I was just happy they were at New Times BeerFest so I could finally try the rest of their portfolio of beers. And get a koozie. Possibly one of their bright yellow-green shirts.
Sandbar Sunday is their standard pale wheat ale that is contract brewed and distributed around the South Florida area. I’ve written about that before (the link is at the top of this article, BTW). But what else did they bring?
First, since I do the IPAs first, was Channel Marker IPA (IPA). For an IPA, it’s actually pretty approachable. The hop and malt balance is nice and even, not overly, brutally hoppy like some brewers like. It’s not sweet, but the bitterness of the beer has a light sweet aspect to it that is more noticeable in Islamorada’s brew than in many others.
Islamorada Ale (Blonde Ale, 5% ABV, 19 IBU) should be a bland, uninspired blonde ale. Most blonde ales are. But Islamorada decided to add a major citrus kick to the beer. It was enough to really transform it into an almost saison-ish fruity beer that isn’t overly cloyingly sweet, but just the right balance between a citrus sweetness and a malty maturity with enough hop flavor to make sure it isn’t a giant glass of alcoholic Sunny D. It has sort of a rough mouthfeel, like
But it was the No Wake Zone (American Brown Ale) that really, really got me. First, it’s a brown ale. I love brown ales. Second, it was one of the first times they had tapped it. It might have been the first, I don’t remember. They were close to the stage and it was getting kinda loud. But when you taste this, it has such a big roasted caramel flavor, such a mellowed malt profile, such a smooth drinkability, that it instantly became my favorite from Islamorada Brewing.
With the opening of their tasting room and an increased focus on getting their name out higher than Monroe Co., I can only hope the result is more exposure and, more importantly, more beer from Islamorada.
And more bright shirts. And more of that brown ale…
Drink Florida Craft,