Florida Beer: Stump Knocker Pale Ale From Swamp Head Brewing

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

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.

Swamp Head Brewing is probably one of my most sought after out-of-reach Florida brewer, in the fact that very few kegs make their way down into our neck of the woods from their home base in Central Florida. Luckily, the beer gods are looking down and raising a divine thumb's up.

The Gainesville brewery just weeks ago entered the canned beer estate by placing their popular and widespread Stump Knocker American Pale Ale into 12 ounce aluminum cans for distribution. They've been slowly making their way down the panhandle, and are now locally available at select retailers.

See also: Florida Beer: Star Fruit Pink Peppercorn Saison Collaboration From Mack House and 3 Sons Brewing

This six-pack came from my local ABC Fine Wine and Spirits (of whom I probably need to thank Nathan for ordering, whether he knows it or not.)

The name Stump Knocker comes from "the notoriously feisty Stumpknocker fish, whose fight is so fierce you might think you've hooked into the lunker," as described by the can itself. Indeed, it is quite the native fish, and feels appropriately used graphically.

Luckily Swamp Head is the type of brewery that isn't shy about its ingredients, and lists a malt profile of Pale Ale, Munich, and Crystal 40, as well as the three hops used in the bittering process: Columbus, Centennial, and Amarillo.

The beer is a gorgeous orange-amber color with a thick white head that fades gently into the glass. Dry hopping is evident, and the Amarillo is probably what is giving this an amazingly sweet floral aroma that bursts out of the snifter. There is some light resin in there as well, but mostly floral to my nose. The taste is two fold: a small amount of malt sweetness that moves to a crisp almost dry light bitter finish. The body leans towards the thin and quaffable side.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with this APA, especially since at first I felt the beer could lean into the not-quite-IPA camp. With the relatively low perceived bitterness, it maintains its pale ale registry, and brings a sort of 'east-coast-iness' that sets it apart from certain other mountain-themed pale ales.

At 5.6% abv, it sits in the average range for a pale ale, and will look to begin to enter the rotation for easy-to-drink everyday beers.

You can find Swamp Head's Stump Knocker American Pale Ale in 6-pack 12 ounce cans at local beer retailers.

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.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.