To start, thank you all for a wonderful Florida Craft Beer Day! I think it was a great success, and we can make 2017 even better!
Foy my beer from Florida Craft Beer Day 2016, I actually decided to get a new beer that had just been tapped the day before at my local Total Wine, one from Ormond Brewing Company.
Ormond Beach is a city located in Volusia County, just north of its significantly more famous neighbor Daytona Beach. It was occasionally visited by the native Timucuan tribe, but never got it’s first settlement until a group of New England-bound Quakers blew off course and landed there in the mid 1600’s.
Spain’s King Ferdinand commissioned a Scottish captain by the name of James Ormond to transport a group of Franciscians there in the early 1700’s. It was this captain for which the city was named.
In the late 1800’s, Ormond Beach was another city that benefitted greatly from the Florida tourism boom. In 1888, the now-gone Ormond Hotel was opened. This hotel was located by the St. Johns & Halifax Railroad, and both were purchased by millionaire industrialist Henry Flagler in 1890 to become a part of his Florida East Coast Railway.
Less than 100 feet from that railroad is the current home of Ormond Brewing Co. Taking its moniker from the old name of the city (It didn’t officially become Ormond Beach until 1949), Ormond Beach started as a small group of homebrewing friends that decided to band together and start the venture of opening a brewery.
They finally opened in Sept. 2013, becoming Volusia’s first craft brewery. The brewery is headed by President Justin Robinson, an Ormond Beach resident who learned to brew while studying at UF (why are there so many Gators in Florida craft beer?).
And now distribution is starting to grow, since I just managed to get a growler of one of their core beers, the delightful Full Steam Honey Cream (Cream Ale, 6.5% ABV, 20 IBU).
And yes, the name of the beer is a clear reference to their proximity to the still-in-operation Florida East Coast Railway.
It’s good, everyone. I’m not exactly a stranger to cream ales, and this is a nice, soft example of the style. it has a slight floral bouquet and no brutal bitterness whatsoever from generous Hallertauer hopping. Flavor-wise, most of a mild, bready sweetness comes from the 2-row barley and corn malts. They also used rice, which I am guessing was used to control the other malts to make sure the sweetness didn’t get out of hand.
Then there’s the honey. It’s such a soft, gently touch of sweetness provided by apiaries located in Volusia and nearby Brevard Counties. it’s very faint on the nose, a bit more prominent in the flavor, and more in the aftertaste. Just like steam from a passing locomotive, it’s almost ghostly and quite delicious.
I was happy to use Florida Craft Beer Day to look into a brand new brewery I haven’t tried before. Hopefully it won’t take too long before another of their beers travels down the rails to me.
Happy Florida Craft Beer Day, everyone!
Drink Florida Craft,