When it comes to themes for Florida breweries, you tend to get two main varieties. If your brewery is close to the coast, then you start to see a lot of beachy themes or beers that are a bit beachy. The more Northern and Central you get, the more you see themes of history and wildlife, the more natural part of the Sunshine State.
Rarely do you get people that focus deeply on other ideas, but every so often what you’ll find is fishing. And there is a lot of good offshore fishing in the state. A great example of this is Sailfish Brewing in Fort Pierce.
Sailfish co-founders Nick Bischoff and Dave BuShea are avid sport fishermen, and that tends to be reflected in the name and the imagery associated with the brewery. Even the main logo for the brewery contains the specific coordinates where they can be found, a particular touch I love.
That also comes through in a lot of the beers they release, notably Tag and Release (Amber Ale, 5.9% ABV, 27 IBU). Tagging and releasing is pretty self explanatory. Fish are caught, tagged with GPS locators, then released into the wild so scientists can study migration patterns, habitats, and fish survival. One of the biggest programs doing this is the Billfish Foundation, and Tag and Release was actually brewed as a support for this group.
To support them, Sailfish Brewing created an absolutely beautiful Amber ale, one that is very soft and sessionable, but still lovely and flavorful with copious amounts of American pale, Crystal, and Rye malts. This gives it a wonderfully deep red color and a big biscuity notes. With the flavor, solid rye notes pop to the surface with a very, very light herbal hop characteristic in the background.
This is definitely the kind of beer to have out on the boat with you on a long, hot day sportfishing. I am sure that was what the founders at Sailfish were going for, and I am sure they have it well stocked at home. I believe Sailfish Brewing and the Billfish Foundation are still working together when it comes to the beer, and I am hoping that I will get more information about the partnerships.
In the meantime, even if you don’t know about tagging and releasing, it’s worth getting a six pack of the beer anyway.
Drink Florida Craft,
Florida Beer Blog is a part of Florida Beer Media. Find us at FloridaBeerMedia.com.