I was a little surprised that it took as long as it did for me to find craft beer from the Keys. I figured there would be a lot more coming from a place where light lagers are almost as integral to the laid-back image as palm trees and fishing boats. But, apart from a few brewpubs and tons of pictures of (horror of horrors) Corona, there just wasn’t a lot.
Enter Islamorada Beer Co. They’re based on the namesake island, which is roughly halfway between the mainland and Key West. As of right now, it appears they are still working with a small system, brewing batches and distributing them to festivals and tap rooms around the keys and South Florida area.
If you can’t find them on draft, however, they also have their signature Sandbar Sunday available in bottles in select areas around South Florida.
Seeing as Islamorada Beer Co. hasn’t been able to find the space for a full brewing lineup, Sandbar Sunday is currently being contract brewed out of state (a fact that some people unfamiliar with the craft brewing industry apparently don’t like. Scroll down to the comments to see a representative from Islamorada Beer Co. deftly dismantle the author. It’s a good time).
As for the beer itself, it’s a pale wheat ale, basically a hopped-up hefeweizen. If you’re looking for the fruity sweetness that many hefeweizens tend to have, this isn’t the beer. Basically, think of it as more of a rounded, mellow pale ale. It’s very much a cool beer for a hot summer day, especially out on the water or at the beach.
Islamorada Beer Co. is looking for tap room/bottling space as we speak. It’ll be good to see them succeed, as local craft beer in that area would be quite welcomed.
And if there are any local newspapers that need a beer writer, just drop me a line. 😉
Drink Florida Craft,
Chris & Dave
Florida Beer Blog