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.
Sometimes a beer comes along with an idea in it that seems so simple, you wonder why brewers don't do it more often. This week, that beer made itself known while perusing the aisles in search for a Florida brew. I gravitated towards something that was familiar, yet excitingly different.
Many of you may already know of the honeycomb labelled Orange Blossom Pilsner offered by Tom Moench of OBP Brewing in Orlando. Somewhere along the line, in that constantly churning brewers brain, Tom decided to make the Pilsner with only half the water. Same amount of fermentables, but half the water volume. What came out of the tanks is Orange Blossom Pilsner (Squared).
Tom was generous to explain what's going on. "It's an 'Imperial Honey Beer'... my take was to make an exactly double strength version of OBP." It also clocks in at 11% abv.
So with cap off and beverage cold, I poured into a pilsner glass. The aroma is immediately Mead-like, cidery, very sweet, and slightly flowery. Great already. It's also very orange and crystal clear. Taking a drink, it was pretty highly carbonated with champagne-like effervescence that goes into a burst of honey sweetness. So very mead-like. Then dries off the palate with no cloying fruit aftertaste. Yep, this is heavenly.
"It is a good way to demonstrate how different the same recipe can bee [sic] at different strengths," Tom continues. "Every bottle has 4.6 tsp of orange blossom honey. The honey is added at the beginning of fermentation and most of the sugar is consumed by the yeast. There is still some residual sweetness because the yeasties get less active at higher alcohol levels."
The company uses raw artisanal Florida produced honey for both their regular OBP offering and this 'Imperial' one. Think of it as part of an apiary-to-brewer movement.
If you're looking for something sweet to sip, grab a bottle of this beer. It's perfect for summer.
On the horizon, OBP Brewing is looking to expand its' lineup (which currently has Orange Blossom Pilsner, OBP^2, and Toasted Coconut Porter) to include something for the hop lovers. "We are test batching an old school version of an American IPA; a dry, pale baby using the 4 C's (Cascade, Columbus, Chinook and Centennial)."
As always, this weekend try something local. Share on Twitter with your friends #floridabeer or #drinklocal. And as Tom likes to say, are you down with OBP?
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