Brew Review – Keybilly Island Ale by BrewHub and Keybilly Brewing

Please bear with me. This post may take a little while to explain.

BrewHub is a brewing facility that recently opened in Lakeland. It’s not just a brewery, but an all-in-one brewing, packaging, and shipping facility for area brewers looking to expand their operations. In essence, it’s sort of a contract brewer, and they already count companies like Cigar City and Orange Blossom Brewing among their clients.

Yes, they do tours of their facility. And yes, they have a tap room with everything their brewing in the facility. One of which is a beer brought to them by a homebrewer in Islamorada.

Keybilly six-pack at BrewHub. Image courtesy of PR Newswire.

Pat Kennedy is a homebrewer and native Floridian, living in Islamorada in the Florida Keys since 2009. In that time, he has focused on brewing a signature beer, one he calls Keybilly Island Ale (Amber Ale, 5.4% ABV), named after longtime residents of the Keys.

After winning several awards, Kennedy brought the beer to the head honchos at BrewHub. Now that beer is the first in what BrewHub is calling their ‘Craft Collection,’ a lineup of craft beers made exclusively at BrewHub. Keybilly is available on draft at the facility, and cans are starting to be distributed around the state, which is how I was able to get my hands on one.

Keybilly Island Ale by BrewHub

Keybilly Island Ale by BrewHub

The beer is classified as an Amber Ale, but it’s a good deal paler and more golden than a traditionally reddish Amber ale. Aroma. Pouring releases a strong, classically clean Pilsner-esque bouquet. It’s very simple and beautifully inviting.

Then there’s the taste. I really like this beer, but it just doesn’t feel like an amber ale to me. With a grain bill of American two-row barley and white wheat, along with Hallertau and Tettanger hops, it drinks more like a hefeweizen. The light amount of key lime, which is brilliant, serves to make the wheat beer connection that much stronger. And better; it’s a delicious brew that practically screams Florida.

I am interested to see what Kennedy will be releasing next. I’m also intrigued as to what beers will be added to BrewHub’s Craft Collection.

I would also like to remind BrewHub that I am a homebrewer, too…

Drink Florida Craft,




5 thoughts on “Brew Review – Keybilly Island Ale by BrewHub and Keybilly Brewing

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