So we are going to go in on a big dessert porter today. And we’re going in on a completely different avenue than how I expected, courtesy of Hop Life Brewing in Port St. Lucie.
I feel like it’s sort of antithetical to talk about a brewery in Port St. Lucie without talking about A) the relative lack of craft beer on the Treasure Coast, B) Hop Life and their owners being former firefighters, or C) their incredible proximity to the New York Mets spring training stadium.
All of that is true, and all topics we went into quite a bit more in-depth on our upcoming interview for the Florida Beer Podcast. Anyway, during the interview, I was chatting with co-owners Rob Terrell and Jim Kelly, when one of them decided to duck behind the bar, go deep into a beer fridge behind there, and pull out the short stubby crowler of Wake Me Up Before You Coco (Porter, 5.5% ABV, 40 IBU).
For most of Florida’s themed dessert stouts and porter, you get the flavors directly from ingredients. If it says that there’s a lot of chocolate and vanilla, that’s because the brewer used actual cocoa nibs in an actual vanilla beans in the beer.
Not here, the big heavy chocolatey fudge flavors were something that was baked into the coffee beans that they used to make the beer. It’s locally roasted coffee, and it had enough of that flavor inherent to really impart a thick, fudgy flavor to the beer that was insanely decadent and velvety smooth.
There was enough coffee in there as well to give a little piquant bite, and just a touch of coconut at the very end to round out and mellow a lot of the sweetness. I’m not sure if lactose was used, but it was either a welcome addition or not necessary at all, seeing that the beer I had was wonderfully designed and masterfully executed.
I have a few more crowlers that I’m looking forward to reviewing on future blog posts, and I will let everybody know once the podcast interview goes live. In the meantime, this is a wonderful beer to have fresh from the source.
Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to watch baseball game the next time I go.
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