Those who have followed the New Times food and drink coverage for the last few years have seen our attempt at tasting and sampling a variety of Florida-made beer every week (AKA our #FloridaBeerFriday coverage). The idea: create a vast archive of beer-tasting notes to help you navigate our growing craft scene.
Over the years, we've had the chance to sample some pretty amazing beers and share our experiences with you. From one-offs that will not be seen again to the stalwart standards that can be found on any beer-store shelf at any time of the year, here are some of the best beers to recently "wow" us — and prove that Florida is a juggernaut when it comes to craft beer producers.
This short list (along with our most recent roundup of all 17 Broward- and Palm Beach-based breweries) is also a great way to prepare for the upcoming 19th-Annual New Times Broward-Palm Beach "Original" Beerfest happening October 22 at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines — and it'll help ease the post-Matthew stress.
5. Sip a Perry Ale From the Ladies at High Heel Brewing
A few weeks ago, New Times tried the perry ale from the new female-run operation High Heel Brewing, which ferments out of Brew Hub in Lakeland. The idea: make craft beer approachable for all women. Dubbed Slingback by High Heel Brewing's founder and head brewer Kristi McGuire, the hybrid beer is brewed by combining the taste of a traditional ale with pear cider.
4. Khoffner Brewery's Tasting Room Has Reopened, and You Need to Get This Citra IPA
Now that Khoffner's Fort Lauderdale taproom is back online after a brief hiatus, it might be a good time to check out the brewery's more than one dozen beers on tap. Owner-brewer Rauf Khoffner offers a variety of styles — everything from an English brown ale and a Russian imperial stout to a German helles bock or a cream ale, all brewed using traditional European recipes and ingredients. But this IPA made with Citra hops is a stellar example of how German brew methods can also make a standout American-style beer.
3. Try a Foudre-Aged, Lavender-Infused Saison at Twisted Trunk Brewing
Saisons are funky, but the Cloud 9 from Twisted Trunk in Palm Beach Gardens is especially so, brewed with a bunch of heather and lavender, among other things. A special aging process allows it to pick up some other unique characteristics, which helps to produce larger concentrations of spicy notes. The addition of herbs and other spices is not atypical, making it exciting to see a local brewer go all-out with a mix of earthy additions.
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2. Sip a New Belgian-Style IPA From Bangin' Banjo Brewing
As a style, the Belgian IPA is relatively new, having sprung up out of the home-brewing scene of the mid-aughts. How is it made? Belgian yeast is used to brew an American IPA. In this post, our man Doug Fairall explains the history of this new brew while highlighting the St. Something Belgian IPA from Bangin' Banjo Brewing Co. in Pompano Beach, currently available only in the brewery's tasting room.
1. Hollywood Brewing Co.'s Mango IPA Will Be Pouring at New Times' Beerfest
A few weeks ago, New Times' own beer aficionado, Fairall, launched a short series of Florida Beer Friday posts specifically dedicated to local Florida brewers who will be pouring at the New Times Beerfest October 22. How about that mango IPA?
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.