It’s always something new from Alan Espino and his team at Beat Culture, both to beer drinkers and Miami in general. And so it was with bated breath that Producer Steve and I made the drive down to MIA to sample a couple more beers and record an update interview for the Florida Beer Podcast.
It was, as usual, an excellent interview, but one of the things I specifically asked to focus on was Vice Versus (Hoppy Lager, 7.8% ABV).
This isn’t just any lager, but a gluten-free lager. During the brewing process, they use an enzyme that pulls the gluten out of the finished product. Alan was very insistent that I would not be able to tell there wasn’t any gluten in the beer, and he was completely right.
What he did, gluten status aside, was create a 7.8% monster liberally dry hopped with Galaxy, Citra and Eldorado. It’s incessantly bold and Incredibly juicy, a beer that undeniably and unmistakingly relishes in the fruit flavors coming from those hops. It doesn’t shy away from bringing a moderately bitter alpha acid quantity to the beer as well. It’s delicious, it’s aggressive, and I didn’t realize that it was gluten free at all.
Another style of beer they’ve been getting into recently, one that took me a bit by surprise, are tart ales. These are sort of halfway between a regular fruited beer and a sour beer. Not so aggressive that newbies are driven away, but also not so bland that sour enthusiasts aren’t interested at all.
They have a couple of varieties, but since I am partial to anything cucumber and beer, I went for Tres Pepinos (Cucumber Mojito Tart Ale, 6.1% ABV).
I’m a big fan of cucumber and this is a great beer that gives it a great spotlight. The lime and fresh touch of mint work very well in bringing enough tart acidity to the beer where it’s noticeable, but not brutal. this is. It still focuses more on the flavors than it does a souring experience. It’s also not the only tart ale they have, and I’m looking forward to trying the others.
It’s very refreshing and definitely a lot lighter than the last beer we had, Cortadito Stout (Stout, 8.3% ABV).
This Cuban coffee milk stout is big and thick and rich and drenched in heavy espresso flavor, a Cuban coffee lover’s dream. In Miami, it’s almost a requirement to make a stout like this. They did a great job, with a light lactose sweetness coming through the absolutely chewy and bold coffee notes.
I left with quite a few beers, so you’re going to be seeing Beat Culture on the Florida Beer Blog for a little while. If you knew what some of these beers were like, you would be looking forward to them as much as I am.
Drink Florida Craft,
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