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, we're continuing a miniseries showcasing the breweries that will be taking part in the 19th-Annual New Times Broward-Palm Beach "Original" Beerfest coming up October 22 at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines.
Over the years, the festival has grown from encompassing mostly large national brands to highlighting the hardworking men and women who brew beer just down the street. Today, we're going to check out three different beers from three local Florida brewers who will be at the festival.
Concrete Beach Brewery's Stiltsville Pilsner
This beer is a European-style pilsner at about 5.2 percent alcohol by volume that’s loaded with citrus hop character, making it essentially a German retiree living in an oceanfront condo. Stiltsville pours a darker yellow that borders on a golden orange and comes loaded with a pillowy, bright white head, which leaves long and dynamic lacing across the glass. Even from afar, there are aromas effusing from the glass. It's full of fresh, raw hops, grassy and floral as if opening a sealed bag of hops during a home brew, with a nod toward spicy and skunky. Toward the end of the aroma, hints of the beer's body come through.
Taking a sip, I'm met with a light and cracker forward beer, and it's surprisingly mild considering the welcome wagon that greets on the nose. Still, I find myself drawn back into it again and again, as it's expertly made and doesn't show any off flavors. It finishes grassy, mildly bitter, and slightly dry.
Copperpoint Brewing Company's A-10 Hop-Hog
The A-10 Hop-Hog is a 6.3 percent red IPA from this Boynton Beach brewery, which won our Best Brewery in Palm Beach County award this year. It pours a rich crystal clear red that radiates out to a deep orange around the edges. Perhaps the colors of red IPAs are a huge factor in my enjoyment of them.
The aromas here are slightly malt forward, almost wet-grain-like, and it shares a bit of tropical citrus hop character as well. The flavor is where this beer really gets interesting as it pushes across the palate. It begins light and almost bready before coming into resinous and sticky hop components. There's a middle body of rich, dark caramel that sweeps through before bringing on spicy, peppery, and crisp hop bitterness.
Overall, it's fairly balanced with a nice kick. It may not be what incredibly hop-focused lupulin heads are looking for, but it's definitely got me coming back for more.
M.I.A. Brewing Company's Cafecito Stout
Starting with a base of a 5.5 percent 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.
As the brewery states, Cafecito is "true to Miami's original energy drink."
"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.
So there we have it, another trio in the can, with only a couple of weeks left until Beerfest. Have you gotten your tickets yet?
Tickets for the 19th-Annual "Original" Beerfest are on sale now, so check out the available tiers and see which level tickles your fancy.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger dedicated to educating the public about all things beer, with a focus on Florida brews. He is the Brand Marketing Manager for Due South Brewing Company and has been a homebrewer since 2009. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.