Brew Review – Darkwater by Swamp Head Brewery

There are quite a few Florida breweries that are picking up steam. One of those is definitely Swamp Head, based in Gainesville. They just opened a gorgeous-looking new facility, and distribution is starting to pick up.

Interestingly enough, distribution seems to be limited to 22 oz. bombers, or at least that’s all I’ve really seen from them. I have a bottle of theirs waiting at home, but the one beer of theirs I’ve always been a little hesitant to try was Darkwater (Black IPA, 6.8% ABV, 65 IBU)

Darkwater by Swamp Head

Darkwater by Swamp Head

This black IPA is described as a “Floridian Dark Ale” by Swamp Head, a moniker I particularly like. The beer earned its name from its resemblance to the water of the iconic Suwanee River, which (if you’ve ever seen it) is pretty dark and murky. Not muddy, but dark, like tea.

As an IPA, for someone like me who is decidedly not an IPA afficionado, it’s surprisingly drinkable. Hopwise, the Northern Brewer, Columbus, Amarillo, Centennial, Cascade, and Simcoe hops are blended very well and produce a bold, yet approachable flavor. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve seen Northern Brewer in an IPA. That tends to feature more in porters and stouts with big, roasted malts. Darkwater has those roasted malts in abundance, adding Marris Otter, Crystal, Biscuit, and even some Chocolate Wheat, one of my favorites, for lightness.

It looks like I’ll be able to try more Swamp Head in the future. And I won’t have to be afraid of Darkwater, either.

Drink Florida Craft,





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