Due South Brewing, based in Boynton Beach,is the brainchild of husband and wife team Mike and Jodi Halker. Starting as homebrewers, the brewery opened a production facility and (prerequisite, at this point) taproom in May of 2012. In that time, they have expanded themselves to be a permanent face in Central and South Florida craft beer. Their beers are on tap pretty much everywhere, and places like ABC and Total Wine carry 4 and 6-packs of Due South beers year round. Naturally, it was time for a visit.
It’s a bit of a difficult find, however. It’s in the back of a small industrial park, next to a marble wholesaler. If you use some sort of mapping program, keep in mind that it’ll bring you to the front of the brewery. This, interestingly enough, is also the back of the brewery. You’ll need to go around back to get to the front. You’ll see what I mean. I did it by going down the wrong way of a one-way street, because I like to live dangerously like that.
Their tap room is a roped off section of the brewery floor. It’s got a selection of games like cornhole, giant Jenga, and an indoor, air-conditioned room with a nice selection of beer-inspired artwork.
The other thing that Due South’s tap room has is an impressive tap lineup. Their menu mentioned guest taps, but I didn’t see any, nor did I see the need for one. There were 18 beers on tap, including their standards like Category 3 IPA, Category 5 IPA, and their flagship Caramel Cream Ale.
Due South does tours on the weekends. The ones at 1 PM and 3 PM are free, but the one at 2 PM, their $10 VIP tour, is the one you want. It comes with a free pint glass and samples after the tour. It’s what my wife and I did. But not before grabbing a pint.
Of course, we went for their darkest beer. Because I don’t know. Anyway, we started with their Roasted Cocoa Stout. Don’t worry, this stout isn’t overly heave on the chocolate. It’s just a light touch. But it’s a smooth, easy drinking stout with a great, creamy head (due to the nitro pours) and a lot of big flavor. Easily one of my favorites.
The other one we tried before the tour was Mexican Standoff. This one is basically a beer version of a Mexican Hot Chocolate; big, heavy dark beer with vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon, and a giant punch in the throat from chili peppers. It’s a beer you need to prepare for.
On to the tour. It’s pretty quick and standard, if you’ve seen brewery tours before. One really nice added touch is a display of the original homebrewing system Mike Halker pieced together when he first started brewing. I’ve never seen a brewery with a display like this before, and it was good to see them celebrate their humble beginnings.
The tour had a fairly quick, but incredibly knowledgeable feel. It’s nice to see some of the raw ingredients, especially smelling roasted malts. Always smells great. Their canning line was there, with a giant mountain of cans for Caramel Cream Ale and Category 3 IPA ready to go, but they don’t can on the weekend. It’s a shame. I’d actually like to see the canning system operating one day.
The other thing that I am starting to find interesting on brewery tours is what each brewery names their fermentation tanks. I’ve seen boring old numbers, family members, sci-fi characters, and Due South has decided on spacecraft. Real ones. Columbia, Atlantis, Discovery, etc. It’s a nice, uniquely Florida touch.
From there, the VIP Tour moves into their indoor tap room for the tasting portion. Due the the extremely long list of beers we tried, I am actually going to save that for another post. But I had a good time on the tour, and some of the beers I’ll be reporting on are nothing short of fantastic. Stay tuned, dear readers.
Drink Florida Craft,