Winter in Florida isn’t really winter in the way it is everywhere else in the country. And for that, I am so grateful. I don’t particularly like the snow. Or driving in it.
But there’s a lot of good things about winter, and the foods with a profusion of spices that aren’t really good for any other time of year. A lot of beers are coming out around this time, but I’ve noticed there are a lot of them that tend to be Winter Warmers. And those beers tend to be thick, heavy, and brutal in terms of the really high alcohol content. I personally prefer a lighter beer where the brewer plays with a readily available palate of spices. Such is the story with Miami Winter Ale (Winter Ale, 6.3% ABV, 45 IBU) from Miami Brewing Co.
There’s a beautiful deep brown color to the beer,and it pairs with a spicy, bright bouquet of things like cinnamon, nutmeg, basically all of the traditional winter spices you could expect. But then you drink it.
Clove. There’s a ton of clove in the beer. Lots of it. And it definitely lingers on the tongue. It’s a lot like if you grab a roll of Necco wafers and only eat the black ones. I love clove, and the clove blends exceptionally well with the brown malts, but I wish I had known that going in. Miami Brewing also uses local honey in this beer, but it’s so subtle that I couldn’t get to it much.
And it’s funny that the beer has a lot of big, strong flavor that one may traditionally expect would come from hops or big alcohol content. But with this beer, it comes from the spice. Exclusively from the spice. It’s wild.
This is Miami Brewing’s first distributed bomber and a welcome change to traditional winter ales. You may still be able to find it in some stores in South Florida, and I’m fairly sure it’s still available at the Miami Brewing/Schnebly Winery tasting room in Homestead.
And, much like 60-degree weather in South Florida, it’ll be gone before you know it.
Drink Florida Craft,