Brew Review – Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest 2016

It’s time for the Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest. Or was, since it was last weekend. And, as usual, there were a ton of breweries bringing a ton of beers for a ton of people to sample over two sessions: one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

My wife and I could have done both, but that was a bit much. The only people I know of that did both sessions was the cast of the KVJ Show, and they were feeling it the next morning.

A few beers I have separated into their own write ups, but what follows is a nice rundown of some of the more interesting beers we tried. We didn’t try any wine, however, since the people at the one wine booth felt it was too important to talk to each other when we walked up than to actually talk to people that were interested in what they had.

Oh well, plenty of beer to go around. This, by the way, is in no specific order whatsoever:


Accomplice Brewing’s Old Gnarly Apple Cider (Cider, 8% ABV)

I love Accomplice. They are such wonderful people, and they make a really good product that is starting to get more and more distribution in South Florida. WIth ciders like Old Gnarly, it’s easy to see why.

Old Gnarly is a classic cider, a bit sweeter than their more traditional offerings, and bursting with big apple flavors. Nothing artificial; you can practically smell the breeze blowing through the orchard when you drink this. Well worth it.


Devour Brewing’s Mosaic To My Ears (IPA, 6% ABV, 61 IBU)

For an IPA, especially one brought to a beer fest such as this, Mosaic was surprisingly smooth and drinkable. Moderate, herbal hop qualities were well balanced and nicely showcased.


Tequesta Brewing’s Julio’s Blood Orange Wheat (Hefeweizen, 5.2% ABV)

I don’t know who Julio is, but he might have a problem if he bleeds wheat beer. The orange is light and very faint, but the rest of the beer is light, crisp, and quite refreshing indeed.

Word of warning: i’m not totally sure I got this beer right. The sign had several hand-written changes to it by the time I got there.

Edit: It’s a blood orange beer, it’s not Julio bleeding… ugh…


Holy Mackerel’s Panic Attack Cafe Cubano (Belgian Strong Ale, 10% ABV)

It’s nice to see Holy Mackerel’s original owner/brewer  back in the saddle. Not only is there a new tap room coming soon (close to Bangin’ Banjo), but he released a new beer, Cafe Cubano. For a coffee beer, this is fantastic, and might actually be my new favorite. It’s got a big coffee flavor but is still light and easy to drink, hanging on the back of their Belgian-style Panic Attack. It’s out in bottles now, and I think I need to grab a 4-pack pretty soon. 


Barley Mow’s Abbatoir (Imperial IPA, 8.5% ABV)

Barley Mow. We need to talk. You produce a juicy, hoppy Double IPA, and you name it after a slaughterhouse? Come on, you live in Largo! It’s sunny and bright and happy! Go to Proino, get an omelette, keep making great beers and lighten up, please.


Due South’s Imperial Cafe Ole Espresso Porter (Porter, 9.5% ABV)

I feel the imprint of Due South’s coffee aficionado Joel Kodner all over this one. Exceptionally strong coffee flavors, big and bold malts, and a huge, dark, heady finish.


SaltWater Brewery’s Tart Cherry Coffee Sea Cow (Milk Stout, 6% ABV)

This is sort of the training wheels to the Imperial porter above, and once again nicely builds upon their classic Sea Cow Milk Stout. It has a light cherry quality in the back, but is more resplendent with a deep roasted coffee sweetness.


Barrel of Monks’ S’Tart (Sour Ale, 6% ABV, 10 IBU)

S’good. Light tartness, more like a sharply fruited hefeweizen than a bold Berliner Weisse. It’s very approachable, but is still noticeably tangy.

Until next year (or the next beer festival), that’s what’s going on in Florida Craft Beer. I can’t wait until the next pint.


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