For South Floridians, and Miamians in particular, there's nothing quite like the jolt of that tiny cup of coffee called the cafecito, otherwise known as the Café Cubano or Cuban-style espresso.
The Cafecito Stout from M.I.A. Brewing Company is the brewery's nod to this cultural icon.
Starting with a base of a 5.5% abv brewed stout recipe, the beer gets an addition of cold-brewed coffee and freshly brewed espresso, all locally roasted by Macundo Coffee in Doral, during the maturation process. For this particular version, the beer is not poured out of a standard faucet, but one in which a blend of about 70 percent nitrogen and 30 percent carbon dioxide provide less prickly carbonation and more of a creamier mouthfeel.
As the brewery states, Cafecito is "true to Miami's original energy drink."
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"This full-bodied stout is like a shot of coffee. Rich layers of roast and kilned malts compose a deep and complex barley stratum."
It pours a dark brown, with some of the neon of the bar able to seep through the glass. Aromas are redolent of vanilla and freshly ground coffee. I'm talking the high quality single origin beans, not that blended acidic blended stuff. The taste is surprisingly light, in both body and intensity, but holds a balanced dance on the acridity and sweetness of a fine cup of coffee. Because this is on nitro, there is a lack of prickly carbonic acid from the usual carbon dioxide carbonation, and instead this drinks like a cool iced coffee. As it warms, it's easy to feel the placebo effect of energy and a heightened sense of awareness. Or maybe there really is quite a bit of cold pressed joe in here.
Cafecito Stout is currently available at the brewery. M.I.A. Brewing is located at 10400 NW 33rd St., Suite 150, Doral. Call 786-801-1721, or visit miabrewing.com.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers, 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.