Yes, Florida has a lot of beaches and an endless summer. Yes, Florida has big, awesome theme parks. Yes, Florida has a big, rich cultural heritage from many different peoples settling here.
Florida also has an important environmental legacy and an incredibly unique ecosystem. It’s something that doesn’t get as much press as everything else the state gets. Luckily, there are people like Gainesville’s Swamp Head Brewery that make it a very strong point to celebrate that legacy.
Take a look at their web site. It’s awfully pretty in a rustic, Florida cracker sort of way.
Ordinarily, I would do a first review of a brewery’s beers using one of their easily obtained standards. But I couldn’t get my hands on any, and I was decorating my Christmas tree with my beautiful wife, and I felt that I should have a holiday beer to go along with it. Enter Hoe Hoe Hoe (Witbier, 5.8% ABV, 11 IBU).
Hoe Hoe Hoe starts life as Swamp Head’s standard witbier Cottonmouth, with additions of ginger, cranberries, and Florida Orange Blossom honey. And the aroma is just as fruity and wintery as you would think, with the cranberry and traditional witbier light maltiness very sweet and prominent.
The taste, however, was as close to a sour as I have seen in recent days. Please don’t get me wrong, the beer was quite delicious. The tartness from the witbier and the cranberries really takes prominence with the flavors, with a bit of the ginger roughness rounding out the flavor and giving the beer a bit of an edge that lingers. I didn’t taste as much of the honey as I would have liked, but I also think too much honey sweetness would have been out of balance with this beer.
I have a few other bombers from Swamp Head, and I do believe I will be able to get more soon. I’m looking forward to trying more of their beers.
And then maybe go take a hike in the swamp.
Drink Florida Craft,