Broward Home Brewers Opus and Invasive Species Use Hibiscus, Ghost Peppers in Their Brews

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Two of Broward's finest home brewers made the trek to Coconut Grove's LoKal for the restaurant's second annual home brewers bash.

Opus served two beers; Hi-Ju-Doin, a sour beer made with hibiscus, juniper berries, and coriander, and Maldito Mate, made with mate tea, dried raspberries, dried apple, dried orange, and rose petals.

The Hi-Ju-Doin has a beautiful purple hue. Opus' Manny Janos said that he takes a Belgian Wit and "flips it on its butt by adding hibiscus". The result is a tart ans sweet beer, perfect for the south Florida climate. The Maldito Mate has herbal notes, with a eucalyptus finish. Janos said that working with tea is a challenge. "If you over boil it, tannins are released."

Janos will be at Grovertoberfest at Peacock Park in Coconut Grove this Saturday, October 19 with these and a special prickly pear beer in honor of breast cancer awareness month (it has a deep pink color). He told Clean Plate Charlie that he's happy about the growing beer scene in south Florida and has plans for Opus in the future. "Next year this time, I see us celebrating our grand opening. We're already winning awards for our beers. We make beers with a purpose.

Invasive Species served up an entire menu of beers, including Star Dragon, a sour starfruit Berliner Weisse, the Bean Tickler, a "summer porter" with rich vanilla and coffee notes, and a Spicy Thai Witte, made with ghost peppers.

Josh Levitt of Invasive Species warned us before trying the ghost pepper-tinged beer. "When I say it's hot, it's hot." He offered to add some of his non-pepper-infused Thai Witte, but we declined, opting for the full experience. Yes, the beer was extremely spicy, but there was a delightful smokiness there, too. Maybe not the beer you'd pound, but one to try.

Levitt said that though Invasive Species is a brewing club, they take their beer seriously. "I have a system that I built myself. it's much more than a hobby. There's an entire grassroots community in south Florida. We're growing, and that's a good thing."

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