Collaborations are a time for brewers to get together and come up with something fun and exciting to brew. Or to simply reconnect with friends in the industry and create something unique that can be shared with the drinking public.
Luckily for us in South Florida, we have a plethora of breweries doing unique things. This past April Funky Buddha Brewery's head of brewing Ryan Sentz took a ride up to Delray Beach's Saltwater Brewery to collaborate on a beer that the duo could release that had some local roots.
In the end, they came up with the Salty Buddha, a tart wheat ale brewed with locally harvested sea salt from the Gulf Stream current that flows off our coast in the Atlantic. The beer was then fermented with Champagne yeast to really get it dry and to highlight the flavors of the ingredients.
Salty Buddha pours relatively clear, with a slight amount of haze. It's gorgeously summer-like yellow-orange, with a thin head of foam that drops off quickly and leaves nothing behind.
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The aroma is lemon-forward with tart, lactic acid character (a sourness introduced by bacteria). Upon drinking, it's like biting into a lemon. Big tart mouth-puckering flavors dominate the beginning, which then moves on to a saltiness from the added salt, and finally a wheat-oriented and grainy finish. It all comes together under a blanket of tart, tart, tart! At only 3.4 percent alcohol by volume, it's a beer you can drink a lot
I sourced my glass of Salty Buddha from the Saltwater Brewery taproom, but it is also available at some select bars and beer retail accounts across South Florida.
Saltwater Brewery is located at 1701 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-865-5373, or visit saltwaterbrewery.com.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers. He is a Certified Beer Server 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.