Craft beer in a can. It's the new wave of the craft beer age sweeping across the country, and it's finally hit Palm Beach county. Out of the 2,538 craft breweries in the United States, only 365 of them produce beers for canning, and according to craftcans.com, only 9 of those are in Florida.
Currently, Due South Brewing is the only brewery in the Broward / Palm Beach area that is running a canning line, and their first release into the wild is Category 3 IPA. It's a 6.1% abv. American hopped India pale ale with a modest 64 IBUs (International bittering units). Cat 3, as the locals call it, was the first beer that owner and brewer Mike Halker produced for competition, winning a homebrew event at the Havana Hideout in Lake Worth. It's only fitting that it see first use of the canning line.
With a trip to the store to pick up a 6-pack of cans (which is indeed strange to not go to the brewery to fill a growler to consume at home), we grab a pint glass and go for the ka-click of the aluminum pull tab.
The beer froths from the can, begging to escape, and pours a slightly cloudy golden orange with a large thick beige head. This head, or foam cap, has quite the staying power, holding on half a finger thick throughout the tasting and leaving gorgeous lacing in its wake.
It has the same grassy and earthy herbal aromas, with a hint of bitter citrus. The flavor has a smooth malt body and the earthy and flowery hop taste that makes an IPA... well, an IPA. The finish is slightly dry and bitter. Overall, an IPA worthy of building iterations on.
What's the difference between this canned version and a Cat 3 from draft?
Besides the portability aspect of the cans, nothing has apparently changed from the canning process, which should show some raised glasses to fans of this core beer from the Boynton Beach brewery.
If you're used to this beer on draft, now you can sample it at home as well; and if you've never had the chance to try Cat 3, your opportunity is now. There's really no excuse anymore.
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