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Florida Beer: Floridafest Octoberfest-Style Lager With Coconut From Concrete Beach Brewery

Every week, we take a look at a craft beer brewed in Florida. Follow #FloridaBeerFriday for more reviews of Sunshine State brews. Get out there and #DrinkLocal.

This week, I'm taking a look at the Floridafest from Concrete Beach Brewery. This is the Miami-based brewery's Oktoberfest-style Märzen (the famed amber lager from Bavaria that forces beer writers into finding the keystrokes for the umlaut), though with that unique South Florida twist that they are wont to do: the addition of coconut. Some might think that being a subsidiary of Boston Beer would lend some corporate sellout-i-tude to the brewery, but I have been pleased again and again by what Chris McGrath and Alan Newman have been coming up with and producing down in Wynwood. 

First, the vitals: This Märzen is brewed with Europils, Dark Munich, Melanoidin, and Carapils malts as well as Hallertau and Tettnang hops. The brewery is keeping things distinctly European with this brew, at least until the part where they add coconut. It comes in at 5.7 percent alcohol by volume.

So how does this beer play out?

A cascadingly rocky top of foam caps the beer when poured. It's an incredibly deep-amber-hued beverage, crystal-clear and inviting. The aromas are typical of an amber: slightly sweet, bread-like with a caramel note. Doot. Flavors are immediately charged in the malty camp, with an upfront sweetness that moves from toffee to toasted vanilla to white chocolate in nature. The Melanoidin malts aid in promoting Floridafest's bigger mouthfeel. Coconut here is subtly applied and hooks into the middle and ends of this beer so as to give that extra boost toward the end. The hop profile is very mild, and fans of hoppier Märzen beers won't find that going on here.

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For those who travel to distinguished craft-beer suppliers, you will be able to find the same 22-ounce bombers available (we saw Craft Beer Cartel stock some up), or it can be found at select bars and restaurants. Or for those looking for something a little more festive, the beer will make its debut at the Concrete Beach Brewery Social Hall on Saturday, September 19, for Blocktoberfest, the first of the brewery's planned annual events surrounding the Oktoberfest holiday.

The brewery graciously provided a bomber for a preview.

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.

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