Somewhere along the way, Florida became a haven for big brewers. Not necessarily brewers that started small and got big, although, we have plenty of those here in the in the state.
Nope, I’m talking about the ones founded elsewhere that then came to Florida. The obvious one is Yuengling, who’s secondary production facilities are in the Tampa area. Another brewery who’s secondary production facilities in the Bay Area is Sea Dog Brewing, based out of Portland, Maine.
Sea Dog, owned by the Shipyard Brewing Company, open their facility in Clearwater a few years ago. Primarily they’re focused on making the core Shipyard and Seadog brands for release in the region, but recently, under the Shipyard banner, they released a beer exclusively for Florida, their Blood Orange Belgian Style (Witbier, 5.1% ABV).
It is brewed in Florida, and every single piece of label artwork makes sure that you are fully aware that it was brewed in Florida as well. As much as I wanted to hate this beer being a scratch the being part coming from a mass producer, surprisingly it was pretty good.
And yes, it had a lot of ‘Florida’ in the beer. You can expect a nice, light, fluffy wheat-based malt profile. It’s refreshing, and compliments quite a lot of different foods, as I experienced while having Italian with my couple of pints.
As a witbier, you also traditionally have the coriander and the orange peel. But that orange peel is blood orange, and they went ahead and added some more blood orange before sending it out. That’s where the beer really shines.
That refreshing, slightly meaty, somewhat sweet, but not overpowering citrus flavor goes a long way and makes a beer quite tasty.
As for other beers, we will have to wait and see. But for the first time out, it looks like our friends in Maine are settling into the Bay Area quite nicely. I will have to check and see what else they come up with.
Drink Florida Craft,