It's #FloridaBeerFriday. Every Friday, we take a look at a beer brewed in the Sunshine State, giving analysis to the burgeoning craft beer movement of Florida.
After getting deep into the home-brewing game, owner and brewer Mike Halker worked tirelessly through hundreds of test brews to get the recipe for this beer "just right" in order to satisfy the requests of his wife, Jodi.
Cream ales, in general, fall under the "lawnmower beer" umbrella and strike a balance between malts and hops to create a beer that is superdrinkable. Commercial examples include Genesee Cream Ale and New Glarus Spotted Cow. Due South's caramel variation on that beer style is an enjoyable improvement.
The beer pours a clear brown with a thick off-white crown of foam that hangs around for a bit and leaves some beautiful lacing. The aroma reminds me of Werther's candies and vanilla cream soda. This is not a hop-forward beer; instead, the grain is what is in the forefront, with the push to emphasize some bigger dark malt flavors without getting sticky sweet. Carbonation is moderate, and mouthfeel is on point. At 5 percent alcohol by volume, it's approachable and drinkable.
What's intriguing is the lingering vanilla flavor long after your drink is done. Like a hop-heavy IPA that keeps on trucking, this pleasant aftertaste either pushes you for another or gives you time to reminisce on what you just drank.
Due South's Caramel Cream Ale is available every day at the tasting room in Boynton Beach, and soon (if not already) in your local-craft-beer-friendly retail stores.
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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 Instagram.