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In The Tasting Room: Key West Amber Ale from Florida Beer Company

Friday's here, so it's time for beer.

Every Friday, so long as the creek don't rise, this beer enthusiast will take a look at a Florida beer that, hopefully, should be readily available in a local shop or on tap at your favorite bar.

Memorial Day is coming up this Monday, so we thought it best to take a look at something light and refreshing this week; something you can grab a 6-pack of for the inevitable barbecue, and help to spread the local beer love.

See also:

- In the Tasting Room: 'Are Wheat There Yet?' From Tampa Bay Brew Bus

- Top Ten Craft Beer Selections in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

- In The Tasting Room: Cafe Ole Espresso Porter From Due South Brewing

With our mission set out before us, we venture forth to take a look at a beer from the Space Coast of Florida, Key West Sunset Ale. Yes, it's brewed in Melbourne and NOT Key West, but the amber ale by Florida Beer Company is definitely inspired by the Conch Republic in it's concept: to be a refreshing light ale.

Pouring this beer into a nonic glass, I'm greeted with a sweet butterscotch aroma and a little bit of wet grains. It's wonderfully sweet on the nose. The beer itself is gorgeously honey colored as well.

For the flavor, the caramel malts really show on this one, and it brings with it an almost corn flake undertone. I kinda dig it.

I could see this as a good session beer on a hot day, especially for people who might normally gravitate to a macro-lager. The caramel and hop bitterness play with each other through the end, as the flavor dissipates.

Overall, this is a highly approachable beer, and will suit a barbecue perfectly; the light malt sweetness will accompany that sweet BBQ sauce, and help to accentuate any char-grilled foods.

Florida Beer Company is probably most famously known for its Swamp Ape Double IPA, but this amber ale entry into the market should do well. As they expand and have their new higher capacity brewery opening up on Cape Canaveral in mid-July, expect to see more from this local Florida brewing operation.

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Doug Fairall
Contact: Doug Fairall

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