December 29, 2015 | 10:45am
Yes, dear readers, the growth of craft beer in South Florida continues unabated through the holiday season. In this update, we are brought to the corner of NE Eighth Avenue and NE 11th Street in Fort Lauderdale, where the latest brewery to open in Broward County now lives:Khoffner Brewery.
Founded by brewer and entrepreneur Rauf Vagifoglu-Khoffner and Evan Kagan, Khoffner Brewery seeks to "start a revolution" in the South Florida market by bringing third-generation brewing knowledge and experience to the table. Vagifoglu-Khoffner wants to "make some of the best European and craft American beer around." The revolution will be mashed, lautered, and fermented.
The family history is noble. His grandfather left Germany in 1933 to brew in Turkey, where he did so for more than 40 years. Vagifoglu-Khoffner opened a brewpub ten years ago in the Turkish city of Antalya but moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2014 partly to join in the burgeoning beer market and to escape Turkey's growing transition from a secular country to one of increased Islamization.
"We want the best beers we can make," he said during a Saturday-afternoon tour. "We want to make drinkable beers. There's a German mentality to the beers."
For him, that means patrons will not be seeing a lot of the American-styled, hop-forward beers to which many are accustomed.
"This is not the alpha acid championships."
With 450 barrels of capacity, Vagifoglu-Khoffner is looking to use a lot of his grandfather's century-old beer recipes and make beer using as many imported German ingredients as possible. He waxes poetic about his use of all Weyermann malts and enjoys speaking about his ability to create European water profiles for his beers.
The brewery joins a growing number of craft establishments that have opened in 2015. Bangin' Banjo Brewery opened its doors in July, while 26 Degree Brewing Co. put its mark on the map in September.
Beers on tap at Khoffner range from the more "Old World"-treated beers such as a cloudy and lemon-grassy Pilsner and a bread-like Helles Bock to styles that are a bit more modern, like a creamy and European hop-forward India pale ale and a raspberry-treated Russian imperial stout.
I was particularly pleased by the sessionable English Brown Ale, which showed character of bread crust and baked oatmeal, with a hint of raisin on the aroma.
Currently, the brewery is open for tours and drinks. Ten bucks gets you two standard pours of whatever you like and a tour around the establishment.
Khoffner Brewery is located at 1110 NE Eighth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Check Facebook for taproom hours.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers. He is a Certified Beer Server 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.