The Florida brewing industry is no stranger to making beers brewed for and benefiting various charities around the state. A lot of the time those beers are something local and Taproom exclusive, but then sometimes a brewery will package and distribute one of these special beers in their region.
Every so often, however, you get a statewide release of one of these beers, which happened recently with Darwin Brewing in Bradenton. Two recent beers were made and released to benefit Mote Marine Laboratory in nearby Sarasota.
If you have never been, Mote is a great place, with lots of wonderful exhibits including manatees, river otters, and sharks. They also have a very strong and healthy sea turtle rehabilitation program, the inspiration for one of their charity beers Leatherback Lager (Lager, 4.9% ABV).
The leatherback turtle is indigenous to both coasts in the state. If you visit the beach at the right time, you’ll notice the beaches have greatly reduced lighting at night. This is to allow freshly hatched sea turtles to find the ocean and make their way towards their new home. Due to development, boating, unhealthy fishing practices, and so on, a lot of turtles end up getting severely injured and need the services of a place like Mote Marine Lab to get healthy before being re-released into the wild.
The beer, named to honor these amazing animals, is a pretty crisp and clear lager, with a nice light golden color and an aroma with notes of lemon, biscuit, and a hint of grapefruit. The flavor has a nice snap to it, and combines lemon and a touch of lime that originates from a slightly alpha acid-forward hop profile, resting on top of a solid two-row heavy malt base.
It’s a very clean and simple beer to drink, easily something that Darwin could release year-round. And I hope they release it year-round, since not only is the beer good, but it goes to a good cause. As you can see on the can, these beers were brewed for and exclusively distributed bt Winn-Dixie stores around the state, so it’s only there that you will be able to find this and their sister IPA brewed just for Mote Marine Lab. It’s worth it to pick up a six-pack and support a good cause.
And a good beer, of course.
Drink Florida Craft,
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