. There's also a smidgen of brettanomyces thrown in for good measure. After primary fermentation, it's put into secondary with loads of fresh passionfruit to up the game on flavor. It comes out at 5.8% abv and 33 IBU's.

So how does this silver-medal-winning beer taste? The aroma has tons of banana esters and that yeasty saison smell. Drinking, it's not too spicy, in fact it's very clean with a tinge of tartness and a lingering European hop bitterness at the end.

With all of the awards the Brewzzi has picked up in its more than decade in business, how does another one stack up? "It's always great to win medals," Matt said. "Especially at a national competition, but I want to make beer that people want to drink."

As tastes expand, and the locals demand more locally produced beer, that's not too high of a bar to get to. "I find there's generally two types of people who come in looking for our beers. The people who are aware of the craft beer market and all that it offers, and the people who are new and looking to explore new things."

If you want to come in and sample the Passionfruit Saison, do it soon, as Matt will continue to rotate through different styles as the months progress. "This current batch of saison was 434 gallons, and we put a portion of that aside to undergo secondary."

Beyond the core beers that are offered (City Fest, for example, is an amazing Vienna Lager that is just slightly toffee sweet; fans of Sam Adams Boston Lager will be all over this), Matt is a playful brewer who enjoys seeing what can be done.

"With the extra tap lines we have now, I get to brew a few more experimental/uncommon beers, like a Polish Grodziskie (a smoked wheat beer), or a Belgian quad."

So, congratulations to Matt and the Brewzzi team for their win!

In addition to Brewzzi's accomplishments, Florida Lager from Florida Beer Company took gold in the American Premium Lager category, while Cigar City took top honors in the Chocolate/Cocoa Beer category for their Hunahpu's Imperial Stout. The whole list of Florida wins are below.

Imperial Stout

GOLD - Nectar Ales Black Xantus - Firestone Walker Brewing - California

SILVER - Giant Slayer - Tri City Brewing - Michigan

BRONZE - Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing - Florida

American Premium Lager

GOLD - Florida Lager - Florida Beer Co. - Florida

SILVER - Lager - Neustadt Brewing - Canada

BRONZE - Kraftig Lager - William K Busch Brewing - Missouri

Bohemian Pilsner

GOLD - LTD Bohemian Pilsner - Full Sail Brewing - Oregon

SILVER - Hurricane Reef Caribbean Pilsner - Florida Beer - Florida

BRONZE - Mama's Little Yella Pils - Oskar Blues Brewing - Colorado

BRONZE - Golden Pilsner - Morgan Brewing - Missouri

Fruit / Vegetable beer

GOLD - Maui CoCoNut PorTeR - Maui Brewing Company - Hawaii

SILVER - Passion Fruit Saison - Brewzzi Brewing - Florida

BRONZE - Son of a Peach - RJ Rockers Brewing Company - South Carolina

BRONZE - Maracuy - Cerveceria Brumar - Columbia

Chocolate / Cocoa Beer

GOLD - Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing - Florida

SILVER - Chocolate Porter Rabbits Reserve Series - Red Hare Brewing - Georgia

BRONZE - Sex Panther Double Chocolate Porter - SanTan Brewing - Arizona

Out of Bounds Pale Ale

GOLD - Our Dark Secret - Moylans Brewing - California

SILVER - Macho - Proof Brewing Company - Florida

BRONZE - Hazed and Infused Pale Ale - Boulder Beer Company - Colorado

Best of Show Organic

GOLD - Organic Strawberry - Samuel Smith's Brewing - England

SILVER - Bare Scott - Pagosa Brewing - Colorado

BRONZE - Doble Imperial IPA - Orlando Brewing - Florida

Brewzzi is located at 2222 Glades Road in Boca Raton. Call 561-392-2739, or like them on Facebook.

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Doug Fairall
Contact: Doug Fairall