I have been excited about reviewing a beer like this for some time now. For their Blonde Ale (Blonde Ale, 5% ABV), St. Pete’s 3 Daughters Brewing used – wait for it – hops grown right here in Florida.
Very, very excited.
Hops, for starters, aren’t indigenous to the Sunshine State. They need the same climate that you usually find in wine-making regions. According to the University of Florida, 70% of all hops grown in the US come from Washington’s Yakima Valley.
Add to that the fact that a small group of Florida citrus farmers are looking for alternative crops to augment their own production, and you have a perfect recipe for experimentation.
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida is working with farmers around the state and the Florida Dept. of Agriculture on this exciting project. One research center, the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm, FL, produced the crop that traveled to brewmaster Ty Weaving for inclusion in this special beer.
It’s incredibly, increibly good. The base beer is deliciously malty sweet, with a complex, biscuity flavor and a gorgeous straw color.
The hops used give the beer a slightly floral quality to the taste, which beautifully accentuates and harmoniously the rest of the beer. It never appears to be a face-melting hop bomb to aggressively show off what Florida-grown hops can do. They focused on making a solidly good beer.
As of right now, the beer was sold only on draft in 3 Daughters’ tap room and in bombers. More beers with Florida-grown hops are coming soon, though, and I hope we can see the day very soon where a considerable portion of Florida-crafted beers produced with Florida-grown hops.
The hops will come. And once they do, the hops will be able to speak for themselves.
Drink Florida Craft (with Florida hops),