Brew Review – Courthouse Cream Ale by LaBelle Brewing

Time to talk architecture.

I never thought I would see in Italian Renaissance Revival building in the middle of Hendry County, but it’s been there for 95 years.

The Hendry County Courthouse was built in 1926 and is the centerpiece of the city of LaBelle. It’s right on the main drag of town and completely unmissable to anybody driving to or through the city. There’s a good amount of pride for the building in the community, serving as the starting point of the city’s annual Swamp Cabbage Festival parade.

The building, with its gorgeous brick work and soaring clock tower, also serves as the inspiration for one of the first canned releases coming from LaBelle Brewing, Courthouse Cream Ale (Cream Ale, 4.7% ABV).

It’s the first cream ale I’ve tried that actually had a creamy aroma the moment I opened the can (Yes, I am completely aware that cream is not a part of a cream ale, but that’s what I got).

After pouring, the beer belies a very clean aroma with notes of traditional 2-row malted barley and a touch of corn sweetness from the flaked corn addition.

The flavor is completely spot-on. The first sip gives a light bready, almost cornbread quality, but maybe not completely strong on the corn. The second sip brings in notes of lemon and apple, and after that the solid touches of sweetness from the corn without an excessive the vegetative quality, along with fun notes of biscuit and citrus.

It’s very light in body, very easy to drink, and seems like the perfect stepping off point for many a fruit-laden variety.

Will we see that? It remains to be seen. But it’s a solid beer and very understandable why it’s one of the LaBelle Brewing’s top sellers. For a light, refreshing beer, this is a courthouse that you wouldn’t mind being in.

And let’s be honest, that’s about the only reason that you would want to be in a courthouse.

Drink Florida Craft,


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