Best Florida Beer, Inc. is an organization strives to use events and marketing to increase both the exposure and quality of the Florida craft beer industry.
The centerpiece of what they do is the Best Florida Beer Championship, held in Tampa every year. Many breweries, both well-established brewers and up-and-coming newbies, get together to compete in a wide variety of beer styles.
While a lot of awards went to breweries on the Gulf Coast, South Florida received a good bit of attention, especially Kyle Jones and the good people at Lauderale. They won three medals this year, including a gold medal for their Export Stout, Black Mamba (Export Stout, 7.2% ABV, 54 IBU).
They definitely earned that medal.
Opening up my handy dandy growler of Black Mamba immediately filled the air with the heady malty goodness of stepping into a quality brewery. It was incredibly delicious and inviting, and that deep roasted barley character continues to open up when the beer is poured (into a tulip stem, thank you).
The flavors are very complex and center on big notes of dark bread and medium roast coffee. Unlike the conceptually similar Russian Imperial Stout, the Foreign Extra doesn’t hinge so much on bold, bitter flavors. Black Mamba benefits from this, instead bring a creamy mouthfeel with a slight sweetness to the palate.
It’s not the lightest beer in the world, but it’s incredibly full of flavor and an immensely satisfying brew. Kyle should be proud enough for making a wonderful beer like this.
But I’m sure the gold medal doesn’t hurt, either.
Drink Florida Craft,