Lucky’s, that grocery store that has a bunch of food for really cheap and lets you walk around the store drinking beer while you shop, is growing quite a bit.
And I’m not just talking about in Florida, they seem to be popping up everywhere. Only a couple months ago I found a brand new one in Springfield, Missouri, and it was a shame that I wasn’t able to bring that much packaged beer back with me.
But the one thing that those stores in Missouri and elsewhere definitely cannot get it is Florida beer. I’m rather partial to beer from my home state, especially when it’s brewed exclusively for a place like Lucky’s. Enter Saltwater Brewery, who has just released, only at Lucky’s stores, Lucky’s Red 185 Ale (Red Ale, 5.6% ABV).
According to Dustin Jeffers, co-founder and Head of Operations at Saltwater Brewery, Lucky’s came to them a couple months ago talking about having a beer together. The concept was to have a beer that was “flavorful, but drinkable enough that you could have it while shopping in the stores.”
A red ale was chosen, since the main color for Lucky’s is red. A particular favorite style of Dustin’s is a dry-hopped read ale, something they rarely brew. Here was the perfect chance.
The malt profile contains 2-row, wheat, C-40, a tiny bit of chocolate malt for color, and Red X (which Dustin describes as a “very cool malt that we used for a Belgian red over the winter.” There was a bit of Columbus hops in the boil, then liberally dry hopped with Dustin’s favorite Centennial.
“I love the aroma of Centennial and the citrus notes of that hop play well with the malty profile of the beer,” says Dustin. I definitely agree, as the malt has an interesting beefy quality without a lot of the sweetness that other Red Ales would contain. While I am regularly a big fan of sweeter, caramel-forward red ales, that would get in the way here.
With a recipe such as this, you need to let the hops shine, especially that big Centennial floral quality. And this beer brings that floral quality out to great effect, in both the aroma and the taste. There’s a lot of depth there, but still drinkable and easy to consume. And since it’s Lucky’s, it comes at a whoppingly huge $3 a pint. Can’t go wrong there.
The best part is that it currently looks like they will be brewing fresh batches every other week in smaller amounts, so it will always be fresh. It’s the perfect beer for the perfect drinking and shopping experience.