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#FloridaBeerFriday: Summadayze IPA From Darwin Brewing

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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 Summadayze, a West Coast IPA from Bradenton's Darwin Brewing Co. But wait a minute, you say, it's winter. Well to hell with it.

Summadayze describes itself (on the back of the can, mind you) as being "long on flavor and surprisingly short on bitterness," which, for a West Coast IPA, seems odd to say. But this is a 'Florida West Coast' IPA, not a 'Florida' West Coast IPA. The West Coast IPA, as a general style, is known to have "a huge smack-you-in-your-face hops presence... as opposed to a more subdued hop effect with East Coast brews," according to Ron Price, global moderator of the American Homebrewers Association's online forums. So perhaps this is, less confusingly, more of a 'Gulf Coast IPA.'

In any case, the IPA style is one of those more widely known, so I can be brief. It sits as style 21A in the Beer Judge Certification Program's 2015 guidelines as a decidedly hoppy and bitter, moderately strong American pale ale, showcasing modern American or New World hop varieties. Summadayze comes to the table with a full contingent of United States hop forces with Colombus, Cascade, and Nugget. It's also built upon a foundation of American 2 row, Maris Otter, and white wheat malts. For those keeping track at home, this beer has also won some accolades, including a gold medal at the Best Florida Beer Competition in 2013.

It's with this statistics block of information that we proceed.

It pours a brown-hued orange that is crystal clear with a very minor ring of foam. Aromas are strong with pineapple and tangerine dominating but also a hint of English biscuit. On the palate, it begins muted, with low carbonation and only a moderately light mouthfeel. The malt base is subdued, characteristic of a West Coast IPA, but it doesn't smack of hops. There is some minor lingering earthy bitterness, which builds upon itself sip upon sip. It clocks in at 6 percent alcohol by volume.

Those seeking big hop bitterness may be disappointed here, especially with the West Coast moniker attached. It is instead a bit more balanced than a typical hop bomb, with some driving malt interest. 

Summadayze from Darwin Brewing is available all over South Florida in 12-ounce cans.

Darwin Brewing Co. is located at 803 17th Ave. W., Bradenton. Call 941-747-1970, or visit darwinbrewingco.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 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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