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're setting our eyes on a beer made for a specific purpose: pairing with food.
Earlier this week, we spoke about Funky Buddha's latest project of brewing a beer specifically for local Italian restaurants Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, set to be released today. Luckily for us, Anthony's and the Buddha team were gracious enough to have us stop by to see for ourselves how this new 'food-beer' partnership would work out.
The beer in question is called Fuhgeddaboudit Red, brewed by Oakland Park's Funky Buddha Brewery. It is, as the name suggests, a red ale; dubbed by the Buddha an 'Italian-American ale', brewed with a blend of European barley and English hops. Here is a beer coming back to its roots, adding to the library of non-culinary beers that Funky Buddha is most known for. It proves again that they can tackle the 'standard' beer styles with ease. With a moderate 5.4% ABV, it aims to keep you satisfied, but not full, while you eat.
Fuhgeddaboudit has an orange-red to deep amber color with a mild white head. On the nose lies a slightly sweet malt aroma. The flavor is clean and almost marzen-like, but with a hint of caramel. There is a low, but noticeable, hop profile... definitely in the family of European hop flavors.
The best part about this beer, and what makes it divine for food pairing, is the good level of carbonation. All of those bubbles will help to act as tongue scrubbers (as Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, loves to say), cleansing the palate between bites and sips.
Speaking of food, how did the red ale cope with the flavorful food at Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza?
The malt flavors cut right through the spiciness of the Pork Ribs with Vinegar Peppers, a dish laden with lovely acidity, and complemented the sweet coal fired onions surrounding their Oven Roasted Chicken Wings.
The dish that popped out on top for us, though, was the Broccoli Rabe & Sausage plate. This mix of bitter Italian greens sauteed in garlic and olive oil served with Italian sausage gave the beer some oily components that it did a fantastic job with, and satisfied after every bite.
For South Floridians, it'll be a treat to sit down to a well-done pizza and a glass of Fuhgeddaboudit Red, being able to enjoy both food and beer you can only get at a local business. It's how dining out should be.
As for where to get it, Fuhgeddaboudit Red will be on tap at all Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza locations -- including Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach and Weston in Broward; Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Kendall, Miami Lakes and Pinecrest in Miami-Dade; Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Stuart and Wellington in Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast.
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 Clean Plate's Instagram.