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.
You've probably seen a bottle in the hands of Jim Longworth, Chicago-cum-Florida detective in the A&E series The Glades.
Native Lager from the Native Brewing Company, is a German-styled Pale Lager, produced using a full complement of German sourced malts, hops and yeast. This beer, along with the others in the NBC's portfolio, are contract brewed by the Florida Beer Company in Melbourne.
Now, for a lot of beer people, or just adults in general, the word 'lager' is synonymous with the massively, industrially produced macro-beers made by companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMiller, or Heineken International. Names like Budweiser, Heineken, and Miller Genuine Draft stoke the visuals of bucket deals, sports bars, and unabashed college frat parties.
But craft brewers pay a very high homage to this sometimes difficult-to-perfect style . Indeed, a lot of small breweries don't tackle the style due to space demands -- the amount of time to lager a beer can take almost eight weeks, if not more. In contrast, ales can be produced in around 10 days on commercial systems.
In Florida, it's a style we'd love to see more of.
As to the beer itself, it has a golden darker-than-a-macro-lager color, almost pale ale style color to it, clear, but more golden than expected. Pouring vigorously produces a nice two finger head which dies down to fairly thin level but stays put. I get some lime and grass on the nose. The flavor is mild, with a hint of corn and grain on the back end, but not a lot of bitterness. There's not too much of a malt body to it either, though the carbonation levels are moderate, so what comes out is a crisp and clean alternative to the macro-beers of the big brewers.
If you are looking to get into craft beers, but don't know where to start, Native Lager might be the answer. If you're looking for a craft beer to down in these final days of 90 degree weather, then Native Lager might be your Florida-based choice.
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