Perfect Pairing: Restaurants Are Collaborating With Local Breweries to Create Signature Beers

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It's a match made in heaven: South Florida breweries collaborating with local restaurants to create signature beers that represent their brand, style, and atmosphere.

There are plenty of establishments doing this, and still more are coming on board. Now, you can add Rok:Brgr to that list. Often considered one of Broward County's first gastropubs, this week it announced the launch of a new signature craft beer it's created in collaboration with Miami's J. Wakefield Brewing.

Appropriately dubbed Rok-N-Coco, the fruit-inspired coconut IPA is now available on tap at all Rok:Brgr locations as well as JEY Hospitality Group's sister establishments Himmarshee Public House, TacoCraft, Pizza Craft, and Apothecary 330 in Fort Lauderdale.

"We’ve always been huge supporters of J. Wakefield and carry a lot of their brews in our restaurants and have always been fans of the flavors and styles they incorporate into their beers,” says Matt Walsh, director of marketing and brand strategy. "Since working together on a successful beer pairing dinner earlier this year, we realized that combining our passions for food and brewing to create a craft beer was the ideal way to take our partnership to the next level."

Many South Florida restaurants are collaborating with local breweries to create a unique signature brew in the past several years. Similar partnerships can be found at Broward and Palm Beach County establishments like Shooter's Waterfront in Fort Lauderdale, where they serve Shooter's Ale from Miami's Biscayne Bay Brewing Co.; Pincho Factory, where they serve 627 Ale from Miami's Wynwood Brewing Co.; and Park Avenue BBQ, where they serve Oink, an American Pale Ale brewed by Boynton Beach's Due South Brewing Co.

West Palm Beach's KVJ Show also did their own type of pairing with North Palm Beach-based Twisted Trunk Brewing, producing a series of brews beginning with Vicious V, a watermelon-mint saison named for the show's host, Virginia Sinicki.

Though coconut is usually found in darker beers such as porters and stouts, J. Wakefield pushes the boundaries with this unique flavor combination, which succeeds at delivering equal parts coconut and Citra hops, a variety known for its citrusy and tropical fruit notes. When coupled with coconut, it produces a more balanced flavor that creates a tropical taste reminiscent of South Florida without overpowering the hops, says J. Wakefield Brewing owner and head brewmaster John Wakefield.

The Rok-N-Coco has a 6.5 percent alcohol content and features a great hop flavor complemented by the coconut, which maintains the integrity of the base beer style intact.

Guests can try Rok-N-Coco at any Rok:Brgr location for $5 while supplies last. The beer is also available on tap at all other JEY Hospitality Group restaurants and at J. Wakefield Brewing (120 NW 24th St. in Miami).

"It's all about supporting locals, and JEY Group has crafted a distinct niche in the South Florida dining scene with their unique and casual concepts. They have really embraced not just us, but the local beer scene as a whole,” said Wakefield. "It’s an exciting venture."

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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