Ocala is located about an hour north of Orlando if you’re taking the turnpike. I’m familiar with the city when it comes to three things: horse farms, Silver Springs, and the Ocala National Forest. It used to be the site of a rather large Timucua settlement, and the name of the city comes from their phrase meaning ‘Big Hammock.’
One longtime resident of the city, Tom McDonald, has now broght craft beer to Ocala with the opening of Infinite Ale Works on South Magnolia. Along with partners Jim Ritchhart and Richard McGinley, the brewery turns out a wide array of styles based on their take of traditional Belgian recipes.
Many of their core beers are starting to make their way into bombers for limited regional distribution, accompanied by some of the most stunning label artwork I’ve seen on Florida beer bottles in some time.
Take a look at the label for West Floridian (Quadrupel, 10.9% ABV), for example. I’m not sure there are too many ruined abbeys in Central Florida, but if there were, I would hope they would all look like this.
The beer is just as striking as the label art, with West Floridian being a thick and chewy Belgian Quad that definitely cannot be ignored. Massive biscuit notes give way almost immediately to a molasses-laden explosion of plum and raisin qualities. With an almost treacle-like nose and a rich, deep brown color, West Floridian is as delicious as it is imposing.
As for more reviews, of Infinite Ale Works? Time can only tell. I don’t get into their distribution area too often but when I do, I definitely will seek them out, if only to collect those labels.
Yes, I’m sure the beer inside will be just as good.
Drink Florida Craft,