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.
This week we've gone on the road to the home of Rollins College, Winter Park, to hit up a swank Southern gastropub serving up on site produced beers alongside Dixie-craft food: Cask & Larder.
The establishment is a recent entry into the craft beer and food business by chef/owners James and Julie Petrakis, who also own The Ravenous Pig in the same town and opened C&L in 2012. But that's the boring bit.
Currently, the brewery section of the eatery is being managed by brothers Scott and Bill Morton, who have years of experience behind them, as head brewer Ron Raike leaves to join Playalinda Brewing in Titusville.
I have no idea if this transition will have had an affect on the beers.
While on a road trip in the area we stopped in, and found ourselves right in the middle of happy hour. Perfect. Can't go wrong with $3 house-made beverages.
Our server listed off the more popular beers, and one was selected from that list that the locals seemed to gravitate towards: the Olde Southern Wit.
This is a beer that comes out thick, orange, and hazy. Just the way Belgian wheat beers should. It arrives with almost no beer foam, and looks more like a juice than a beer. I'd expect more frothiness from something containing wheat in the mash.
The aroma and flavors remind of orange creamsicle, but with some dry bittering at the middle and a lot of lingering coriander spice. Lots of coriander. Bitter orange peel and coriander.
At 4.8% abv, this is in the low range by American craft standards, but sufficient for Belgian wheat beers. It's an intriguing effort by a small gastropub (the brewhouse looks to be about 20 barrels) in the Winter Park area. While there weren't a lot of variety on tap at the time we went, there were hints in Untappd of some more culinary treatments to some of their standard house beers.
Follow #FloridaBeerFriday for more reviews of Sunshine State brews.
Get out there and #DrinkLocal.
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.
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