One of the things I love about the blossoming craft beer industry in Florida is that everyone has been so nice. Some breweries are a little ho-hum, and others will bend over backwards to make people feel welcome.
A little backstory before I go further: Several weeks ago I published a piece on Descarga Brewing, a brewery in Miami that is still in the planning and building stages. Manny Jannes, co-owner of Desgarga, had reached out to me to talk about their Free Beer For life offering at the Sprung Beer Fest in Miami. Unfortunately, I was never able to make it out there to try some of their stuff.
So last week was the Mass Confusion event at SaltWater Brewery. A number of South Florida breweries were present, but by the time my wife and I got there, most had run out of beer and headed home. But guess who didn’t? Descarga. Of course.
I hadn’t told many I would be there. Heck, I think I had forgotten they were going to be there myself. I wanted up to Manny, shook his hand, and told him who I was. Here’s where the awesomeness of brewers comes in. The handshake went from your standard greeting to that thumb-lock best buds sort of handshake, and I instantly knew Manny was good people. Actually, I could tell just by how he was interacting with the people in front of me… And once he found out my lovely wife was pregnant, his normally glowing personality just went into overdrive. It was a great welcoming. Hanging out with all of them was a blast.
In the end, I finally got to try three of Descarga’s beers. That definitely made me happy. One ran out, I personally got to kick another beer, which was kinda cool. Here’s what they had:
Travieso (Saison, 5.6% ABV, 16 IBU) is a saison brewed with prickly pear cactus and ginger root. But don’t worry, it’s not really spicy like some ginger drinks can be. It’s actually very mellow while keeping a nice snappiness to it. It’s nice and light, slight fruity and very floral. There’s a great, mature flavor to it.
Saison Completa (Saison, 6.2% ABV, 60 IBU) is, obviously, a saison. But when you drink it, you’ll definitely feel like you’re drinking a Pale Ale. It’s got a big hoppiness from ample additions of Galaxy and Citra hops. There’s another addition of honey which, plus the malts and a light, slightly sour yeast, make the drink more palatable for those of us that don’t particularly care for overly hoppy beer.
Fuki Fuki (Witbier, 5% ABV, 33 IBU) is one of their best concoctions. This witbier is brewed with fresh Florida mangoes and peat smoked malts. It’s got a wonderful, meaty flavor that is robust, rich, and very well rounded with just a touch of sweetness. I’m still not going to tell you what Fuki Fuki means, though.
It was nice to see my friends at SaltWater brewery. I’m hoping they open soon, since there are a few more Descarga beers I have yet to try. Of course, I also can’t wait for them to open.
And I’ll let them know before I arrive.
Drink Florida Craft,