“When a brewer makes a beer, they’re not just making a beer. They’re telling their story about that beer.”
Speaking with Rauf Khoffner, owner and brewmaster of Khoffner Brewery USA in Ft. lauderdale, pieces of brewing wisdom such as this flow as easily from him as the delicately swirling smoke from one of his classic cigars.
His story is the story of a family that has brewed for generations. Born in Turkey, Rauf (pronounced like Ralph without the ‘L’) was introduced to brewing by his grandfather. Rauf’s father, and soon to be Rauf himself, honed their craft with a cadre of recipes that now date back up to 180 years.
He spent time in Germany, further perfecting his skills and deeloping a healthy respect for the Reinheitsgebot, or the German Purity Law of 1516 proclaiming beer could only be brewed with water, malted barley, and hops (the law was later amended to add the newly discovered yeast).
Taking this experience and skill back to Turkey with him proved quite lucrative for Rauf, and he opened two breweries in the Muslim country. He traveled, and maintained a vacation home in Ft. Lauderdale.
And then it was gone, both breweries a victim of governmental excess. No longer welcome to ply his trade in his home country, Rauf fell back on his time spent and his friends made in the Sunshine State and opened his newest brewery, Khoffner Brewery USA, in Ft. Lauderdale.
It’s a fascinating story, but it pales in comparison to the beer the man is brewing. At this point he’s a one-man show, brewing every recipe by hand and filling the quite extensive collection of fermentation tanks on display just behind the picture windows behind the bar.
Distribution is starting to pick up quite extensively for him, but the best wait to try everything he has in store is to find him in the tiny industrial park he resides in just off Sunrise Boulevard, next to the tracks of the Florida East Coast Railway. It’s a little difficult to find, and if you’re really in luck, Avi at South Florida Distillers will be available just a few doors down.
For the most part, Rauf’s recipes follow classic styles. This is not the brewery where you’ll find a Randall or triple dry-hopped IPA. They’re a bit more true to style here.
As i came in, I spoke to Jessica, his PR person, who was ale to set me up with this:
Yes, that is everything on tap. It’s quite the selection. I’m going to hold off on talking about most of these, but I want to highlight one of the beers right now, the W. G. Hefeweizen (Hefeweizen, 5.4% ABV).
There are two reasons I bring this beer up. First, this is not the only wheat ale there. There is a second on tap, and Rauf gave us a sample of a third one. Each were very tasty, and each were distinctly different.
I asked him about this, and he mentioned it was all part of his extensive bank of recipes. I liked this, since it showed that there’s more than one way to brew even a basic style. I feel this tends to get lost a bit sometimes.
The other reason I wanted to highlight this beer is because I’ve never seen a hefeweizen that used caramel malts before. It’s flippin’ brilliant.
There’s still a moderate amount of rich clove, banana, and fruit flavors in the aroma and taste of the beer. But the beer is a bit richer and has a darker style of sweetness with a deep, almost buttery caramel flavor from the malts.
It’s readily evident for just looking at the beer. No other hefe I’ve seen has a hue this reddish-orange. It’s oddly classic and very modern all at the same time.
And it’s just the tip of the iceberg for what is coming from Khoffner Brewery. Stay tuned, more will be on it’s way.
Drink Florida Craft (florida zanaat içecek)